Humans were one of the first three races created by the gods, and were the creation of the Gods of Neutrality. Gifted with the choice of freedom, these short-lived creatures can freely choose their own ethical and moral path. Ever since their creation during the early dawn of Krynn, humans have spread throughout Ansalon, Taladas, Adlatum, and the most remote regions of the world, creating cultures as diverse as the differences between elves and dwarves. With a race with so many broad and ranging differences amongst their cultures, the only clear distinction is between civilized humans (those who live within cities, towns, etc) and nomads.
Nomads dwell as the original humans in early Krynn did so long ago, in tents and in the wilderness. The nomads live off the land and are often termed as barbarians or savages by the civilized humans. Nomadic humans have their own set of unique cultures, ranging from the Plainsfolk of Abanasinia to disparate tribes of Khur.
Civilized humans comprise the vast majority of humans throughout Ansalon and Taladas, and can be found in practically any occupation in any settlement. From a wiry thief to a rotund barkeep, civilized humans can work in the lowliest of jobs or hold the highest of positions. Human rulers are known to stir up conflict with other nations, due to the flurry of activity they weave around themselves. Although they have also been known to maintain long-standing peace with their neighbors at times also.
Ages of Starbirth & Dreams
When they were born into the world, the Ogres had already claimed the mountains, and the elves had claimed the forests. The humans were left to dwell in the plains for a period of time, and the wild nomads comprised shelters and lived off the land as best they could. However within a few generations, the ogres left their mountain realm and began enslaving the humans to work in their mines. For the first several thousand years, humans were completely subjugated by the ogres, until their mighty slavers were thrown into disarray during Igraine's heresy in 5980 PC.
The fall of the ogres was the rise of the humans. Throwing off the shackles of oppression, the humans returned to the plains in great numbers and began developing their settlements further. Learning of bronze-smelting in 3900 PC, amongst other developments, humans begin to properly arm themselves against their enemies, and develop their borders further a field. Minor warlords spring up across Ansalon and Taladas, however it isn't until the united tribes under Ackal Ergot, that the first true human empire is created in 2600 PC. In the later part of the Age of Dreams, more and more human kingdoms are formed, until the short-lived race has developed kingdoms across most of the face of Ansalon, and a good part of Taladas. Humans even begin to create a number of organizations, including a knighthood, which only they may be part of, excluding all other races as members. The Knights of Solamnia are formed.
Age of Might
The continued advancements of humans and their empire building continues throughout the Age of Might, and culminates with the ever-growing holy nation of Istar. Humans install a Kingpriest as the moralistic and righteous leader of all mortals, who rules Istar. The "benevolence" of the Kingpriest and Istar, forces all other races to bow before the goodly humans or face the Istarian legions.
The human ice barbarians of the Icereach are forced to unite or become annihilated by the ogres and their thanoi servants. The Icefolk form ranks against the ogres and Thanoi, ultimately defeating their dark foes and their forming a peaceful alliance between ogres and humans. The peace lasts until the events of the Cataclysm.
The might of the Solamnic Knights wanes before the power of holy Istar. Human arrogance leads to the enslavement of many other races and ultimately results in the gods throwing a mountain upon Istar. The Cataclysm is caused by the arrogance of humans and the people of both Ansalon and Taladas are punished. A human is given the chance to stop the Cataclysm (Loren Soth), however he fails in his duty and the ravages of the Cataclysm are felt by all.
Age of Despair
With the Cataclysm, humans abandon all faith in the gods, feeling betrayed by them. After a number of centuries, the true gods are spoken about in the same breath as legends and folklore. Cults and false religions spring up throughout human communities to fill the void. Without the aid of clerical magic, disease runs rampant throughout settlements, leading to a great many deaths.
The War of the Lance returns the true gods to Krynn, and sees humans choosing sides between the Whitestone Forces and the Dragonarmies. The cults and false religions mostly vanish, to be replaced by human clerics of the true gods, wielding the legendary divine magic of old. The age sees a return for many to darkness, as people resume following the dark gods and the forming of further organizations and even a dark knighthood, in the form of the Knights of Takhisis.
Age of Mortals
With the Summer of Chaos, humans again feel like the gods have left them once more, and many again denounce the gods in disgust. Arcane magic dries up, and many human wizards take up menial jobs, forgetting about the magic which has forsaken them. The creation of a third human knighthood occurs with the rise of the Legion of Steel, and humans (along with other races) soon feel themselves put under the mighty talons of the Dragon Overlords, who they are forced to serve.
The War of Souls sees the rise of a young human girl Mina, who crushes kingdoms with the might of the One God and changes the face of Ansalon. Both civilized and nomadic humans have their lives irrevocably altered by the War of Souls, and again the humans return to an era of peace.
Types of Humans
There are many different human subcultures, often diversified by where they are located amongst other things. Below is a list of the most common humans who are known to dwell upon Krynn.
- Ice People
- Nomadic Humans
- Nomads of Khur
- Schallsea Folk
- World Book of Ansalon (Tales of the Lance), p. 55-56
- Dragonlance Campaign Setting, p. 9-10
- War of the Lance (Sourcebook), p. 5-6
- Age of Mortals (Sourcebook), p. 8-10
- The Irda
- Icewall trilogy
- Kingpriest trilogy
- Dragons of Summer Flame
- War of Souls trilogy
- The Rule Book to Taladas (Time of the Dragon), p. 14
- The Guide Book to Taladas (Time of the Dragon), p. 27-28