The word "deiwos" appears to be the name given to sapient beings in the Primordial Tongue, the language that was common to the earliest Deiwes. Over time, as races diverged, the concept of the "deiwes" as a collective group died out and the word began to refer to legendary ancestors instead. Perhaps due to a period of ancestor veneration, by the time of the Old Tongue, the descendant "deus" had acquired the meaning of "powerful supernatural being" or "god".
Deiwes are typically between 1.5 and 2.5 metres tall, with the exception of the Dwarves, Goblinoids and Giants, which are usually shorter and taller respectively. Most Deiwos tribes share many similar features, such as slim bodies, pointed ears and resistance to extreme temperatures. Their lifespans are highly variable, with Men often living an average 80 years while certain races of Elves can live up to 1,000. Races not normally attuned to magic often grow deformed the more experienced they become in it, this trait being common among Men but unseen in naturally magical races such as Elves.
The earliest records of the Deiwes are small golden statues of bearded hominids dating from the early Orichalcum Age. Strangely enough, the culture who made these statues does not appear to have been that of these Paleolithic proto-Deiwes, the first traces of which appear several thousand years later, after the fall of the former civilisation. The earliest Deiwos culture, known as the Orichalcum Elves, forms a continuous record from the early Orichalcum Age through to the end of the Adamantine Age, by which time it had unified most of the Deiwes into an elvish empire.
The group with whom the name "Orichalcum Elf" is particularly associated with were the leaders of this empire. The earliest remains of them date from 40,000 BNA, around which time they split from the ancestors of the Archipelago Elves to create what they believed to be a superior bloodline. By the end of the Adamantine Age, their empire had collapsed and use of the Old Tongue died out. Over the next few millennia, the Deiwes spead across the main continent of Koldenwelt, split into their different races and formed many seperate societies, and most of their languages evolved dramatically from the Old Tongue so as to be almost unrecognisable.
Culture and Religion
Deiwos culture typically revolves around the veneration of nature. In many societies this is connected to the worship of the Source, which is considered to be a fundamental aspect of the universe. The Source is represented by Supreme Entity Isiris and the Colossi, the gods of the elements. Elvish ritual objects of the Orichalcum Age show that the Source was initially thought of as simply being an impersonal aspect of nature, with personification being a later development. A few cultures follow distinct cults, however. For example, the Shiarchon venerate the Simulacrum Caligaduro Provectus, while polytheistic religions are also known such as the worship of the Celestial Deities in the Orichalcum Elf Imperium.
In modern societies, this attitude to nature is mainly found amongst the Elves, with Men and Dwarves having a greater focus on industry and technological development, and Orcs and Goblinoids typically being aggressive or militaristic; since few races of Giants exist, no such generalisations can be made about them. The reasons for these ideological differences are unknown, but are presumably connected to the divisions of the species.
There are six main species of Deiwos: Elves, Men, Dwarves, Giants, Goblins, and Orcs.
Elves, or True Elves (dryadalum in the Old Tongue), are the most common type of Deiwos, and fit the typical Deiwos phenotype (of course, the phenotype is only typical because it belongs to the most common Deiwes).
Men, or Humans, have broader faces, bulkier bodies, and rounder ears than Elves, and they have a limited lifespan that is usually only a few centuries at most. Like other Deiwos races, there are many kinds of humans, some closely related but others considered completely separate.
Imperial Men Other Men
Dwarves are usually shorter than 1.5 metres in height, often adapted to living in mountains. They are sometimes Elf-like, but the mountain-dwelling races tend to be even bulkier than the Men, and have long lifespans.
Giants are tall and muscular, with the smallest being more than 3 metres in height.
Goblins or goblinoids are short, hairless, and comparable to Dwarves in size. However, creatures such as hobgoblins and bugbears, who are related to goblins, tend to be the size of men or larger. They tend to be highly aggressive, although exceptions such as the Plain Goblins do exist.
Orcs are known for their bulky, muscular and fearsome appearance compared to other races of Deiwos. Their sizes vary, but some can reach over 2 meters tall. They are often stereotyped as brutish and stupid beings, but this is not necessarily true.