You'll be seeing, on some of your fights, lines up at the top which indicate that a warrior belongs to this or that race. Some of those races you'll recognize, and some you won't. These are the races common in Lirith Kai:
According to the Imperial Office of Population Enumeration, all Adantri are human. While not strictly accurate (exceptions will be noted below), it's close. Almost all Adantri are human, but these humans come in numerous racial variations. The most common, most widespread ones are:
These are a race of the northern half of the Western Slope, the land to the west of the great Han Torra Khang. They are concentrated in the Simtakka Valley. Arvedas are the result of seven hundred years of interbreeding between the Northern Adantri (Palani, see below) and Hallani (a minor race indigenous to the Simtakka Valley, also described below) and the Plainsmen (nomads living farther west, on down this list). The Arveda tend to be of medium height or a little taller, but not outstandingly tall, and sturdily built. Their skin is generally fair; hair may be black but is more likely to be brown, and blond is not unheard of; eyes are generally hazel/light brown, or blue and 'round' (Caucasian) in shape. The Arveda tend to be adventurous and are great travelers. Because they live in an area where extremes of temperature are normal, the Arveda dress in layered, loose clothing--loose pants, a smock-like shirt over the high-collared kichai of the central Empire, and a hooded robe over all.
This is the aboriginal race of the Simtakka Valley. The Commission has not assigned this race to any gladiators, because most of them are not warriors, but there may be a few Simtakkan gladiators of Hallani stock. They are of medium height or shorter and tend to be somewhat stocky in build, their faces are round and unremarkable, and in coloring they are tan: tan skin, medium brown hair, hazel eyes. Mostly they are farmers and pacifists. The most common dress is loose pants and a smock for men, or a smock over an ankle-length skirt for women.
This is the most common racial type in the Jade Panther Hills (including Jade Mountain); it is similar to and partly overlaps the Sendori racial type (see below) to which it is related. Jadir are of medium height, with coppery to bronze skin and straight black hair; their eyes are usually black, also. In feature, they are mostly 'oriental', with almond-shaped eyes set at a slight angle and high, broad cheekbones. As a race, the Jadir are considered clannish and suspicious of strangers. They usually top the typical loose pants and high-collared kichai with a colorful vest.
The people of the An-Kiu Delta and the Isles of the South. The Commission has not assigned this race to any warrior, because the Jathkar are seldom seen in the central and northern parts of Lirith Kai, where the arenas are found. They tend to be short and slim, very lithe and graceful, with very markedly 'oriental' features; in coloring they have dark golden skin, black hair, and generally dark eyes. The Jathkar are an extremely courteous people who hold grudges for generations. In their hot and humid climate, both men and women of the Jathkar wear a sarong-like kilt, sometimes topping this with a loose, caftan-like garment.
The general term for the people of the southern end of the Western Slope, in the jungles of Naowei. Although the word 'Lubanese' is used for all, the people of the jungles belong to many diverse tribes, united primarily in being very dark-skinned. They come in all shades of brown to black, their hair is always black and may be straight or curly to any degree, and their eyes are usually (but not always) black or brown. Because the Lubanese are actually members of many diverse races, tribes, and cultures, to characterize them as a group is automatically to be mostly wrong. However, the other races of Lirith Kai, seeing few Lubanese, habitually do this; the tendency is to expect all Lubanese to be 'savages' and surprise is often expressed when this turns out not to be the case. The dress of the Lubanese varies as much as their appearance and culture, but there is a general resemblance to that of the Jathkar, born of the similar climate.
The race that is commonly referred to as Southern Adantri. These are the people of the southern An-Kiu Valley (but not the Delta area--that's a different race, the Jathkar). The Mirani are of medium height to a little shorter, slender and graceful, with golden skin, black hair, hazel eyes, and markedly 'oriental' features, including slanted, almond-shaped eyes. They are common in the vicinity of Miroi Chang. The Mirani are considered by their neighbors to be subtle to the point of deviousness, ceremonious, and overly concerned with genealogy. The Mirani are the fashion leaders of Lirith Kai, scorning the styles of other races and areas as 'old-fashioned', 'conservative', or 'rustic'. Mirani fashion is generally snug-fitting and figure-flattering (if you have a figure to flatter); details come into style and go out at a great rate.
The race that is commonly referred to as Northern Adantri. These are the people of the northern An-Kiu Valley. They tend to be tall and sturdy, light-skinned (although seldom really pale), with brown or black hair and blue or gray eyes. This race is common in the vicinity of Dal Shang, Daiyla Kiv, and Lyn Tirian. Their features are generally what we would call Caucasian or 'European'; they tend toward aquiline noses and very stubborn chins. The Palani are considered by their neighbors to be blunt to the point of rudeness, conservative, and aggressive. The common styles of the Palani are layered, suitable for their northern climate, and loose, to give freedom of movement. Generally men wear loose pants and women divided skirts, both with the high-necked kichai and layers (more or fewer as temperature or formality decrees) of the kimono-like kichanas.
Although most are not residents of Lirith Kai, the Plainsmen of the West are important to the Empire. These tall, blond nomads are a common sight in Simtakka, and there is a tendency in other parts of Lirith Kai to assume that any tall blond is a Plains nomad. They are usually described as stoic, emotional (the two are contradictory, but then, people are contradictory), barbaric, violent, and totally loyal. When moving among the people of Lirith Kai, the Plainsmen generally wear the same type of clothing as the Palani.
The people of Ratan, and more specifically, of Mazgourrah. They are of medium height and lithe build, with olive skin and black hair and eyes which are usually but not always black; there is a slight tendency to have slanted, almond-shaped eyes, and a strongly hooked nose is usually described (by Adantri) as a 'Ratani' nose. (Note that the Aruaki of Alastari are a Ratani racial type when in human form.) The Coastal Ratani are a distinct variant which may be deserving of separate race status; they are produced by the interbreeding of inland Ratani and Jathkar. They are smaller than the inlanders, with a more golden skin tone and slanted eyes; green and gold eyes are surprisingly common in this group. The stereotypical Ratani is the merchant hawking his wares; as a race they are considered to be quarrelsome (mostly with their fellow Ratani, which is suggested as the reason for Ratani disunity), clever, and always having their eye on the main chance. The common clothing of Ratan is vaguely 'Turkish' in style--loose pants gathered at the ankle, loose shirts with tight vests, sashes, slippers with curled toes. Some Ratani wear turbans or pillbox hats with turban-like rolls of cloth around the edge, and some wear an 'Arabian' headcloth.
The aboriginal people of the Trier Coast, common in the Dal Shag area. They are short and sturdy with round, rather flat faces (but not slanted eyes) and coppery skin. The Sangarans are considered (condescendingly) to be 'simple peasants'; they have strong family ties and are superb sailors. Before the coming of the Adantri, the Sangarans wore breechcloths and ponchos held shut with sashes; now they wear whatever the people around them are wearing.
The people of the central Han Torra Khang, the great mountain range to the west of the An-Kiu Valley. They are of medium height and build, with coppery skin and 'oriental' features. Great traders and travelers, they are found all over Lirith Kai, although most will call some place back in the mountains home. The Sendori are regarded as inscrutable, even sneaky, but very loyal--good friends and bad enemies. When traveling they dress as those around them do, but at home, their clothing has a flavor we would call 'Chinese', more or less.
A race of the far northwestern part of Lirith Kai. Though they are warriors to the bone, they are uninterested in 'games'; a Siniar gladiator is extremely unlikely. They are tall and lean, fair-skinned, with blond hair and blue or gray eyes. The Siniar are warriors and desire to be nothing else; one on one or in command of armies they are extremely competent. In character they tend to be tactless honest, loyal, and unforgiving. The Siniar dress in the same style as the Palani.
A minor race of the Simtakka area. Mostly they have ignored the arena, and the Commission has retaliated by ignoring them; you will find no warriors assigned to this race, although a few have entered the gladiatorial system. The average Tzaltakan is on the short side of medium height but broadly built, with a broad, flat face and distinctive fleshy features (have you ever seen pictures of the Olmec heads of Mexico?). Their skin is dark bronze and their hair and narrow eyes are black. The other people of the Simtakka Valley characterize them as being secretive, vindictive, and blood-thirsty. The Tzaltakans dress much as their neighbors the Arveda do, though in darker colors; the primary difference is that in place of the Arvedan smock-like overshirt, they wear vests, sometimes as many as three at once, which adds to their appearance of broad solidity.
A race which is now very limited in distribution but was once more important; they are found in the triangle formed by Daiyla Kiv, Dal Shang, and the Twisted Lands. Like the Palani, they are tall and sturdy, tan-skinned, with Caucasian features, but they have a tendency to produce red to red-brown hair; their eyes may be hazel, green, or blue. It is believed that the sometimes redheaded Harinzans, a relatively short, swarthy people who live south of the Twisted Lands and east of Miroi Chang, are the result of interbreeding between the Zarlani and the Rirorni or Ratani. Zarlani are generally felt to be hot-headed and stubborn and prone to rash acts, but loyal. They dress in the typical Northern Adantri or Palani style.
Non-Humans in Lirith Kai
Non-humans here are very, very rare, and usually foreign. However, one may encounter the occasional elf in the northern provinces; for example, around Lyn Tirian and Dal Shang. These elves are Itrilians, or people having their homeland along the Bay of Itril; they are generally on the short side and slimly graceful, with olive skin, dark hair and eyes, and the 'typically elven' features of slanted eyes and pointed ears. Most human Adantri regard them with mild suspicion and characterize them as hedonistic, incomprehensible, unreasonably fond of magic (which is illegal), and probably treacherous. The Commission assumes that any elf claiming Lirith Kai origin is Itrilian.
There are two minor races within the Imperial boundaries which are, the Population Enumeration Office assures us, human, not elven--they don't have pointed ears, after all, so how can they be elves? There is, however, some grounds for suspicion...
The Hanra of the southern An-Kiu Valley are a secretive people of small stature with fair skin, brown hair, copper-colored eyes, and distinctive, triangular faces. Scholars suggest that if they are not an outright elven race, they have a strong portion of elven blood. It is unlikely that a Hanro would become a gladiator, but not impossible.
The Zinjarans of the forested mountains south of Korvan Saleh on the Western Slope are the other questionable case. Even more secretive than the Hanra, they are short and swarthy with curly black hair and strongly slanted blue eyes. Again, it is unlikely that a Zinjaran would become a gladiator, but it is not beyond possibility.