Race in Darkmoon Vale
Humans: Nearly every human ethnicity has some representation in the vale, usually within almost-cosmopolitan Olfden.
Dwarves: The dwarven influence around Darkmoon Vale is very strong, particularly in the northern section of the region where the mountains give way to foothills. More influential than even the ubiquitous humans, dwarves reigned supreme in the northern parts of Darkmoon Vale for millennia—far longer than any other race. Although they can no longer muster the numbers they possessed at the height of their civilization, dwarves nonetheless continue to return to the Five Kings Mountains. As part of that resettlement effort, many end up on the flanks of Droskar’s Crag, which leads them into Darkmoon Vale. As a result, the stoutfolk represent a relatively high percentage of the vale’s rural population. The dwarves don’t frequently live in the human towns, but they do trade a great deal of trade with Olfden (for foodstuffs and other supplies) and Piren’s Bluff (for the raw ore mined nearby).
Elves: Never a stronghold for elves, even at the height of their power, Arthfell Forest (and later, Darkmoon Wood) was always seen as the sovereign home of Queen Syntira of the fey. Only in the past few years, as the elven presence on Golarion has finally grown enough to warrant it, have the elves returned to Darkmoon Vale. A number of adventurous elves came to the vale to work toward reuniting the forest and supporting the plight of the fey. These goals, of course, make elves in the area unpopular with the human majority, and even those elves who don’t know of or support the “elf agenda” in the region face prejudice and anger.
Gnomes: As former members of the First World and still connected somewhat to fey, gnomes find Darkmoon Wood a comforting and welcoming place. A fair number happily (if by no means skillfully) act as ambassadors and go-betweens between the fey and the humans. In the towns of Darkmoon Vale, gnomes do as they do in other civilized locations: they try desperately (but fail spectacularly) to fit in. Their racial oddness and uncomfortable connection with fey make gnomes a distrusted lot in the vale, and their overeager attempts to fit in win them few friends and many enemies.
Half-Elves: Despite the tension between humans and elves in the area, humans continue to find elves breathtakingly beautiful and elves still find humans forever intriguing. As a result, every few years, a half-elf is born in Darkmoon Vale. The most famous is Falcon’s Hollow’s sheriff, Deldrin Baleson. Of course, half-elves born elsewhere also occasionally immigrate into the region, but the race remains relatively rare.
Half-Orcs: As a wild, frontier area with an economy based on a labor-intensive industry, the strength and toughness of half-orcs make them welcome lumberjacks and security guards. For this often disparaged and hated race, Darkmoon Vale is a land of opportunity, where hard work and a natural talent for thuggery makes advancement truly possible. Indeed, one of the most powerful people in Falcon’s Hollow is a half-orc, and he employs several other half-orcs as bouncers and heavies (no one, not even the half-orcs, thinks Kabran Bloodeye does this out of racial loyalty, but instead only because half-orcs make excellent bouncers and heavies).
Halflings: Escaped halfling slaves who brave the Aspodell Mountains tend to end up in Olfden. There they work as house servants, chimney sweeps, and other light laborers. In general, halflings are unpopular in Darkmoon Vale, both because they carry the stigma of possibly being ex-slaves and because valers cling to a longheld belief that halflings don’t carry their own weight. Of course, those who subscribe to this “lazy halfling” theory forget that halflings require much less sustenance to live. Regardless, halflings know they aren’t welcome in Darkmoon Vale, and many leave as soon as they can, resulting in a relatively low number of them.