On other worlds, in distant realms, humans would be considered the baseline and default race. That is not quite the case on Xioquen. While all major, sentient races which inhabit this world descend or relate to ancient humans in some shape or form the modern humans are newcomers to this world having only been there for scarcely more than than a century.
The Grey Men, as the name implies, are gray. Their skin is any shade of grey (exact shade varying between individuals and phenotype) and their hair and eyes any shade between white and black with the few odd very dark blue. Most of them tend toward long, lean builds and features. Physically they are more or less identical and the equals to humans.
Alzardi are a mixture of Grey Men, Zeymed and other stock. Physically their appearance is similar to the human-like Grey Men but the mingling of other stock make their skin usually a more brownish or beige tone, hinting that the Zeymedean had a skin tone more akin to the range humans have. Their hair color range from black and brown to white and blue as do their eyes. The strangest part of Alzardi is that some are capable of growing chitinous plates on their body, which hint at something truly alien in their lineage. Several nobles of the Alzardi nations encourage the growth of these plates, which they use alchemy and gentle molding to grow into elaborate organic headdress.
The so-called ‘insect men’ of Xioquen are a bit of an oddball as they seemingly share no common root with other sentient races. For one thing, they are complete invertebrates whereas all other sentient races on Xioquen are vertebrate or vertebrates with an added (often vestigial) exoskeleton. Secondly, they have a larval stage which is something no other sentient race on Xioquen has. They are seemingly thus physically closer to the large bugs which populate the world. The strangest thing about Jannari, however is….that they are seemingly rather normal people, misplaced enthusiasm aside. Their alien appearance would hint at an equally alien intellect but this is not the case. One would expect a large bug-man to be a creature with a killer instinct or a vicious alien intellect and yet Jannari live rather mundane lives in their hive-like cities, engaging in trade, having marriages and doing completely mundane things like dancing or arguing and bickering as people do. This can be very strange for people unused to their presence.
What lore exist on the Tayik is generally inconsistent, but Kowez folklore is replete with stories of the dreadful Tayik, who hunt their escaped slaves. Countless strange and baroque rituals exist to supposedly ward off the Tayik, most of which being nothing but simple superstition such as sacrificing animals at a certain time or leaving a certain plant hanging from the door. The ‘Great Lords’ are supposedly ancient and predate the appearance, if not existence of the Kowez. Some stories claim the appearance of the Grey Men is the fault of their Tayik rulers, who altered them to make them unsightly and plain, even if modern Kowez seem to only have kept their bland coloration, having seemingly regained their full capacities from their dulled and weakened ancestors.
Much like the Tayik, the story of the Zeymedean is a fragmented one but scholars and sages of the Pilgrim have begun theorizing they were humans or a human offshoot, which arrived in Xioquen centuries if not millennia before the Pilgrims did. It is known that the Zeymedean waged war with the already-installed Tayik and that they have built several of the ruins scattered around the human settlement. It could be possible that the Zeymedean are distant ancestors and relatives to the Kowez. It is most likely that ancient Zeymed had an understanding of crystal and memory-based Theurgy, explaining the Talking Monoliths.