This page is a list of all of the races in the "Garion" novels, human and non-human. Most of the races were human races of various ethnic backgrounds. Some of the non-human sentient species were known as "monsters" (although not all monsters were sentient), the most accurate translation of the Ulgo word for the species that were left godless (though the Ulgo word did not have the negative connotations of the word "monster").
- 1 Alorns
- 2 Sendars
- 3 Arends
- 4 Tolnedrans
- 5 Marags
- 6 Nyissans
- 7 Angaraks
- 8 Dallish Races
- 9 Perivorians
- 10 Sentient Non-humans
Alorns were the people of Belar, that occupied the north-western part of the Western Continent. At one point the people were combined into the one country Aloria, but they were divided to better protect the Orb of Aldur. The nations maintained strong military and economic ties.
Chereks were the people of Cherek. When the last king of a united Aloria, Cherek Bear-shoulders, divided his empire among his sons, he retained the mountainous peninsula that came to bear his name. The Chereks were primarily excellent sailors, dominating sea trade (and piracy) in the West, forming the Alorn navy and patrolling the Sea of the Winds. On land, they were hunters, miners and foresters, and also fought as shock troops: the feared Cherek berserkers.
Rivans were the people of the Isle of the Winds. An insignificant Alorn possession before the empire was divided, it became the dominion of Riva Iron-Grip, the keeper of the Orb of Aldur. Once a closed nation, trade enclaves existed on the island, and Rivan merchants and artisans were not uncommon in other nations of the West. Militarily, the Rivans were defenders of the fortress-city of Riva, where the Orb of Aldur was kept. When in the field, they fought as medium infantry as Rivan Swordsmen.
Drasnians were the inhabitants of Drasnia, the northern moors taken by Dras Bull-neck in the breaking of Aloria. They were best known for their extensive intelligence operations. Espionage was a common and respected profession for the Drasnians. Also, many Drasnians were merchants, though it is probably true that most (if not all) Drasnian merchants had at least some connection with Drasnian Intelligence. The core of the Drasnian military was heavy infantry, mainly pikemen.
Algars were the people of Algaria. At the dividing of Aloria, Algar Fleet-foot and his followers took the broad grasslands drained by the River Aldur. The Algars were nomadic cattle-herders and horse-breeders who lived in moving house-trains. They fought as light cavalry, favoring slash and run (guerrilla) tactics. Sha-Darim, or Horse Lords (Clan Chiefs of the Horses who had ability to telepathically communicate with horses) were fairly uncommon, about a half-dozen every generation.
Main Article: Sendars
Arends were the people of Chaldan, inhabiting Arendia on the western continent and the island of Perivor off the coast of Mallorea. Most Arends were generally slow-witted, and tended to jump into things without thinking. The Arendish nobility emphasized pride, honor and military prowess, while the serfs formed the downtrodden masses, with little variation in their conditions across the country. As such, while the upper classes strongly identified as Asturian, Mimbrate or, before the destruction of the Duchy of Wacune, Wacite, the lower classes were effectively just "Arendish", though many did not even know the name of their country, and few were patriotic. For most of its history, Arendia was embroiled in a never-ending series of civil wars among the three major duchies, Asturia, Mimbre, and Wacune. Vo Wacune was destroyed by an Asturian force in events described in Polgara's autobiography, and the Asturians themselves were effectively fighting a guerrilla war at the time of the multi-nation Battle of Vo Mimbre. After the battle, the heir to the Duchy of Asturia was married to the only son of the Duke of Mimbre. Although this legally united the kingdom, prejudice and local conflicts between Asturians and Mimbrates continued for generations. The Arends were also known for their habit of speaking extravagantly, using archaic styles of speaking. This was widely prevalent among the Mimbrates and to a lesser extent the Wacites, although the Asturians abandoned it as a sign of defiance towards the Mimbrates.
Mimbrates were the dominant people of Arendia, the inhabitants of the Duchy of Mimbre. The martial traditions of their nobility ran along chivalrous lines, with Mimbrate knights in heavy armor with armored steeds forming a fearsome heavy cavalry collectively, and highly trained warriors (heavy infantry) individually. The Arendish civil war "officially" ended when Korodullin, Duke of Mimbre, and Mayaserana, daughter of the Duke of Asturia and heir to the Duchy of Asturia, married and became co-regent King and Queen. However, the breach was not wholly healed, and the Mimbrates remained the chief authority in Arendia, often refusing to recognize the titles of any of the Asturian nobility.
Asturians lived in the forested northern half of Arendia, the Duchy of Asturia. The Asturians were long ago defeated by the Mimbrates, and the city of Vo Astor ravaged, but unlike the Wacites they were not destroyed or dispersed. Instead, they lived in nominal subjection to the Mimbrates, but with their soldiers and noblemen engaging in quiet rebellion, assaulting tax collectors and fading into the forest. Asturian archers favored the long bow and were superior archers, both in range and in rate of fire.
Wacites were the people of the Duchy of Wacune, whose territory was later held by Asturia and the country of Sendaria. Polgara described the city as bright and beautiful. Sheathed all in snow-white marble, Vo Wacune was the archetype of every fairytale city; but when civil war broke out again, Wacune was destroyed, largely through Asturian actions. Its people effectively vanished from history; most of the nobility were lost, and the lower classes were either absorbed into Asturia or removed to the north, to Polgara's Duchy of Erat (which later became Sendaria). Unlike the Mimbrate knights and Asturian archers, the Wacites did not have an iconic character to their military
Main Article: Tolnedrans
Main Article: Marags
Nyissans were the people of Issa. The state of Nyissa was situated on the swampy equatorial west coast of the western continent. The head of state was the handmaiden and highpriestess of Issa, Salmissra, who was chosen based purely on physical resemblance to the original Salmissra. Nyissans identified closely with the snake, which heavily influenced their culture. Most Nyissan people shaved off their hair, because the insects that lived in the swamps of Nyissa liked to nest in it. Nyissa was also the only non-Angarak western country that practiced slavery largely of non-Nyissans, although some Mimbrate lords sold serfs to the Nyissans as slaves, against Arendish laws.
Nyissans found in the Belgariad and Malloreon and Polgara the Sorceress and Belgarath the Sorcerer included: merchants including slave traders/slavers, alchemists / pharmacists, assassins, mercenaries including mercenary fighters (of unknown skill), and eunuchs.
Main Article: Angaraks
A number of human races were descended from the Dals (also known as the "Godless Ones"), the seventh of humanity that were left godless due to Aldur choosing no people. They were widely spread across both continents and had physical diversity comparable to the other races as a result.
The Dals lived in the Dalasian Protectorates in the south of the Mallorean continent, with a small remnant population in the southeast of the Western Continent being the Slave Race of (Southern) Cthol Murgos (the other slave race, mainly of Rak Cthol being comprised of Westerners captured by Murgo raiders or Nyissan slave traders, or sold to the Nyissans by the unscrupulous). The Dals were mystics and included seers and necromancers.
It can be seen that there were four main groups migrating away from the now lost continent under the Sea of the East. Demon worshippers to the North (Morinds and Karands), Melcenes to the far East, Ulgos to the West and Dals in the southern halves of both continents.
The Morindim were nomadic, tribal demon worshippers, living in the frozen wastes of Morindland north of Gar og Nadrak. Their upper class consisted mostly of Dreamers, those who "communed" with the demons, and Magicians, those who controled the demons by forming a body to imprison it in. If a magician failed to control his demon, it would break free to wreak havoc on its former master and the clan, usually until nightfall when it returned to its own reality.
They were related to the Karands.
Karands were demon worshippers living in the north-east of Mallorea, in the Seven Kingdoms of Karanda.
Ulgos lived in caves under mountainous Ulgoland, where they migrated after adopting the worship of UL. The Ulgos retreated into the caves after the cracking of the world, which drove many of the non-human monsters mad. Since Ulgos lived under ground, they tended to be very sensitive to light and were generally afraid of large open spaces (including the sky).
Despite being relatively pacifistic, when the need arose, Ulgos sent Ulgo Irregulars, a type of nocturnal guerrilla-warfare fighting heavy infantry for both the Battle of Thull Mardu as well as the Battle of Vo Mimbre.
By the time of Belgarion, there was a subclass of Ulgo who were religious fanatics, the "Zealot". All diviners were zealots. They were mystics. They had the ability to pass through rock.
Nomadic Godless Ones
These Godless Ones refused to follow Gorim to Prolgu and as such were cursed by him to wither and die. Their women were made barren. They believed that Gorim had brought a pestilence upon them. Later, after all were either severely aged or deceased, a boy called Garath stayed for a while with them before becoming Aldur's first disciple, Belgarath.
Melcenes lived in the Melcene Empire in the south-east of Mallorea, near their ancestral island, Melcena. Melcenes were characterized as civilized, and were great administrators (bureaucrats) and architects due to their organized approach to problems. The breaking of the world caused the Melcenes to lose over half of their land to the rising ocean. This prompted their conquest of other similar races on the main continent of Mallorea. These were the Rengelese, Celantans, Peldanes, Darshivans, and Gandaharese. Of these, the Darshivans and Gandaharese retained much of their identity well into the reign of Zakath.
The ancestral home of the island Melcenes (from Melcena) was probably mostly on the mainland, an eastern extension of Dalasia before the first seer. However, according to Melcene legend, the first Melcenes may have come instead from another Godless race (i.e. not chosen in the so-called Feast of Life) from far out in the Melcene sea (probably but not necessarily the same sea as the Great Western Sea).
The island-dwelling Perivorians were not true Dals - rather, they were a syncretic race comprised partly of Dalasian and partly, surprisingly, of Mimbrate ancestry. This was due to the fact that a group of adventurous nobles from Mimbre had at some point gone on a crusade around the south of Cthol Murgos and established the Kingdom of Perivor on the island already known to the Dals by the same name. They interbred with the Dals, and some had the abilities of the Dals as well.
Fenlings were a species of otter-like creature, but larger and more intelligent, that inhabited the Drasnian Fens. With a bit of magical tampering, the Fenlings developed enough intelligence to speak in the human tongue, although it is possible that they would have learned eventually anyway. Though given a negative role in Drasnian mythology, they were nothing worse than mischievous.
Hounds of Torak
Hounds of Torak were once Grolim Angaraks, changed by Torak into giant dog-like monsters. After Torak's defeat at the Battle of Vo Mimbre, Urvon went amongst them and convinced them that he spoke for Torak. He managed to convert a few back to human form, who called themselves Chandim. They retained their intelligence and gift for sorcery, but the centuries had stripped all remnants of humanity from them (except perhaps sarcasm and sadism). They were also more dangerous in packs and like dogs were fanattically loyal to their master, Urvon.
Snakes, or at least the snakes of Nyissa, were sentient and had the power of speech.
Mud-men were golems constructed out of mud and debris that housed, and were controlled by, snakes. These creatures were the assassins of Divine Salmissra and though they were easily torn asunder, their severed limbs continued to seek completion of their task. They were easily destroyed by heavy rainfall.
Trees had sentience, and were able to communicate with Dryads.
- Eldrakyn, Algroths, and Trolls. Trolls are found in the North of Cherek; little is revealed to the reader regarding them. Algroths are native to Ulgoland, but occasionally venture into the areas surrounding the Ulgo mountains, usually Arendia. They are pack hunters and their claws are poisonous. Eldrakyn, the strongest and smartest of these three bestial humanoids, are found near Ulgoland and may live for centuries. They have been known to raise and breed packs of Rock-Wolves. A similar creature called an "Ape-Bear" inhabits the Dalasian Protectorates in Mallorea.
- Harpies are a rare species that inhabits only the remotest parts of Ulgoland. They are seen but once in the series (see: Belgarath the Sorcerer) and no description is given. It is assumed they resemble the classic Greek version, a half-woman/half-vulture monster. Polgara recounts the incident later, describing them as semi-human, though without human intelligence. She also states that their lack of a beak makes them "second rate birds of prey" and shrugs them off as somewhat harmless.
- Rock-Wolves More closely resembling hyenas than wolves, these creatures are fierce pack hunters. One of their few fears is fire. It is not uncommon to see a pack of relatively domesticated rock-wolves under the command of an Eldrak.
- A number of perhaps extinct or otherwise poorly attested species are mentioned in the Book of Ulgo. They include the basilisk, the minotaur, the chimera, the unicorn, the thing unnamed, the winged serpent (distinct from the Dragon), and the thing unseen.