Tieflings go by many names; the devil-children, moonblighted, demon. All tieflings, however, are cursed individuals who must rise above the perpetual mistrust of their people in order to achieve greatness.
Tieflings’ appearance testifies to their cursed nature. They have large horns; thick nonprehensile tails that range in length from 4 to 5 feet; sharply pointed teeth; and eyes that are tinged black, red, white, silver or gold. Their skin color covers the whole human range and also extends to reds, from a ruddy tan to a brick red. Their hair, cascading down from behind their horns, is as likely to be dark blue, red or purple as more common human colors.
Three hundred years ago, when the green moon Imald crashed to the earth, terrible birth defect began popping all over Qairn. At first, they were few and far between, isolated incidences at best, but as the years worn on, they became more and more frequent and, judging from the nearly identical anatomies of the cursed offspring, it slowed dawned on mystified scholars and parents that this wasn’t a freak occurrence. While initially many tiefling babies were euthanized or abandoned, a merciful parent spared enough tiefling lives that adult began to emerge on the world stage, though always distrusted, always misunderstood.
Tiefling children of every sentient race, from humans to elves, to dragonborn to orcs, have been recorded, with the notable exception of the moon-dwelling races, the eladrin and the gnomes. No method of predicting a tiefling child has ever been successfully implemented, though in many parts of the world, unusual folklore exists surrounding them. As sporadically as tieflings are born to non-tiefling parents, are non-tieflings born to tiefling parents. The determination doesn’t seem to follow any distinct pattern, something that has baffled investigators and scholars for three centuries.
Centuries of other races’ distrust and outright hatred have made tieflings self-reliant and often too willing to live up to the stereotypes imposed on them. As a race without a homeland, tieflings know that they have to make their own ay in the world and that they have to be strong to survive, and they are not quick to trust anyone who claims to be a friend. However, when a tiefling’s companions demonstrate that they trust him or her, the tiefling quickly learns to extend the same trust to them. And once a tiefling gives someone trust and loyalty, the tiefling is a firm friend and ally for life.
Tieflings are not numerous. Somethings, solitary tieflings disowned from their families or fleeing persecution band together and form roving gypsy-lie caravans, creating a society of exclusively tieflings where one’s appearance or apparent disfigurement doesn’t hinder their societal standing, where one’s deeds define one’s character. Such mobile settlements are rare, however – most exiled tieflings grow up in the roughest quarters of human, dwarf and dragonborn cities and towns. These tieflings often become swindlers, thieves, or crime lords, who carve out a niche for themselves amid the squalor of their surroundings.
Tiefling speak a variety of languages, depending on who their parents were. Orphaned or abandoned tieflings are most likely to pick up Common, out of sheer convenience.
As a shiftless and splintered people, tieflings have no culinary traditions, though many have noted, with some degree of horror, that they enjoy the taste of blood.