A realm divided by ideology, faith, and a patchwork of complex feudal obligations and holdings, the Korlian Empire of Berlberg, colloquially simply the Empire, rots. The Cult War pitted the faithful of the Imperial Cult against the new heresies springing up in the northern districts. No sooner had the Cult War come to its bloody close than the privation it had wrought among the people spurred the Summer Rising, an Empire-wide rebellion of the underclasses that was only barely suppressed. Since then, the twin specters of heresy and reform have haunted the Empire, threatening to rip it apart or transform it into something else.
Races in the Empire
The Empire is dominated by humans, and they make up the entirety of the nobility and the vast majority of other civil and political posts. Those of nonhuman races who dwell in the Empire typically are either specialized craftsmen or advisors who make their living plying their unusual trade, or poor laborers who have come seeking opportunity or on the run from the law in other lands, or both.
The people on the whole are quite racist. The nobility is often more accepting than the commoners, though this may be a practicality rather than a result of "better breeding". A noble has a use for an elven fencing master, and so is inclined to treat him well. By the same token, the merchant class is much more cosmopolitan, provided that their interactions with other races can prove lucrative.
Nonhumans are not legally protected, and so if one intends to survive they either ingratiate themselves to powerful people or keep their heads down. Large concentrations of nonhumans are rare, but when they do they tend to settle in insular communities within cities for mutual protection.