The following information should be considered general guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules. Racial essentialism is gross. As with any people, it is impossible to paint an entire group the same, regardless of how broad a brush you use. Though this information reflects general tendencies of a group, it would be difficult to find any one individual from a given group that perfectly fits all the “common” aspects of their people.
The Elves of Melankul wear loose-fitting robes of white cotton during the day and thicker feather-lined cloaks after the sun sets. No matter where one goes in the world, all elves share identical features and as such wear masks so they can be identified easily. The masks of the desert elves are made of extremely thin but durable glass, decorated in a variety of colors and shapes that detail their personal histories (if one knows how to read them). Traditionally isolationist by nature, the elves rarely mix with the other humanoid races that call Melankul home. They will tell you this self-imposed segregation isn’t out of some sense of haughtiness but instead comes from their tendency to avoid making attachments to creatures that pass so quickly from the world. When they do interact with non-elf citizens,
The Dwarves, on the other hand, wear clothes spun from the fibers of large mushrooms. These fibers reflect light, making the dwarves easy to spot in the dark. Dwarves not wearing these reflective clothes are automatically assumed to be up to no good. Body jewelry is also very popular among all dwarves, with even the most conservative dwarf opting to decorate their ears and nose with intricate, geometric bands of highly polished iron and silver. More daring dwarves favor exotic piercings, such as the newest trend of large jewels secured in fittings anchored just under the surface of their thick skin. The dwarves from the Chokesun Mountains are largely a gregarious people, quick to make friends with everyone regardless of station…provided they are useful in some way. Theirs is a gift giving culture, and small trinkets and baubles are constantly exchanging hands for every small occasion and favor. This serves two primary functions – to garner favor with the gift receiver and to flaunt how much liquid wealth the gift giver has.
You can tell how long a human has lived in Melankul by the way they dress. New families, whether out of the fear/cost of change or sheer stubbornness, cling to the clothing of their homelands. It isn’t rare to see some transplant from northern climes fighting heat stroke while dressed in a fur cloak. “Older” families tend to dress appropriately for the heat, favoring layers of light-colored linens that they can add or remove as cool morning give way to the furnace like heat of midday and then back to chilly during the night. Adaptability is paramount among humans, so no one bats an eye when a human jeweler or merchant dresses like his dwarven coworkers or a diplomat wears clothing similar to that of the Old City elves. There is no monoculture among the humans of Melankul as the people come from too many different areas and too recently to have developed common traits. With that said, most share an optimism that things will get better and that opportunity is available for everyone willing to work for it. Even most of those living in the squalor of The Hole, a crime-ridden strip-mine turned shantytown, believe their dispossession only temporary.
Melankul welcomes all other humanoids to the city, provided they follow the city’s ordinances and laws, pay their taxes, and stay out of trouble. Many visitors to the city might be shocked at the sight of a hobgoblin and kenku sharing drinks at the dive bar with an orc and a half elf but most long-term citizens barely bat an eye.