Irombi is the cradle of human civilization; it is not known when humans first came into existence here, though ruins of large human settlements exist from at least 15,000 years ago. According to several creation myths, humans were created by a supreme deity1 and placed within the Garden of Paradise, which is thought to have been somewhere in the southeast corner of the continent. The Garden is long since gone, but humans have spread to every corner of Irombi, and thence to the rest of the world.
Most of Irombi is either tropical or semitropical. Deserts are common, particularly in the northwestern portion of the continent which is both close to sea level and close to the equator. Much of the continent's interior is at higher altitudes, though, and features large cloud forests that are home to rich, diverse ecosystems. Tropical rain forests can be found around the chain of rift-valley lakes in the northern central portion of the continent, while the southeastern coast is home to semitropical forests and rich, rolling grasslands. The northeastern quarter of the continent is home to a broad flat savanna that is much like the grasslands of southern Fan Shoar.
The humans of Irombi have the darkest skin of all the human subtypes, ranging from medium brown to blue-black. They are usually very tall and slender, though some "pygmy" variants can be found in and around the rainforests of the north-central portion of the continent. Their hair ranges from brown to black and is usually short and tightly curled; beards are rare. Scholars report that Irombians are closer to the "original" humans than any other subtype.
Humans are the only civilized sentient race that is native to Irombi, but other intelligent creatures do call the continent home. The elemental beings known as the djinn are more common here than anywhere else on the Material Plane, as are the riddle-loving sphinxes and the charismatic, manipulative werespiders.2 Some dragons also make their homes in Irombi, both in the mountains and in lairs hidden deep in the northwestern desert. Large numbers of fantastic beings from outside the Material Plane can be found living here, summoned and bound, as the servants of Irombian wizards.
In addition to the intelligent creatures mentioned above, Irombi is home to any sort of creature that might be found in RL Africa. Lions, antelope and other savanna-dwelling creatures can be found in the northeast, while gorillas, okapi, chimpanzees and other jungle-dwelling beasts live in the forested interior.
The people of Irombi are more advanced than their counterparts in RL Africa during the Middle Ages; the continent was home to the first great human civilizations, and while much of that knowledge has been lost, enough has been retained to ensure their place in world events. The most prominent city in Irombi is Espaku, which is known as Spake to the people of Whales. Espaku and Whales have a long-running rivalry as the two preeminent naval powers, and they have clashed at many times in the past because of their mutual desire to control shipping on the Central Sea.
Arcane magic is highly developed in Irombi, but it has evolved along a different path from the magical practice of Galendor. Most of the magical techniques used in Irombian spellcasting are focused around the summoning and binding of extraplanar beings, including elementals, djinn, aedra (celestials) and daedra (fiends). This type of magic is considered extremely dangerous by most spellcasters in Galendor, and the Lothanasi consider it a form of diabolism, but to the Irombians it is simply the way magic is done, and few have ever questioned it. True, a bound spirit occasionally breaks free and causes a large amount of property damage before it is recaptured or banished to the outer planes, but few would seriously consider giving up the extraordinary magical benefits of using summoned creatures.
Most of the civilizations in Irombi are patriarchal; women are not quite treated as slaves or property, but they're definitely second-class citizens. On the other hand, a woman with a high degree of magical talent can usually overcome this bias and gain the respect of her peers … partly because excellence is rewarded wherever it is seen, and partly because she might have summoned creatures at her command that could kill them in their sleep.
Because of their skill in summoning magic, Irombians are often characterized as being demon-worshipers. This is not entirely fair. The Irombians do acknowledge the Daedra Lords and pay honor to them as the Gods of Shadow, but they also revere the Aedra Lords as the Gods of Heaven. Each of these beings is considered on his or her own merits, without regard for the divine politics that define religion in Galendor. An Irombian merchant might make an offering to Agemnos before setting out on a trade expedition, offer a sacrifice to Wvelkim before loading his cargo aboard a ship, then go home and pray to side-by-side idols of Velena and Suspira before going to bed with his wife.
Unlike the lutins, who worship the Daedra Lords in ignorance of their true nature, the Irombians know very well how malicious some daedra can be — and treat them with great caution and respect because of this knowledge. Conversely, they also understand the capabilities and moral ambiguities of the celestials to a far greater degree than most people in Galendor. In a society where summoning is such an integral part of magical practice, most people quickly learn to treat all supernatural beings with respect — much like the respect given to a poisonous snake by its handlers. Making pacts with daedra is not considered inherently evil in Irombian society, but a person who lets himself get roped into a bad pact is generally considered too stupid to live, and others will have few compunctions about letting him bear the consequences of his choice.
In addition to the aedra and daedra, Irombians also pay respect to the djinn. This respect is not usually considered worship — particularly since many djinn now live on the Material plane — but it carries some of the same characteristics. Most Irombians also acknowledge a Creator-deity, who is known by various names in different cultures; the people of Espaku use the title of the Great Maker, who is usually depicted as masculine. A few of the mountain tribes worship the Mother Goddess instead.