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Any fan of fantasy, Heroic, High or Low (or otherwise) knows the usual Tolkien mould of heroic races- elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and whatever else. (Oh, and humans too.) But of course the Always Chaotic Evil races often come in certain varieties themselves, in something of an Evil Counterpart trope of the Five Races.

  • Savage (Orc, Ogre): Big, tough, usually not particularly bright, these lot are generally a race of The Brute. Often the Proud Warrior Race, and may have a Noble Savage bent if cast sympathetically. Counterpart to the Stout.
  • Eldritch (Demon, Undead): Powerful, dangerous and inherently magical, these are often the most frightening and inhuman race, and most likely to be completely okay to slaughter en masse. They may have the most variety within them. Counterpart to the Fairy.
  • Humanoid (Hobgoblin, Beast Man, sometimes orcs): Effectively humans, with a similar society and capabilities, but stranger looking and often foreign. Sometimes just humans themselves. Counterpart to Mundane.
  • Fallen (Dark Elf): Good looking, stylish, manipulative backstabbing jerks who are downright proud of it. Usually live underground or in some other well-hidden area, specialise in stealth, sneakiness and ruthlessness. Dark mirror of the High Men. Like High Men, they're the most likely to be absent from the Fantasy Axis of Evil.
  • Crafty (Goblin): Small, numerous and often smart and cunning, otherwise they wouldn't still be around. These buggers are usually the most technically inclined group, with trap-filled lairs and warren-like fortresses but still tend to use Zerg Rush tactics. Often Ugly Cute. Counterpart to the Cute, of course.

Unlike the usual Five Races they are not always allied, and are as prone to getting in fights with each other as they are with the 'heroic' groups. Its common for Evil Overlords to unite them yet other times they'll work together without a real leader. There'll almost always be at least one good member of at least one race, and sometimes the story will make efforts to either show that they're not necessarily inherently evil, or find a way to justify it through magic, circumstances or whatever else.

They often have more style and personality and more interesting lore than the heroic races, and at least one will often be more popular than the good races combined. That is, if they're not being used solely as mindless Mooks and XP fodder.

Examples of Fantasy Axis of Evil include:


  • Dungeons and Dragons is something of a Trope Codifier.
  • Star Trek tends to map over to fantasy races pretty well. Aside from the Five Races, you have the Klingons as orcs, the Borg are pretty close to undead, the Cardassians as xenophobic Humanoids, the Romulans countering the Space Elf Vulcans as Dark Elves, and the Ferengi much like goblins.
    • The Dominion:
      • Founders: Eldritch/Fallen
      • Vorta: Humanoid/Crafty
      • Jem'Hadar: Savage
  • Warhammer is rather better represented by this than the Five Races.
  • Of course Warhammer 40000 has counterparts that also fit.
    • Orks are Savage as they come.
    • The Necrons and Chaos Daemons could both count as Eldritch in different ways.
    • Humanoids? Humans, of course.
    • The Dark Eldar are Fallen, though the Chaos Space Marines also fit the mould.
    • The Tau have the cunning and technology part of Crafty down, while the Tyranids have the Zerg Rush, as well as potent biotechnology and cunning infiltrators (like the Lictor and Genestealer.)
      • A case could also be made for the Imperial Guard (normal humans) as "crafty," since they come in huge waves, followed by walls of mighty cannons (tech) and backed up by Ordos assassins (cunning.) Really, the baseline of 40K is different enough that we Puny Earthlings have a hard time holding the "humanoid" position.
  • Lord of the Rings:
    • Orcs: Crafty (in the case of Goblins) or Savage (humanoid and brutish)
    • Trolls: Savage (the giant, brutish type)
    • Black Numenoreans: Fallen
    • Evil humans (Haradrim and Easterlings): Humanoid (Uruk-hai could also count here, as it is theorised they are human/orc crossbreeds)
    • Nazgul: Eldritch (the closest thing to a "magic" race on the evil side, though they're closer to Elite Mook or Co-Dragons status)
      • Technically, you can count the Barrow Wights and other Undead that the Witch King commands as Eldritch.
      • Also whatever you get turned into if you get stabbed by a Morgul-blade and don't receive treatment in time.
  • While not actually evil, The Horde in World of Warcraft superficially fits into this more than Five Races due to being composed of traditional monster races.
    • Orcs: Humanoid (closest counterparts to the humans) with some Savage

  A well-balanced character for players who like to think they're big bad monsters when actually they're green humans with cooler dental-work.

  • In Warcraft II, however, the Horde was evil, and only lacked the Fallen:
    • Savage: Ogres
    • Eldritch: Death Knights, Undead. (Also Daemons, but they weren't actual Horde units.)
    • Humanoid: Orcs, maybe trolls
    • Crafty: Goblins
  • Babylon 5: Borderline, especially given the series' tendency towards Grey and Gray Morality:
    • Savage: Alien monsters such as the one in the episode "Grey 17 is Missing".
    • Eldritch: No contest. The Shadows and the Vorlons.
    • Humanoid: role alternates between Centauri, Humans, and Narn.
    • Fallen: the Drakh: prefer crafty infiltration and sneak attacks. Also nastier Minbari
    • Crafty: Humans have large numbers of small ships and use nuclear space mines. Narn use Zerg Rush in boarding operations. And if Deathwalker is representative of the Dilgar in general, they probably qualified too.
  • Drowtales: marginal
  • Stargate: fair match
  • Stargate Atlantis has its own set
    • Savage: The Wraith
    • Eldritch: Pegasus Replicators
    • Humanoid: Micheals faction as they have become more human than the other wraith
    • Fallen: Pegasus Asgard, also wraith worshipers
    • Crafty: The Genii
  • New World of Darkness: Let's face it, they all belong here, especially the evil part of each faction. (the new world)
  • Super Mario Bros. (yes, seriously)
    • Savage: Goombas, provided you look past the "big" and "tough" requirements. They're the definition of no-frills Mooks, endlessly Lampshaded nowadays.
    • Eldritch: Magikoopas, who use magic. Usually Elite Mooks.
    • Humanoid: Koopa Troopas, which come in many different varieties.
    • Crafty: Shy Guys, no contest.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • Savage: Moblins, Bulbins, and Bokoblins.
    • Humanoid: Darknuts and Iron Knuckles
    • Eldritch: Poes and Wizzrobes
    • Crafty: Keatons and Takkuri
    • Fallen: Stalfos, in games where they used to be human soldiers.
  • Halo
    • Savage - Brutes, Hunters
    • Humanoid - Grunts, Brutes to some extent.
    • Eldritch - Elites before their Heel Face Turn, The Flood.
    • Crafty - Jackals, Drones
  • Touhou:
    • Savage - low level youkai as well as the Oni, i.e. Suika and Yuugi.
    • Eldritch and/or Humanoid - both the Lunarian (Toyohime, Yorihime, Kaguya, Eirin and Moon Rabbits like Reisen Inaba) and the Half-Ghost (Youmu, Youki) can fulfill both of those roles. Full ghosts (Mima, Yuyuko, Murasa) are more of the former than the latter, however.
    • Fallen - The Witches (i.e. Alice, Byakuren)
    • Crafty - the Kappa, i.e. Nitori
  • Dragon Age fits this pretty well, although there are two distinct sources of bad guys: demons and Darkspawn.
    • Savage: Ogres and rage demons
    • Eldritch: Abominations, Arcane Horrors, and other demon-possessed types
    • Humanoid: Hurlocks
    • Fallen: Desire demons and the literally corrupted ghouls; although the latter aren't exactly good-looking unless you have a thing for necrotic patches of tissue, they serve as the dark parallel to the Grey Wardens
    • Crafty: Genlocks and Shrieks; ghouls also fit into this category, as they're the ones who make weapons and armor for the Darkspawn
  • Final Fantasy XI The original/RotZ era beastmen fit this, barring the new types in the further expansions.
    • Savage: Orcs, duh. Sahagins are an aquatic version of orcs for the most part.
    • Fallen: Tonberries, who before falling were the Kuluu, the slaves of the Zilart, highly magical, and the builders of all the magical towers that later taught the Tarutaru their magical skills.
    • Humanoid: Goblins, who are the only beastmen living in peace with the good races, in all places, in all expansions, and have all jobs. "Us Goblins, we don't like you, but we'll like you for a price..." There's more friendly Goblins than any other beastman race, and many of them run businesses, or serve as mercenaries for the player's side.
    • Eldritch: The Kindred, sleek, scary, cool demons, and the most dangerous and highest level of the original beastmen. Directly working for the original Big Bad. And might actually be rented to him by a physical manifestation of a death god. Or possibly the Yagudo, who were originally presented as the most magic using of the first set of beastmen, though they don't seem any better at it than anyone else, and have nothing actually magical about them.
    • Crafty: Quadav: Peaceful, defensive turtle people. Only fighting the 5 playable races in self defense, and able to pick up any technology they see the player races use, and improve upon it within months. (For instance, the recipe and manufacture of darksteel was an ancient Galkan secret, that was only shared during the great war to help protect the country that Galka were living in. Within weeks, the Quadav had replaced all their armor and defences and such with darksteel, after seeing Galkas using darksteel axes.) They even have traps, locks, and mechanisms to prevent entry into their stronghold when no one else in the world does.
  • Mass Effect
    • Savage: Vorcha. Basically, they're Krogan Lite. Not as bright as krogan, and not blessed with long lifespans either, but very adaptable and scary-looking.
    • The yahg might also fit, if you ran into more of them. And, of course, provided they're not all as brilliant as the Shadow Broker.
    • Eldritch: Reapers, natch. Not only are they Eldritch Abominations who lurk outside the galaxy, they also raise undead to fight for them.
    • Humanoid: Batarians.
    • Fallen: Collectors. They're what's left of the Protheans.
    • Crafty: The geth. The Heretics, anyway.
      • There's also Cerberus, althought they're an organization and not a race.
      • Despite being allies of the protagonist, the salarians seem like a good fit for this part. They were willing to first uplift and manipulate a race to win a war for them, then drop a Depopulation Bomb when said race became too much trouble.
  • Go Go Sentai Boukenger has four enemy races who can be put in some of these categories.
    • savage: The Jaryuu (evil dragon) clan
    • Eldritch: The Ashu/Questers
    • Fallen: Dark Shadow
    • Crafty: Goadom civilization
  • Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn has four evil races; the "humanoid" role is played by the actual humans fighting on the side of evil.
    • Savage: Hunën, Giant Mooks from the mountains.
    • Eldritch: The Red Hand, Ineluki's most powerful undead minions.
    • Fallen: The Norns, evil counterparts of the Sithi.
    • Crafty: Bukken, tiny diggers, tend to play the role of Goddamned Bats.
  • Star Wars:
    • Savage: Tusken Raiders
    • Eldritch: Yuuzhan Vong
    • Humanoid: The Empire
    • Fallen: Sith
    • Crafty: Hutts
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
  • Age of Wonders 2 and AoW: Shadow Magic
    • Savage: Orcs
    • Eldritch: Undead, Shadow Demons
    • Humanoid: Dark elves, moreso than others
    • Fallen: Dark Elves
    • Crafty: Goblins more than others, with their poison and bombs. Though they are implied to not be unusually smart, relying more on large numbers.
  • In Harry Potter, although there is overlap with the Five Races because very few races have a set alignment in the Potter Verse, we could have:
    • Giants as the Savage race
    • Dementors and Inferi as the Eldritch and Undead races, respectively
    • Most Dark wizards as the Humanoids
    • Extremely powerful and twisted Dark wizards (basically Voldemort, although there have been other possible candidates such as Grindelwald and Herpo the Foul) as the Fallen
    • Goblins as the Crafty, although they don't quite fit as most goblins remain, not neutral exactly, but as detached as possible from wizarding society.
  • Farscape goes more by this than the Five Races, given Black and Grey Morality
    • Savage: Scarrans, Luxans, Tavleks
    • Eldritch: The Ancients, Einstein's "True Ancients", and whatever the hell Maldis is.
    • Humanoids: Sebaceans/Peacekeepers
    • Fallen: Nebari
    • Crafty: Hynerians (if Rygel is anything to go by), the Pathfinders, Sheeyangs
  • Present in the RTS Armies of Exigo, but divided between The Beasts and The Fallen factions.
    • Savage: The Beasts and their Ogre and Troll allies (Beasts)
    • Eldritch: Void Walkers, Beholders, Avengers, et al (Fallen)
    • Humanoid: Lizardmen (Beasts)
    • Fallen: The Deep Elves (The Fallen)
    • Crafty: Goblins (Beasts)
  • In Minecraft, there are
    • Savage: Zombies, the now-deleted giants
    • Eldritch: Endermen, Ghasts
    • Humanoid: The now-deleted humans
    • Fallen: Skeletons
    • Crafty: Slimes
  • I Time Scout, the Ansar Majlis are downtime jihadists recruited by uptimer fundamentalists to fight the modern revival of the worship of Artemis.
  • The recurring villains of the Discworld could arguably count, with:
    • Savage: Demons, old-school Dragons. Deliberately subverted with Trolls and Orcs.
    • Eldritch: The Things from the Dungeon Dimensions. Deliberately subverted with the Undead.
    • Humanoid: Humanity. No, seriously, these guys are the villains way more often than anyone else. Similarly, the few evil Dwarves, Vampires etc that turn up.
    • Fallen: Elves. With a dash of Eldritch.
    • Crafty: The Auditors of Reality. Deliberately subverted with Goblins.
  • The Angarak nations fill roughly this role in The Belgariad, though they're human (albeit humans whose society has been dominated by the God of Evil for milennia):
    • Savage: Murgos, who also have elements of the Fallen. Descended from the old Angarak warrior caste, they're the most aggressive and warlike of the Angaraks and their royal house produces rabing madmen more often than not.
    • Eldritch: Grolims, the priest and magical caste who can be found across the Angarak nations and enforce Torak's will.
    • Humanoid: Thulls, descended from the working caste of the old Angaraks- they hate Torak and really just want to be free of the others, but serve out of fear.
    • Fallen: Malloreans. The least "specialized" and most versatile of the Angarak nations, incorporating skills and tactics from numerous conquered peoples.
    • Crafty: Nadraks. Descended from the old Angarak merchant caste, the Nadraks are a Proud Merchant Race noted for their cunning and duplicitiousness, but beign less fanatical than the Murgos and Grolims, less successful than the Malloreans, and less cowed than the Thulls, they're also the first Angarak nation to turn against Torak.
  • Game Mod Red Alert 3 Paradox:
    • Crafty: Mediterranean Syndicate. Hightech, Zerg Rush units (Auxillaries) and smart, but globally the weakest main faction.
    • Eldritch: Electrical Protectorate. Robots, Zerg Rush tactics and an actual Eldritch Abomination.
    • Fallen: Atomic Kingdom of China. Has shades of savage and is less back-stabby but otherwise fits, especially with their backstory.
    • Humanoid: Most dark minor factions.
    • Savage: Soviet Union. Brute, blunt power, but can also play heavily tactical. Depends on the commander.
  • Fallout
    • Savage: Deathclaws
    • Humanoid: Enclave, and Caesar's Legion.
    • Eldritch: Super Mutants
    • Fallen: Ghouls
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
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