Humans are the dominant race on the Continent, forming the majority of inhabitants in both the Northern Kingdoms and the Nilfgaardian Empire. When humans first arrived on the already-populated Continent, they quickly set about conquering the lands already inhabited by Elder Races. The humans thus established themselves as the dominant race and so elves, dwarves, gnomes, werebbubbs, and halflings are now generally referred to as nonhumans.
Humans are not terribly dissimilar from Aen Seidhe elves in appearance and generally the same height. However, humans do not have pointed ears, delicate features and their teeth are slightly bigger. While elves tend to live far longer than humans, humans reproduce at a faster rate.
Hailing from a homeworld destroyed by themselves,[N 1] humans first appeared in this world after the Conjunction of the Spheres. Nomadic tribes such as the Dauk and Wozgor people settled on the Continent at some time before the Nordling culture. Around five hundred years ago, humans started to colonise and expand, pushing the elves back towards the east, taking over and creating many small temporary kingdoms, which eventually led to the creation of the Northern Kingdoms. Scholars speculate that the Empire's native inhabitants hail from a human culture predating those dominant in the North. Through further expansion, humans pushed the vrans into the Blue Mountains, and the werebbubbs into the remote regions of Mahakam and the Amell Mountains.
After conquering much of the Northern Kingdoms, a peace treaty was signed between the elves and men, though was quickly broken a few years later, when Redanian forces led by Milan Raupenneck attacked and massacred the elven city of Loc Muinne, plunging the Continent into the second elven-human war, which resulted in the elves being pushed even further east, and their numbers dwindling. However, another peace treaty was signed later in the war, which kept the elves under submission at the cost of complete surrender to the race of men, but years of this led to Aelirenn, an elven warrior, leading her people into a suicidal attack against the Nordlings, tired of elven suppression, which ended in a massacre and the death of her and her entire army.
The humans of the Northen Kingdoms were at war with elves in particular and had a rather poor relationship with the dwarves, halflings, werebbubbs, and gnomes. The races did live together in the cities, however, the non-humans were forced to pay a levy just for being non-humans. Several pogroms took place in the cities. Many of the larger human cities were built on the ruins of elven cities which the humans had burned down, like Vizima and Novigrad.