‘Human’ is a state of evolution that exists all throughout the mortal realm. Any planet which has an evolved form of mammalian life will experience the bipedal, humanoid state at some point. Such a form is efficient and adaptable, with minds insatiable and always developing. While being relatively easy to kill, Humans can always find ways to survive and flourish as a species no matter the conditions.
Magia are considered to be the natural next step of evolution after Humans. They are a race which has developed past the base Human state thanks to the enhancing abilities of magic, which flows like blood through a Magia’s body. Physically, the differences between a Magia and a Human will be very minor if there are any at all.
(Note: Human-resembling fantasy races all fall under the definition of Magia. Elves, Goliaths, Halflings etc. would all be Magia who have evolved physical differences due to their environments.)
As the magic and living cells which make up a Magia’s body attune to each other they gain a wealth of benefits. The magic will automatically correct issues of the body and mind, extending the Magia’s lifespan as a result. However, the greatest benefit is the enhanced evolutionary rate that a magic-endowed body is granted. Normally, a lengthened lifespan would be an invitation for disease to break down the body’s immune system until it can no longer naturally handle them. Magic grants Magia bodies an enhanced rate of evolution which allows their immune systems to keep up with such developments.
Magia bodies are also superior at quickly adapting to the environment around them if necessary, which can lead to more drastic physical alterations from the Human base. While these adaptations could just be enhanced muscle mass or alterations to the senses, changes to the very composition of their flesh are possible. A Magia who lives purely in nature might evolve to have skin made of bark and hair of vines. These kinds of changes can occur throughout a single Magia’s lifespan. The will of the individual may also have an effect on how the enhanced evolution acts. If they willed it, a Magia could change their sex over time purely through evolution.
On average, the magic in a Magia’s body will extend their lifespan to about double what it was. However, more powerful Magia who are capable of holding a greater concentration of magic in their bodies are able to survive for much longer. Particularly exceptional Magia may even live long enough to seem immortal, though with enough time even their bodies would decay.
Zauberei are effectively Magia who have evolved due to the influence of null rather than the influence of magic. They have the same benefits with regards to health and evolutionary ability, however Zauberei will change in a very particular way rather than reacting to the environment around them. Their skin will change color to shades of dark blue, purple or black and hard, stone-like growths will become a part of their form. In the latest stages of a Zauberei’s evolution, they take on forms that are comparable to Demons. Zauberei who get to that stage are known as Oni, incarnates of the destruction of magic.
Vera are a particular branch of Magia evolution in which the humanoid body takes on animal-like traits. In most cases it takes special rituals or a willed evolution to achieve these transformations as they aren’t always necessarily the most efficient of forms. Centaurs and Minotaurs are two common examples of Vera. There are conditions under which Magia can naturally become Vera, such as living a heavily water-centric lifestyle and becoming a Merfolk, but inciting evolutions like that naturally is still difficult.
Under the situation where animals evolve into more humanoid forms, they also fall under the definition of Vera. These particular Vera are referred to as Verasal. Verasal evolution, while possible, is rare in this reality.
Many curses have been created for the purpose of turning people into Vera. Lycanthropy is the most common example of this, forcibly making the afflicted evolve certain bestial traits. Even though they are curses, some people still choose to apply them to themselves to become Vera.
Fae are living manifestations of pure magic which have managed to take on form without the aid of a living host. Fae are fickle creatures both in form and in motivation due to the malleable nature of magic. As sentient magic, Fae are always looking to make themselves useful for some kind of purpose. They are generally very chaotic as they have no innate morals, often finding it difficult to differentiate good purposes from bad ones. Fae who do manage to find a definite purpose are resolute and will work tirelessly towards it.
Fae are semi-ethereal beings because of their bodies being made of magic. As such they can easily alter their physical forms, as well as how these forms are perceived by other beings. A Fae’s true form will usually be very small and resemble living creatures such as humans or animals. While a Fae can technically take on bigger forms, it will make their existence unstable. Larger corporeal forms require more active spending of magic to sustain, the same magic that makes up their form in the first place. Fae who are not careful with how they manage their form run the risk of dispersing back into raw magic and losing their sentience. Staying in a fully ethereal form is also difficult as it makes it difficult for a Fae to differentiate itself from the magic around it.
It is theoretically impossible for null to create Fae forms as it does not have the same ability to change as magic does. However, since null can work in conjunction with sentient beings it could be believed if a null Fae came to be. If one did, it would be the purest form of Oni to exist in the mortal realm.
Every world has its own variation of wildlife that is just as important as its more evolved and/or intelligent life. These animals create ecosystems, food chains; all the necessary components for a healthy, functioning environment. If a world has magic, more often than not the animals of that world will adapt to it much faster than the Humans. Animals enhanced by magic can come to be known as Monsters but they, too, are simply a part of nature.
Demons are beings from the Underworld who came to be through the lingering will of a species known as the ‘Firstborn’. The Firstborn were the first iteration of mortal life to exist in the universe and they had the ability to evolve much faster than mortals do now. Paired with the magic they were given by the gods enhancing them further, Firstborn evolution quickly went out of control. Their bodies naturally evolved to the point of immortality and they didn’t stop there, over time they would have become capable of harnessing all of the aspects of creation itself. They went to war with the gods but were eradicated by a magic cast by the Vashta of Death. Although their minds and bodies were killed, their souls continued to evolve against the magic that is still killing them to this day. All of the Firstborn souls amalgamated into each other, hoping that one of them would find a way to counteract their ceaseless death but none did. Their home world, Eavana, fell and was relegated to its own dimensional space which became known as the Underworld.
Demons are beings made through the rapid evolution of the Firstborn amalgam. Bodies made that are unable to host that many souls, minds made that are unable to handle that many thoughts, they are cast away and end up becoming their own beings; Demons. Demons are horrifically powerful entities, even the weakest of them would innately be able to destroy a planet on the mortal plane. Common physical traits of demons are grey, red or purple skin, horns, tails and sometimes wings. Apart from these basic guidelines, Demons can come in all manner of shape and size. Many are humanoid simply because of the efficiency of the form but they can look like anything.
The Underworld is a dimensional space that has been specifically conditioned to be able to handle the ridiculous natural power of Demons. They aren’t allowed to enter the mortal plane normally but when they do their power is heavily filtered, if they can even get their physical form there at all. Many Demons rely on communicating with and using mortals as hosts to shift between the planes. Some Demons will settle for just sharing some of their power with mortals to see what happens, even though any one mortal can only handle a tiny fraction of a Demon’s power. When a Demon decides to interact with the mortal plane, it is almost certainly because of boredom.
When a mortal is exposed to a Demon’s magic their body will warp to resemble the Demon that the magic originated from. Since Demon magic is so powerful, even just a minor amount of exposure can cause a noticeable change to a mortal’s form. Mortals who have been altered this way are called Aljani (or Tieflings, if you prefer). Children of Aljani will always inherit the Demon’s magic and become Aljani themselves, regardless of the other parent. Demons cannot directly breed as they have no method with which to do so.
Dragons are creatures of majesty who exist at the peak of magic-based evolution in reptiles. They are powerhouses of nature and act as an anti-infestation species. Normally, such creatures would not come into being as they would single-handedly destroy the economical balance of the land around them just so sustain themselves. However, if there is a suitable over-population of a certain species or even overgrowth of plant life when a Dragon may be born to correct these anomalies. This often leads to an odd hoarding trait, where Dragons will collect things related to what they were born to exterminate. A planet will usually only have one magic-based Dragon, although larger inhabited worlds may have several. These magicborn Dragons are referred to as hermetic Dragons, or hermetics. Planets with a large Dragon population are often ruled by said Dragons. Dragons are intelligent, despite their ancestors rarely being so.
Smaller dragons which can reasonably fit into their natural surroundings may also exist, although these breeds of dragons are normally a form of natural evolution as opposed to being magic-prompted existences. Regardless of their origin, Dragons can take on a wide variety of forms dependent on their reptilian ancestor. The most commonly known are the winged lizard-type Dragons, however they may also evolve from Snakes, Turtles, Crocodiles, etc. This can mean Dragons with more serpentine bodies, Dragons with shells instead of wings or Dragons that are more suited to water and swampy environments.
Skaal are a variety of Vera that have draconic properties. This can be prompted by imitation of natural Dragons but most Skaal come to be through certain rituals. These rituals can either directly draw from the magic of Dragons or are made to imitate the conditions under which a magic-based Dragon comes to be. Skaal are derived from people’s will to manipulate the great power of Dragons themselves. Like with Demon’s magic, Draconic magic is powerful and will persist through generations; meaning the child of a Skaal will also be Skaal.
Dinosaurs are the alternate route of evolution for reptile and avian species. There is a huge variety in Dinosaur species and, while they are unintelligent, they tend to dominate the planets they exist on. Bird-minded Dinosaurs are known to be tameable while lizard types and larger species are less so. Planets with Dinosaurs will often produce a hermetic Dragon as Dinosaurs eat heavily into the resources around them. Most worlds are not equipped to sustain such forms of life in large population.
Natyr are plants who have developed consciousness and come to life through the influence of magic. Flowers, fungi, trees; any plant life can potentially experience these evolutions towards life. Young Natyr are usually very simple-minded, acting only on the instinct to protect their home environment if they need to. They have no need to hunt and many creatures rely on the resources that Natyr provide, so they will spend long amounts of time idle.
Over time, Natyr can become intelligent; developing philosophies and interacting with the will of their world and its magic on a deeper level. Druidic Humans and Magia will search for elder Natyr to hear the wisdom they have accrued. Regardless of how smart they are, Natyr generally remain pacifistic unless they are needed to face a threat to their environment.
Plant and fungi Natyr have comparatively lesser lifespans than those who are tree-based. Due to this, such Natyr often remain in the instinctual phase. However, Natyr of this kind have displayed the ability to develop hiveminds and use that to transfer knowledge between each other. This information spreads unevenly amongst the hivemind as some Natyr only retain basic knowledge while others go on to show signs of individuality and great intelligence.
Plants are not the only things that can develop consciousness due to the effects of magic. Since magic is not a conscious entity, sometimes odd incidents can occur where it transfers states like ‘consciousness’ into things that otherwise would be incapable of developing in such ways. Okotahi are these exceptions, the times when magic has given conscious and form to things that would logically never have them otherwise. Okotahi most commonly form from rocks, dirt, air, water; things that would be more commonly defined as golems or elementals on the worlds they manifest on. If not that, then they tend to be explained away as mythical spirits or the sort. One of the most well known and unique Okotahi is the Realm Star, a living star that was given its life by magic, though it ended up growing and devouring the solar system around it and as a result being sealed away.
Aberration are enigmatic creatures born from the wants, emotions and imaginations of intelligent life. A collective of feelings transformed by magic into an actual living creature. Aberration will most often take on forms based on negative feelings, particularly during times of war. Their physical embodiment can also resemble creatures from urban legends and folk tales. Their forms are determined by the aspect they were born from and thus all Aberration are different. They attempt to naturally incite and spread the wants and emotions they are born from, or if they are imagination-based their natural inclination is to act how the legends about them suggest.
Aberration are difficult to track down as they are seemingly able to blink in and out of existence at will. Aberration sightings are very rare, any onlooker that gets a good look at one only does so moments before it kills them. Aberration which are sighted multiple times and come to have their existence known are referred to as Cryptids.
Although uncommon, Aberration can form from positive feelings. These Aberration usually manifest due to faith or religion, appearing as iterations of figures from said religions. Throughout the universe, some religions are even capable of actively summoning the Aberration formed by their faith and hail them as deitous figures.
Extremely rarely, Aberration can manifest from the will of individuals. As opposed to just being a form made of one particular aspect, these Aberration are materializations of their summoner’s entire being. They are an extension of the individual’s very soul, suggesting that theoretically all beings with souls are capable of summoning Aberration. However, no consistent process has ever been determined to make this happen and very few people throughout the universe have done so.
Slimes are amorphous creatures who have forms that can be squashed and stretched on a whim. They are sentient goo that exists without an internal system of organs and bones. Like some Beasts, Slimes are very commonly seen as monsters. It is unknown if magic actually has a hand in the formation of these creatures as there are instances of Slimes appearing naturally in some economies. Jellyfish and other sea creatures are considered to be an evolutionary stage of Slime on some worlds.
Slimes can come in many sizes and levels of intelligence; from small, round and dumb to humanoid and intelligent. Slimes have also been created artificially by advanced races who are capable of replicating the functions of a brain without requiring the physical brain. These types of slimes are masses of neurons interacting with each other in a gooey vessel.
Robots, Golems and Elementals, collectively referred to as Constructs, are autonomous creations which are usually built rather than born. Robots are put together via mechanics and do not rely on magic. They are powered by electricity and usually put together with metallic components. Golems are masses of materials that are put in motion through use of magic. These materials can be much more varied than those required to build a robot as the actual mechanics don’t matter as much. Golems can be made of stone, clay, flesh, wood; just about anything solid. Elementals can only be made through more powerful magic and do not require physical bodies, often being made of certain elements hence their name. A Golem made of non-solid matter, such as gases or blood, would be considered an elemental.
Constructs are rarely referred to as having life. Much of the time they do not have their own thoughts and feelings as they only exist to carry out the wills of their creators. On some worlds there is hysteria over the idea of constructs taking over if they are given their own thoughts. Despite this, there are instances of constructs developing intelligence and learning to act beyond how they’re coded. Studies point towards this being due to the influence of magic.
Goblins, Gremlins, Kobolds; these small, semi-evolved species are considered to be evolutionary mistakes. Beings stuck mid-way through the evolution between non-intelligent and intelligent life. They are capable of forming societies and cultures while still being driven by instinct. They tend to be somewhat humanoid but still clearly bestial and wild. Under normal circumstances these species would not be problematic as they should logically evolve further into intelligent life comparable to Humans. However, these critters just breed and grow in population without any kind of progress whatsoever. Considered to be only semi-intelligent, these creatures are thought of as Monsters on the world they exist on.
Similar to Mook-type creatures, Heads are larger species that are also known as evolutionary mistakes. Ir-Scrofa, Trolls, Ogres, Giants; very powerful species, more so than most intelligent life but they fail in terms of how they fit into nature. They struggle to build communities and culture because of either stupidity or rampant in-fighting. These species never grow in number or develop because of these issues. Furthermore, they do not do anything for food chains or environmental balance, they are just failed attempts at the development of intelligent life. Many Head species don’t even show signs of self-preservation.
Mooks will gather ground Heads as a form of safety. Despite the natural aggression of Heads, they do not pay heed to the smaller critters. In return, the Mooks make environments that are comfortable for the Heads, although the Heads do not understand why.
People believe that Heads are the result of evolution that happens too quickly. Species that have become too great and powerful too quickly, without a world around them that can handle it. Due to their hugely negative effects on environments, Head species are a common reason for hermetic Dragons appearing on worlds.
When a mortal being who has committed misdeeds and crimes in their lifetime finally meets their deserved end, their soul will be swept into the Underworld. It is here where they will be given a chance to improve themselves as beings and elevate themselves to becoming worthy of entering Etrivaal. Intrinsically these souls aren’t much different from the mortal that they originated from, unless they decide that they don’t want to take their second chance. Souls that continue to bring harm to those around them will warp as the corruption in their being takes over. With time, these entities become no longer the mortals that they were. Their spiritual form shifts, as if cursed, into something hideous to represent the kind of individual that they are. These are the true monsters of reality, those who let themselves be entirely defined by the literal darkness of their souls. These beings take any chance they can get at causing havoc, although in the Underworld they mostly end up just fighting with each other. Redeemer souls are protected by a deity and Demons are far stronger than these monsters, which leaves only other monsters as their prey. A majority of true monsters will eventually just give in between the lack of purpose and threat of Srahenna, though the most stubborn and hideous of them have only eternal torment awaiting at the end of the line.
There have been two notable instances where powerful Demons have broken the space between the Underworld and the mortal realm, which is an opportunity that very few true monsters were willing to miss. These were rare chances for them to go back to the mortal realm and just absolutely rip it apart so they could fulfill their sick egos. Any time so much as the tiniest crack forms between the Underworld and the mortal realm, these true monsters will be the first to wriggle their way through.
Abyssborn & Aetherborn
The gods are all tied to what are referred to as ‘conceptual realms’, planes outside of space-time that represent certain aspects of reality and tie the gods to those aspects. The Abyss and the Aether were the first two conceptual realms, representing darkness and light respectively. These realms are unique from the other conceptual realms in that they have their own consciousness, which the Creator believed would allow their associated deities to interact more deeply with their aspects. This didn’t pan out as the Abyss and the Aether developed wills and plans of their own, to the point that they were no longer simply representative of their aspects. Beyond just light and dark, the Aether and the Abyss came to represent life and death respectively. The Abyss and the Aether, using their wills, created the beings that would become their associated gods. This turned out to be another problem as the Creator intended for there to be only one deity per aspect, yet the Abyss and the Aether were creating multiple avatars to represent them.
These avatars are the Abyssborn and the Aetherborn, of which there are only very few. Given that all the Abyss and the Aether are is encompassed in dark and light, the realms have difficulty in creating complex beings to act as their avatars. As of current, only five complete Abyssborn and two complete Aetherborn are known to have been made. The Aether is docile and happy to act to the Creator’s will with only a limited number of avatars. The Abyss on the other hand is more aggressive and wishes to find a way to manifest its own infinite consciousness outside of its realm. To this end, the Abyss continues to try and create avatars, incomplete Abyssborn having been discovered in even the mortal realm. If the Abyss is successful in its endeavors then the purest form of a ‘god’ would grace reality and threaten to consume it with its limitless magnitude.