The dominant race of Eifel. Most of them resemble elves, with short, somewhat triangular ears. However they can be seen with a myriad of other features and their skin and eyes and hair seems to vary from person to person. Their clothing seems to have something to do with their profession. With scientific workers dressed in more high-tech looking clothing than their magic-wielding counterparts. Eiflans come in many shapes and sizes ranging from 4'5 to 6'4 at the tallest. Their skin can be light and pale or brown and dark and any shade in between. Their body structure seems to be just as varied and diverse, with some being shorter and wider and others being more slim or lithe. Eiflans have an average lifespan of 115 - 135 years, They are the shortest lived of the races of Eifel, but for the most part they don't seem to mind.
They have a Monarchial society, structured around a single kingdom called Virdeen. The capital of Virdeen is Liyann. It's second largest city is Esmyr, which may be on the verge of becoming a seperate state altogether. But for the time being, it remains a peacefull, though somewhat detached, part of the Virdeen Kingdom.
Fey encompasses a host of holy creatures including Angels, which are not as powerful as the Dragons of Fire and Water. Most of them live in the tree of life but there are several settlements of them in other parts of the world. Most of them are kept secret however, because they do not want their connection to the Goddess exploited. Fey are all but incapable of evil, and while the warriors may kill Boreal if they come across them, Fey could no more comit a crime than they could swim through a solid mountain or breathe sand. Fey vary in size, shape, and color depending on the sub-race they belong to. They can be as tall as 6'4 or as small as 2'2. They can have a myriad of different wings from delicate butterfly wings to powerfull and feathery angels wings, and a few even have tails, most noteable of these is the wyverns.
Fey have their own kingdoms and rulers, but their Psionic abilities keep these places well hidden for all those that they don't wish to see, so little is known about their private society. The Fey's psychological makeup is drastically opposed to the Boreal, who are their polar opposites. The Fey have the belief that they should always put others before themselves, and violence should only be used as a last resort. Often the Fey will be heard saying that there is always an alternative to violence and killing in particular. There are a few stories that speak of Fey going against their nature and comiting evil acts, but these tales invariably end in the death of the Fey and usually all those assosiated with him/her as well. It's also a little known fact that the Fey's memories and a portion of their powers are stored within their wings. Removal of the wings results in amnesia for the Fey, their memories therafter being stored withing their main body like other races in Eifel. When the wings are removed, the Fey also loses it's amazing regenerative powers. This power keeps the Fey's wings alive until such time as they can be reattached, unless they are utterly destroyed, as through incineration in a fire or by acid being poured over them. While this causes no harm to the Fey, if the Fey is killed while their wings are separated, the wings will also die.
For the Fey, acting against their nature is akin to allowing someone to brutally remove one of their limbs. But while their wings are seaparated from their body, this effect seems to be dulled and they can in fact be coerced into acting against their psychological makeup. This though, like all other attempts to reverse their natural state of being, is almost always met with a bitter end because should the wings ever be returned to them, they will imeadiately feel the full weight of the things they have been done and be unwaveringly compelled to take their own lives.
Fey are strict vegetarians, as their non-violent nature prevents them from harming animals for sustenance, they prefer fruit, milk, honey, and vegetables. Some of them, such as the Angel Caste, can also suppliment their diet with a healthy amount of sunshine, and these have even been known to weaken and die without at least minimal exposure to the sun.
Fey sub races are known as Castes. The most powerfull of these is the Angel Caste, which tend to be the most well known of the Fey, as they often venture out into the world of Eiflans and take up residence at temples to Enlyl or become Holy Knights or Priests and travel the world on a mission to help others. Other known Castes are the Wyvrn Caste and the Zephyr Caste.
The highest ranking and most powerful of the Fey Castes, their social order is somewhat militaristic, and is called the choir or the celesital hosts. The top of the tier is the Seraphita, followed by the Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principaliies, Arch Angels, and Angels. They have a common trait of two or more feathery wings on their back, and tend to be tall and beautiful, even when overwheight. The highest rank of the angels is marked by their tendancy to have 6 wings, 3 on each side of their body. These are rarely if ever seen by normal Eiflans as then tend to remain in the secluded Angel Caste Fey cities.
Wyverns are a deciveingly adorable Caste who, in their natural state, resemble 3 ft tall fur-coated dragons with feathery wings. Their humanoid forms are not much taller, reaching a maximum height of 4'0. Despite their small size though they are quite powerful. Physically, they tend towards lighter hair and skin tones, matching their fur and mane in their natural forms. Hair ranges from strawberry blonde to platinum blonde with several variations in between. Often this can be tipped with another color as is their wings. Tips of purple, red, blue, and terra cotta or other more earthy tones are common. Their eyes also are generally bright and vivid, and are blue, violet, or gold in color. Their social grouping consists of small villages governed by counsels of elders.
This Fey Caste are known for their shape shifting abilities, and in their natural state they all resemble some breed of Fox. Their natural forms can have one tail, 2 tails, and soemtimes even more. The most tails on record have been a few that have 9 tails. These Fey are nomadic, rarely if ever congregating in large numbers. There are however a few small groups that have banded together and settled down over the years. When such a colony forms, it's usually near a Maruke Village, and the Vulpes seem to enjoy and emulate the customs, clothing, and lifestyle of the Maruke people. Vulpes Fey can be any color that a Fox can be, including all the unique coat markings and thickness. Their other forms range from fully Eiflan to Fox and any of a range of shapes in between. But they have honed their psionics in particular to allow them to freely change the appearance of their Eiflan form, so that it does not have to look anything at all like their natural fox forms, or even like their natural gender. Their capricious nature has lead them to be nicknamed 'tricksters', and are commonly known to disguise themsevles as beautiful women regardless of whether or not they are actually female. Like all Fey, they are incapable of evil, but they do delight in the occational prank on many an unsuspecting Eiflan.
These rather strange Fey are assosiated with water despite their bird-like shape. They live on cliffs overlooking the ocean and in many 'flocks' along beaches throughout Eifel. Their Psionics mainly focus on their ability to use their voices and musical instruments to cause magical effects. They use their powers to keep ships from crashing onto the rocks near where they live and like all Fey, have developed special enchantments that allow them to disguise their colonies from prying eyes. Siren Fey have the bottom half of a bird, and the top half of an Eiflan, usually with feathery wings protruding from their backs. They're usually between 4'0 - 4'9 and are extremely varied, just as the birds they resemble are.
This group of Fey seem to be able to change their size to suit their mood, but for the most part are very small. They have butterfly wings and can usually assume the form of the beautiful insects they resemble. Zephyr Fey society is ruled by the Seele Court, the the Zephyr King and Queen at it's haste. This Caste's social order closely resembles that of regular Eiflan society. With the Queen, the King, and the Court presiding over the rest of the Zephyr Fey people. Zephyr Fey's natural state is just a bit larger than the butterflies they recieve their wings from, but they can use their psionics to alter their size so that they may be as tall as an average Eiflan. They may also take on the shape of larger than average butterflies, but this is not their natural form.
Another race with the ability to alter their size, these Fey resemble damsel or dragon flies and often have 4 iridescant and transparent wings, 2 on each side of their back. They don't nessesarilly have to have these wings visible in order to fly though and sometimes they can even take on the shape of the insects they resemble, just as the Zephyr Caste can. Like Sirens, Nixies enjoy living on or near water, but prefer freshwater and can be found often times near Undine colonies, living along the waters edge or on small islets or even large hollow logs on the surface of the Undines preferred lakes.
Sprites Are forest dwellers, they live at the bases of trees and their villages while well hidden are one of the few that can be recognized by the distinctive appearance of a ring of toadstools that encircles it (commonly referred to as a 'fairy ring'). They are small and cannot change their size like Nixies and Zephyr can. Average height for Sprites is 4 - 6 inches tall.
Snow Fey, or Snowies, are the only Fey known to live in the Frozen South. There are perhaps one or two very small colonies farther north, but the warmer climate doesn't suit them well so those colonies often live underground in the cool dark depths of Eifel. Their Psionics generally focuses on Snow and Ice magics and some of them have quite odd appearances, like being covered in a thick layer of dark blue fur and wearing a layer of snow over their hair like a hat. Snowies have the same Height characteristics as regular Eiflans.
This group of cat like Fey seem to live very harmoniously with the Nyn and even other races such as the Eiflans. Some of them are a bit lazy, disguising themselves as cats and living happy lives as an unsuspecting Eiflans pet. There are some traits which give them away though, such as their unwillingness to eat any meat which they themselves did not hunt. They will deliberately seak out farms where they are expected to be mousers, their only Eiflan provided food source beeing bowls of water and saucers of milk.
Manneko's Psionic specialization is focused mainly on shapeshifting from the small housecat form to other feline forms and the Eiflan form most Fey employ, along with various 'in between' forms. While Manneko Fey who are living annonymously as housecats look mostly natural, these Fey can be various colors including blue, pink, and even green. Like all Fey they are unwaveringly good creatures, and will often only use more dangerous cat forms only to defend themselves and their loved ones. Because of their maliable nature, it is difficult to determine an average height and weight for the race. Amoung their ranks, the most powerfull and highly respected Manneko Fey are almost entirely white, with Orange and Black patterns on their heads and backs.
Dream Fey are extremely elusive. This is because they have become so far separated from the physical world that they are rarely seen anymore and the general populace of Eifel is beginning slowly to consider them a myth. Dream Fey live in what could loosely be termed the realm of dreams of the 'astral realm', They can enter dreams if they wish and communicate with physical being through their unconsious minds. Because of this and the fact that they barely retain substance in the physical world they can take any physical form they wish to, and little is known about what their natural form looks like. It's possible that their natural state has become nothing more than wisps of myst or smoke drifting about the world while their minds explore the endless realm of dreams.
There are many other types of Fey, and the Fey often fall in love with other Castes than their own so even more variations exist.Some of the other Fey castes may be added later.
The opposite numbers of the Fey, they are evil creatures without kindness or remorse. Like the Fey, the Boreal encompasses a wide array of creatures including gremlins and demons. They do not feel love, and because of that they also do not feel sadness or compassion and are furthermore completely incapable of feeling sympathy or empathy for either their enemies or even other members of their own kind. The largest city they have lies somewhere deep underground, far away from the Goddess tree or even the light of day, though there are other colonies scattered throughout Eifel, many of them responsible for horrible atrocities commited upon whatever unforunate Eiflan that happens upon them, if they don't directly seek out small villages and settlements to destroy. Like the Fey, Boreal range in height depending on what sub-race they are. They can be as tall as 6'4 or as small as 2'4. Their shape also varies depending on their sub-race. Little is known about the breeding habits or lifespans of the Boreal, but it's speculated that they may share the same aging characteristics as their mirror race the Fey. The Fey are the longest lived race in Eifel, and in fact their Maximum age has not yet been discovered. However, some Fey have lived to be well over 1200 years old.
Boreal are opposed to the Fey in almost every aspect, despite their similar powers. The Boreal are self serving in the extreme, any and every action they make is for their own self interest and self amusement. If this happens to help anyone besides themselves, then it can easilly be chalked up to an unhappy coincidence. When they mate, it's only a momentary whim of desire and when it's over, the two part ways usually never to meet again. Provided they both make it out of the experience alive. Boreal children are either forced into servatude of the parent, or discarded entirely after birth to fend for themselves.Sometimes they will find themselves raised for a few years by an Eiflan, but once they are old enough to move on their own and have rudimentary skills, they usually leave this parent, for they are revolted by the surrogates loving behavior.
Boreal have the same kind of Psionics that the Fey have, which amounts to a kind of raw magical power combined with telepathic and telekinetic abilities. However, where the Fey use their powers to help others, Boreal more often than not use their powers to harm. Even when they seem to be giving pleasure (as with the Succubus Caste), the truth is that this is all just for their own benefit, and would just as soon slit their throat as look at them once they're done with their partner.
The only instance of a large group of Boreal living in one place is the Boreal city rumoured to lie beneath the ice and snow of the frozen Southlands. What kind of city it is and what governing system (if indeed there is one) they go by down there is completely unknown. In Eifel proper, they often come into conflict with Fey. Because of their belief in non-violent conflict resolution however, then usually ends with the Boreal either being sealed somewhere or banished back to wherever their home ground is.
The Boreal seem to thrive on all things negetive. The pain and suffering of others nourishes and sustains them for the most part, but they almost all have a unsatiable blood lust and will eat just about any meat that is given to them. There are some variances in diet however based on the nature of the Boreal. The Succubus/Incubus Caste, for instance, need to sustain themselves by following their basest desires, which also makes them very promiscuous.
Like Fey, Boreal have several subraces known as 'Castes'. Here are some of the more noteable Boreal Castes:
The most powerful Caste of the Boreal race, the Demon Caste are also considered the most ruthless, manipulative, and intelligent. The Arch Devils are the strongest of the Demon Caste and they rule over the rest of their kind brutally and without mercy. They are attractive as far as demons go, usually looking like handsome and beautiful eiflans with great leathery wings, and on occation even horns and tails though their Psionics allow them to hide one or all of these traits if they wish, and they can appear as normal as any other eiflan. Often times the only betrayal of their nature comes from the 'aura of wrongness' that seems to permeate their being even when they are completely disguised. Demon Caste Boreal Halflings have the highest survival rate of any of the Boreal Halflings, beacuse Demon Caste Boreal Men often keep their Eiflan victims as slaves and 'pleasure dolls', allowing them to keep their children who would also then be added to his pool of slave labor and in the case of female halflings possibly even additions to his herem.
These Boreal are the opposite number of the wyvern caste of the Fey. They are exceedingly violent and can are sometimes considered a living plague on whatever land they inhabit, for it's easy for them to lay waste to an area, devouring anything and everything they can get their claws on, especially if it's living or moving. They have an eiflan form just as wyverns do, and it's just as small as theirs. Once, a basilisk clan attacked a wyvern clan. It was known as the worlds smallest war because of the short stature of all of the combatants. In their natural form, Basilisks are very reptilian, scaley and clawed and cold, with leathery wings instead of front legs. Seeing them hunched over together on a tree branch they can almost seem like scaley vultures.
Although they have two different names, Succubi and Incubi are just males and females of the same caste. Their most prominant trait is that they are specialized in order to be appealing to the opposite sex. They've even developed their psionics in such a way as to aide that goal, using it to divert their targets attention away from their 'aura of wrongness', so that they might have their way with the unsuspecting 'prey'. Sexual contact is as necessary for them as breathing and eating. So they've become hyper-specialized in order to achieve that. Like the Vulpes Fey, Succubi and Incubi Boreal can assume any Eiflan shape they need to in order to be the most appealing to whomever they've chosen as their mate for the night.
Succubus and Incubus Boreal have a native language similar to French, and so their voices when not disguised by psionics tend to have a french sounding accent with varying degrees of thickness. Their wings are similar to the Demon Caste Boreals, but they are coated in a layer of down or fluff, which makes them soft and velvety to the touch. Their wings are also interestingly heart shaped. Their tails are covered in the same kind of velveteen coating, and at the end of their tails is a fin which resembles a backwards heart. It should also be noted that their tails are prehansile, with the heart at the end able to be utilized as a kind of makeshift hand. Their wings are located on their lower back, and generally rest at their hips when not being used. Succubus and Incubus Boreal, like Demon Caste Boreal, have horns, which are curled like a goats horns and point towars the front of their heads.
These Feline-like Boreal are highly territorial, and barely even tollerate their own kind being near them. They have access to a myriad of feline shapes from small and unassuming to hulking and muscular, an eilfan shape that usually bears some of the characteristics (wilde frizzy hair, or a particularly cold gaze) and a myriad of 'in between' forms that mix feline and eiflan body parts in several different ways. They prefer live prey that they can hunt down rather than pre-cooked meals, and many of them spend time watching the Nyn and learning the ninja arts.
Roaming the land in ramaging packs, these Canine Boreal are savage to their cores. Their language is similar to the ancient Maruke tongues, little more than a collection of barks, howls, and growling noises. They are highly territorial and while they work in a group, this is mainly because the strongest of them keeps the others steeped in fear, cowardice leading to obediance. They have the power to shapeshift, and can seem anything from a ferocious wolf to a harmless dog, though often their aura keeps Eiflans from becomming too comfortable in their presnace, and of course a Fey can see through their disguise with little effort. They can also disguise themselves as Maruke, and varying forms between that and full cannine. When on a 'hunt', Fell can destroy entire villages, and will think nothing of devouring the inhabitants to slake their hunger.
These strange Boreal seem to have made it their goal in life to resemble Angel Caste Fey, but with a dark and often eerie twist to them. Erinyes have feathery wings like Angel Fey, but these wings are never light colored. Most commonly the wings are deep red, or black, or even a mixture of the two. They've also been ashen grey and brown. Erinyes Boreal often have pale, stark white, grey, or even black skin. And at least once it's been noted that there was an Erinyes with a purple skin tone. Their eyes are always pale, and often it's hard to tell where the eyeball ends and the iris begins. Their hair can be any color or length, curly or straight, and anywhere in between.
Just as the Fey have Sirens, the Boreal have Harpies. Hideous, wretched creatures with leathery skin and like the basilisks, wings instead of arms. their bottom halfs are a crude reptilian-like shape and their top halves, aside from their wings, are that of hideous women. Like the Sirens they have vocal based enchantments, but while the Sirens use their songs to soothe or uplift, the Harpies use theirs to control and to kill. Their screaming attacks can burst the eardrums of any non-harpy that has been caught unawares, and like most Boreal, they prefer their meat alive and screaming when they dine.
The largest Boreal and possibly the largest two legged creature in Eifel, Giants are huge dark hulking brutes that live almost exclusively in the Yumel mountains, where the weather is frigid all year round. They can be white to match the snow, but more often they're grey or black or sometimes dull blues, allowing them to blend in with the rocks in the mountains where they make their homes. By far the least intelligent of all the Boreal, they can communicate with words but prefer to simply use grunts and growls and the slaming of their massive fists. Boreal Giants can get to be over 10 feet tall and are extremely muscular. They have no alternate forms and cannot change their size. They're debated as the 'missing link' between the Boreal race and the mostly unintelligent monsters for Eifel, most notably the Orcs.
The second most reptilian boreal, just after Basilisks. Serpens Boreal have the Psionic capability to make themselves appear normal, but they prefer not to use it. Or if they do, to use it as a means to further terrify their victims as their seemingly normal visage melts away to reveal the horror of the reptilian face beneath. Their natural forms have no legs, their torso instead giving way to a long and powerful serpents tail. While it's not their natural form, they can transform themselves into a variety of serpent forms as well, and also many variations between forms, even to the point of having an entirely serpent body creepily topped with an eiflan head and nothing else. Their psionics is specialized with a technique called 'the stare', a look which transfixes and/or paralizes it's target, rendering them either hypnotized, paralized, or simply unconsious. Because of their reptilian nature it's also rumoured that they have a habit of eating their young when food is scarce.
The Aughisky, often referred to as "Kelpies" by the common Eiflan, are a Caste of Water dwelling Boreal. While their natural forms are either Eiflan or Centaur-like, these predetory Boreal most often take the shape of horses, luring unsuspecting travelers onto their backs, then bearing them down into the watery depths and devouring them. Aughisky Boreal tend to be solitary unless it's mating season. Aughisky foals are born with a fully developed digestive system, and so can be turned loose from their parents almost imeadiately to hunt on their own. It's rare, but occasionally some Aughisky Boreal will mate with Eiflans rather than devouring them. Instead drawing out their suffering as they carry the foal and feeding off their negetive emotions as an alternate food source.
Aughisky's can transform into several different shapes, Horse, Centaur, Eiflan, Horse-headed Eiflan, Puck, and any manner of in-between shapes. Like other shapeshifting Boreal, they can alter their size and shape, though their coloring is a matter of breeding rather than choice. They can also assume the shape of a hippocampus or a Merrow. Their Horse incarnations have white pupils like all boreal, though they retain the equine pupil shape. Their manes and tails can appear to be made of flames of various colors, and often their eyes glow fiercely when they are on the attack.
These Boreal are of the very few shapeshifting Boreal who practice the Defense school of Psionics, and aside from the usual uses of it, they have developed the unique ability to reverse the effects, making it so that whomever mounts them in their equine form adheres to them, rather than being repelled. Being aquatic in nature, Aughisky's have the Elemental Psionic shool of Water Afinity, and can breath in water or on land. In their Hippocampus form, Aughisky's have sharper teeth than their equine forms, and in place of their forehooves they instead have webbed, clawed feet reminiscant of their other aquatic form, the Merrow. Most Aughisky Boreal are Black when in their Equine forms, though occationally a Red or Moss colored have been spotted. There is also a legend of a "Ghost" Aughisky, solid white, with glowing red eyes, but this has never been confirmed. Some of the more powerful Aughisky Boreal can create Psionic Armor regardless of their form, often playing themselves as the lost mounts of Holy Knights to gain the trust of unsuspecting travelers, and some of them disguise themselves as handsome men in order to entice beautiful young women, however, a little cautious attention to detail will draw attention to their Boreal Aura, and could very well save an Eiflans life.
One of the most numerous Boreal Races, these violent, short, and prolific Boreal are covered head to toe in a thick coat of fur. Their fur comes in many different shades including terra cotta, bluegrey, moss green, mud brown, and ash grey. Physically they resemble 3 ft tall bi-pedal rats, with large and vacant looking eyes, long hairless rabbit-like ears that stick straight out towards the back of their heads, and hairless rat-like hands which have small claws at the ends, and two fingers and a thumb on each hand.
Their tails are long and thick, and are covered in fur like the majority of their bodies. They have a Kangaroo Rat like tuft of fur at the end, and hairless rat-like feet. Goblins live in groups, but aren't socially organized, they seem to suffer from a constant mob mentality, when one wants to eat, they all suddenly seem to feel hungry, when one wants to breed, the Goblin population explodes. It may be that their psionics have developed into a constant link between all the members of a particular clan. Goblins, besides being hairy and ill tempered, are short, not growing to more than 4'0.
The smallest Caste of the Boreal, Imps are tiny winged Boreal that almost always carry some sort of pitchfork with them. They love to play mean spirited pranks and delight in poking peoples rear ends with their pitchforks. They're as tiny as sprites, not getting more than 1 - 2 feet in height.
Imp Boreal have bat like wings situated on their lower backs, they use them at their hips to stay aloft when they fly. They also have scaley goat-like legs, and black spikes for horns. Their leg scales are usually some kind of muted color that is only a few shades away from being grey, with the scales on their wings matching. Their skin color can be just about any bright color. Blue, Red, Green, Purple, and some have even been yellow. They have long prehensile tails which widen at the end to make a kind of pad which they can use to hit people with or to rest when they don't feel like standing on their cloven hooved feet. Their hair is often a darker shade of their skin tone, or matches their scales, or occationally is pale grey or white.
As with the Fey, Boreal don't breed exclusively with their own Caste, so there are many many other kinds of boreal not seen here that are the result of inter-caste mating. This doesn't happen as often though, because most Boreal are horribly anti-social unless they are 'in heat'.
A Cat-like race who are naturally adept at stelth and agility. They live in Forests, their cities built in the upper cannopy of the trees, and the majority of the Ninja clans are made up of Nyn, (Causing many Eiflans to speculate at the possible origin of the word 'Ninja'.) They are aloof and secretive but not nessesarilly malicious except to their sworn enemies, the Marukes. They seem to be closly related to Earths housecats, and come with a wide range of fur lengths, colors, and patterns. There are 3 sub-races of Nyn; Tailed Nyn, Lionyn, and Manx Nyn. As their names suggest, Tailed Nyn have the average long cat tails and are the most numerous of the Nyn, Lionyn have Lion-like tails with tufts of fur at the ends of them, this trait is a sign of nobility amoungst the Nyn and nearly all of them are Village Leaders, Nobles, or other members of Nyn high society. The Manx Nyn are slightly rarer than Tailed Nyn, but more numerous than Lionyn, and they have either no tail, or a tail so short that it is unnoticeable when they are fully clothed. Nyn are taller than Eiflans, but not as tall as Marukes, their females are generally between 5'6 and 5'9, and males stand between 5'10 and 6'6. Both the males and females of this race are amazingly slender and flexible due to their feline herritage. Nyn half a lifespan of 380 - 400 years, shorter than the Maruke, but longer than the average Eiflan.
A Race of Canine-like humanoids who are strong warriors and follow a strict code of honor. They live mostly in the plains and grasslands, though there are some settlements in the harsh and unforgiving mountains. Most of them are wolf like in appearance, with grey fur and a thick mane, and bright, piercing blue or gold eyes. A few of them possess more dog-like features however, and coat lengths colors and patterns vary nearly as widely as the Nyn. They are skilled swordsmen, trained from a young age in the art of combat and honor. While it is unclear how it came about, the Maruke have a blood feud with the Nyn, with both parties fully prepared to kill the other on sight. This animosity has persisted for centuries and Eiflans speculate that neither party may remember why they began to war against eachother in the first place. Towards others however they are friendly though a bit guarded, and extremely loyal. It's said that once you have gained the trust of a Maruke, you become part of his/her familial 'pack', and they will defend you to the bitter end if need be. Marukes are the largest race in Eifel, with females standing between 5'10 and 6'9, and males between 6'0 and 7'0. Males are muscular and thick bodied, females are more slender and flexible. Maruke are a long-lived race, with a lifespan between 480 - 500 years. Maruke generally dress in traditional/feudal style clothing, kimonos, samurai-style armor, and wield katanas and other more traditional weapons.
A Race of Water-dewlers similar to Merfolk, the Undines live in Lakes, Streams, and other bodies of Fresh Water. They are flighty and whimsical in nature, and there are some who belive that they are not a seperate race at all, but are actually a water sub-branch of the Fey. Because they are like merfolk, most of them perfer to stay in their homes beneath the waters surface, so to see them above ground it rare, but not unheard of. There are rumours though of an entire colony of them living above ground on the mainland, apparently having been driven out of their lake home when the Eiflans came there to build the place known as the Assylum. They are some of the most colorfull of all the races of Eifel, and seemingly they can have any combination of hair, skin, eye, and tail colors. Their tails and their hair are their pride and joy, with their scales usually blending 2 - 3 colors and shimmering irridescantly, and they are also known for their beautiful singing voices and their talent for musical instruments. Many of the Undines who do come to land make an easy career as bards. When in humanoid form, Undines are shorter than most Eiflans, standing from about 4'4 - 4'6 for females, and 4'7 - 5'0 for males., when they are in their natural forms, they tend to be a bit longer, due to having fins instead of feet. In their natural forms Undines are on average between 4'5 and 4'9 in length for females, and 4'8 - 5'2 for males. Undines don't usually stand, so they measure themselves in terms of length rather than height, although they essentially mean the same thing. Undines live longer than Eiflans, with an average lifespan of 150 - 200 years.
Almost all Undine have a natural talent for water magic, which aides them when they need to spend a great deal of time on land and away from any convenient water sources. A typical example of this kind of magic is the ability to create a small localized rainstorm around their personage which keeps them cool and moist. It's not known weather merfolk share this talent, as none of the ocean-dwelling merfolk have been seen in close to a thousand years.
Barring some Fey and Boreal Castes, the Leverets are the shortest race in Eifel, not getting to be more than 4'0 for males and 3'8 for females. (This is at the head, not the ears). Living in harmony with the land, these tribal nomads are strict vegetarians, their digestive systems being incapable of processing meat. Aside from their short stature, Leveret females tend to be shapley and rotund, while the males can be portly or slim. Underneath their soft and often fluffy exterior though they are well muscled, the result of living without the aid of the Eiflans modern conveniences. Leverets can have human like hair on their heads, or they can simply have a layer of fur like that which covers the rest of their bodies. They come in many colors, from brown to white, black to grey, and even spotted or "tipped". (Tipped is a coloring similar to siamese cats, where the ears and paws are a different color than the main body). They have black eyes which do not seem to have pupils, and six wiskers, three on each cheek. There are two kinds of Leverets; the "Pointed" Leverets live on the grassy plains and occasionally are found in small groups roaming the desert. They have straight ears which usually point towards the back of their heads. "Lop" Leverets live in deep forests and high mountains, and their ears hang down loosely, floping around either across their shoulders or behind their heads. With either the Pointed or Lop varieties, the fur lining the Leveret's ears grows quite long where the ears meet the head, and in the case of Leverets with Eiflan-like hair, it will ofen blend and mingle with the other hair, sometimes making it seem as though their hair has white streaks in it. Even without Eiflan like hair, Leverets will comongly braid the long hair, tieing it with embroidered or beaded ties. This hair can often change color from white at the base (near the ears) to red, brown, blonde, or black towards the ends.
Leverets wear hand woven clothes made from silk they harvest from insects they tend themselves, and from cotton which they grow. They work softer metals and stone and wood into tools and jewelry, and are excellent bead crafters. Male Leverets are often seen sporting tatoos colored with in made from various plants, berries, or other natural colorings. They have never been known to wear shoes, for this hampers their senses. Leverets are inately able to detect things by sensing the vibration of the ground. Their ears are also highly tuned and they have better hearing than most any other race in Eifel. They often decorate their heads with hand made bandanas and Feathers that they have either found or plucked from birds. While they are Vegetarians, they do not abstain from drinking milk or eating dairy products, and will also consume eggs so long as they are unfertalized.
Leverets are powerful jumpers and aside from the mystical Fey and Boreal races, they are unmatched for speed on land. Being creatures of the land though, they can be uncomfortable in Sea or Air Ships and are prone to motion sickness. Because they are vegetarians, they do not construct weapons, instead defending themselves with powerful punches and kicks which their small build belies. It is rumored that the Monks of the Sacred Forest originally learned their techniques from the Leverets. Leverets have an average lifespan of 138 - 145 years, however, they breed prolifically, and twins and triplets are not uncommon for this race.
Taller and stronger than Undines, Merfolk live(ed) exclusively in salt water. They had powerfull water magic just like their freshwater cousins, but they also had a much harder time transforming into land walking humanoids. This is because not only is Salt Water increadibly different than Fresh Water, but also because almost all of their cities were at the bottom of the ocean, where the level of pressure from the water is much different than that of the surface, making their physiology vastly different from the Alfs and other Land Bound Eiflans.
Like the Alfs, Merfolk are presumed extinct, having not been seen in thousands of years. While this may be true, it could also be that they have lost the ability to go on land altogether, and so have become exclusively the inhabitants of the bottom of the ocean. It is also possible that some occurance in the past caused them to cease their contact with the surface world, and while they retain the ability to do so they simply lack the inclination to use it.
The Alfs were the original race of Eifel. They were highly advanced magic users and natural summoners. Over thousands of years they eventually evolved into todays Eiflans, and their inherant summoning ability was mostly lost. Because no one knows what the Alfs looked like, whenever an Eiflan is born with the natural ability to summon (that is, without the aid of incantations or magic focusing aritfacts), they are examined and paid very close attention to, in hopes that the Eiflan scholars will find some common physical trait that will give them a clue as to the appearance of their mysterious ancestors.
Alfs were the only race to possess the natural ability to summon without the aid of special artifacts or incantation. Todays Eiflans can be born with a natural summoning ability, but without the incantation and artifacts they can't complete the summon, or at worst, they will summon something completely beyond their control that can turn on them or even cause widespread destruction.
Through often unusual circumstances, some races breed with Eiflans and create 'Halflings', who are neither one race nor the other. Though this most commonly occurs with Nyn and Maruke, there have been Fey and Boreal Halflings, and even the occational Undine, though the cirumstances for this have to be extremely unique to prevent the child from dying before they have taken their first breath. The Fey and Boreal Halfings also have extremely differing methods of origin. Whereas Fey will join with an Eiflan because they truly love and care for the person, Boreal Halflings are usually born out of brutality, or as a result of pure carelessness (which is most common with the flakey and somewhat ditzy succubus demons). Accidental Boreal Halflings are usually abandoned or left with the Eiflan parent, Boreal Halflings resulting from brutality however are most often killed by either parent, the Boreal because they do not have the capacity for maternal instincts, and the Eiflan because the child is a reminder of the traumatic event they suffered through.
Halflings possess both features and powers hereditary to their non-Eiflan parent. In the case of Nyn, this would be feline traits such as ears and/or a tail, and a talent for stealth, along with an unnatural grace and more agility and balance than an average Eiflan. For the Maruke, they have canine traits and tend to be larger and more muscular, in both cases their senses are heightened, though not to the levels that a full blooded Nyn or Maruke would have. Fey Halflings and Boreal Halflings both have a natural talent for magic, and also possess psionic ablities to communicate telepathicalll and also move objects by willing them, along with a few other psionic related powers. They also gain physical traits depending on the sup-race of their parent, Angel and Demon parents would give their offspring wings and eyes reflective of their bloodline, and in some cases an aura that can either calm or agitate, and heal or harm, whomever is near them. Other traits can be butterfly wings, horns, tails, and many other unusual physical features. Halflings height varies depending upon weather they are closer in resemblance to their Eiflan or Non-Eiflan parent.
In the case of Fey halflings, if their wings are removed, they can still be reattached just as a normal Feys could be, however, The Halflings wings have a finite lifespan before they begin to decay. This is about 20 - 25 years. After that point, the wings cannot be reattached by normal means. A necromancer may be able to perform such a reattachment, but the results would not be pleasant. Furthermore, Fey Halflings who's wings are reattached, do not suffer the "Death Urge" curse as full Fey do. Though they still feel gravely guilty and often become depressed and chronically morose.
Fey and Boreal halflings, no matter whether they are good or evil, still feel the negetive effects of being exposed to their opposite element. While it can't seriously injure them, as being exposed to too much of the holy element would a full Boreal, it does make them very sick, as though they contracted food poisoning or some other horrible stomach virus. It's these physiological responses that keep the Boreal from attempting to destroy the holy tree, and similarly keep the Fey from attempting to invade Hell and destroy the Boreal at their source.
Fey and Boreal halflings retain their parents auras, though it is much more muted. Therefore it is much easier for their opposites to recognize full blooded members than Halflings. While the physical "tell", makes it much easier most of the time, there are occasions when even that cannot be fully trusted, such as in the case of Half Erinyes, or half Felids or Fells. If a Felid or a Fell Boreal mates with a Nyn or Maruke, their offsprings natural shapeshifting talent (while still dumbed down) can render them nearly indistinguishable from other Nyn,
Boreal and Fey with shapeshifting talents can only pass on a portion of this talent to their halfling children. A Nyn halfling therefore may be able to to transform into any of the different types of Nyn, to a typical Nyn halfling form, or to one, perhaps two types of feline. They will not be able to disguise themselves as any other type of Fey or Boreal, nor will they have the range of all the feline forms in existance. This is true of all shapeshifting halflings, be they Nyn, Fell, Serpens, Basilisk, Manneko, Vulpes, Zephyr, or any of the other shapeshifters. Nyn and Maruke with a Fey or Boreal Halfling can sometimes have one very specific tell; They cannot change the color and/or pattern of their fur. If a Fey/Maruke halfling is born bright purple, then bright purple he/she will stay, regardless of the form he or she assumes. This is true of the rarer Undine/Fey or Boreal halflings as well, though not as prominent, as Undines come in a wide variety of colors as it is.
In the case of size, Halflings are extremely variable. They can be as small as their Fey/Boreal parent, as Large as their Eiflan parent (or the reverse if one of their parents hapens to be a Giant caste Boreal) or somewhere in the middle. Halflings of these pairings do not have the ability of their parents to change size at will, so for some of them it can be a very difficult life, particularly if they can't find a sprite or imp colony to live with.
Nyn Halflings, unless they are half Fey or Boreal, almost always tend to look like an Eiflan with cat ears instead of the normal Eiflan ears, and a cats tail resembling their Nyn parents tail. Very rarely though, there is a reversal in the genetic makeup of the halfling, so that rather than looking like an Eiflan with cat ears, they instead look like a hairless nyn. This unusal type of Halfling is called a "Sphynx" nyn. Sphynx nyn are not actually entirely hairless, they have a very fine, soft layer of fur over most of their bodies, it's almost unnoticable however, because the hair is so fine as to be almost invisible. Maruke as well have this distinct occurance, however their halflings usually retain their Eiflan parents hair, and so are dubbed "Crested". Like the Nyn, Maruke Halflings usually appear as an Eiflan with dog ears and a dogs tail, though with some of them it's exceedingly hard to tell, for breeds like the Afgan domestic Maruke have ears that simply blend in with their hair. In which case it is important to look for a tail.
Undead Boreal such as zombies, skeletons, wraiths and vampires do not produce Halflings because, being undead, they are unable to breed in the natural way that other Boreal do. Furthermore, Halflings have lifespans within the range of the longest lived of the two parents, though rarely to they have as long a lifespan. Boreal and Fey cannot procreate with each other, their genetic makeup is too radically different for them to create a viable embryo and their personalities are so far separated from eachother that there simply is no attraction physical of otherwise to even ignite such an encounter.
Undines can reproduce outside their race, but they produce very few halflings because their breathing systems are very different from that of a normal Eiflans. If the child is born in the wrong place, it can suffocate or, conversley, drown, and if the child is born with Eiflan lungs and an Undines tail, being unable to shapeshift as it's parent can, it can be a very hard life for the child. A child born with an Undines breathing system and human legs has a better chance at life, because even though it may not move as fast as an Undine it can still swim and would not need to go to the surface for air.
When a person is injured in battle or due to sickness or other circumstances, they have two options depending on the severity of the wounds. They can either go to a Priest or Priestess and have the injuries cured by magic, or, in extreme circumstances, they can go to a scientist and have mechanical prosthetic limbs attached. This process however is extremely expensive, and it is said that it is more painful than the initial injury. While it is possible to have multiple limbs replaced, the risk of not surviving the surgery becomes higher with each one. Currently, there is one person with a fully prosthetic body, a young girl who's body was so ravaged by disease that they only way they could save her was to create a fully prosthetic mechanical body and transfer her brain into it. This body is a unique combination of science and magic, being a machine in construction but powered by magically charged crystals. Automatons follow the general height statistics of their race unless both legs have been replaces in which case they may occasionally be shorter. Automotons are as long lived as their race specifies.