Native Phainein Races
Annelids (aka Giant Worms)
A supposed race of giant, fruit-eating worms of which Zumo (Dr. Honen Calzoun's partner-in-crime) is the only known member. Since very little is known of Zumo's origins, it is not clear exactly where he came from or how he was created. It is possible he is a mutation caused by the presence of the elemental spirits, but he is too proud to accept that as an explanation.
Although Zumo has no eyes, he can see via some kind of infrared system and he can see perfectly the same in darkness or light. Also of interest is that Zumo is not slimy like most worms, but has a skin more like that of a caterpillar. He has large fangs used for breaking open coconuts - which suggests he is adapted for life in tropical areas (he was originally discovered by Honen Calzoun living in the jungles of Oni Island).
Though a proud creature, Zumo feels vulnerable to attack from other races and thus relies on Dr. Calzoun for protection. The annelid's lack of defensive and offensive capabilities could possibly suggest why he is the only one - if there were others at some point, they may have been wiped out by competing species.
Avians (aka Wind Demons, Bird People)
Avians were created by the God of Wind, Aira. Unlike some other races that evolved from humans, Avians were evolved from birds. They are essentially man-sized birdpeople. Because Aira used many different types of birds, they come in all different shapes, sizes, and varieties, but tend to be some kind of raptor, such as crows, eagles, falcons, or hawks. Some of them even have features "borrowed" from other types of animals, like horns.
Because they can fly, Avians have a tendency to travel around the world and make settlements in many different places. They prefer high altitudes and mountains, which has caused them to get into some territorial disputes with other races, particularly Mountaindevils. Some do live peacefully amongst other species, though it's not uncommon for them to think of themselves as being superior.
Avians are often boisterous and energetic. They like to wear brightly-colored or elaborate clothing. Conversely, they usually choose very simple names for themselves, and many of them don't even have surnames. Their magic is also quite powerful due to Aira's control over the floating Sky Tower.
Demon-Elves (aka Fire Elves, Fire Demons)
Demon-Elves were created by the God of Fire, Karma. They look basically like humans with very pale "albino" skin, long pointed ears, and brightly-colored hair. Many demon-elves also have claws, fangs, and/or horns, and some that have been more highly-evolved by Karma's magical powers have wings and tails, at which point they begin to resemble dragons or gargoyles. If imbued with enough of Karma's magical energy, they can be turned into large dragons with nearly invincible strength. The tradeoff is that they lose their sentience and become completely controlled by Karma in that state. (Image Arcane was turned into the red dragon Sol by Karma and was under his influence for six years.) They have a tendency to take their names from natural objects.
Most demon-elves are very tall (usually slightly taller than an average human), but some are shorter than an average human and it is believed they actually have some control over their height. They live about twice as long as humans due to Karma's incredible power. Many demon-elves believe that if Karma had complete control over all the towers of Phainein, he could grant them immortality.
Demon-elves are generally amongst the most powerful magic users in the world. Although a large portion of their population is concentrated in Aridia, near Karma's Fire Tower, they tend to be nomadic and travel all around Phainein. Some demon-elves live peacefully amongst other races in places like Grimmora and the Aridian Kingdom, but others desire to conquer the world. These megalomaniacal demon-elves often enslave other races, such as Mountaindevils and Earth Demons, by putting them under mind control to use them as pawns and magic familiars in battle.
Desert Elves (aka Light Demons)
Desert Elves were created by the Goddess of Light, Leohtiss. They look very similar to humans with only a few exceptions, the main one being long, pointy ears. If they are imbued with enough of Leohtiss's magical energy they can be transformed into dragons. Some Desert Elves sport dragon-like features, such as claws, horns, or fangs, even if they've never been turned into one. The presence of these features also tends to be more sporadic and asymmetrical than they are in Demon-Elves. For example, it's not unusual for a Desert Elf to have retractable claws on one hand and normal human fingernails on the other, or a single horn on the side of their head and no horn on the other side.
Desert Elves are one of the most peaceful races in existence and get along with other species quite well. Many of them are described as having "cheerful" or "mellow" personalities. Most of them lived in Aridia Kingdom and few moved away because it was such a paradise. Because Leohtiss does not have control over a tower, their magic is not as strong as other magical-blooded species.
Desert Elves enjoy areas with warm climates and are extremely adverse to cold. They usually use normal human names (as opposed to naming themselves after natural objects like Demon-Elves and Mountaindevils do). They wear fancy clothing consisting of light baggy pants and sleeved shirts with a vest, turban, and curly-toed shoes. Sometimes their clothing is imported to other countries and worn by other races because of how comfortable everyone claims it to be.
Unfortunately, the greater part of the Desert-Elf population was wiped out by an attack on Aridia instigated by the Fire God, Karma. There are a few left in existence, with some attempting diligently to rebuild their ruined kingdom.
Earth Demons (aka True Demons)
Earth Demons were created by the God of Stone, Beorthe. Of all the creatures of Phainein, they come in the most various shapes and forms. There are no general features that define them and no two look exactly alike. They are usually humanoid in basic shape, but have any number of extra features such as wings (usually leathery), claws, fangs, horns, fur, odd skin colors or markings, pointed ears, spikes, and tails. Many of them are able to change form to hide these features with some being capable of disguising themselves completely as normal humans. Because of this, they have been able to wheel and deal in some human societies, such as Spochella, where many of them live to be near the Earth Tower that Beorthe has control over. It is also for this reason that it can be difficult to tell if someone is pure Earth Demon or part human.
Earth Demon culture is varied. Some of them are ruthless wannabe world-dominators. These ones usually live by old standards and religions, some of which involve human sacrifices. But others have integrated themselves into modern socities and live peacefully amongst other races. It is not exactly known why they consider themselves to be the "true" demons, since they are no more or less a demon than any other race created by an elemental god.
Earth Demons sometimes use normal human names and other times just whatever they feel like it. They do not have a uniform apparel, but the way they dress can oftentimes be limited to what they can actually wear while in their demon form. (Appendages like wings and tails can be a hinderance.)
Felis (aka Catpeople)
Felis are a subdivision of Zara's beastmen. They are sentient creatures that resemble large cats in particular. The strange thing about the Felis species is that some of them are very humanoid in structure while others remain more catlike and primitive.
Felis tend to be quite rebellious and many of them do not follow along in Zara's armies. Zara does not necessarily even see them as all that useful since they certainly aren't the most powerful of his evolutions. Despite that they do not necessarily fight for Zara, many Felis are still warlike or mischievous, often causing trouble for other races. This is not true of all catpeople, however, as some have integrated into society rather well (especially in the Aridia Kingdom and Grimmora).
Griffins (aka Avian Beastmen)
Griffins are a hybrid that results from crossing an avian with one of Zara's beastmen. They have come to be known as "griffins" due to their resemblance to the legendary creatures that are half eagle and half lion. Although griffins were initially considered outcasts by both races, some of them have banded together to form their own communities. They prefer to live in forested or mountainous areas and they tend to have both Aira's wind magic and Zara's psionic powers. Their general demeanor is closer to that of the boisterous, though amiable avians than the more warrior-like beastmen of Zara's armies.
One curious aspect of griffins is that they like to collect things, perhaps an extension of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. A griffin will often get a fixation on a particular and then collect and hoard that object, such as marbles, seashells, shoes, feathers, coins, pine cones, particular types of rocks, etc.
Humans are pretty much the same in the world of Phainein as they are in the real world with a few exceptions. Some humans on Phainein have developed psychic and/or psionic powers. It is not clear if this has happened through some sort of genetic mutation or evolution, or if the influence of the elemental spirits on the world has somehow imbued them with these powers. While humans don't normally have magic, some have learned to cast spells through wielding artifacts imbued with the blood of magical beings.
Some humans live peacefully with other races, such as in Aridia Kingdom, but many others do not. Tension between humans and non-humans in some areas tends to be very high, with opposing sides threatening each other with death if they dare cross into each other's territories. Humans living in Spochella made a deal with Earth Demons to get energy from the Earth Tower to power their city.
Since humans were the prototypes from which the elemental gods evolved other species, they can often interbreed with other races, usually resulting in creatures that can change form. For example, Robin Calypson and Stefan Ferguson both have a normal human form and a more powerful Earth Demon form.
Lizardmen (aka Dragonmen)
Lizardmen are one of the many types of beast-like warrior races created by the Demon God, Zara. They have been evolved from various forms of reptiles into dragonmen with a very humanoid structure. They are distinguished by their long tails, spikes, fangs, scales, and horns. They are strong and swift and usually have psionic and magical powers.
Most Lizardmen are warlike and join Zara's army at a young age. They fight for world conquest and make no association with other races besides those created and controlled by Zara. (They, however, do believe they are the most superior of all of Zara's species.) Though they are brutish, they also tend to be highly-intelligent, which makes them a very dangerous foe to deal with.
Some Lizardmen have chosen a peaceful existence, but they are considered outcasts and traitors by the warrior clans. Lizardmen warriors have permission to kill anyone branded a "traitor" on sight, which means that those who choose this lifestyle must often go in hiding. Some, like Loro, are so powerful both physically and magically, that other Lizardmen don't approach them.
Loro is a strange case for a Lizardmen as his fascination with man-made objects is very unusual for a species that generally wants no association with humans. Loro's unnaturally strong psionic powers have made him hyper-sensitive to the thoughts and emotions of other creatures, and it led to his desertion from Zara's army.
Mountaindevils (aka Dark Demons)
Mountaindevils were created by the Goddess of Darkness, Darkona. They are very short humanoid creatures (usually between 4 and 4-1/2 feet tall) that are adapted for living in mountain caves. They have large leathery wings, feet with only 3 large toes, sharp teeth, and retractable claws on their hands and feet. Many of them have horns on their heads, although the size, shape, and placement of the horns varies. They tend to be ferocious and cat-like in their mannerisms. Mountaindevils do not have a name for their own species. They were given that name by humans as a sort of derogatory term, because even though they are usually quite reclusive, occasionally bands of them will attack and ransack human settlements.
There are two distinct types of mountaindevils - Aridian and Nispatian. The Aridian type, which live in or near a desert climate, have darker skin, usually about sandy brown in color. The Nispatian type, which live in snow-capped mountains, have pure white "albino" skin. The Aridian types tend to be bulkier and physically stronger, while the Nispatian types are usually sleeker in build, but have stronger magic. It is believed that if Darkona had control over more of the Phainein Towers, she would have continued to adapt mountaindevils for life in other parts of the world, too.
Mountaindevil society is very corrupt. The elders enslave poor families to either work in the mines or their town-raiding armies. If a poor mountaindevil is born with particularly strong magic, he/she might even be sold to another species as a slave, to be turned into a mind-controlled familiar (Demon-Elves, Earth Demons, and Zara's minions are particularly known for engaging in this practice). Breaking even a minor law in mountaindevil society can be punishable by death. Most mountaindevils simply accept this, as they believe that not accepting the fate you were born with is a sign of weakness.
Very few mountaindevils live outside of their own society amongst other races and most that do were just lucky and ambitious enough to be able to escape their situation. If they are imbued with enough of Darkona's magic, they can be turned into larger demons with various shapes (such as Calico King and Banshee). Like Demon-Elves, mountaindevils usually take their names from objects in nature.
Snow Mountain Onis
Onis are one of the most bizarre forms of sentient life on the planet Phainein. It is unclear where they came from, what elemental god (if any) created them, or what they evolved from, and what purpose they're meant to serve. Some believe they may be a prototype of sorts - a failed experiment in evolution started by one of the elemental gods. The Demon God Zara believed they were a "doomsday weapon" created by the spirits of Time and Space. Because of his belief, Zara sent his armies to destroy them and they were hunted to near-extinction.
There are two different types of Onis in the world of Phainein. The Snow Mountain variety have pure white skin and generally are only about 4-1/2 to 5 feet tall when fully-grown. They are highly-adapted for living in cold, rocky mountain climates and terrain. They have large eyes and wide mouths with several rows of sharp teeth, not unlike a shark. They have large feet with only two toes. The toes each have a long spiked claw that can only be retracted about halfway due to the length. Their nose is so blunt that it practically avoids detection, and they have no visible ears.
The other type of Oni have not yet been used in this series, but unlike the Snow Mountain variety, they do not have a distinct set of features that define them. Some can be very large, some very small, and their coloring varies. Neither type of Oni has any kind of magic powers at all.
Onis generally try to live a reclusive peaceful life with nature on Oni Island, and do not allow high technology, especially machines and weapons, in their culture. Many of them are martial arts experts. However, they tend to have a mischievous streak, which has occasionally led to some fleeing the island to find greater freedom elsewhere in the world. Their clothing consists of large robes and coats, traditional "monk" clothing, and hats with tassles. Sandals are the only footwear they possess since anything else won't fit their feet too well.
Although most Onis shy away from the world, they are very sociable with each other. Young Oni children tend to cling to their parents like Koala bears. Dr. Calzoun's phobia of being touched is likely a disorder caused by his abandonment by his parents. His emotional trauma combined with his genius IQ and the general Oni desire to be socially accepted may have fueled his desires for recognition and world conquest.
Synthetics (aka Androids)
Synthetics are humanoid robots created with advanced technology, some of which was given to the human inventor Zimosa by the spirits of Time and Space. Most synthetics were not given any sentience or emotions, and just had simple artificial intelligence (AI) needed to perform the task they were designed for. Many synthetics were used to replace humans working in hazardous conditions.
Early synthetics did not very closely resemble real humans, ergo there was no question about if something was human or android. But as time went on and technology advanced, more human-like models were produced. SAM, the personal assistant of Zimosa, was the most advanced of her kind and was created specifically for working in the Great Phainein Tower.
SAM was also bestowed a new form of AI that was more advanced than that of other synthetics. She would have a wider range of intelligence and emotions, though the extent of them and how much they can be altered and adapt with new experiences is uknown. They were, however, advanced enough to allow SAM (now known as "Samantha"), to go against her initial programming and choose not to assist Zimosa's plans revert the world back to its pre-evolutionary state.
Waterlily Dragons (aka Water Demons, Dragon Elves)
Waterlily Dragons were created by Swan, the God of Water. They are humans that evolved into a dragon-like form with wings and feathers. Their feathers can be white, blue, red, black, yellow, orange, or green, or any combination of those colors. Fully-grown, they are about as tall as an average human although some can become slightly taller. They have long tails with a feathery tuft on the end, long pointed ears, a blunt nose, retractable claws, and sharp teeth. But their most striking feature by far are their large colorful wings. They have some magic power, but it's very weak because Swan was defeated by Zara's army and only has control over the crumbling Ocean Tower. If imbued with enough of Swan's magical power, they can be turned into giant flying dragons.
Waterlily Dragons liked to live around areas close to water, such as forests near lakeshores and swamps. They have been hunted to near-extinction by Zara's armies and other competing species. Jack Sheen is believed to be the last one left in existence. Although they did not often intermingle with other races, they were still considered to be very peaceful, pretty much staying out of other species' business and keeping unto themselves. Waterlily Dragons preferred warm weather and those who lived in climates that turn cold in the winter would usually migrate to warmer areas for those months.
Darlosians come from the planet Darlos. They are basically humans that are only about 4-1/2 feet tall when fully-grown. Almost everyone on Darlos is like that - essentially an entire planet of pygmies. However, they tend to be more resistant to injuries and illness than species on other planets and have greater endurance. They have the potential to become very powerful and strong for their size, too. Though they do not have any known magic or psychic abilities, some Darlosians can burst into flames when they are angry or upset.
The planet Darlos has very advanced technology, including spaceships capable of intergalactic travel. They sometimes find it difficult to be taken seriously by people from other planets because of their diminutive size. Even adults are often mistaken for children, which greatly offends them.
Darlosians were actually the result of a previous attempt by the elemental gods of Time and Space to super-evolve a planet's inhabitants into an "ultimate species". Though the Darlosians have increased endurance, strength, resistance, and some off-the-wall capabilities (such as Tomi Forrester's spontaneous human combustion), Harken and Kin-Liu were not quite satisfied with the results and attempted a more elaborate experiment on the planet Phainein.
Zyrconians come from the planet Zyrcon. They are a lizard-like race of intelligent beings. Their entire planet is controlled by one government, and it is considered by many to be corrupt. Although the government has access to higher technology, most citizens are forbidden to use it, and can be jailed, even sentenced to death, for disobeying the law. When Dr. Lizaki invented a spaceship that would allow for interplanetary travel, he was branded a criminal and a terrorist. He then used his spaceship to escape the planet and crash-landed it on Phainein where he now lives and works as a scientist in Grimmora.
Zyrconians are usually somewhere between 5 and 6 feet tall when fully-grown. Although they stand upright on two legs, they have a slight "hunched-over" posture, due to the bone structure in their necks and the spikes on their backs. Zyrconians are extremely nimble and flexible and can scuttle through narrow passageways, walk on ceilings, and perform other acrobatic stunts with ease.
Though they resemble the lizardman race of Phainein, there appears to be no relation. Lizardmen tend to be more "humanoid" in body structure. Zyrconian body structure is still more lizard-like in shape and nature. Zyrconians also have no magic or psionic powers of any kind, whereas Lizardmen do.