World Info: Teyra

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A few of you here might remember a few old sketches of a particular fantasy world and its inhabitants. Well, I haven’t given up my plans for this world by any means. Over the past few years I’ve been constantly changing and refining my ideas for it, and it’s now drastically different than what it was. Thanks in part to the upcoming 30 Characters Challenge, I decided it would be good to have on hand a summary of the world as it now stands.

The world called Teyra is much like our own, with nearly all the same plants and animals.  The setting is sometime before the onset of the Industrial Revolution.  The world is governed by the four elements: earth, water, air, and fire.  As such, many things come in fours.  There are four gods, four humanlike species, and four special “Elemental” species.  In addition, each element is associated with different traits.  Earth is connected to love and hard work, water to beauty and wisdom, air (wind) to strength and justice, and fire to wits and creativity.

The gods, known as the Dragons, watch over all of Teyra to ensure that the world stays in balance.  They have only been known to appear to mortals rarely, nearly always in an image kind of like—you guessed it—what we could call a dragon in our world.  Keep in mind that the Dragons are gods, and there are no “actual dragons” in Teyra.

At one point in Teyra’s history, a creature came into being that walked on two legs, used its hands readily, and could think and speak in complex ways.  The Dragons saw this creature as very unique and powerful, and thus they decided it should be split into four groups, one for each element, in order to preserve the world’s balance:

1. Elvari, of the air element, are anthropomorphic beings with feline traits.  The structure of the head and face is similar to that of a human, save for the small muzzle.  Elvari have catlike tails and long, tufted ears much like those of a lynx.  Their bodies are coated in fine fur with a cougar-esque coloring scheme.  However, they also have humanlike hair on their heads.  They walk on their toes.……
2. Koyo, of the earth element, are essentially anthro wolves or coyotes.  They are not quite as humanlike in appearance as the Elvari, since they have an almost thoroughly canine head structure and they sport scruffy “manes” down the backs of their necks instead of humanlike hair.  Their fur is thicker than Elvari fur, and they have bushy tails. They also walk on their toes.……
3. Lakerto, of the water element, are turtle-like creatures.  Their scaled skin is usually some shade of green. They have beaks for mouths and hard plates on their backs, remnants of a true turtle’s shell but allowing for more movement. Their tails are pretty short, so they’re usually just left under their clothing.  They walk flat-footed, like humans.……
4. Umani, of the fire element, are pretty much just humans as we know them.  I just game them a Teyran name.…

These four races have their own cultures but often intermingle, though in different amounts. Elvari and Umani typically live together in kingdoms similar to those of medieval Europe.  Koyo generally live in tight-knit autonomous villages, and their culture shares much with those of old North America and Africa.  The Lakerto are very self-sufficient and typically live alone, in couples, or in small family groups wherever they can find a nice shelter; they’re usually quite courteous if they meet others, though, something I modeled off of cultures of the Far East.  All four of these races share a common language.

Every once in a while, a member of one of these races will have magical talents that draw on his or her element.  These individuals are called mages, and they are born, not made.  For most, “unusual occurrences” start to happen somewhere between the ages of nine and fourteen, and once the young mages (or those around them) realize what’s going on, they can look inside themselves and learn to control their power.  About one in every twenty individuals are mages, making up approximately 5% of Teyra’s humanoid population.  Due to their rarity, it is still unknown whether bloodline has any effect on the birth of a mage, though siblings do tend to share the gift.  Though magic can be used in many ways, the different elements are slightly better suited to different applications.  Diviners are typically of the air (Elvari), bodily healers of earth (Koyo), hypnotists or mental healers of water (Lakerto), and illusionists of fire (Umani).

In addition to the humanoid races, there are four Elemental species.  These are precious beings of magic and are quite dear to the Dragons, though few of them know this.  They’re quite intelligent, but like most animals, they run into a communication barrier outside of their own species, and they don’t have any of the fancy tools that the humanoids have.  Every Elemental is adept at using magic in similar ways that the humanoid mages do.

1. Patlani are the Elementals of the air.  These are probably the closest you’ll come to seeing a Teyran “dragon.”  They look much like wyverns, with two wings and two legs, but their wings are feathered like those of giant birds, and their heads and tail tips are also adorned with feathers.  They usually come in shades of green or blue.…
2. Yunsalo are the Elementals of earth.  The best equivalent from our world would be a unicorn.  They look much like large but slender deer, with a single horn curving slightly upwards from the forehead and a small white tail.  They have a bit of a short poofy mane running down their necks, more like that of a zebra or pronghorn than of a horse.  Typical coloration is somewhere between tan and ivory.…
3. Delfina are the Elementals of water.  They are dolphin-like creatures but with much longer and sheerer dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and flukes that are said to trail like silk ribbons through the water.  They also have a pair of these thin fins, though smaller, where a pair of hind legs might be on another animal.  Their basic coloration is teal blue with indigo highlights on the fins.
4. Kimara are the Elementals of fire.  I based these guys partly on the chimaera.  They are big cats with the manes of lions but the fluffy tails of snow leopards.  The manes and tail tips are pure white, and the rest of the body is pale gold with darker gold stripes in a tiger-like pattern.…

Thanks for reading!
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