Abbreviated explainations and definitions of in-universe jargon that pops up often in the story, as well as maps and other visual aids for worldbuilding. Most of this will be explained in story briefly, but as the information can be lost between chapters, it never hurts to have a resource to refer to!
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The Other Side and You
Learn about mage philosophies and their founders.
Fig.1: The Meeting of the Magi. Painted by an anonymous mage that drew it as the mages met and spoke their truths. Unfortunately, the stylized nature of the mural give us little insight into how the elusive sages looked...the only records we have of them are from the dreams of mages over the centuries.
The International Treaty of Miracles and Men- A very important treaty made by two Toverian sages of old. The original copy is framed within the halls of the Arcane Kingdom's castle.
At the height of industrialization, the pair stopped a fierce war mages waged on the Toverian plains to make the treaty and end the resentment mages grew for one another as times modernized. Long story short, both sides poured their hearts out on the plains in a mass gathering of mages. The two sages then gave both sides a role and a name.
Torchbearers were given institutional power, and were charged with the role of making sure magic is used responsibly in political affairs via education and setting up magic based politics. Thaumaturges continued to work in the shadows, making sure no common person found out the truth about the neighbors, calming their rage and illness as smog fills the skies and trees are cut down en masse, as well as defending some parts of nature from mortal expansion as to not awaken the ancient beings of the earth.
The treaty forces both sides to respect the other and even work together to keep magic from harming sublunaries in their own way, as both sides simply want to protect the world they love so much.
Torchbearers- A faction of mages with a heavy emphasis on magic as an institution. They regulate magic law and reason in the many lands of Eostella. They are named for the founder of the school of thought, who, at the start of the modern age, wanted humans to own the world they lived on by making magic a controlled resource, all while living and learning from one another.
They tend to have the average lifespan for whatever species they are, as their magic circuts are not exposed to raw wild magic from neighbors and leylines, which means their bodies circulate magic in a way that allows for them to live normally while also having magic prowess.
Thaumaturges- A faction of mages with a emphasis on underground magic work, dealing with the chaos of magic head on. They defend subulunaries from neighbors, who are still active and sometimes agitated by the newfound power man has over the earth. By doing this, they keep the chaotic, long lost parts of magic away from the mundane folk, who could come to harm or find answers to questions they should never find the answers to.
They are named for their founder, who, at the start of the modern age, saw the way mages were treated for their ability to see and soothe the neighbors, the neighbor's wrath being mistaken for mage envocation in smaller communities for generations, and the punishments they got for these things, and declared that these mages would pull back and help from the shadows.
They tend to live much longer than Torchbearer mages due to their constant exposure to wild magic from neighbors and leylines, which forces them to hone their circuts lest they become destruction incarnate or die from overexposure. By honing their circuts via training, the magic within them is steady, but still wild and poweful, leading to their lives being prolonged.
The Torchbearer- An elusive ancient sage that takes many forms and appears to mages in dreams every once and a while ever since founding their faction. They often appear in orange, yellow, and red clothing, wielding a lantern, or a torch, and in a humanoid form with naturally colored skin. Those who meet them say they are curt, hard to read, and can seem distant yet fatherly and proud at the same time. In dreams, they often seem to be checking on the state of the world and their school of thought. They are worshipped as an extra religious figure in some countries, being absorbed into the local folklore due to the contributions their faction have done for sublunaries and mages alike.
The Thaumaturge- An elusive ancient sage that takes many forms and appears to mages in dreams every once and a while since founding their faction. In contrast to their counterpart, they wear silvers, blues, purples, and whites, holding nothing but often accompanied by an animal companion, and taking an elfin, androgynous form with unnaturally colored skin or a chalky blue-purple animal form (usually a owl, bat, wolf, cat, or rabbit).
Those who meet them say they are very friendly, and have a soothing aura that makes one forget they are a sage of the ages. The Thaumaturge is said to speak to those they appear to like a child or old friend, checking in on how their followers are doing and how relations between the worlds are. Unlike the Torchbearer, Thaumturge worship is niche, and is only found in specific areas of the world, by specific peoples, such as changelings and werefolk. When worship of them leaks into mundane life due to these populations leaving behind traces of worship, they are treated as one and the same as local moon gods, or gods of sanctum, as their faction has fallen into myth and legend.
Learn the different schools within magehood, as they are not as interchangeable as one may think. You may click on a symbol below to skip to a school of your choice.
Fig.2: The symbols for each mage class, as used in mage institutions. These symbols serve as motifs in clothing, stamps, buildings, textbooks, and more in the mage world in order to better organize magedom. Sublunaries simply get a prohibition sign, a reminder that not only can they not use magic, but they are forbidden from ever entering the mage world for their own good.
Magic/Ki/Aether/Mana- An abstract force that puzzles even mages. Said to be the earth's lifestream made form, our own lifestream made form, or the earth's many generations of fertility from the dead made form, it is agreed by most mages to be linked to life, death, and our bodies. Many mages see it as an alternate ruleset to the world, as it allows mortals to get around mundane barriers.
All beings, even the smallest of animals, have a magic circulatory system-an invisible circut system that is juxtaposed on top of our already existing systems, which can decide how much magic potential a being has-this is important for somatic based magic such as cultivation and healing, which is about using the body to get a desired effect in oneself or others, and will based magic that requires one to place one's will within a hex or spell, as translating one's thoughts and will into sigils/incantations is an immense magic feat that works all systems of the body because of the somatic element that comes with feelings.
Most creatures use very minor magic to a degree without really knowing it due to the link between magic, mind, body, and soul, but only those who practice it as a way of life and can use it effectively/with clear intent carry the title of mage. Mortals and Neighbors use magic very differently, despite both being born from the universe.
Mage/Magus- A person who can interpret magic and use it to carry out their will, using it as an alternate ruleset of sorts. The way one interprets magic to turn the abstract into something tangible decides one's discipline. While the names for the mage types are not interchangable, most mages use a mix of crafts, only defined by their primary method of spell casting.
Mages are mortal, and are not a separate race of people-anyone can be a mage so long as they study and train their bodies and minds to interpret magic, but like all talents, some people are born with more proficiency in magic than others due to having stronger magic circuts via genetics or just by luck. Furthermore, mages in both factions support the myth that mages are a separate race to prevent sublunaries from trying to become mages for their own good, and to stop magic from becoming a resource for all to use willy nilly.
Witch/Enchanter- A mage that focuses on using written language to intepret magic and make a desired effect, generally known as Witchcraft. This includes techniques such as embrodering sigils, runes, and phrases into clothing/shoes/accessories, etching symbols onto cauldrons and tables, and using a writing utensil as their arcane wand/focus. Witches can be aligned with Thaumaturges or Torchbearers, which decides whether they live among nature, by themselves, in a coven, or among mundane folk.
Thaumaturge witches live alone in nature or in covens, and use their magic to provide enchanted clothes and spread arcane knowledge across their networks-they also dabble in medicine for their friends and neighbors alike. Torchbearer witches are formidible battlemages that utilize their enchanting for enhancing military clothing, protecting/warding towns from neighbors, and sealing documents with magic seals/sigils.
Druid/Shapeshifter- A mage that acts as the Thaumaturge counterpart to wizards, and are practitioners of Druidry, a craft with focus on studying the magic world, ancient ruins, magic anamolies in nature, warding magic, and nature as an extention of their bodies.
Once taking up the original niche wizards did in their societies, now shafted in favor of them, these mages focus on monitoring ecosystems, documenting landmarks, history, and neighbors, all while creating self sufficient, well hidden communities in the middle of biomes that enable this work. They often shapeshift/interact with the magic within nature (ex. using the magic within rocks to climb walls like a lizard) to make this work easier and to get in touch with themselves. They share all information they gather with other Thaumaturges to make their jobs easier, and save this information throughout the generations of druids to come.
Wizard/Researcher- A mage that acts as the Torchbearer counterpart to druids, and are practitoners of Wizardry, a craft with a focus on studying the magic world, magic artifacts, alchemy, neighbors, and how this information can be utilized by mages in the future.
These knowlegable mages boast being the founders of mage institutions, and pass down knowledge via educational systems and tomes full of their findings. Wizards, like druids, document a whole slew of arcane knowledge and history, which helps mages across generations understand magic more and more each century, but unlike druids, they live in cities among fellow mages and alongside sublunaries, and their knowledge is treasured on an institutional scale as opposed to druid knowledge.
Somaturge/White Mage- A rare mage discipline that specializes in healing by using somatic based magic. This craft is known as Somaturgy or "White" magic. Most use the magic generated from within or from an object (and sometimes from neighbors) to heal others and/or themselves, though homemade medicine made via alchemy is also common.
As this magic is banned in most institutions due to tragic incidents with body based magic in the past when it was popular in mage institutions, somaturges are low in number, their history only recorded by druids and wizards, and are only allowed to pratice healing magic in Thaumaturge circles after pledging themselves to the same doctor's pledge sublunary doctors make. As such, they are Thaumaturge aligned, are usually from a family or clan of practitioners, and have worked hard to use their magic for good.
Be that as it may, even among Thaumaturges trust must be built, as body based magic is deeply intimate. Their role among Thaumaturges is to provide medical care to their peers in an ethical manner (especially during battle, and for those with odd bodies and can't be treated by normal or even mage hospitals), and to provide medical care and even euthanizing services to hurting neighbors. They usually live in nature in a small cabin/apothecary combo, where they can gather materials and practice alchemy and somatic magic with a mentor or alone.
Not only is somaturgy banned within institutions, but Torchbearers do not need Somaturges, as they have robust medical systems for mages and magic-based diseases, and most Torchbearers don't have oddities that a hospitals for mages can't fix, as opposed to Thaumaturges, whose bodies have many oddities institutions can't handle thanks to living so close to the other side.
Paladin/Crusader- Battlemages that swear fealty to a deity, and operate on their morals. Considered one of the Torchbearer equivilents to Theurgists, these gallant people work as holy warriors that serve the people by utilizing the only major theurgy allowed in all of the realms.
By praying, giving offerings, and chanting holy incantations, paladins can heal ailments, protect themselves from impure beings, and perform miracles like Theurgists can, all by the power of their faith, which allows them to borrow power from their gods. Paladins are usually born of the most pious of clergy who also have magical and physical prowess. Most neighbors, old gods especially, dislike them-they are only favored by the gods they swear to live for.
Cleric/Priestess- Holy mages that utlize their dedication to a diety to cast magic. Considered one of the the Torchbearer equivilents to Theurgists, these men and women call on a diety or figure instead of the beings around them, and are usually a part of an organized, widespread sect.
Clerics often dislike and decry the neighbors, who are usually old spirits who have long since lost their power over the land in favor of a new figure. Like theurgists, the powers they wield is based on their patron, but unlike theurgists, their powers are allowed by the state, their relationship with their patron is usually formal and organized, and they tend to use their powers for healing, purification, warding, and spiritual support. Clerics are also disliked by the neighbors, as they played a part in their loss of power over the land.
Theurgist/Envoker/Summoner/Shaman- A rare mage discipline that specializes in calling on the neighbors for various reasons, practitioners of Theurgy. Considered one of, if not the oldest discipline, it has fallen out of popularity and has been outright banned in many countries due to the fickle nature of gods, spirits, and fae.
Minor theurgy, such as ancestor worship or pagan beliefs is tolerated, as this alone rarely envokes a spirit, but major theurgy, such as calling on a being via a sigil or incantation is forbidden. The only major thuergy allowed is institutonal theurgy, as seen when clergy use bendication and the like.
Mages of this type are the most scarace in number, to the point where not much is documented about mentor styles or communal styles. What is known about them, however, is that they usually have a strong link to the other side, they are usually not fully human, and that they call on the neighbors to do things mages can't do on their own, such as elemental casting, traveling through leylines, and unique alchemical recipes incorparating items from their plane. Beings from the other side call them shamans, envokers, summoners, and ironically, priests/priestesses.
Fledgeling- A sublunary that shows potential for magehood, or is currently making a transition into mage life. Also used to describe people who are on the fence about becoming mages. In some countries, being a mage means a good salary, so this stage doesn't last long. This label is usually dropped when one becomes a student, where the mage is then called by their craft/discipline (or, they are called fledgeling [discipline name here], though now most people just say young [discipline]).
Sublunary- A person that can't use magic. They are barred from magic conversations and politics, and rely on mages to handle it. Sharing knowledge with them is forbidden, as mages would like to keep their powers regulated and kept away from them for their own sanity and safety.
They are generally aware that magic and Torchbearer mages exist, but they not only don't know how to access the magic world and magic itself, they also have long since lost belief in neighbors and Thaumaturge mages, thinking them fairy tales, or ancient history, if they do believe in them at all. This leaves them vulnerable to arcane trickery and manipulation from neighbors and mages that mean them harm. Mages have a responsibility to protect them from any and all magic affairs for this reason. Even royalty often is included in this category, as mages do not trust even their lieges to be responsibile with magic, unless an heir is born with magic potential, like Floris the XIII in The Little Guild on the Hill
While most sublunaries, royals included, are okay with not having access to magic and leaving it in the hands of Torchbearers (and unknowingly, in the hands of Thaumaturges as well), in many places magehood gives good pay and authority, which makes many want to find a way into magedom. On top of this, sublunaries, especially those that are interested in magic's roots, those who run newspaper columns on the occult, those who have an interest in neighbors, and those who pratice faux magic, would like to get even the slightest glimpse of the mage world to fuel their curiosity.
Learn about Tovera's peoples and religion.
Fig.3: A map of Tovera. The image above is a work in progress. Currently shown are the capital of the country, a few towns and cities, and the capital of each province, where the the families of the now intergrated four kingdom's nobles and royal families reside and rule only in name as duchies. Most of the duchies now have the blood of the founder flowing through them to an extent, however.
The Founder- The first monarch of the Floridian Dynasty, and the first monarch of the Toverian Empire, known as the Arcane Kingdom of Tovera in modern times. Originally a settler from Albion, Floris I went on to unite the four largest kingdoms in the land, the myriads of ethnic groups in and around them, and oddfolk nations under one banner, creating a large legacy to come. He is now worshipped in Tovera as a god-king, and his friends and lover have risen to his side as important religious figures as well.
Floridianism- The largest religion in Tovera, which venorates the god-king Floris I and his friends and lover. The religion focuses on honoring ancestors, upholding the same virtues the Founder and his friend represented, and guiding scions of the royal family down a good path as they rise to become king. Priests and nuns are all color coded based on dedication to the religion, and what sector they work in. Usually, the crown prince serves as a figurehead for the church before he rises to be king.
The Virtues- A term for the Founder's closest friends and allies, who were model Toverian citizens. Each comes from one of the great four kingdoms of the land, and were highly regarded among their people.
While the Virtues includes the Founder, most people, when exclaiming this, are referring to Adelgunde, his lover and the first queen, and Ferdinand and Norbine, his two closest friends. Each of them represent compassion/wisdom/knowledge and the color blue, freedom/expression/play and the color green, and power/strength/bravery and the color red respectively. The Founder is represented by white and represents all of these qualities, making him an ideal leader and even fatherly figure.
Floridian Dynasty- Any year after Floris I, first monarch of the Toverian Empire and his family reigned. In universe, this is our equivilent to the 1650's to the current era, which, in The Little Guild on The Hill is the mid 1900's.
The Four Kingdoms- The main kingdoms that existed in the land before they were united under the Empire's banner. Each was built from the four most powerful and influencial peoples on the land, the Toverina, the Lagaoso, the Selabol, and the Ichor. Today, the capital cities of each is now a duchy/territory within the kingdom "ruled" by the descendants from the original rulers and a few relatives of the Founder.
Fig.4: An assortment of dwarves. Most live in the mountains, where the temperature can be chilly. As such, they wear lots of furs. They decorate their horns with gems and ribbons. As they get older, they take on bovine or caprine traits, and according to tradition, horns are allowed to grow large as opposed to younger people as a way to celebrate their rich, long life.
"Oddfolk"/Humanoids- A term that refers to mortals that are not in the homo sapiens species. Like humans, the oddfolk evolved from or are related to many other animals, but have the benefit of eventually evolving into a humanoid body. They are most numerous in Tovera, as the many structures institutionally and physically allow for an easier life there due to the high populations of oddfolk in the past, cementing them as citizens of the kingdom, and because not many other countries can accomodate them like Tovera can.
Oddfolk and humans generally get along in the world of Eostella, but there are many laws in place that ask oddfolk to act and look as human as possible as to help mages keep order among sublunaries of both species. The oddfolk take a more traditional Tolkien race look by day, but behind closed doors, in their own communities, in bars aimed at them, and the for the boldest, at night even in public, they take on their more animal-like traits. Thanks to this, many people have met or seen oddfolk but are unaware that they are until told or when this form is seen. Elves, orcs, halflings, dwarves, half-oddfolk and misc. beastfolk all fall under this category.
In mage circles, there are MANY more people that fall under this category, but is not known by the public due to the arcane nature of their existence, such as werefolk/people inflicted by lycanthropy, vampires/people that have contracted vampirism, changelings, and half-neighbors. The oddfolk have often lived among human settlments and kingdoms no problem, and have even made their own societies sprinkled between human ones, but much of their history has been lost to the ages unless they made a large settlment that rivaled a human one, which is a heavy point of resentment in institutions. In the case of supernatural oddfolk, they have become myth and legend.
"Beastfolk"- A subtype of oddfolk, sentient people who take the form of anthropormophic animals. Unlike the more known oddfolk, these folk often live with only oddfolk or among supernatural oddfolk, as they have harder time taking on a human form, their animal-like nature is much more pronunced compared to most oddfolk, and there are not many accomodations for them compared to most oddfolk. They too are decendants of animals and are blessed with evolving into a humanoid form, but their humanoid form is still too animal-like to be accomodated as far as some institutions are concerned.
They differ from were-people, who are usually homo sapiens who have been bitten by a supernatural being and/or simply were born with another form, and can shift between human and beast at will. People know of them, and their terms with humans are decent, but their needs falling through the cracks have made living with humans a hard endeavor-most live in the country or with other oddfolk types, away from the human gaze. While all oddfolk have prejudices thrown their way and vice versa, beastfolk get the most scrutiny outside of the Arcadia and Ferkona Provinces. Beastfolk tend to be canids, felines, and avians.
Toverina Clan- Indigenous creators of the largest kingdom and ethnic group in Tovera, from old times to now. So powerful are they that they shaped the language and culture of Tovera as people know it, overshadowing their fellow indigenous people. Today, most Toverians have some Toverina heritage. Their capital was Abulosa, now the capital of the entire Arcane Kingdom.
Lagaoso Clan- An indigenous group of people that lived around the lakes and even beaches of Tovera, creating a maritime/lakeside kingdom that excelled in aquaculture and travel. Lady Adelgunde of the Virtues was a priestess in their former capital city, Roselake (Aka Roslagos), which honored the rumored god of the Lake of Roses. Due to the union of the Founder and his Lagaosian wife, many people have the blood of these people as well.
Selabol Clan- An indigenous group of people that live in Tovera's rainforests and forests. Known for their expert foraging, hunting, and their oddfolk-friendly society, the Selabol are considered the most crafty and kind clan of them all. Sir Ferdinand was of this clan, and was a consult to the royal family as head bard-mage in the capital of Boscuta. Most people descended from them live in Tovera's north.
Ichor Clan- An indigenous group of people that live in Tovera's mountains, so high that snow eclipses the peaks. The Ichor were notable for being a magic based clan, who pioneered wizard-like ways of researching magic long before other clans due to the mysteries of Tovera's mountains. Eventually, they made a mage kingdom, and were powerful to behold.
Norbine of the Virtues is from this clan, and was a student at one of their mage schools before befriending Floris in the capital of Hechea. Due to their powerful weaponry, initial hostility to the Founder, and oppressive war strategies, the Ichor today are a heavily disliked people, despite a Virtue being one of them-most of their descendants hide their lineage.
Wyver Clan- An indigeous group of people that also live in Tovera's mountains, though they live in the southern range near dwarf settlements. One of the smaller clans of the nation, they never made a kingdom, instead making a small society in the mid range of the southern mountains. They are known for believing they are descendants of dragons, and thus, their tribe is heavy on worshiping these ancestors.
Tovera's mage government has allowed the higher ups in the clan to take care of dragon eggs and hatchlings, as this clan has done it for generations and hatch healthy wyrms, but the clan is stingy about giving the beastial neighbors over for study and observation. They are a rare example of magedom allowing sublunaries some authority over magic affairs.
Amphibos/Anfini Clan- An indigenous group that lives close to where the Lagaoso kingdom was. They live directly on the beaches of the land and on the smaller islands off the coast. They too are known for their aquaculture and expert traveling skills, records showing that they were voyagers for centuries before settling on Tovera's beaches and coastal islands. It was said that their ancestors were fish beastfolk that could take a more human form on land, hence their name. They are related to the people of Keona ethnically.
Tinktonka Clan- A notable oddfolk clan made of dwarves. Though many kingdoms incorperated oddfolk specialties, the Tinktonka were notable for helping the founder directly on his architectural projects. As these dwarves specialized in mountain navigation and travel technology beyond what many have seen, their work allowed for advanced technology in the empire at a time where many other countries were only getting started.
Paluvera/Munavera/Sedavera- Three small oddfolk kingdoms in what is now the Ferkona province. Made of elf types, the kingdoms had a large focus on living among nature due to the bug and plant-like qualities elves have. Paluvera was home to the light elf kingdom, the citizens of which boasting bright wings. Munavera was home to the dark elves, who boasted dark wings and many limbs. Sedavera was home to the wood elves, who thrive in the sun. Today, most elves live in these areas, in the former capitals of each kingdom-Silvergrove City, Moongrove City, and Silkthicket City.
The Other Side and You
Learn about what constitutes the "other side" of the "veil."
Neighbors- Any being that is not native to the mortal plane, or has once lived in it and left for another in ages past. Generally speaking, this includes gods, elemental spirits, ghosts, and fae. Mythical beasts are included in this category for convenience, especially since many spirits that take the form of animals, but this term is mostly for spirit type folk/beings in most contexts.
Thaumaturges work with these beings, monitoring their disposition and movements to prevent sublunaries from coming to harm. The best of Thaumaturges are on first-name basis with important, powerful neighbors, which is a great honor, as names are important when it comes to affairs with them.
Planes- The many layers of existence in the world. Some are juxaposed and invisible on top of the mortal one, and others are parallel to the mortal plane and can be accessed via portals. The plane of dreams, the plane of fae, and the veil juxtaposed on top of the mortal plane are the most common planes that come up in mage issues.
Very few beings and people can see portals to other planes and jump from plane to plane, changelings being one of them. In modern times, portals to planes are hard to find, as they are usually found in places humans have abandoned or can't find. Part of the Thaumaturge's duty is to monitor these portals and learn about the planes of existence to prevent neighbors from wreaking havoc.
Spirits- A non-material being that is usually invisible to humans. Spirits are a large category, and most neighbors fall under it. Spirits come in many shapes, sizes, and, if powerful enough, levels of physicality on the mortal plane, and are born in many different ways. Ghosts are born of mortal regret, spirits of the elements are born from the earth's elements gaining a will, some spirits are born of a child's first laugh, and others are born of mortal will and love. The types of spirits encountered, the rules they operate on, how to repel them or gain their favor, and what they are named varies from location to location and how they are born to begin with.
Generally speaking, if a mage is speaking of a god or fairy, they will be called as such instead of being called a "spirit"-everything else, such as ghosts, spirits with monsterous/animal-like forms, inanimate objects with a will, elementals, and spiritual beings that are hard to define will be referred to as a spirit.
"Good Folk"/Daione Sidhe/Sidhe/Ao si/Fairies- A legendary folk that appear in legend after legend. These folk are a race of gods born of the goddess Danu that have been driven out of the lands of Ierene. Some left for Tir na Nog, a slab of the fairy plane in the mortal one, and some remained, being given homes in mounds of Ierene by their leader at the time, the Dagda. Because of this, they are now called "fairies," the "aos sidhe", the "good folk," or, depending on gender, "fer sidhe" (man of the hill) or "ban sidhe" (woman of the hill).
These days, the label of fairy includes a whole manner of folk that share the fairy plane with the Tuathe De's descendants, so when referring to the fae of Ierene and Albion in specific, "Good Folk" and "Sidhe" are used to separate them from one another. "Fairy" as a term is considered an undesireable label to these folk, and is only used by those who don't respect them or aren't in the know.
Gods- A supreme spirit or a physical being of divinity, the universe's concepts made manifest or a divine species of sorts (sometimes, gods can and often are both). These spirits and divine folk can command the earth, their bodies, and the space around them in ways minor spirits and mortals cam't, usually due to being a uniquely powerful/old supreme spirit in one's domain/element, or because the family/clan the gods come from has a grasp on magic mortals can't accomplish thanks to the knowledge being lost to time, or because the god's way of using it is not able to be replicated by mortals to begin with due to differences in the body, mind, or soul. Gods of the spirit variety tend to have a physicality many spirits don't either due to their power, but many gods are born from divine/supreme flesh and blood, and are a part of a large clan or family, such as the Teteo, the Theoi, and the People of Danu.
Gods gravitate towards places that embody their concepts/domains/most skilled asset best-music gods adore concerts and street perfomances-gods of death loom over graveyards-this allows them to manifest if only for a little while. However, once they have observed their element in the flesh and the event concludes, they are back to their own plane, more often than not.
Most gods in modern times are too tired and weak to operate outside of the planes they live in, can only manifest when they are near their embodiment in a high volume, or are already dead/dying-as such, they often appear as spirits despite having a physical body or being able to create one due to the strain of leaving/manifesting outside of their godly realms. This being said, if one manages to manifest, many could be in danger, even if it is a benevolent one thanks to the amount of power they wield just by existing.
Changelings- A rare type of oddfolk that is also considered a mage species of sorts, who have been snatched away at birth and swapped with a neighbor, left this plane and a neighbor took their place, or have been whisked away by angry gods/spirits/fae. Whatever the case may be, changelings live their lives in the opposite plane for a spell, changed fundementally by it-the mortal is usually made into a pseudo-neighbor by living in a world that isn't their own, and the neighbor gets a taste for mortal life.
The mortal side of the changeling swap, now no longer human, are often very troubled people, who live short lives once they return (if they manage to) due to lack of resources-it is for this reason that they are not a common type of oddfolk on the Mortal Plane, and if they are found, they are usually in cahoots with a few other changelings and/or oddfolk, or, tragically, they are already dead.
In the mortal world/plane, changelings are just fairy tales, but mages know of them and keep their eyes peeled on them for good and bad reasons, as changelings have many dangerous abilities that could endanger or greatly help mortals. They are classified as a type of neighbor or even creature by mages.
Siofra/Larlias- An older term used to refer to changelings. This term is used exclusively for people spirited away by the fair folk, especially those that roam Ierene, Gwirdinn, and Albion. Rarely do older/more powerful fae call changelings "changeling," as this word is mortal made and thus is very new as opposed to siofra or larlias. This applies all over the world, no matter the language-the archaic word for a spirited away child is used by beings rather than changeling.
"The Veil"- A thick sheet of glamour that bends and twists to keep neighbors and other anamolies on the mortal plane hidden from sight. When seen, it looks like a large, white or iridescent translucent sheet. Neighbors and those adjacent to them in species can use this to stay hidden from enemies and those they don't want to be seen by. Mages can see through it, but it takes years of training to pierce it.
Glamour- A form of magic that neighbors use to obscure their true forms. It can be a form of temporary shapeshifting, or a simple illusion made by hiding their true forms/parts of their true forms behind the veil. This is handy for fooling humans and walking around them without taking up too much space or causing a ruckus.
Leylines/"The Weave"- A roadmap of how magic flows through an area, country, or continent. This, combined with the veil, allows for neighbors to take shortcuts mortals can't, as leylines don't account for human made structures-they simply flow through the air, sky, sea, and earth like magic paths, no matter what is in the way. Leyline health determines how powerful the neighbors and mages of an area are. A healthy ecosystem, healthy people, and healthy neighbors are a sign of a healthy leyline.