Strengths:The Ethereals are strong with the race magic of Calligramancy and are reduced by one for any casting time, making the first level instant for them. (Ethereals who do not wish Calligramancy may switch out Spirit Magic for it.) The casting reduction does not stack with other casting time reduction powers. All Ethereals can see and hear into the Spirit Realm, and some can enter it (though not the Yokai, until they become the Kodai, since half of themselves is already IN the Spirit Realm). Entering the Spirit Realm bodily takes a long ritual that can not be done during combat or a normal scene. Ethereals can sometimes call upon the Spirits to reach across the "mists" into the mundane realm and assist them in small ways. Ethereals have a mild "veiling" power which allows them to appear human if they desire. They also have a "fair escape" clause when in the Depths or woods beyond the dome, meaning that if they are not being grappled and held in place, they can disappear into the woods if attempting to flee a scene, and not be immediately subdued (though they can be tracked over time).
Weaknesses: Ethereals are also very weak to Calligramancy, and any Calligramancy cast upon them has a larger affect. This can be useful when the Calligramancy is positive in nature, however. Ethereals can not start with more than one skill from the technology tree, though they may purchase other technology skills over time. They are additionally extra allergic to Xi Radiation, and must take twice as many AntiRads as other races when visiting the Reach.
Yokai: Live up to 1000 years then reincarnate
Sylvani: 500-1000 years
Djinn: Do not age, but can die.
One must imagine coming to Juniper through a portal as being put through a sorting algorithym by forces that don't always know exactly what you are. Out of the millions of different races in millions of universes, the magics put into the portal to transfer a being from one Realm to another are only so strong. So without a good idea of what you are, the portal takes a look at various traits. What magics you have and what their sources are, what your genetics are like, what other realms you are connected to, and so forth, all feed into what the portal has decided you must be when you come out the other side. In the case of the Ethereals, the most defining trait of all of those who would become Ethereals was a deep connection to the Spirit Realm or the main forces which feed into the Spirit Realm - the elements. Those races who would become the Ethereals, whether they knew it or not, had similar backgrounds, and similar sensibilities. All of the Ethereals had a brush with enslavement, captivity in some form. All of the Ethereals had similar powers to keep them hidden from society. And all of them had a deep connection to nature, and whether they knew it or not, the Spirit Realm. The story of the Ethereals is one of suffering and loss, but a capacity for great achievement. Some people say that the fabric of magic itself is woven into the Spirit Realm. Whether or not they will ever come together as a people, or remain as disperate races simply lumped together by a portal is hard to say. A great racial identity could possibly be forged around protecting nature and the natural, upholding and venerating old traditions and gods lost, and becoming stewards of the Spirit Realm. But, it's also possible that these groups will never come together in any real way, and will always remain a trio of disperate races lumped together by circumstance.
Many of the Ethereals join the Thorns, in order to continue to be close to nature and to carry out what they feel is a deeply necessary function in society. On the other hand, some do make their way upwards. Nature is everywhere, after all, and purpose expands over time with curiosity and personal development. There's more than a few Ethereals who are now scientists in the Reach, working to figure out how to combat Xi Radiation and grow food where food does not normally grow.
The Ethereals have no centralized leadership, as most races don't in this new world. However, it is not uncommon for Ethereals to form camps or clans, either dedicated towards a single purpose, or simply for camaraderie. If you wish to form an Ethereal clan, please contact the Storyteller staff for assistance.
Kodai (Formerly Yokai)
Background: The Yokai were a peculiar race. They were never meant to exist in the world of mankind. In the beginning, when the kami Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto came together to create Japan, they were not just rising islands from the sea, but pulling them up from another realm altogether. This Realm was the Spirit Realm. And with the land, they ripped the spirits out of their homeland, putting them upon the land of men and charging them with the sacred task of keeping men honest, and loyal, and faithful. But, in order to remain in this world, the Yokai's true soul had to be fused with a second soul, created by the kami to be bound to the mortal realm. This Silver Cord was a lifeline, allowing them to return to the mortal realm again and again, being born over and over so that they would never truly lose all of their magic and knowledge over time.
But the truth of the matter is...the Yokai are not from Japan. Not in the way mortals know Japan. The Yokai are from the Spirit Realm, and Japan was always a second home. It was, certainly, a place where they did their best to discharge the sacred duties given to them by the kami, but... Knowledge of their true homeland was lost over time, replaced by necessity with the intricate knowledge of the culture, place, and people that they oversaw.
When the Yokai found the Silver Cord broken by the encroach of the Dark, they quickly realized that the world was changing. Many of them were lost to that tide of change. Some became corrupted, some died fighting for Japan, or protecting their han. When the Third Dark War swept across the face of the planet, the Yokai had (just in time) learned to retreat back into the Spirit Realm. And many of them did this, sending one of their souls into the Spirit Realm on a journey of hope, a journey that some part of themselves would find the answers to all that plagues them. There was a phrase, a mantra, a call that enticed them. "The Kodai. Find the Kodai. Your soul will be healed when the truth is known." Kodai. Meaning 'ancients'. The Spirit Realm creatures that had been twisted and formed into the Yokai still exist, somewhere deep in the Spirit Realm. The original race, before the kami decided to pull them to the world of the living, still roam deep in the overgrown paths of that dangerous land. Ostensibly, going in far enough would mean that a Yokai would be able to undo what they once were, and become once again the ancient version of their race.
Unfortunately, that journey is going to take quite a while. Everything with the Yokai is always hidden, and the Kodai are hidden deeply, purposefully forgotten by the Yokai to protect against the incursion of the Onmyoji. And until the Kodai are found, many of the Yokai have found themselves split down the middle. While one of their souls is roaming the Spirit Realm, looking for their Kodai ancestors, the other soul is very much stuck in the real world, facing the real dangers of Juniper -- at least, for those who went through the portal.
For the following subraces, the Yokai will be allowed to transfer from CV2. However, no new Yokai will be allowed. Kodai races will be created down the line, will have a similar Asian flare, and the Yokai will be allowed to freely race transfer at that time, if they wish. Otherwise, the Yokai operate in a degraded mode, without subrace abilities due to the fact that they are currently literally split in two. If the Yokai does not want to wait for the Kodai races to emerge, and does not wish to play without a subrace trait, they are allowed a FREE transfer to any other CV3 race upon transfer from CV2. Yokai look like their true form, and only have one form, but like all people in Juniper, can utilize magic or technology to change their appearance.
Kitsune: These fox-like Yokai are said to be imbued with inner wisdom. With each century that passes, they grow another tail, up to nine. When the ninth tail comes in, they often change colors, usually white or gold, but there have been reports of black and silver nine-tailed kitsune as well. The kitsune are often credited with being the ones who found the best ways to trick the Onmyoji into releasing trapped and imprisoned Yokai. Kitsune are clever, regal, and witty. However, their vicious wit and penchant for playing tricks often gets the better of them. It has left almost all Kitsune with some sort of curse that can not be removed, placed upon them by those who have become vindictive regarding the tricks played upon them.
Bakeneko: It is said that when the silver cords for the Bakeneko were being braided, theirs came slightly unraveled. This unraveling is evident in the fact that most of them have two tails. Cat-like in nature, the bakeneko are said to represent a link to the world beyond, the mysterious Things Unseen in this world. When pleased, they purr, and when angered, their claws are sharp. They are often highly skilled in the occult but...also are known to be, most unfortunately, habitual kleptomaniacs. They generally will return items that are stolen, but only if asked directly to do so by the person they stole it from. Often, as a romantic token, they begin presenting their desired mate with the items they stole. The more valuable the object, the more esteem the Bakeneko holds for them.
Inugami: A dog is typically a faithful, trusted friend. Inugami can be just that, a loyal and faithful friend, a protector and companion. Often Inugami could be found in the households of noble mortal families, where they took on the role of bodyguard or watch dog, in return for creature comforts and the dedication and kindness of a good companion. But living with a single family from generation to generation can turn bad. There's invariably someone who feels they can mistreat or take advantage of the Inugami's faithful nature. They often find themselves the targets of an Inugami's wrath, to the point where the eradication of several noble families were attributed to the Inugami. Wild Inugami are rare, and even after losing a family, Inugami rarely stay wild for long. To do so means they might become like the Hidden Yokai, too lost in madness to be of use to anyone.
Kirin: Kirin, mythical dragon-like horses with horns or antlers, are some of the most peaceful creatures in existence. They come in a number of colors and shapes, but generally all have horns, often have feathers or scales instead of fur, and appear much like a horse in their true form. The problem with Kirin is that they were hunted by the servants of the Onmyoji almost to extinction. Now, there are only a few Kirin left. Every part of the Kirin is useful in magic. It's horns, scales, feathers, hooves, skin, blood, all is powerful reagents. It is believed that only a few Kirin remain. All Kirin are vegetarians, as eating meat will cause them to become ill, and most Kirin are pacifists.(Kirin are no longer prohibited against violence, since they no longer have the peaceful aura.)
Kappa: Whilst the Mer are creatures of the sea, Kappa are freshwater creatures. They range in color from yellow, to green, to blue, and often are depicted as having the features of salamanders or turtles in their true form. They are strict adherents to etiquette and are intensely polite. However, when rudeness crops up, or oaths are not fulfilled, Kappa can and will turn violent, and their usual form of violence tends to involve drowning their target. They are often depicted holding cups of water, or having a hole in the top of their head to contain water, though they do not actually have such a hole. They simply tend to carry a measure of water because they must drink a great deal of it to keep their skin from drying out. Because of their politeness, Kappa are often chosen to be negotiators among the Yokai.
Oni: If the Inugami are the protectors among the Yokai, then the Oni are the attackers. The goon squad. The people you send to do the dirty work. Often equated to trolls or ogres by westerners, Oni are often intensely strong. In true form they appear as red, black, or blue, with short horns and often yellow eyes, and highly muscular. They carry thick clubs rather than blades, because their attacks often lack precision despite the strength and thus -- they are prone to breaking swords. They are sometimes a bit crude and foul mouthed and for this reason, they often are at odds with the Kappa. In modern times, Oni have often taken to the inner cities, becoming members or leaders of gangs. As buff and crude as they nonetheless are, Oni have a soft spot for the truly weak and helpless, and will often begrudgingly come to their aid when in distress.
Tengu: Birdlike creatures of the remote mountains, Tengu are often associated with asceticism, and often ascetic Buddhism. In the early days, they were mistaken for the spirits of deceased monks or ronin samurai living in the mountains. And true, they share many qualities with these sorts of people. Tengu often have beaks or feathers, and birdlike feet in their true form, and can fly short distances. Many comparisons have been drawn between Tengu and Harpies, though where Harpies are more often female, Tengu are more often male. Though, one of the most famous Tengu is Ayumi-san, a talented female warrior who disguised herself as a samurai. They tend to be strict adherents to law and rules, but will deviate from these things should honor require it. Unlike samurai, who traditionally carried a katana and wakizashi, Tengu tend to carry only one or the other.
Jorogumo: Also known derogatively as "Spider Whores" due to a rather succesful Onmyoji smear campaign, the Jorogumo can be male or female, and usually have intense beauty in their upper body, though their lower body is often that of a spider. Though their form and seduction often is used to lead people to their doom, they also are often champions and defenders of abused women and children, often willingly agreeing to get vengeance for them if they agree to give the Jorogumo "a thing of beauty". They can not turn into tiny spiders, but they often have a handful of loyal spider pets that will do their bidding, including biting their target on their behalf.
Long before the time of the Ancient Greeks, there came into existence the creatures who are now called Sylvani. There are many theories as to how they came to be. For a long time, the Sylvani themselves claim to be children of gods, usually Greek or Roman gods, who mated with humans. Other theories suggested that they arrived through a portal to another world, or that their creation was an accident of magic. However, the truth was a little of both. The truth is that the Sylvani were, like all Ethereals, a race of the Spirit Realm. Their area of the Spirit Realm was dying due to the related area in the mundane world being mistreated by the world of men. Seeing this, the Greek Gods spied an opportunity. Instead of spending much of their magical energy to make a great many Celestials, they instead agreed to bring the Sylvani fully into the mundane Earth Realm in exchange for loyalty and service. They would give the Sylvani the power needed to fight what mankind had done to the natural areas. This would allow the Sylvani to restore the land, and in doing so, restore the peace and prosperity in the linked section of the Spirit Realm. The Gods would work on healing the Sylvani homeland as well, from the Spirit Realm side. The two-pronged attack would, hopefully, allow the Sylvani to someday return to the Spirit Realm and to their home.
However, the Greek Gods also wanted to expand their power. They had their eyes on a realm known as the Bright Lands. Knowing they could not go there themselves without risking war with the gods of that Realm, they sent the Sylvani, as ambassadors and spies, trying to find a way to expand their influence into the Bright Lands area.
During the early years, the Sylvani moved seamlessly between the Bright Lands and Earth. They were usually led by a King or Queen, often a Satyr, though the monarchy was shaky and held little power overall.
Nonetheless, the Sylvani formed an important treaty with one of the major races of the Bright Lands, the Elementals, early on, giving them access to citizenship in the Bright Lands. When a civil war erupted between the Elementals, the Sylvani came to help sort things out. In doing so, they were trapped in the Bright Lands when the Mages and Fae sealed that realm off from the rest of the world. Things fell apart for the Sylvani after that. Now that they were cut off from the Greek Gods, they had less power backing. The Sylvani's former Elemental allies turned on them, seeing them as easy targets. The Sylvani were subjugated by the Elementals, enslaved at different levels by the Elemental Kingdoms (Fire, Water, Air, and Earth). For the next thousands of years they remained in bondage.
Many years later, the Sylvani fled their Elemental masters returned to Earth. Many of them left behind families and friends, not knowing if they would ever see them again. They returned to Earth with really no knowledge of the modern world. Small communities of Sylvani known as Glades sprung up to assist the Sylvani with reincorporating with the modern world.
A leadership arose in the form of a great warrior known as Kara Whitehoof. With the help of Sylvani scholars, an ancient Sylvani settlement was found - Parnassus. And from the ruins of Parnassus, scholars pieced together truths long-forgotten about the Sylvani. Though they may have been enslaved for a long time in the Bright Lands, their true home was the Spirit Realm. Texts from Parnassus allowed the Sylvani to re-establish their connection to the Spirit Realm. Although Parnassus was destroyed during the Third Dark War, many of the sacred and ancient texts discovered there were able to be brought to Juniper. Kara Whitehoof established the Library of Parnassus within the city. Albeit small, the Library's goal is to research more about the true home of the Sylvani, the area of the Spirit Realm that had been damaged and which had encouraged the Sylvani to leave and come to Earth.
And that is what the Sylvani seek now, a land they call "Gennisi", or "birth place". Nobody really knows why, for so long, the Sylvani had forgotten about their link to the Spirit Realm, but it is believed that perhaps, like with the Yokai, a "forgetting" was a natural instinct, something put in place to help them protect knowledge of their true origins from their once-captors, the Elementals. Although it is very likely that Gennisi is still in a state of disrepair, or even potentially destroyed now that the Earth was overcome by the Dark...and thus one would assume that related Spirit Realm areas were also destroyed, there is some hope that the land was preserved and restoration completed by the Greek Gods. And even if it was not, the Sylvani now know more about their deep link to the Spirit Realm. It's possible they could find a new homeland there, or perhaps even on Juniper itself.
New Sylvani are constantly arriving from the Bright Lands, still escaping the terrors there, but often caught in time loops and reality bubbles which mean they show up in Juniper shortly after having fled captivity from the Elementals. Other new Sylvani spent some time on Earth following their escape from the Elementals, and then once again fled to Juniper when the portals opened.
Fauns:Typically seen as meek and innocent, many fauns ended up as house servants to the Elemental nobility, though in this case "house" is a relative term considering that many Elementals lived outdoors. The fauns were often highly mistreated by the Elementals due to their oft-conciliatory and docile natures. Those fauns with stronger personalities often found themselves kept as torture subjects. As always, some Fauns managed to find their way into the service of more kindly families, and in these cases, they often flourished. Considered kind, loyal, and hard-working, there is little a Faun won't do to help out. (Deer-footed and often small in stature, Fauns have nonetheless developed GREAT dodging reflexes, allowing them to move out of the way of Elemental fights and anger without SEEMING to be dodging. It's incredibly hard to land a punch (hand-to-hand only) on a faun who is focused on getting away from the source of violence. The faun ability only works as long as the faun has not entered combat or done offensive actions of any sort, not just physical. They must be able to see the blow coming. For the purpose of rolls, consider Fauns Grandmasters of Dodge. This does not need to be marked on their sheet and does not count towards their grandmaster total. Fauns also get the ability "prey sense". This power may be activated over two posts during a scene. The Faun can then tell if a creature in the area intends them physical harm, and to what degree and immediacy. Queried targets must relay (at the least) if the faun is in Mild Danger, Moderate Danger, or Immense Danger from themselves. Not for those transferring - Gladeshielding has been removed for fauns due to conflicts with new magic defense skills.)
Satyrs: The goat-legged satyrs are one of the reasons that the royalty of the Sylvani never amounted to much. They were always derailed by....parties. Promoting a life of hedonism and excess, they can't resist a party. The royalty of the Satyrs tended to abdicate in favor of...well, just going back to having a good time. Before being enslaved by the Elementals, Satyrs lived a very free life. Despite being completely obsessed with attempting to reach a state of (often chemically-induced) bliss, Satyrs did have an exceptional impact on music, and are credited with building some of the world's first musical instruments, including the flute and the lyre. The Elementals tended to use the Satyrs as....toys, often keeping them in places ranging from high-class pleasure-houses to cheap and filthy brothels. (Satyrs are immune to all forms of sexually transmitted disease. If they choose to start with Empathic Manipulation as one of their magics, they get a second level free.)
Centaurs: Long the warriors of the Sylvani, the Centaurs are a proud race. They have protected the Sylvani since time immemorial, and are largely the leaders in the freedom movement and helping other Sylvani to escape servitude to the Elementals. Both male and female Centaurs exist, but female Centaurs tend to train with a bow and light sword, whereas male Centaurs train with the spear and axe. Other than this, there is rarely any difference in their ranks, and a female warrior is as well-respected for her skills as a male warrior. There is a title system for Centaurs, generally based both on age and the amount of battles they have fought. Young warriors are addressed as Shar (male) or Shara (female) and then their name. For seasoned warriors, the title is "Dar" or "Dara", and for old, wizened Centaurs, whose hair has become gray, the title is "Kar" or "Kara". It is considered impossibly rude to address someone with the incorrect ranking and to not show respect to one's elders. Kara Whitehoof, who most Sylvani accept as the leader of their race, is a Centaur. (A centaur may start out with additional weapons instead of one, but must take the traditional weapons listed to do so. There is a reason for the phrase 'strong as a horse'. A centaur has strength on par with a Shifter. Centaurs also occasionally bond with a single "rider". To be allowed to be a Centaur's rider is an immense honor akin to being adopted into the Centaur's family. Riders are usually trained in the art of war, and have their own title, Sar or Sara. Centaurs can always tell the physical well-being of their rider no matter how far the rider is from them, and can hear if the Rider calls to them in need. In order to become a rider, the Centaur actually kicks the rider in the solar plexus during a full moon, which is to symbolize kicking the Rider out of their old life. It is not terribly uncommon for Riders to die from this ceremony.)
Minotaurs: Whereas the Centaurs were the slave-soldiers and oathbound bodyguards of the Elementals, the Minotaurs were considered too dull and slow to be given such lofty positions. A race of people with bovine features, the Minotaur found themselves enslaved as beasts of burden to the Elementals. They were forced to labor, undertaking the most brutal of tasks, everything from plowing fields, to hauling stone, to pulling the carriages of the Elemental elite. Before their enslavement, however, the Minotaur were the farmers and craftsmen of the Sylvani, skilled in practical and sturdy arts -- arts that the "cultured" Elementals did not truly appreciate. Minotaurs were especially known for their abilities in pottery and weaving, as well as carpentry, wagon-building, and boatbuilding. A house built by a Minotaur is a house that lasts, the old Sylvani saying goes. (Minotaurs have both the strength of the centaur, but also the ability to stand their ground no matter the cost. It is nigh impossible to move a Minotaur who does not wish to be moved until that Minotaur is dead. Several Minotaurs have sacrificed themselves to holding open the rifts between the Bright Lands and the mortal realm, and for this sacrifice, and many others, the Minotaurs are well-loved though the least represented of all the Sylvani races.)
Dryads: Dryads are a people made of wood, whose hearts are forever connected to the forest. The Dryads suffered one of the worst fates of all of the Elementals during their capture. Herded into forests surrounded by the territory of the Fire Elementals, they were forced to produce large quantities of wood to keep the fires fueled. They watched their children get sacrificed over and over again, with no possibility of escape through the horrible territory of the Fire Elementals. Dryads are, therefore, extremely apprehensive and afraid of fire. Escape, however, ultimately came to them, when several of their minotaur brethren managed to sneak into the forests and assist in opening portals to help them begin to escape. A Sylvani glade with a Dryad or two is considered lucky. (Dryads all must take Naturalism as one of their magics. Not only is the first level of Naturalism insta-cast for them, every level afterwards takes half as much time and energy for them to use. This reduction does not stack with other casting time reduction powers. Additionally, they may transform into sentient trees, which can move and walk, albeit extremely, extremely slowly. Yes, those trees can talk. Unlike most creatures, Dryads are plant-based and thus, do not bleed when injured. Dryads are very vulnerable to fire, even moreso than vampires.)
Harpies: Long ago, considered predators and enemies to the Sylvani. However, though the marriage of Persekus Nikephoros, one of the few Satyr kings who managed to hold a reign for a significant amount of time, to Gygat, a harpy Queen, the Sylvani and Harpies became one united race. The Syvani refer to the harpies as "xaderfos", or honored cousins. The harpies were forever a fine warrior race. They have long been a matriarchy due to the fact that decreased body mass and increased aerodynamics have allowed female harpies to fly longer and faster than their male counterparts. And flying fast and far has always been necessary for harpies, who often had to cross great distances to get from their craggy, rocky cliff-face dwellings to the plains and forests where food was more abundant. Male harpies generally stayed 'at home', tasked with the building, defense of the nests, and training of the children. In the early days, many a faun and satyr were lost to the harpies. However, after the marriage of Persekus and Gygat, many harpies moved from the cliffs to the forest. There, they worked to scare off those who wished to do harm to the forest-dwelling Sylvani. The Harpies were ALL enslaved by Air Elementals. Used as war mounts, the harpies were bound by ritual to a single Air Elemental. Should that Elemental die, they would as well. Before the Sylvani were freed, someone began breaking that ritual magic, and allowing the harpies to get free, and flee across to the Earth realm. Harpies continue to be cannibals and carrion beasts, though the taste of Sylvani flesh has long since grown sour to them, so they must look outward to those who are not their cousins. Their offspring are hatched from eggs. (Winged and capable of flight in their true form, and often with terrible clawed feet used for gripping and tearing, a harpy cry stuns a single person for a full round, making them unable to attack or defend. However, it takes a round of inhaling deeply to prepare. For every additional round of preparation, up to three, it can stun more people, or for a longer period of time. The harpy is helpless during the preparation rounds, and can do no other action. Any attack that lands will disrupt their concentration -- they must begin inhaling again. Additionally, any physical attack or damage to the stunned person will knock them out of their stun.)
Background:Not a lot is known about the Djinn. Sylvani will recognize them, however, as fellow slaves in the Bright Lands. However, while the Sylvani were enslaved by the Elementals, the Djinn were, by and large, beholden to the Dragon Kingdoms. Djinni were often sent by the Dragons to do trade on their behalf with the Elementals, as well as to occasionally deliver messages. It's unlikely the Sylvani would have seen much of the Djinn, but they'd know at least that they exist.
The tale of the Djinn is a sad one. It is a tale of betrayal and treachery, of a trusted leader turning on her own people. It begins in the Spirit Realm. The Djinn occupied a place known as the Tajul Al'Aradi, or Wandering Lands. This area of the Spirit Realm literally wandered, floating here and there, in a certain pattern over time, meaning that the Djinn could become incredible traders without ever even leaving their home. Their people became immensely wealthy through this trading, allowing them to build fantastic cities in the Tajul Al'Aradi, where they dedicated their efforts to accruing great wisdom and great magic, and providing an incredibly lush and easy life for their people. Ambitious Djinn became magicians surpassing even the Fae of Avalon, who would utilize their abilities for those they felt the most deserving.
The ruler of the Djinn was a Sultan or Sultana, who would appoint a Caliph over each of the various subraces. Rule was benign, and the Djinn knew no warlords or despots. (Though it should never be thought there were no warriors among the Djinn. To be in the Royal Sultan Guard or a Caliph's guard was a great honor.) A long line of benevolent leaders eventually produced Sultana Hadiya. A more kind and wise Djinn could not be found, and she was revered and beloved by her people. But, of course, kindness is not always the best trait when mixed with innocence.
The Djinn found that the Dragons were drawing immense amounts of magics from areas of the Spirit Realm where Tajul Al'Aradi traveled, causing poverty and sickness to the allies of the Djinn. Believing it could all be worked out, Sultana Hadiya agreed to meet with King Rzarkzarva of the Dragons. It was the biggest mistake the Djinn would ever make. These dragons, the Black Dragons of Nar, were not the lofty creatures that the Djinn had met in the past. Something terrible had overcome the Nar dragons. Some deep rot of the soul. Ruthlessly, they put Sultana Hadiya under a spell which began to turn her against her people.
Almost instantly, her peaceful rule turned violent and cruel. She became a puppet of the Nar Dragons, instituting insane and impossible to follow laws. Those who broke the law? They were criminals, undeserving of continuing to stay in Tajul Al'Aradi. Sultana Hadiya sold them off to the Dragons as slaves. However, some small part of the Sultana still existed, deep within her mind, free of the control of the Dragons of Nar. She weaves an escape clause into the magic that binds them in slavery. This magic can be broken, and to protect the Djinn, the way in which that magic can be broken is different from Djinn to Djinn. (Otherwise, the Dragons would figure out how the Djinn were getting free and put a stop to it.)
The Djinn largely became slaves to the Dragons, generally sold off by the Nar Dragons to other Dragons who were unaware of the Nar Dragons' treachery. However the Djinn were also used as a commodity, traded away to other entities. Now the Djinn are spread across many universes, many Realms, far from their home. They are beholden to their masters by magic, but can be freed if they figure out how. The Djinn who come to Juniper are usually freed, or accompanything their masters. Many of them are searching for a way to cure their Sultana and free their people from the influence of the Dragons of Nar, so that they can return to Tajul Al'Aradi once more.
Efreet: None can match the fire in the heart of an Efreet. To the point where, in fact, the Efreet have become so intertwined with the concept of fire that they are said to literally embody it. Their skin is often a deep red, orange, or black, sometimes glowing as if they were made of coals. Many who see the Efreet become deeply afraid, thinking them evil creatures due to their horns and hooves, or associate them with the Nephilim. However, their penchant for jewel-handled scimitars and rakish grins can set them apart from the others. In Tajul Al'Aradi, the Efreet comprised a loose warrior class, often vying to join the Royal Sultan Guard or the guard of one of the Caliphs. The fact that they saw battle rarely should not cause anyone to think the Efreet are not deadly in battle. They practiced religiously, often fighting conjured magical constructs in order to hone their skills. Those Efreet who managed to free themselves often continue the practice of being a warrior, with a number of them being drawn towards piracy and becoming (albeit often charming) highway brigands. (Efreet can fully manifest as fire beings during battle. Although they can not set fires with the magical flames that surround them, anything they touch will end up burnt. This effect can only be used once per day and takes two rounds to activate. Because this fire is magical in nature, it will do deep damage to creatures weak to fire, such as Dryads or Vampires, but will not cause them to be set on fire.)
Si'lat: The cleverest type of Djinn, the Si'lat were the ones who devised and ran the great Ashya Kathira, or Bazaar of Many Things in Tajul Al'Aradi. They had a knack for making amazing trades during the route of the Tajul Al'Aradi, and brought to the magical Bazaar no end of incredible relics, foods, weapons, scrolls, and anything else one could imagine. Skilled deal-makers, the Si'lat, it is said, could charm an assassin out of his last knife for half the price of its worth. A tall race, the Si'lat love colorful and rare fabrics, anything to draw the eye and get attention. They will often wear outrageous outfits, long robes, or colors that clash. Their skin is often various gem colors, with gold and opalescent being popular, though there are castes who are more simple brown and black colors as if to have a less busy canvas. After enslavement, many of the Si'lat were used by their masters to assist in obtaining magical artifacts. Dragons do love their hoards, as do so many other supernatural creatures. Freed Si'lat often become traveling salesmen or set up marketplaces that are secret and elite. (The ancient Djinn saying is that 'a Si'lat's pockets are never empty'. This is true. They can almost always pull something out of their pockets to use or sell, though usually these things are...a little odd. Hungry? Your friendly Si'lat may pull a can of cheese whiz out of their pocket. Well, it's edible. During ST scenes, they can roll to pull out something TRULY useful to the situation once per scene, if they can roll above a 12. They can roll once per round until they find something useful. Note: Nothing should ever be put back INTO a Si'lat's pockets. That's like crossing the streams, man!)
Marid: The Marid were the most magically inclined of the Djinn, dedicating themselves to incredible feats of magical achievement. Many of the impossibly beautiful buildings in Tajul Al'Aradi were built by the Marids' magic. The Marid love all knowledge, really, and can sometimes become so obsessed with it that they go a bit 'off the rails'. There is a rumor that Sultana Hadiya's Marid advisor, Lady Najwa, helped the Dragons in corrupting the Sultana with their magic. But, this has never been proven, and Lady Najwa was later killed whilst standing up to the Sultana, and denouncing her cruel practices. Marid ravenously consume books and love to learn new languages with which they can expand their knowledge all the more. They were often used by their masters for their knowledge, magics, or as translators. When they find their way to freedom, many end up as advisors, teachers, and builders of libraries of magical knowledge. The Marid often have blue, green, or gray skin tones, though they occasionally can be seen in stark white or purple skins as well. Marid are a practical people, making them the least likely of the Djinn to indluge in comparatively garish dress so common with the others. They are the shortest of the Djinn as well, standing only as tall as normal humans compared to the much taller Efreet and Si'lat. (The Marid are the most 'genie' like of many of the Djinn races. They can turn into smoke over three posts, and thus squeeze into tiny habitations. While in smoke form, they can't use other powers or magics, or hold items. It takes the same three post timeline for them to turn back into a solid being. The smoke will always look vaguely humanoid, like the Marid, in shape but can be made to be larger, or smaller by controlling the density of the smoke.)