The largest and most populous species on Kadyel are humans, including demihumans. Humans are primate-descended sapient creatures who vary widely in appearance from a consistent base (known as “humanoid” shape).
Kadyel humans normally have skin within the brown or gold ranges, from a pale beige to a dark brown; some rare humans have other shades like red or violet. (These humans are often considered to be demihumans instead.) This is not a genetic change, but one instead based on the biological chaos of Kadyel; a child is as likely to pigmented like their parents as not.
Hair colors vary widely among humans. Again, shades of brown are most common, as well as dusty yellows and various reds. Human hair color fades towards gray or white with age. Some humans have other hair colors, like blue or green; this is more common than variant skin color, enough so that the individual is still likely to be considered human. (This is compounded by how many humans choose to dye their hair.)
Due to their common origins virtually all humans speak a common language. Because of its universality the language does not truly have a name, but will be called Common for convenience.
“Demihuman” is not truly a specific race, but a term applied to humans whose biological variance is so great that they no longer resemble what are normally considered to be humans. The two “races” are able to interbreed normally, with the child having a slightly higher chance than normal to follow one parent’s appearance or combine the two. The differences in appearance are known as the demihuman’s styling.
A slight majority of demihumans look like humans with slight variations — differently shaped or positioned ears, increased or decreased size, or other animal attributes. The rest appear more directly like animals, albeit animals that walk upright and have opposable thumbs. The latter category tends to resent the former, as animal-like demihumans receive shabbier treatment in mostly-human areas and have to have much of the accoutrements of daily life custom-made.
No matter what a demihuman’s form, they seldom gain special abilities from it. A birdlike demihuman’s wings won’t be strong enough to lift her off the ground, and a dog-styled demihuman has no unusual senses. The only exceptions seem to be tails, which may or may not be prehensile, and body armor, such as that found on an armadillo or tortoise.
Magic and Technology
Humans and demihumans are almost alone in their embrace of both of these disciplines. Mages are fixtures in most large communities, and even in rural areas “circuit mages” travel around solving problems. The ability of a mage to speed civic projects and provide magical health care is invaluable in building infrastructure, even if mages themselves are perceived as unstable and potentially dangerous.
While technology is frequently blamed for being the source of both Disasters, it is becoming more and more common in cities and even towns. The most advanced science has reached the levels of Earth’s Renaissance, with some areas pushing that envelope. Firearms are known but fairly rare, and printed books, pendulum clocks, and thermometers are common all over Kadyel.
Knowledge of Other Races
Humans and demihumans are well aware of each other and mix freely (though intermarriage, particularly with demihumans of “unattractive” insectoid or reptilian styling, is frequently frowned upon). The belief that the two are different but compatible species is fairly common.
Spectres are an ever-present danger, and society takes measures to prevent them from coming into being. The level of paranoia about Spectres is enough that frightening-appearing demihumans and Youkai can come under attack if mistaken for them.
Everyone knows about Youkai in general terms, often calling them by incorrect names and attributing powers to them that they don’t have. Only those who live near Territories (or in very cosmopolitan cities) will know anything substantive about them beyond their existence.
There is also some awareness of the former existence of Ancients who constructed the ruins and artifacts scattered about Kadyel, though little of what’s said about them has any bearing on reality. Virtually no one who hasn’t encountered them believes that any Ancients could still be around today.
There are human and demihuman stories about Angels. All three are considered fictional, and anyone actually claiming to have seen them is regarded as superstitious, self-deluded, or simply crazy. The stories about them, like the stories about the Ancients, are made entirely out of whole cloth.