Races of Kadyel
Humans make up the bulk of the population of Kadyel. Thanks to the biological variance of Kadyel there are no meaningful subdivisions; two parents can produce a child of virtually any appearance. Unusual hair colors and skin colors are fairly common, though some consider individuals with skin outside the brown/gold spectrum to be demihumans.
Demihumans are the second largest population. They are technically the same species as humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) but have a radically different appearance. Most demihumans have an animal styling to them, which ranges from a few details (someone who looks otherwise human but has cat ears) to full-out anthropomorphics. Again, unless two demihumans have near-identical styling, their child could end up with any appearance.
Spectres are barely-sentient monsters that arise when a sapient creature dies alone or under great stress. The Spectre tries to recreate its form as a living creature but, in its maddened and agitated state, instead emerges as a chimera of real and imagined creatures resembling nothing else on Kadyel. Most communities take precautions to ensure that no one dies alone, and employ Hunters to track down and destroy Spectres that do arise.
Ancients are a secret and dying race, nearly wiped out in the First Disaster with some individuals surviving until the present day. Ancients are elven in appearance, but may have any hair and skin color; they are often mistaken for demihumans. All Ancients are biologically female (and parthenogenic), though the race has the standard gender divide in secondary sex characteristics. All surviving Ancients are at least two thousand years old.
Angels are the impossible children of the otherwise sterile Ancients, conceived when Ancients are exposed to the raw force of the Melody. Angels are either human or demihuman in appearance but are possessed of great magical power; they are instinctive mages and quickly develop customized Scores they can use with no preparation. Angels are also immortal, but their development (both physical and emotional) is arrested sometime between age 15 and 19. Angels are the standard race for player characters.
Dolls are magically animated human figures familiar to many mages, used as laboratory and domestic assistants. Dolls are small, usually purely human in appearance, and constructed of strong wood, bone, or possibly metal. When a dollmaker dies, their Dolls usually collapse into lifeless heaps. On rare occasions, however, such Dolls can become sapient and independent. Naturally, this intelligence makes them much more useful and sought-after by other mages.
Youkai are elemental creatures of unknown origin with an intimate connection to the Melody; it’s even theorized that they are Spirits who have somehow gained sentience. Some resemble humans or demihumans; others have a more ambiguous or monstrous appearance. Both types are dangerous, unpredictable, and often hostile, especially towards mages and those trespassing on what they consider their territory. Types of Youkai include Kappa, Kitsune, Oni, Tanuki, Tengu, and Vampires.
There is also one “race” that is neither sapient nor sentient:
Spirits are seemingly mindless creatures (or possibly objects) of pure energy, tied to one of the seven elements (Light, Darkness, Fire, Earth, Water, Wood, or Metal). Spirits are the foundation of all mortal, Ancient, and angelic magic. Spirits tend to be found near Melodic upwellings associated with their elements, and are routinely lured and captured by magic-users of all kinds. They are more of an environmental feature than a type of character.