Shards of Magic
Magic is shrouded in mystery -- in its ability to alter reality to the whims of the divine and arcane magic users -- as well as the source of mana. It is a vital resource powered by life, the moon and the stars. However, abuse of the system led to existential threats and near-apocalyptic disasters. Extensive use of epic level spells like Wish and Miracle depleted the Celestial Gods of spiritual energy (mana) through overuse until only physical energy remained -- resulting in the Fall.
The Magical Races
The five traditional senses include sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. The magical races are the "sixth sensers" who possess one extra-perception.
- Sight: Goblinoids have difficulty with normal light and vision and are more sensitive to radiation.
- "Specs" can see very distant and very close up
- Gnomes have microscopic vision, but are cross-eyed (strabismus) and are easily overwhelmed in open spaces/crowds (agoraphobic).
- "Tempers" can see into the infrared and UV spectrum
- Orcs can see in the dark with heat vision (infrared) and detect blood and other bodily fluids with UV vision, but have small clouded eyes (micro-ophthalmia, cataracts)
- "Radeons" detect ambient Hi-F x-rays and Lo-F radio waves
- Goblins can see through objects and have no eyes. They fear the Light.
- Hearing: Elves
- Acoustic "Cooers" can apprehend physical waveforms through echolocation & sonar
- Elves have tall pointed ears that they use for echolocation and the ability to "see sound" as high and low frequency waves. However, they have difficulty with mid-frequencies and are functionally deaf.
- Touch: Dwarves
- Haptic "Apts" can detect fine changes in skin pressure, stretch, and temperature, in addition to propioception and vibration.
- Dwarves have uncanny muscle control (propioception), can detect earthquakes (tremorsense), weather (pressure sense) but they are very sensitive to pain. They need to wear armor all of the time to protect themselves.
- Smell: Wereshifters
- Olfactory "Olfs" possess a prognathic snout that can detect odorous volatile chemicals and pheromones
- Wereshifters have a fixation with smells.
- Taste: Vampires and Witches
- Gustatory "Gustavs" have a refined palate, a sensitive chemesthetic tongue and sharp teeth for gnashing
- Vampires have unusual taste preferences.
- Witches use their powers to brew poisons and potions
Mystic Council: the "Black Robes"
The most dogmatic humans have banded together after the Great Fall to fight against the destructive influences of magic. They rebuilt the world after the Great Fall, but in many ways, they want to keep the world in the Dark Age, due to equal parts due to fear, tradition, and hunger to maintain power. Their garb of black robes tied with a simple hemp rope is a throwback to a time of hooded mystery and secretive rites.
Asclepian Order: the "White Coats"
The Reformed Order of Asclepius diverges sharply from the philosophy of the mystics. Asclepians are the experimenters, questioners, skeptics and scientists of Iatropia. Their uniform is symbolic of fresh curiosity, purity of intent and cleanliness. Their holy sign is the Question Mark and their sacred duty is to add to the Book of Questions.