Nature's Embodiment Edit
Elementals, more often called simply called djinn (singular djinni), sprites, or spiryts, were created by Zephyrion in the early days of Galbar, before life began to flourish or much of the planet had been shaped. They wield power over the primal force of Change that was Zephyrion's most important contribution to the Codex of Creation. As such, their powers are great indeed, but they act more as forces of nature than as living creatures.
Their Birth Edit
Djinn do not reproduce in the conventional way; in fact, they do not even have souls as all of Galbar's creatures do, nor do they have "essence" of the sort that the gods do. Instead they possess what is most often referred to as a Flicker. While similar to a soul, the Flicker of a djinn will never know any afterlife. It is also invisible to those beings that see souls, such as the White Giants, and very resistant to the influence of all manner of soul magics.
When he created the djinn, Zephyrion leveraged the full power of his command over Change to perform an almost unthinkable feat and make these Flickers manifest everywhere at a certain rate, though at vastly higher rates in places that have an abundance of magic. When these Flickers form they drift through space like pollen upon the wind. Eventually they find something, be it a pocket of air or a puddle or a pebble, and they seep into that material and animate it. In doing so, a lesser elemental is formed. In this nascent and weak state, they are so small and insignificant as to be practically invisible to mortals; it is only through a long process of aging (or a faster process of devouring other elementals) that they are able to accrue enough power to become a djinni of any appreciable power.
There is another way that djinn can be born, though this one is much rarer. An elemental of sufficient power, almost always a djinni lord, is capable of siring "children". Whether they do this by attracting what stray Flickers abound or by splintering off pieces of their own Flicker is unclear, but they are able to artificially increase the rate at which djinn of their type spawn. Naturally, to maintain a delicate balance this is rarely done, for when there is an overpopulation of djinn it can lead to violent battling that proves cataclysmic for the local region.
Their Existence Edit
The djinn adhere to a great Hierarchy: those newborn elementals that are incapable of speech are practically mindless, and so they are often exploited for their own good by greater djinn who will command them with telepathy resembling something of a hivemind. In doing so and maintaining a such retinue of lesser spiryts, the commanding djinni increases its own power greatly and is better able to control the surrounding environment. All djinn are a part of this Hierarchy; even those powerful enough to speak or manifest in humanoid forms will almost always owe loyalty to a djinni lord, and the djinni lords in turn often owe fealty to even greater lords, and so the Hierarchy goes until it reaches Vizier Ventus at the top and then their divine father Zephyrion. Of course, the more powerful a djinni becomes, the more autonomy he can exert and the less rigid that this Hierarchy becomes.
Their personas are very often not far from their creator's: arrogant, full of hubris, and quarrelsome. Lacking any biological sex, they are almost always identified as masculine for those behavior traits that they have. There are the rare exceptions. Stonelords are different in that they are notoriously stubborn, patient, unwilling to take action, and sometimes even pacifist. Similarly, there are some djinn are far kinder and gentler than their brethren. Those rare few are often identified as feminine.
As in for their purpose, the djinn carry the burden of maintaining a Natural Order and ensuring that Change remains a constant force throughout the universe; Zephyrion has utterly delegated control over the weather and all of nature's functions to them. All djinn inevitably feel a great "calling" at some points, and this calling will drive them to claim dominion over some part of the world around them. For instance, a waterdjinn may control a lake with its retinue, and a great djinni lord of air might command one of the cardinal winds. With fanatical zeal they will control this particular aspect of nature, and in furthering this mission or in their hubris they are sometimes driven into conflict with other elementals; the djinn are a volatile bunch prone to infighting, and this can sometimes have dire consequences upon the land that becomes their battleground.
Djinn Cults Edit
For their great power and command over nature's blessings and its horrible disasters, djinn inspire terror and reverence alike in mortals. To varying extent all mortal races upon Galbar interact with djinn, but their knowledge of the elementals may vary greatly. Some societies (notably Rukbany and Vetros) have formalized shamans that make it their life's calling to commune with the djinn and try to become closer with nature and its lore. Often societies may simply offer tribute or prayer to the local djinn, or perhaps even believe the greatest of djinni lords to be deities.
Notable Figures Edit
Though there be countless great djinn to have existed upon Galbar, some stand above others in their own unique and remarkable ways.
- Vizier Ventus, Majordomo to Zephyrion and Master of the Divine Wind. Ventus is Zephyrion's advisor, friend, and foremost lieutenant. He was the first djinni to have ever existed, fashioned from Zephyrion's own breath. In Zephyrion's absence, Ventus is leader of the great Hierarchy and all djinn obey him, at least in theory. Vizier Ventus nearly managed to attain divinity and was able to manifest a physical form of flesh, a feat that not even Zephyrion was capable of accomplishing, but was struck down by Xos before he could fully undergo apotheosis.
- Aihtiraq, the one and only Djinni Lord of Magic and the Master of the Winds of Change. He is a strange being that sprung forth when a vast amount of Zephyrion's power leaked from the Celestial Citadel and became the golden Wind of Change. He is drawn to despondence itself and tries to soothe especially hopeless mortals by offering them a single wish. In this way he is a lot like the stereotypical genie in the lamp, but it is worth noting that he does not seek to twist one's wish against them or ever act out of malice. Strange as it may sound, Aihtiraq truly wishes to bring happiness to those mortals that he manifests before.
- The Conclave of Winds, a group of the four great Scions of wind: Boreas, Anshal, Komnestos, and Notus.
- Baron Slag, self-proclaimed Scion and master of all firedjinn, a great magmatic giant that occupies a volcano near the Venomweald. He is ancient indeed, having led the forces of earth against the tyrannical Char. Whereas all the other djinni lords were destroyed, Slag was instead wounded, his earthen form melted to the point that he was reborn as a lord of lava and flame. Still, many "trueborn" djinn of pure fire resent his bastard nature.
- Duke Salis, the Scion of water and greatest lord in the Sparking Sea.
- Graund the Mountain, an ancient stonelord that takes the form of a truly massive giant. Like many of his kind, he is reclusive and can go eons without even moving; he was crowned Scion of the earth by his fellows and not by his own volition.
- Murmur, the one and only Djinni of Sound. He takes the form of a wild oscillation in whatever medium he inhabits, a living explosion of sorts. When the djinn gather to bring a storm of truly epic proportions upon Galbar, they call upon Murmur to herald their wrath with his deafening thunder. Murmur is known to mortal men, and they have named one of Galbar's moons after him. Murmur is a member of the Zephyrean Skywatch.
- Basheer, an ancient djinni that was no lord and of no noteworthy status, until Jvan's vessel Heartworm captured him near the Ironheart Mountains and sought to experiment upon him. In the mountain pass known as the Howling Gap, Heartworm created a torture-organ to imprison Basheer forever. From the cliffs above, he could only writhe and scream inside his prison, and for untold eons his howling gave the pass its name. Finally he was freed by the great ant known as TOBIA, and afterwards grew in status and power. He is a sworn enemy of Jvan and all her abominations, and a member of the Zephyrean Skywatch.
- Char, Djinni Lord of Fire and an ancient elemental that was born in the Firewind. Eventually he came to rule over all the flamedjinn in the Venomweald and surrounding regions, and at the height of his power he was a terrifying force indeed. He was defeated long ago by the combined effort of the djinn of all three other elements, and his reign of terror ended with a suicidal explosion that incinerated huge swathes of the Venomweald.
- Gneiss, a minor stonelord that refused to condemn Jvan or her followers when all the other three elements in his area did. He then went on a long journey to find Jvan and speak to the goddess in person, but fell victim to her. He was killed and remade into Diaphane, the progenitor of the Change-Eaters.
- Aeramen, previouly named Vitrum, a djinni lord who fought with Ventus against chaotic angels. For a time, he worshipped Kyre and wanted to become a great warrior to defend the world from Chaos and Jvan. In the process, he has changed elements many times before conquering all and becoming obsidian. He was eventually visited by Conata and tried to fight her for trespassing in his territory; the region known as the Hilt. Conata defeated him and turned him into solid silicon. Being that Conata spared his life, he swore fealty to Conata and became a teacher of combat, adding other metals to his form in the process and changing his lesser djinn children to take metal forms in Conata's likeness.
- Phlegethon, an unusual Djinni of Steam. Presumably born from the fusion of elementals of volcanic fire and water, he was not readily respected by his brothers in either family. Nonetheless he grew quite powerful and held a swathe of geysers and fumaroles for territory before being greeted by Chiral Phi, who turned him into a patron of Meteran civilisation.
- Flayr, a lesser fire elemental that was sent by Slag to serve as a representative to Ommok for the duration of their short-lived alliance. After the alliance broke apart, Flayr chose to remain in Ommok's service after professing disdain for Slag. He serves as an adviser of sorts to Ommok and has been the mentor that taught the ogre king and all his sorcerers the ogre's branch of shamanism.
- Cataract, an elemental lord ruling over the Kubec river; he was worshiped by the local Machhua tribe as a god.
- Thermaron, a powerful (now fallen) lieutenant of Slag that was sent at the head of a host from Galbar's infernal depths to raze the overworld and defeat the forces of those djinni lords that denied Xos' rule. During a great battle, he was betrayed by Boreas and slain.
- Ba'Sard, the djinni lord of flame that led a horde of magma elementals to conquer Dundee from below. He now rules the ruins of the former dwarven realm, the vast riches of an entire mortal kingdom left abandoned in his searing domain.
- Aurora, the most powerful djinni on a faraway unnamed planet of ice and hydrocarbon oceans. She leads a resistance effort against the Prometheans.