zeldacataclysmraces

As some notes:

These files primarily focus on the races within Hyrule proper, rather than the lands beyond. Most races have settlements and civilizations in the nations of Labyrnna and Holodrum, for instance, but the core of their societies stems from Hyrule's 'main' branch with few exceptions.

This list is by no means complete, and there are many races which are not listed and described (Mogma, Kikwi, Parella, Goriya, Daira, Tokay, Subrosian, etc), and many beings which indeed do not belong to a 'race,' or are intelligent mutants of an unintelligent race or other anomaly - these usually caused by special circumstances, like exposure to unstable Force Energies at a Force Spring. Dmitri the swimming Dodongo, Ricky the boxing Kangaroo, and Moosh the winged Bear are all examples of such oddities, as are others like talking Scarecrows. It's rare, but odd things happen!

Note that not everything from the Zelda theme is necessarily a 'race.' Take, for instance, the Iron Knuckles and the Dark Nuts (japanese name: Dark Knights) and Wizzrobes. These are usually just marauding things out to get you, so a 'race' of 'Dark Nuts' doesn't exist. Rather, Dark Nuts are highly trained warriors of various races who employ heavy armor, whereas Iron Knuckles are literally animated suits of armor assigned to guard certain areas. Nevertheless, the dog-like Dark Nuts (Wind Waker) and similar examples are viable races if someone wants to detail them. In other cases, some things in Zelda are simply redundant (What exactly is the difference between a Poe and a Ghini when both are malevolent ghosts?) and have been dropped from the current writeup.

Unless otherwise noted, assume that 'Human' is normal and that if it is not otherwise specified, all traits are closely mirrored to human. For instance, the file for the Zora does not mention them as specifically herbivorous or carnivorous, thus they are omnivorous, while the file on Gerudo specifies that they traditionally do NOT marry (while it is quite normal in most Human societies.) If it is not stated, but seems questionable, common sense is a good fallback. For instance, the file on Moblins portrays them as too dumb and uninterested in philosophy to worry about complicated matters, and this then extends to a lot of areas not explicitly explored to save on time and space.

In short, for things not covered here, a mixture of common sense and consulting with existing theme members is smart.

Humans

- Overview -
The dominant race of Hyrule, humans are a diverse and unpredictable race whose personalities run the gamut of all possibility.

- Origins -
It is said that of the many races, humans were designed equally by the Golden Goddesses, and their first true flesh and blood creation.

- Physiology -
Neither particularly strong or weak, fast or slow, tall or short, they are the baseline by which other races are compared. Humans stand anywhere from four to seven feet in height, with most humans somewhere between five and six, and are generally between one hundred and two hundred and fifty pounds, though obesity can make this much greater. Human skin color is wildly varied, though most people have pinkish-tan skin, with lighter or darker skin colors seen as signs of Sheikah or Gerudo ancestry, respectively. Human eyes are a mix of browns, greens, blues, and greys, with blends common. Yellow or red eyes are again signs of mixed ancestry, but these are very rare, even among descendants.

Human hair is typically brown, black, or blonde, though some humans have vibrant red, blue, or green shades, thought to be a gift from Din, Nayru, or Farore, respectively. Human females tend to be somewhat shorter and slighter in build than males on average, but they can be just as tall or strong.

Human reproduction is completely mammalian, with impregnated females carrying a child for approximately 3 seasons before giving birth. Most conceptions result in singular offspring, but twins and triplets do happen on occasion, as do the exceedingly rare quintuplets or more - though such births are often quite complicated and perilous for the mother.

- Behavior & Society -
Humans are one of the most adaptable races in Hyrule, and can exist in any environment, from the harsh sands of the Gerudo Desert to the frigid drifts of Snowpeak, though they thrive best in more temperate locations. If they have an innate nature, it's curiosity, which both serves and hinders the race as it expands. Humans are very communal and social creatures, and most psychologically need the organization that civilization provides. Human natures are remarkably varied, and truly defined by nothing more than curiosity. They have no overarching cultural beliefs or moral standards as a species nor any dependency or present divine patrons that would guarantee any societal guidance, and this makes relations with other races difficult at times, for they never quite know what to expect in terms of laws, customs, and mannerisms from one human settlement to another. Human dress is climate-dependent, with most preferring simple plain colors, with the more expensive bright hues and all but the humblest ornamental accessories like jewelry reserved for the rich and nobility.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Humans have several main settlements in Hyrule, as well as numerous smaller towns and tiny villages scattered here and there throughout the country. Castle Town, the capital of Hyrule, is a thriving walled city supported by trade and food from outlying settlements, and boasts the strongest concentration of human individuals amidst its smattering of other races. Many services are available there, from skilled surgeons to games, and the open market draws people from all over. Kakariko Village lies under the shadow of Death Mountain, the people living close to the Gorons and Sheikah. Her people are craftsmen, trading with the rest of Hyrule for food and other staple goods. Ordon Village lies just beyond the actual border of Hyrule proper, in the backwater Ordona Province, and is a supplier of goat milk, cheese, and livestock to Hyrule beyond.

- Talents -
More than any of the races, humans are an enterprising species, capable of easily developing, constructing, and using tools to aid them in all walks of life and all climates, perhaps off-setting their lack of any purely biological advantages. The vast majority of great inventors of all ages have been Humans or at least a sub-group of such. Human communities easily and often develop thriving trade ties in order to bolster their survival and prosperity.

Human combat is as varied as the race, and dozens of distinct styles exist. In general, however, humans fight with weapons and armor of their own manufacture, leaving hand-to-hand combat to the races more suited for it. Swords, axes, spears, and maces are common, as are bows. A very few wield crossbows, which mark the absolute edge of personal modern weapon technology. Explosives derived from Bomb Flower powder have grown in popularity, and cannons see limited use in warfare, as do simple bombs. Humans wear anything from full plate armor to simple leather shirts for defense. Many humans also display great aptitude for magic with no Magical Natures showing prevalence.

Hylian

- Overview -
The Chosen people of the Goddess Hylia were the most numerous of the races in Hyrule, but the Imprisoning War crippled their great civilization and reduced their numbers significantly. The now-rare Hylians are a pointy-eared Human sub-race who possess strong magical powers.

- Origin -
In ancient times, when the Goddess Hylia ferreted the Golden Power away from the greedy hands of Demise, she hand-picked a group of the finest Humans, the most adaptable of the races, and uplifted them both physically and spiritually. Bestowing upon them her blessing, they were transformed into the long-eared Hylian people. These gifts allowed them to survive life in the skies by bonding with the Loftwings. From these roots a mighty hero arose, and it's said that the blood of the Goddess herself resides in the lineage that became the Hylian Royal Family that would grow to unite and form what would become known as the land of Hyrule.

- Physiology -
At first glance, Hylians are all but indistinguishable from humans. Two traits set them apart: Their skin is unusually fair, and Hylian ears are long and pointed.

All other biological traits match those of Humans save one: Hylian heritage has a tendency to dominate when mixed with that of the other Human-type races.

- Behavior & Society -
In most respects, Hylians exist in and amongst Human societies seamlessly, for they share all of the same tendencies. They do seem to have inherited a degree of Hylia's protective nature, and it is common for them to take up roles at the forefront of societies when individual talents allow. These are usually ones of governance or guardianship. They only rarely take up criminal or disruptive existences, perhaps in response to being more closely in-tune with the designs of the divine.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Hylians have only one real settlement in Hyrule: Castle Town, the bustling capital where the Hylian Royal Family that unites Hyrule's government lives. They compromise about one quarter of the population and much of the nobility. Comparatively fewer exist in other main centers of Human habitation.

- Talents -
It is said that a Hylian's long ears are gifts from the Goddesses that let them hear messages from the world's creators - or their own patron, Hylia. While none among them claim to ever receive such messages, Hylians are a good degree more mystically sensitive to the world around them and the best of their number sometimes can simply sense when something is afoot. This sensitivity can be extended into true telepathy, clairvoyance, and even prophesy through magical training (and in some cases, inexplicably gifted individuals) more readily than other races. Many of the best seers and fortune tellers are Hylian, though few are keen to take up such a dubiously-viewed profession. It is also well-known that Hylians make the best Loftwing Riders, posessing stronger bonds to a bird that joins them and being approached for such more often.

Hylians are either of Hylia's blood or blessing… perhaps both… and this has resulted in virtually every Hylian possessing at least moderate, and often quite strong magical potential, though as with humans they have no particular Magical Nature prevalences.

Gorons

- Overview -
The asexual Gorons are a strong, independent race that make their homes in rocky regions, particularly mountains. Gorons are known for their tremendous physical strength, rock diet, and skill with mining and explosives.

- Origins -
It's said that Din dug into the mountains with her arms of blazing fire, and withdrew only the finest rocks of the world's foundation, then brought these before her sister Farore. The Goddess of Life breathed upon her sister's findings, and thus the first Gorons were born. Din bestowed the people of rock with her blessing, and whispered the secrets of the earth, fire, and metal into their ears. The great Gorons were one of Din's treasured people, to whom she entrusted the mountains crafted by her very hands.

- Physiology -
Gorons are a prodigiously strong, thickly built species, with the average Goron standing from six to twelve feet in height and easily three to four times the weight of an equivalent human. Their limbs are as stocky as their bodies, with long arms and relatively short legs. Gorons have brown, rocky skin, with very little variation in skin tone, and can resist extremely high temperatures, though they are relatively vulnerable to cold. Gorons grow hair on their faces and heads, the follicles thick and tough like flexible rocks. As a Goron ages, it develops stony growths on its back, chest, and limbs, and an adult Goron can easily roll into a ball and display only its stony back armor for protection. Gorons have mouths as broad as their heads and quite pronounced lips. Their eyes are brightly colored in the same basic hues as gemstones: black, blues, greens, reds, and purples. While most Gorons are roughly human-sized, some few Gorons reach truly prodigious sizes. Gorons shrink and their limbs tend to atrophy with age, and it is not infrequent for old Gorons to be stooped and dependent on a cane to walk. The few Gorons who reach the ancient age of four or five centuries (average life expectancy tends to be more around 200 years) sometimes smoke from the rocks on their backs, like little volcanos.

On very rare occasions, a Goron might grow to gargantuan proportions. They simply do not stop growing after hitting adulthood.

Given a choice, they are rather picky eaters who prefer only certain kinds of rocks of certain consistencies, though in a pinch most rocks will suffice. Goron metabolisms are perfectly efficient, using up everything they consume and producing no waste. They cannot digest solid animal or vegetable matter, but enjoy water and other beverages.

Though their general physicalities are exceedingly masculine, Gorons are asexual and do not possess genitalia. They reproduce indirectly through a sacred ritual that all Gorons instinctively know how to perform. Often yearly, though sometimes less often when resources are scarce, a Goron community gathers up the choicest rocks from the deepest depths of the Earth they can reach and place them in the center of a grand dance they will then perform at the height of summer when Din's power holds the most sway.

- Behavior & Society -
Since their creation, Gorons have developed a culture that still reveres Din, directly and indirectly. Though just as communal as Humans, Goron needs of life being far fewer and simpler than they leads to a culture that's similarly simpler and more straightforward. Gorons group themselves by Tribes lead by a Patriarch. This is often one among them thought strongest, wisest, or most responsible. The Patriarch might be chosen through a variety of means, such as votes and trials of power and recognition of great deeds.

Gorons wear little to no clothing unless the environment demands it, but they almost universally adorn themselves with tattoos. The first of these are acquired shortly after birth and subsequent adoption by one of the adults. The tattoos are simple, and any Goron raised among its own kind can discern from them which tribe another was originally adopted into. A Goron at this stage of life is called Little Brother by their fellows. Instead of age, Goron tribes assign certain tests of strength and other deeds to prove adulthood before the status of Brother (the closest word in modern Hylian that represents the relationship, as the word in the Goron language is genderless) can be granted and the tattoos expanded. These tattoos rarely advance beyond this point, but Gorons who accomplish truly great deeds are exceptions who receive more, so that every Goron they meet will recognize their status. A Goron's tattoos are a story of their life within their tribe, and to forge or falsify them is an unthinkable crime and taboo. Few could do it anyways, for tattoos are only officially given in full view of several other Brothers who can attest to their validity. The Patriarch, often titled Big Brother, usually keeps a council of the wisest elders (Older Brothers) in larger tribes. While it's not an official status in their society, Gorons often refer to other Gorons who choose life away from the Tribe 'Far Brothers.'

Gorons value strength and guts most of all, and are a very proud and competetive people who are fiercely loyal to their Brothers and keep their word. It's said by many that what Gorons consider casual roughhousing would be murder if practiced on non-Gorons. Their most brutal sports include wrestling (sumo is particularly popular), and racing while rolled up into a ball, though Gorons will often challenge each other to all kinds of tests of strength and stamina. For relaxation, Gorons love to retire to hot springs… or for the more daring and durable of them, MAGMA baths. Music and especially the dancing that accompanies it are another favorite, though most Gorons favor simple percussion instruments like drums and cymbals over singing, with the occasional woodwinds and other forced-air methods. Even the Gorons themselves don't appreciate the unmelodious bellowing that happens when most try to sing.

While the friendly and outgoing Goron Brotherhood accept other races into their domain as visitors with open arms during good times, Goron culture tends to intimidate most comers and few understand their lifestyles. Though they have few concerns as a race, they are stalwart providers of Force Gems, iron, and other valuable rocks and metals to the rest of Hyrule, and their metalworking skills and skill with alchemical explosives (particularly derivatives of the Bomb Flower) are prized across the land.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Gorons live almost exclusively in the mountains, the abundant stones serving as their source of food and the hollows left behind prime living space.

The largest concentration of Gorons can be found living in Goron City, a grand cavern carved straight into Death Mountain with entrances peppering the side of the mighty volcano. The nearby Dodongo's Cavern contains a quarry of fine gourmet rocks. Goron City is unusual, for it is a conglomerate of six tribes living together while maintaining seperate tribal identities. The Older Brothers are actually the Big Brothers of the individual tribes making up the group, while Goron City's Big Brother Darunia was chosen by the elders to be their grand Patriarch.

Nevertheless, Gorons can be found in small numbers all across Hyrule. There are several independent tribes, including one near the Mountain Village at Snowhead.

- Talents -
Gorons are physical brutes with the strength of a hundred men, the stamina of an ox, and the durability of a mountain. No race in Hyrule can match them in feats of strength unless augmented by prodigious magics. On the battlefield, they are formidable juggernauts few can hope to fight in close combat. The situation is usually even more hopeless should the Goron see any need to don armor, for their weight tolerances put Human-intended plate armor to shame.

The Gorons have the ability to roll into a ball and, with enough practice, become a one-Goron avalanche. A rolling Goron is all but unstoppable with conventional tactics. Some Gorons learn to enhance their rolls with magic, channeling fire and metal powers to increase their impact power and other things, though few Goron magics exist outside of this. The Gorons make poor mages, but those who take that path often learn Fire and Earth spells.

Gorons make excellent smiths and masons, seeming to posess and intuitive grasp of how best to shape rock and metal, although they tend to favor extremely practical constructions over anything artistic and ornate.

Ocean Zora

- Overview -
Sleek and graceful aquatic beings, Zora hail from the oceans of Hyrule, though they now call the headwaters of Lake Hylia, aka Zora's Fountain, their home. the Zora have long served the kingdom of Hyrule as protectors of the waters upon which all the kingdom relies. At the source of Zora's River, they guard and venerate Jabun, one of the Great Spirits of Hyrule. Ocean Zora have a long and bitter rivalry with their malformed cousins, the ugly and barbaric River Zora.

- Origin -
The Ocean Zora were born during the short time in which the Goddesses created the races that most reflected themselves. At first, Nayru debated whether it was wise to create a race of her own full design simply because her sisters were, against the equally unwise position of leaving no lasting similar mark while her sisters did. However, the greatest of the water deities created to watch over the waterways of Hyrule, Jabun, was prone to loneliness, and in one of his bouts of loneliness he cried out to Nayru for comfort. Feeling pity for the Great Spirit, Nayru borrowed a bit of the Breath of Life from her sister Farore and blessed Jabun with it, saying that his children would be the answer to his prayer. Jabun was most honored and humbled.

After courting many, many wives across the vast lakes and oceans, Jabun collected the countless eggs that resulted and brought them to a safe haven in his domain, where the first Zora hatched. It's said among the Zora that the first egg to hatch and grow to adulthood was destined to rule them, and that this same blood now flows in the Zora Royal Family of today.

- Physiology -
The Ocean Zora are a lithe species of natural swimmers, standing anywhere from four to nine feet tall and typically much lighter than a human of the same height, though Zora can suffer obesity just as humans can and weigh much more. Zora resemble humanoid dolphins, with skin that's smooth, rubbery, and quite slick when wet. Zora skin is usually a whitish-blue, but various shades of greens, reds, and purples crop up from time to time. Although they can survive on dry land just fine, they dehydrate quickly and must periodically immerse or otherwise moisten themselves. The Ocean Zora are equally at home in fresh and salt-water, and their biology is an odd mixture between common mammalian traits and those of fish. They are omnivorous and can eat and drink much the same foods that humans do. Their meat primarily comes from fish and water fowl, while their vegetable matter is often harvested from sea and shore plantlife.

Zora have a 'third eyelid' under their normal ones known as a nictating membrane which keeps their flat eyes (perfectly adapted for underwater vision) clean of waterborne debris, aids underwater vision, and can moisten and protect the eyes out of the water. Indeed, out of the water their vision is mildly shortsighted compared to Humans. Their sense of smell, however, is especially acute in the water and fairly sharp out of it. Though the Zora do make use of body language in a fairly Human way, their native tendency is to communicate mood and expression more purely through pheromones these acute noses easily pick up on.

Zora can breathe through their mouth and nose, or through gills located below the ribcage. Zora have a generally humanoid body, with large fins on their forearms and at their waists, the forearm fins bearing defensive spines used in combat. Their hands and feet are webbed from the second knuckle down. Zora heads are vastly different between individuals, and they can bear headfins and long tails hanging from the backs of their heads, though some are born with neither. The features of obese Zora tend to get lost in body fat, and often resemble large fish or manta rays. Their eyes can be red, green, and blue, with some intermingling of those three colors. Though their method of reproduction doesn't support nursing, Female Zora look distinctly feminine to human observers, with pronounced, teat-less breasts and curved figures, and occasionally wing-like fins near their shoulders.

Zora reproduction is just like that of most fish. The female will lay a sizable amount of eggs, and the male will fertilize them externally. Eggs require about a month before they hatch into the tadpole-like stage of life they begin as. Over the next year to a year and a half young Zora grow into childhood comparable to that of human children. It is quite difficult for even the Zora to determine gender until their young has grown past the tadpole stage as gender-specific features take time to fully appear.

Zora are one of the few races capable of generating bio-electricity as a form of self-defense, though this is fairly draining on an individual Zora's Force Energy supply.

- Behavior & Society -
While plenty Zora travel everywhere, In their settlements, the Zora tend to be an insular people, keeping to themselves, though they make no attempt to shun visitors of the other races… more simply, they plain don't know what to do with them. Their aquatic lifestyle is completely alien to Hyrule's other main races, and though magical devices and garbs can allow others to survive underwater, there are simply too many hurdles for them to overcome to fully fit in Zora society - spiritually and physiologically.

The Zora are quite spiritually oriented people, living directly beneath the patronage of the Great Spirit Jabun that lives in their capital at the source of the River Hylia, and much of their life is arranged around serving the fish god… particularly in serving as his instruments and aides in keeping the waterways flowing and clean. The Zora take a somewhat militant approach to this that has only gotten more paranoid and aggressive since the rise of the River Zora.

Their duties include patrolling the waterways, finding and eradicating blockages, and wiping out the River Zora and other aquatic monsters whenever and wherever they can be found. They have a seething hatred of Dark Magic above and beyond the norm (which is saying something, given how it's viewed in most of Hyrule ANYWAYS) stemming directly from the origins of the River Zora. The Ocean Zora are extremely quick to criticize, report, and counter activities that pollute the waterways, a crime few can hide from if only because of how awful it SMELLS before anyone even factors in the treaties with the Hylian Royal Family and established laws against it. They practice a lifestyle of extreme cleanliness, health, and hygiene, seeing it as the proper way to be, although their standards and tastes are decisively different from Human ones.

The Zora are, oddly enough, the primary source of alchemical mixtures used to create environmentally friendly soaps and other things that inevitably end up tossed into rivers and groundwater as waste, and enchanted treatment devices placed underwater near river-bound settlements that helps cleanse the filthy, foul-smelling sludge that always crops up from Human/Hylian living. Though the secrets of creating truly large purifiers was lost in the Great Cataclysm, they've begun reclaiming the old secrets. This service is often performed in exchange for trade of materials the Zora have difficulty acquiring and processing themselves, such as steel equipment, bombs that can be used underwater, or occasionally military aid in scouring out monsters from difficult places. Fishers and sailors often consult with Ocean Zora to ensure good catches and safe journeys in exchange for other services.

While the Zora are no slouches when it comes to warfare - an art they must exercise constantly against the barbaric River Zora - they see combat as an ugly necessity, and the majority of their lifestyle is focused towards clean, spirited living in the eyes of the Goddesses and Spirits (and, for that matter, each other), and emphasizes an extremely creative culture dedicated to music and the arts. Zora musicians and singers are some of the best in all of Hyrule, and their aquatic styles of construction that often includes vibrant arrays of cultivated coral, shells, seaweeds and other natural materials are immensely aesthetically pleasing to even non-Zora.

Clothing is more a sign of status and decoration than necessity in Zora society. As a people who spend much of their time underwater, going naked is simply par for the course as the few garments they can produce which do not conflict with aquatic mobility are expensive. The Zora have no nudity taboo, and have nothing in particular to hide (all genitalia is internal and very well hidden even by Human standards.) Those who dwell extensively with humans often adopt clothing to fit in better, but it's more common amongst their own for Zora to simply decorate themselves with precious metals, jewels, coral earrings, and other accessories that do not impede swiming.

The Zora tend to form fairly tight family structures, and due to their biological processes involved the Zora don't have children unless they actually want to.

- Habitat & Settlements -
The Zora dwell in all of Hyrule's waterways and often carve out little niches for themselves here and there, as well as waystations and outposts for the greater host of Zora people. They are almost always traveling up or downriver and are a common enough sight - in small numbers - at any settlement that borders a river.

They do, however, have two settlements of note. The first is their capital, Zora's Domain, far up in the northern reaches of Lanayru Province at the source of the Zora's River, known also as the River Hylia for it passes directly through and beneath Hyrule Castle Town. Though it's at the top of a vast waterfall, dispatches from here can reach almost anywhere in Hyrule connected by the waterways in a matter of hours or less - provided it's downriver. The settlement is carved into a vast partially-submerged cave system lit by bioluminescent algae, torches, and enchanted devices depending on needs.

The second major settlement is the Zora Hall, located within a hollowed out rocky island just off the coast of the Great Bay shaped vaguely like a seashell that's quite popular for their music and arts. The whole place is just a short boat ride away from Windfall Harbor, and the local Zora run a thriving entertainment industry while aiding the Hylian Royal Navy and, more commonly, ordinary sailors and fishermen navigate the waters and give them eyes below the waves. Zora patrols based out of the Hall regularly harass any Gerudo pirate raiders brave enough to set sights on Windfall Harbor's shipping lanes, to varying degrees of success.

- Talents -
Zora are generally quite clumsy on land, suffering from an inability to use certain kinds of clothing or equipment designed for Humans or other races, and a general inability to remain away for the water for more than a few hours at a time. Being very used to underwater movement, they do not perform very well where their bodies were not designed to tread.

However, in the water they become the most lithe, graceful, and swift beings to ever grace Hyrule's waterways. Zora can swim many times faster and more nimbly than any Human, and perform amazing aquabatic stunts with the greatest of ease.

Zora are inventive and expressive artists and musicians, and are often quite spiritually inclined and knowledgeable. Many prominent Zora mages exist, though their arts are usually focused on water and healing magics. They are responsible for a wide variety of enchanted gear and equipment that non-Zora often use to peruse the underwater world such as the Zora's Tunic, Flippers, the Zora Armor which combines both, and other amenities.

The Zora are capable combatants, even on land when pressed. As few common weapons are particularly effective underwater, Zora warriors tend to favor spears and tridents - which thankfully function fine in either situation and are fine weapons for fishing too, and don't require any particularly exotic (for them) materials. They sometimes wear armor, but not much, as excessive armor prevents them from swimming properly.

Some Zora learn to fight with the spines in their forearm fins, and a few have mastered a mystical talent to throw and retrieve these fins like boomerangs. Any Zora may also use their innate bio-electricity as a defense to shock others they're in contact with or close to in the water, but it's so mystically draining that only those who specifically train their personal Force energy reservoirs can do it more than once or twice a day.

Rito

- Overview -
The Rito, a proud race of avian humanoids, live beyond the traditional borders of Hyrule, on an island in the Great Sea. They are known for producing many brave explorers and talented fliers, and manage most of Hyrule's mail.

- Origin -
The Rito began as a group of Ocean Zora, marooned on the island now called Dragon Roost during the Great Cataclysm. Surrounded by then-toxic waters that brought only death and finding little to eat on the volcanic island, they beseeched the Great Spirit Valoo for aid - and he responded by transforming them into the feathered folk they now are, giving them wings with which they could soar about to find food with.

- Physiology -
The average Rito stands anywhere from six to eight feet tall, though their hollow bird-like bones make them much lighter than other beings of their size. Their arms, face, and torsos are covered in light brown skin, and they have sharply pointed ears like many humans. Their faces bear a yellow-orange half-beak instead of a nose, their dominant facial feature. Their eyes are sharp, and their iris are either red, orange, or yellow.Their heads are covered in soft, hairlike feathers, as are their eyebrows, and beards for the few males that sport them. Young Rito can have brown or red 'hair,' but this nearly always fades to white in adulthood, though some males retain dark beards throughout their lives. Rito legs are birdlike, covered in soft white feathers from the waist down, and they stand on threeclawed toes (with a small dewclaw spur), the toes and tarsal bones covered in yellow scales. Nearly all Rito have feathered wings over their arms, a gift from their god, Valoo. Rito can magically manifest these wings at will, though most Rito, proud of their wings, allow them to drape over their arms at all times. Wing feathers are nearly always white, with brown or black tips on the primary feathers.

Rito reproduction is mammalian and completely identical to human, unlike their Zora ancestors. Though they are very human in appearance, Rito and Human/Hylian/Gerudo/Sheikah couplings cannot produce children.

- Behavior & Society -
Rito tradition emphasizes gender roles a bit more than the Hyrulean norm, with males responsible for defense and food gathering, and females for child-rearing, craftworks, and spiritual matters. A line of Chieftains has lead them since the beginning of their race, with the position passed on from father to son. While the Chieftain may lead the Rito people of Dragon Roost Island, the Priestess of Valoo is an equivalent position handed down not through bloodline but competency, with the latest raising several candidates with the skills needed and settling with the one thought most suitable. The Priestess of Valoo speaks with authority equivalent to the Chieftain, though the two are careful to only deeply step into each other's domains via consulting one another save in emergencies. She is also responsible for attending to Valoo's needs and often serves as companion and translator for the Great Spirit, who is one of the most sociable of the bunch.

Rito dress in simple robes, and wear little in the way of jewelry, a decorated tabard and a tiny assort of charms or talismans usually the extent. They ofter wear their hair in ponytails, with hair over the front of the ears tightly bound so as not to get in their eyes. Eye-accentuating face paint is common in both sexes. Upon reaching adolescence, all Rito children, known as fledglings, must travel to the summit of Dragon Roost mountain to meet with Valoo. Those who accomplish the pilgrimage receive a scale from the mighty sky spirit, which allows them to grow their wings. This is the one and only rite of passage for the Rito, and both males and females are expected to undergo it. A Rito who does not will never develop wings of his or her own.

The Rito are a fairly isolated people, but their inquisitive natures make them eager to speak with new people and explore like few other races can. Many Rito are drawn to adventure in their youths, and while some are able to sate this urge in the activities of the tribe, others become explorers. Those who enjoy making a profit while journeying across Hyrule join the Hyrulean Postal Service, and the Rito are a common sight in remote settlements and areas too difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to otherwise reach by caravan ferrying mail across great distances.

They are every bit the artists and musicians their Zora ancestors were, with markably different tastes. Their art consists mostly of painted wood and stone carvings and they much enjoy small carved charms, trinkets, and other doohickeys as decoration. While some of their traditional dances are indeed land-bound, many are daring displays of aerobatics. Rito are particularly fond of flight-based games, and competition between them can be fierce. Non-Rito who have some means of gliding or flight are welcomed, though usually seen with quiet amusement by the Rito.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Most Rito live in their ancestral home, Dragon Roost Island, located in the Great Ocean west of Windfall Harbor. This rocky volcanic island has little in the way of plant life, possessing sparse trees and grass, and the occasional Bomb Flower and other few handfuls of species. The Rito live mostly in the island's interior and along the cliffs, having carved out an array of caverns and tunnels for their community. This aerie greatly expands on old magma tunnels from the volcano, long since sealed off and made safe. Dragon Roost is still an active volcano, however, and the caves are generally quite warm as a result. Local food consists mostly of fish and ocean plants, and whatever substantial creatures they find crawling around the rocks of their island home - for this reason, they often send large gathering and hunting parties to Hyrule's mainland in search of more variety, and engage in quite a bit of trade with the rest of Hyrule. Though their island does possess considerable deposits of metals and Force Gems, their mining industry is minimalistic - just enough to support their own needs. The Rito do not have the constitution or desire to tear apart the rock they roost in.

Those Rito who do not live on Dragon Roost typically nest near volcanos and hot springs, though several live in the cities of Hyrule itself. Rito don't particularly care for the cold, and those who live in the cities often migrate to warmer climes during the winter. Regardless, Rito children from other areas are still required to journey to Dragon Roost Island to earn their wings.

- Talents -
A Rito in melee combat is robbed of the ability to fly, and is generally at a distinct disadvantage to a non-Rito melee opponent, in no small part thanks to their hollow bone structure that makes them significantly more vulnerable to blunt trauma… though they have devised a martial arts form that emphasizes agility, evasion, and raking kicks capitalizing on their talons in such a melee emergency. Forced to fight, the Rito much prefer indirect means such as traps, thrown weapons like spears and knives (which they can use while flying if they're skilled and careful), and magic.

Rito are exceptional scouts and messengers, their extreme mobility and sharp eyesight a keen advantage in many situations.

A fair amount of Rito females are quite skillful mages, and Song Magic is prized among their number. Rito Magical Natures are usually aligned with the wind and weather, though have invented some peculiarly useful spells dealing with the earth and stone they use to create their rocky dwellings.

Kokiri

- Overview -
Kokiri, the diminutive children of the Great Deku Tree, are reclusive inhabitants of the Lost Woods seldom seen by the outside world. Bonded for life with fairy partners, they are perhaps the rarest of all races in Hyrule.

- Physiology -
Kokiri resemble prepubescent human children with pointed ears, three to four feet in height and no taller. Their hair can be any shade of blonde, red, light brown, or rich forest green, and their eyes are blue, green, or brown. Indistinguishable from humans physically, the similarity is only skin deep.

Kokiri are created, not born, each a loving creation of the Great Deku Tree. As such, no Kokiri is born with any kind of physical or mental ailment, though quirky behavior's almost to be expected. Kokiri are ageless, born with a rudimentary knowledge of life and encouraged to learn more from their fellows. They do not die unless slain, but the source of their Lifeforce is the plantlife of Hyrule. Kokiri need the sheer exposure to life that the forest provides, and very slowly grow ill elsewhere. Places of desolation where plants do not or cannot grow in abundance (the desert, Ikana, Death Mountain, etc) take an even heavier toll on their endurance. They can only handle a week or so in such a place, presuming they find enough food. Nevertheless, a day's rest in the forest is enough to restore them to full health.

Each Kokiri is bonded to a single Fairy for life. These tiny fae are the constant companions of the Kokiri, and will stay with them faithfully through thick and thin. These Fairies are a special subvariety of the average Fae, native to the forest, who often serve as a guide and conscience to the tree-dwelling children.

Though modeled accurately after humans on the surface, Kokiri gender is a social concept at best. They do not reproduce.

- Behavior & Society -
Kokiri live in a state of perpetual childhood, though they are surprisingly knowledgable despite their childish demeanors. The Kokiri tend to the forest and serve the will of the Great Deku Tree, but are otherwise allowed to do as they wish and enjoy their lives. Playful and carefree, they spend most of their time enjoying various games from the simple hide and seek to somewhat more challenging and mildly dangerous hijinx - like vine swinging from one tree branch to another. Through luck, or perhaps fate's blessing, these escapades never seem to result in serious harm for them when they go sour… just pain and embarassment. They have a propensity towards obsessions over any myriad of subjects and talents just as humans do, but it's rarely expressed as seriously or well-thought-out as most others would hope. For instance, the Know-It-All Brothers might childishly pride themselves on hosting the biggest collection of literature and knowledge in the forest… but on the other hand, they are the ONLY such collectors and don't even undersatnd half of what they have. The Kokiri are similarly fond of celebrations and festivals, having grasped the basic idea of them and come to enjoy the works of woodcraft and decorations such entail… and sometimes organize one without actually really knowing or caring what the original celebrations were about.

Kokiri are generally incapable of grasping higher philosophies and principles, and easily forget them even when they do. They similarly have limited emotional capacities compared to the average Hyrulean. Relationships among the Kokiri towards each other and non-Kokiri are typically expressed in straightforwardly childish ways, like crushes, petty rivalries, and close friendships. The magic that keeps them youthful seems to reinforce this, soothing their minds from worrying too much about the challenges other races face. While this can be frustrating and confusing to most Hyruleans, it is perhaps for the best: as immortal beings, Kokiri have little concept of time. Days and nights pass, and seasons change, but their childhood is forever. For the few Kokiri who venture beyond the Lost Woods, this makes long-term relationships with the other races bittersweet, as no other natural race shares their timeless nature. The wiser among the Kokiri caution their fellows about leaving the forest, but most do so a few times a year for a peek outside.

As they tend to stick to the Kokiri Forest that borders the Great Deku Tree, most Kokiri are unused to dealing with anyone not of their own kind. While some Kokiri maintain an odd interest in seeing the world or traveling to areas neighboring their forest home (Ordon Village is popular for its proximity and simplistic inhabitants) and easily form attachments to other folk, strangers walking into their domain are treated with a mixture of awe, fear, and curiosity. Unless a visitor does something to explicitly rile them up however, most tend to fit in easily enough if they're willing to join the Kokiri in their endless play.

The Kokiri engage in limited trade with Hyrule, mostly via Ordon Village, where the more adventurous among them are a somewhat common sight. Much to the surprise of many, they are excellent woodworkers… as wood's the only reasonably effective building material they can access besides mud. Their tend to carve and fashion all kinds of useful tools, toys, and even trinkets like figurines in their spare time. Given their innate propensity for forest navigation and how the Lost Woods simply accept them, when Hyrule needs exotic ingredients from the forest most try to barter with the Kokiri. The Kokiri have little need of anything from the rest of Hyrule, but some enjoy collecting things from the outside world even if they have no idea what it is or does. Metal tools and other implements that aid them in their endeavors, such as saws, are also popular. They lastly have an interest in foreign food - their staple is a diet of flavorful roots, mushrooms, honey, berries, plant nectar, and other foraged goodies from the forest. (While omnivorous, hunting and meat rarely cross Kokiri minds.) They sometimes gather Rupees and Force Gems, and even have a few shops, but the idea of a currency is, to them, mostly just a funny game they modeled after seeing some adults do it. Few actually understand the idea of an economy or currency, but they still trade with them if they feel like it and have them.

Kokiri dress in simple forest greens and browns, garments woven from fibers drawn from the many plants of the Lost Woods.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Kokiri dwell in the forests of southern Hyrule Faron Province is famous for - the Lost Woods. More specifically, the Kokiri Forest that borders Ordon Village, which is one of the few places where the Great Deku Tree's power prevents dangerous forces from taking root. The Kokiri Forest is full of greenery, their houses literally carved into trees.

- Talents -
Kokiri make poor physical fighters. Their tiny bodies simply lack the muscle mass to keep up. If truly pressed to defend themselves against a threat, the Kokiri will rise up in number using works of woodcraft and using terrain to their advantage. One facing off against a Kokiri has much more to fear from their guardian Fairies, who wield the same mighty magics the rest of their kind possess.

The typical Kokiri is well-versed in simple works of woodcrafting, and most are quite experienced climbers who can engage in minor acrobatics with ease. Such are the skills they develop foraging for the forest's abundant supplies of food in all kinds of strange places.

The Kokiri are at home in the forest, and can effortlessly navigate through them. They all but intuitively know the simplest and quickest routes with but a glance… and what's more, the Lost Woods is far less keen on playing its typical tricks on them.

The Kokiri know little of magical theory, but are so versed in music that their Song Mages are quite something. The few Kokiri who do bother to learn Magic rarely learn much, and their Magical Natures are usually earth and plant themed.

Koroks

- Overview -
Koroks, cousin of the Kokiri, are the stewards of the forests of Hyrule. Tiny creatures made of bark and fiber, they are the frailest of all Hyrule's intelligent races, but nevertheless are one of the most adventurous.

- Physical Attributes -
Koroks stand just over two feet at the tallest, and most resemble vaguely humanoid shapes made of wood, with twigs for arms and legs. A mask-like leaf with unadorned holes for the eyes and mouth serve as their face, and is actually part of their body. A Korok's bark can be any shade or texture seen in forest trees, with brown being most typical. Their leaves can also be any normal shape or color, but tend to be much larger than any real leaves. Despite being plants, Koroks are mobile and active. Korok females look no different than males. Koroks, like trees, can live for centuries, but show little physical sign of aging. They are not, however, immortal.

- Behavior & Society -
All Koroks are seedlings of the Great Deku Tree, given life and form by the mighty forest deity's power. They serve his will by caring for the trees of Hyrule, journeying far and wide to tend to sick and dying trees, and to plant new saplings to replace those lost to age, industry, and war. Natural adventurers, Koroks typically have no permanent dwellings, though all Koroks return to the Great Deku Tree at the beginning of every spring for the musical Ceremony of the New Year, rejuvenating both themselves and the mighty Tree and sharing stories of their travels with both the Tree and the Kokiri.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Koroks can be found all over Hyrule, though with their natural plantlike appearances, they are seldom seen unless they want to be seen. Few Koroks have permanent homes, but those that do live in the Kokiri village.

- Combat -
Koroks, like their Kokiri cousins, have little combat skill. Despite being among the bravest souls in Hyrule, their limbs are too small to wield most weapons effectively, though some have mastered the use of enchanted leaves of the Great Deku Tree to blow gusts of wind and ride the skies on updrafts. In combat, however, most Koroks rely on their natural camouflage to evade enemies rather than fighting. Korok musicians, however, are some of the most skilled in all of Hyrule, and wielding musical magic, even the tiniest Korok can be very dangerous indeed.

Sheikah

- Overview -
A very small tribe of secretive warriors, the Sheikah have served the Royal Family of Hyrule since antiquity. Masters of subterfuge, they are spies and assassins without equal. The life of a Sheikah during times of turmoil is often violent and short, but such is the price for the crucial duties they perform.

- Physiology -
The Sheikah are a wiry and powerful race, thinner and lighter on the whole than humans and Hylians. They show the same range of height as normal humans, though their builds are typically slender. They are indeed just as capable of building muscle mass as Humans and Hylians, it is simply denser. They can similarly suffer obesity, but no self-respecting Sheikah would ever allow such to occur - such is the discipline nearly all Sheikah are raised to uphold.

A race born to shadows, their skin is naturally tanned. Their hair ranges from golden blonde to pure white, with most Sheikah having very light hair. A Sheikah's eyes are a distinctive red rarely seen in others. Sheikah can have both round or pointed ears just as humans can. Natural contortionists, a Sheikah is trained from birth to master his or her own body, and they are capable of feats of agility and coordination far beyond that of most humans. Male or female, Sheikah are slender, and males and females are hard to distinguish in full garb.

Sheikah reproduction is identical to Humans and Hylians. They are capable of interbreeding, but this is a rare occurence indeed.

- Behavior & Society -
The Sheikah are, publically, one of Hyrule's biggest mysteries. From where did this people come from? Just what events brought this scarily capable tribe to safeguard the Royal Family? Unshakable assassins and mighty bodyguards. Fleet-footed couriers who bring messages of the direst import, and spectacular spies. Figures cloaked in shadow, there one moment and gone the next - like smoke on the wind. Few wish to think of these figures that serve the Royal Family and proudly identify themselves by the sigil of the weeping eye. Those that do tend to view them with mistrust and even fear. Suspicion and even hatred surround them. They are not well liked by the average citizen, and it takes a great deal of work for a Sheikah to gain any kind of loyalty or trust. The people of Hyrule fear the unknown - and the Sheikah practically represent that concept, given flesh and blood.

But these feelings could not be further from the truth. Of all the races in Hyrule, the Royal Family trusts the Sheikah the most - because these aloof individuals serve a greater good under teachings handed down from the Goddess Hylia, and no amount of social stigma, mistrust, or distance from the people they protect will ever shake their loyalty.

The Sheikah are aware that Hylians are not the only people chosen by the Goddess. Yet while the Hylians live in the light cast by the Goddess' greatest aspirations and ideals for the people of Hyrule, the Goddess knew that all light casts shadows and that these shadows must be watched carefully. Thus do the Sheikah exist as creatures who dwell in the darkness, ensuring that evil things can never gather there.

The Sheikah are a quiet, disciplined, and orderly people who practice simple lifestyles that avoid many of the complications, luxuries, and, in their eyes, /frivolities/ of grander civilization. From the day they are old enough to learn a Sheikah is trained by their fellows, with nearly all chores that must be accomplished to manage the upkeep of their simple villages arranged in tasks that serve to train manual dexterity, agility, discipline, strength, and wits to ever-greater heights. When they are old enough, their training continues into combat, stealth, and politics. By the time they have reached puberty, the average Sheikah will be capable of dispatching the fiercest monsters with their bare hands and a wide array of weapons without ever being seen, and will know quite a bit about the habits and lifestyles of many races and individuals (with none of them being the wiser the Sheikah was ever there), and the social ramifications of various events. These skills are considered crucial, and a Sheikah who cannot manage a degree of competence in the Sheikah traditional way of life is forbidden to learn their secrets and instead steered into more domestic roles tending to the village's needs in a fashion that suits them, joining the elderly and crippled in ensuring the village's needs are handled.

Properly raised Shadow Folk have very little in the way of a childhood. Even adults enjoy very little luxury time - the shadowy tribe imposes strict rules of discipline, emotional control, social conduct, respect, and formalities when interacting with one another, and individuality is a thing to be practiced in private. In public, a Sheikah is supposed to focus only on their tasks at hand, and their place within the grander whole of Hyrule. A Sheikah who has chosen to display plenty of emotion and individuality often bears considerable personal feelings towards a matter. Only the greatest of friends and enemies can evoke such displays. Keeping their feelings and thoughts, aside from matters important to the Sheikah way, to themselves… is simply a matter of course for these people. Only those who have grown especially close share them - informal conduct between Sheikah often speaks of intimacy. A Sheikah's relationship with their parents and those who have taught them since childhood is… considerably more complicated in terms of proper conduct and respect against familiarity.

Nevertheless, no people can exist without some matter of relaxation. Most Sheikah prefer quiet contemplation or simple music to carousing and merriment, however, and hobbies that perpetuate meditation on deeply spiritual matters and Hyrule itself. For instance, their landscaping art is among the best in Hyrule, capturing the beauty of the natural world with attention paid to incredibly tiny details - and from highly UNUSUAL perspective points.

Sheikah society is informally hierarchial, with age and established competence and trustworthiness meshing together into a grade of respect. For all their emphasis on formal conduct between one another, they don't stand on ceremony much in terms of instituted ranks or even leadership. Instead, a rough understanding of who stands where in the tribe can be discerned simply by looking at who speaks with who, and who knows what. When the Sheikah need to debate on what course the tribe has to take to deal with crises and other important matters, their most respected members will simply convene and discuss it. With respect comes knowledge, and the Sheikah's knowledge of delicate matters stretches back to before the founding of Hyrule. Their few, most respected members are aware of more secrets than perhaps even the Royal Family can guess. This knowledge is passed down through tighly kept oral traditions as an absolute safeguard - without being written down, the knowledge cannot be spied upon or stolen, and it will only be divulged in times of direst need, for it is expected that a Sheikah will take their own life or cut out their own tongue rather than risk these secrets falling into an enemy's hands. Among their chief responsibilities is the safeguarding of all Royal Family members, and they also ensure that none conspire to harm the three Oracles, the six Maidens, the Sages, or other people of grand importance.

To keep their secrets safe, the Sheikah are one of the few people who retain their own unique tribal language. The tongue of the Shadow Folk is one of the most complicated ones in Hyrule. Few try to learn it, and even fewer offer to teach it. As a spoken tongue, it is devilishly subtle, and given to many different shades of meaning. There are many different levels of formality, chosen based on whom one addresses. As a fairly equal blend of consonance and assonance, the sounds themselves are also considered difficult to pronounce, though when spoken well they are fluid and graceful. Grammatically, it is considered frustrating for its grammatical mutations, the complicated way in which adjectives and adverbs are handled, and the sheer level of vocabulary required even for a simple conversation. As a written language, the Sheikah rely on swirling, graceful script that looks more like artwork than letters or glyphs. It is almost as difficult to learn as the spoken language, with many different symbols and protocols for writing various messages. There is also a need for writing symbols exactly as they are supposed to be - some symbols are quite similar, and even small deviations may make a word mean something else entirely. Sheikah names sound quite unusual to the rest of Hyrule's perspective. Short and of a sort that rolls off the tongue (in their language anyways,) examples include Akila, Nadir, Rais, Tariq, and Zaira. Of unusual import is the name 'Sheik.' Though in their language it simply means 'Shadow,' Sheikah who don't wish to reveal their true names offer it instead as an anonymous form of address.

Sheikah do not engage in official trade with the rest of Hyrule, and manufacture all their own tools, gear, and clothing - nearly all of it bearing powerful enchantments. These are never traded - should a non-Sheikah be found using it, it is either looted from a Sheikah's corpse or was given as a gift. The Sheikah value their gear and few belongings highly, for in many cases it is the only thing they have to rely on. As such, they take excellent care of their gear - particularly weapons - and entrusting a belonging to another is a sign of incredible close friendship, respect, and trust. In most cases, few Sheikah are willing to lend their weapons or even allow others to touch them.

Sheikah gear, and most particularly any of their formal outfits, all bear the insignia of the Weeping Eye, the identifying motif of their people. This symbol represents their duties as watchers of the peace and guardians of Hyrule, but it did not always incorporate a tear. Long ago, some of their number betrayed them and took to studying Dark Magic, thinking that control of the Triforce would ensure Hyrule's safety. This group lost their way to decisively un-Sheikah greed and malice from Dark Magic's influence, and were banished to the Twilight Realm as punishment for this.. and the disaster that ruined Ikana. In memory of this Great Betrayal, the sigil was modified so that the Sheikah would never forget the shame of this event, and never allow such a thing to happen again.

Sheikah clothing varies greatly from one task to the next, but they favor outfits of their own manufacture. These are typically form-fitting wrappings, and efforts to hide identifying features are common.

The decentralized nature of Sheikah society means that, in the field, individuals are free to act as they see best, but they had best be prepared to answer to their fellows eventually. Breaches of secrecy are considered dire crimes, and they safeguard their techniques, communal knowledge, and the location of their settlements with unmatched ferocity. Sheikah who die away from home (which many of them do) are ferreted away if at all possible, to protect their gear from looters and ensure they are honored properly. Few outsiders are ever allowed to learn of their ways, and it is a mark of extreme trust and respect to be allowed into their dwellings or taught their techniques.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Sheikah, as a humanoid race, can live anywhere that humans live, and Sheikah maintain several highly secretive outposts throughout Hyrule to ensure some of their number are always where they need to be. The vast majority of Sheikah, however, and the center of their industry is settled in the remains of the old Kakariko village in the northeastern mountain passes, cut off in the Great Cataclysm by several landslides. Secret passages and tunnels through the mountains, and underwater passages that require special gear to cross, as well as flying in from above, are the only easy ways in, and all are guarded. Potent illusions woven over the area guard it from being spotted from above, and the few cases where random passerby do stumble in are quite rare. The Sheikah treat such intruders with care, but often employ all manner of means - mystical, psychological, or alchemical as needed - to make them forget ever stumbling in… and then deposit them somewhere safe outside. This location is called the Hidden Village or simply 'the village.' Officially, obviously, it doesn't exist.

- Talents -
Sheikah are every bit as talented as their light-dwelling Hylian counterparts, though their bodies are more wiry. Sheikah are natural acrobats and martial artists. Their minds are shape and not easily distracted. These things color much of their talents.

In combat, Sheikah prefer a traditional martial arts style unique to their race that specializes in quick jabs, powerful kicks, and above all constant mobility. By the age of thirteen, a Sheikah is expected to be able to balance and walk on his or her hands, hang from cliffs using only the fingertips, and maintain balance in almost any situation, and to a Sheikah combatant unusual terrain is always their ally - never a hindrance. Enhancement magic is REQUIRED to perform their techniques, and its principles are taught at a very young age to all Sheikah. Experienced Sheikah warriors are taught - and sometimes devise new - martial spells that mix martial prowess with shaped and woven Force energy in ways few mages will ever see. Deceptions, illusions, and a number of crippling and overwhelming offensive techniques make up the vast majority of these arts.

With mastery of such combat arts, weapons are not strictly necessary… but many learn them. Short, easily concealed blades such as knives and their traditional curved slashing swords are common, and many make excellent use of throwing weapons such as needles and knives. Others learn to use the bow, the staff, or anything else that catches their fancy. In a Sheikah's hands however, anything is a potential weapon, and they have been known to get very creative when necessary.

Perhaps as a result of their unusual methods of passing on knowledge, the Sheikah lost little of their secrets in the Great Cataclysm and regularly craft amazing enchanted gear for their own use, and sometimes for those they protect. Their simple garbs, often form fitting, are so supple and flexible that they do not encumber them at all yet confer protection comparable to light metal or wooden armor. Some among them utilize mystic tattoos, painful to receive, that enable the quick and simple use of magical effects inscribed into the inked patterns. They have vast skill producing drugs used to cloud or heighten the mind, and terrifyingly subtle or devastating poisons.

Sheikah are masters of stealth, subtlety, manipulation, and deception - arts typically thought of as unsavory, uncouth, or dishonest by the rest of Hyrule. They know much of what goes in Hyrule and are very good at keeping it to themselves.

Fairies

- Overview -
The smallest of Hyrule's intelligent beings, fairies are servants of the Great Spirits that protect Hyrule, and are thus protectors themselves. They are often underestimated because of their small size, though a fairy can be a dangerous foe indeed.

- Physiology -
Fairies resemble diminutive Hylians, standing no more than two to four inches tall with pointed ears, four transparent insect-like wings, and small antenna rising from just above their foreheads. They are generally thin and pleasant to the eye, and never bear or form physical deformities or maladies. Fairy hair and eyes can be any color of the rainbow, though red and blond are the most common in hair, while blue and green most common for eyes. As a result of their stupendous magical potence, all fairies are naturally surrounded by a brilliant glowing aura, though they can suppress it at will if they wish to. These auras are generally blue, white, or a soft purple, but can be any color. While able to eat and drink, they don't need to: it is simply enough for them to respire the Force Energy of Hyrule.

Fairies enjoy a powerful form of immortality. They do not age, and are nearly impossible to physically or spiritually destroy. It is easier to imprison or exhaust them than to kill them outright, for though they feel pain, their tiny bodies are capable of withstanding damage that would rip larger beings to shreds. Their magical prowess also renders them highly resilient to many means of mystical harm… aside from Dark Magic, one of the few things that can spell doom for them. Standing beyond even the Gorons in this regard, they are the most resilient race of all.

Fairies can be male or female, but they do not reproduce. Instead, Fairies simply spring into existence from collections of Force Energy, aware of their name, language, some handfuls of knowledge about the world, and the location of which Great Spirit needs them most.

Great Fairies are Fae who have proven themselves through skills and accomplishments of great benefit to Hyrule and been rewarded by Venus or the Great Spirit they serve, granted greater powers and responsibilities. Great Fairies have broader control over their appearance, and most appear more human-sized (or even larger) when dealing with visitors of other races to distinguish themselves, but they are fully capable of utilizing their original Fairy shapes if they so choose.

- Behavior & Society -
The vast majority of Fairies are to be found spread equally around Hyrule, though most avoid desolate areas like the Great Desert out of distaste. Fairies are found in greatest abundance where Force energy pools into Force Springs. As many of these are springs where fresh water can be found, people have taken to calling their typical gathering places 'Fairy Fountains,' a term the Fairies embrace with glee, and have even taken to levels none expected by constructing actual fountains as simplistic structures to channel and further amplify the abundant Force Energy they depend on to survive.

Fairy society is strictly matriarchal in nature, with the most powerful of the fairies, Venus, ruling as the Queen of the entire race. Beneath her are an assortment of Great Fairies. Great Fairies are bound to specific locations, and are unable to leave these areas according to Fairy law unless given special dispensation by a Great Spirit or faced with an absolute emergency. They are typically tasked with ensuring that certain Force Springs are protected or watching over various villages. The ordinary Fairies are their hands and eyes throughout Hyrule.

Fairy clothing is surprisingly varied. Many Fairies wear simple garments like dresses and tunics not unlike those of the average resource-poor humans who surround them. Others fashion garments out of plant leaves and flower petals. A few Fairies choose to wear nothing at all. It is largely a matter of personal preference, taste, and individual expression.

Fairies have very few needs or fears, and the simplistic needs of their lifestyles naturally lead to the fact that they have little actual culture to speak of. While any fairy might be called on at a moment's notice to convey messages between Great Fairies or to the Great Spirits or check the water levels of a local river, or aid the Great Spirits in various ceremonies that affect the changing of seasons, they enjoy an exceptional amount of free time. Most of it's spent playing or exploring, but plenty of Fairies spend their time as members of mortal societies, lending magical assistance and enjoying the great variety of socializing opportunities - and occasionally harmless pranking opportunities - it brings. Many Fairies are quite ignorant and naive about the cultures and habits of mortals until so exposed, and misunderstandings between them are common.

Of note is the strange relationship Fairies have with bottles.

Venus claims that long, long ago she was caught by a very young boy who mistook her for a butterfly when out hunting for potion ingredients that would cure his gravely ill best friend. Though caught between outrage and amusement at the time, she was patient and waited to see just when the boy would realize his mistake… all the better to get a little playful revenge on him. Over the day's journey back however, her heart softened and it came time to make the potion she emerged and used her magic to cure the young man. The young warrior went on to become a Knight whose eventual exploits saved thousands of lives. It was for this act that she became the Fairy Queen… and one of her first decrees was that any Fairy so captured should wait as she did until their services are needed, unless on pressing business… but that any mortals who mistreat said Fairy are to be punished.

There is a deep divide in fairy society about this practice. Many fairies resent being captured, and actively pester their captors, though others find it a highly spiritual experience ultimately serving Hyrule in some cosmologically important way. In private retrospect, Venus thinks it was a little silly, but in the end it's lead to far more good than harm.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Fairy Settlements are more commonly called Fairy Fountains - Force Springs that have been dug out into tiny ponds and sometimes equipped with actual fountains. Fresh water is abundant in these places, and where the tiny Fae are concerned these little water holes may as well be sizable ponds. They are located anywhere a Force Spring coincides with an actual freshwater spring, which is a more common occurence than many would imagine. Plenty are outdoors, but some are carved into mountainsides or found in caves. As the fairies have all the time in the world to decorate their homes, indoor Fairy Fountains often end up elaborately decorated and adorned.

A few enterprising Fairies have established Fairy Fountains inside towns and cities, where they double as public bathhouses and clinics.

- Talents -
Small, fleet, and able to take to the air, Fairies make great messengers and spies - it's simply something they were made to be, as the eyes, ears, and hands of the Great Spirits.

On the other hand, because they are so tiny, Fairies are utterly laughable in any physical endeavor - especially combat. While a fairy can wield a melee or ranged weapon crafted for their size, they are practically incapable of seriously hurting something larger than a mouse with it - jabbing needles into eyes aside. That said, being poked still pains most larger foes, and some fairies use this to distract and aggravate their opponents. Even Enhancement Magic cannot do much to overcome this barrier. Forced to fight, Fairies will more often resort to their abundant natural magics.

Fairy Magic is akin to that of the Great Spirits in that rather than casting spells and weaving Force Energy, they simply will their Force Energy to affect the world as easy as a mortal might breathe. Almost all Fairies find that simple feats like healing and elemental manipulation comes naturally to them, and experience only increases that aptitude.

Deku Scrub

- Overview -
Small plant creatures found throughout Hyrule, Deku are a strange people with a weak culture but a thriving presence as merchants throughout Hyrule. Their flighty and unpredictable tendencies lead many theologians to believe that the whimsical Farore designed them singlehandedly.

- Physiology -
Deku are bark-covered plant creatures, standing from two to four feet tall and very light, able to run on water for a few yards. There is a lot of variation in the physical shape of the Deku, but all share a few things in common. Deku have yellow eyes that glow from within, tinged red around the edges, and a single raised snout that serves as a mouth and their primary weapon, capable of firing solid projects with air pressure, often Deku Nuts and Seeds stored in a sort of 'stomach' used for exactly this purpose (and should they run low, magically-reinforced snot.) Other than that, the variation is extreme. While all Deku have two arms and two legs, some have small limbs and large feet, others long limbs and tiny feet. Some Deku have a distinct head and body, while others have no discernable neck. While all Deku have brown bark for skin, their foliage varies greatly. Deku head foliage ranges from a simple hairlike mat of flowers to large floweringbulbs, or even neatly trimmed evergreen patches. Leafy mustaches and beards are not unknown, and a few Deku have a natural frill of leaves around their shoulders. It is virtually impossible for non-Deku to determine the gender of an unclad Deku, though females typically bear more flowering blooms than males.

Deku reproduce much as flowers do, and pollination is a private practice for Deku couples. Children are grown from seeds (different from the more widespread blinding nuts of the Deku Baba, or the seeds of the Deku Flower), growing like plants at first but able to move on their own within a few months. Nearly all adult Deku are able to spin their head leaves like propellers and fly using low-lying Deku Flowers to get a jump-start, though younger Deku require spare blooms from the flower itself to fly. This flight is quite powerful, and experienced adult Deku Scrubs can carry fairly heavy loads for miles before tiring, though they are far slower in flight than the Rito or Loftwings.

A sub-race of Deku Scrubs, the Mad Scrubs, are spawned by seeds tainted by Dark Magic exposure that managed to proliferate in the wild. Mad Scrubs are extremely hostile and often feral (though some are simply highly aggressive and standoffish,) and differentiated by growing autumn-colored foliage at any time of the year and never using any kind of clothing.

- Behavior & Society -
Most Deku are wandering businessmen, peddling their wares to the interested throughout Hyrule, and though officially they and their assortment of mechant alliances (such as the Business Scrubs Guild) are aligned with the Hylian Royal Family, there are many independents who do not particularly care to who they peddle TO or where they get their goods. Though they have a Royal Family of their own, the fractured and widely-dispersed nature of Deku Society greatly limits their authority. The Deku Scrub populace has a tendency to head for the hills and/or further fragment whenever a crisis looms, largely relegating the Royal Family to figurehead positions when some semblance of leadership would be needed most.

Deku dress in specially prepared plants, females tending towards dresses while males prefer simple cloaks of leaves. There is some use of plant-based makeup and accessorizing, but many Deku simply walk around naked, having no visible genitals to offend others with. Deku can drink anything a human can, but they do not eat. Like plants, they photosynthesize nutrients from sunlight and absorb them from the soil as they walk or take root in their Deku Flower lairs.

Owing to their extreme vulnerability to fire, Deku Scrubs rarely employ it if they can avoid it. Deku laws often forbid fire within a good distance of their dwelling places, and like having a good source of water around at all times whenever they're forced to live with the more fire-happy Humans or other races.

- Habitat & Settlements -
While their capital city and the Royal Family's palace rests firmly within the swampy Castor Wilds near the Lost Woods, most Deku wander throughout Hyrule, making their homes near sources of income. While a Deku will readily use a human building, there is a clear preference among Deku for Deku Flowers. Deku Flowers are low-lying blooms with an expansive root structure, large enough for a Deku to use as a house and storeroom, though there's not much room for any kind of decor. Deku flowers are fairly common, though often in out of the way places. Non-Deku cannot easily enter a Deku Flower without destroying it, which is a sure way to make an enemy of the owner. Many Deku live in Castle Town and in the woods around the Kokiri Forest, though a sizable population of Mad Scrubs now lives in the oases of the Gerudo Desert and the Forsaken Fortress.

- Talents -
The Deku Scrub's ability to fly for a few miles while carrying tremendous loads forms the backbone of their industriousness. Without it, they could not be the merchants they are. Their ability to easily camouflage themselves as simple foliage on the way there often comes in handy, because aside from their flight, Deku are often physically far weaker than the average Human, with exceptions among those of extraordinary physique. Forced to fight, they resort to harassing and distracting tactics.

There are few Deku Scrub mages, but those that exist are usually plant, wind, earth, and healing themed.

- Weaknesses -
Fire. Deku Scrubs do not handle fire well at all. They are extremely flammable. They are also too buoyant to effectively swim underwater.

River Zora

- Overview -
Fish-like aquatic beings, River Zora (sometimes pronounced with a derogatory slur, ala 'Zola') are savage and territorial, lashing out at any who trespass on the waters they claim. They have a violent rivalry with their sleeker cousins, and constantly launch raids on waterside settlements for supplies and entertainment. Where the Ocean Zora serve Hyrule, the River Zora serve only themselves.

- Origin -
During the Imprisoning War, Ganondorf Dragmire ferreted away the Zoran Royal Family's most recent clutch of eggs and subjected them to his twisted will. The River Zora were born from these tainted eggs, and have plagued Hyrule's waterways ever since.

- Physiology -
Zora are powerfully built swimmers, their bodies muscular from head to fishlike tail. They have humanoid builds, and generally stand five to seven feet tall, though their elders easily grow several times that size. On average, River Zora are slightly heavier than a human of the same height, and do not grow obese no matter how much they consume. River Zora are humanoid, with clawed and webbed hands and scaled bodies in shimmering shades of green. Their eyes are generally black or dark blue or purple. Zora have fins running down their spine, from head to tail, and similar fins on either side of the head, around the recessed ears. These are red, orange, or yellow in color. All Zora have fanged mouths full of sharp teeth with pronounced lips, the lips and tongue adopting the same color as the fins. Their senses are akin to their Ocean Zora cousins. Having both lungs and gills, which are located below the ribcage, Zora can survive out of water, but do not enjoy it, drying out quickly in the open air.

River Zora do not show any sexual dimorphism Humans can detect, but they reproduce just as the Ocean Zora do. River Zora grow rapidly past the tadpole-like state they share with their Ocean cousins, and reach maturity in about 4 months after hatching.

The River Zora do not possess the bio-electrical talents of their Ocean cousins, and instead have an innate talent to produce and expel bursts of burning magic energy akin to fireballs from their mouths as a natural weapon in addition to their teeth and claws.

- Behavior & Society -
River Zora society is brutal, with the strong preying upon the weak, often quite literally. Fiercely independent, River Zora rarely create lasting or large population centers, and instead stake out territories among the rivers and lairing in underwater caves and piles of debris. They are completely carnivorous, and will eat whatever they can, even if it can talk. Isolationists to a fault, they have no interest in the other races except as sources of supplies and food, and tend to attack anyone and everyone in sight as it pleases them. Many are simply feral and savage, and do not even know how to talk as most Hyrulean races do (pheromonal signals and animalistic body language aside.)

Despite their barbaric tendencies, civilization is not entirely unheard of amongst their number. They understand strength in numbers among their own kind, and respect the bountiful food and loot that a strong leader can organize them into acquiring. Small communities tend to gather around defensible lakes and waterfalls where the hunting is easy. These few groups actually organize, and many can talk crude Hyrulean Common mixed with a warped version of the Ocean Zora's traditional tongue. They have no real industry beyond hunting, and only rarely deign to engage in any kind of trade - especially with other races. A few exceptions arise once in a great while, but very few traders are brave enough to approach a River Zora settlement, and even fewer unprincipled enough to associate with them. In any case, the River Zora typically have nothing of value to offer that can't be acquired far more safely elsewhere.

The River Zora are primitive and savage. They do not wear clothing, but occasionally adorn themselves with trophies and sometimes regard grand scars as badges of their toughness. Their tools are simple at best and often stolen, and education rarely goes beyond what's safe to eat and how to best hunt. Their mating practices are mostly matters of instinct and almost never have anything to do with family. Some simply meet long enough to ensure the race's continuation and leave the eggs to fend for themselves, while others (usually in the communities) engineer and orchestrate mass fertilizations to ready great hosts of formidable warriors for later raids.

There are precious few cases of any River Zora smart or inclined enough to cooperate with Hyrulean society instead of harass and plague it, and most of them are extremely prejudiced against and rarely last long. It is however, sometimes possible to win some respect amongst their communities, usually by proving oneself too tough to be considered food.

- Habitat & Settlements -
River Zora make their lairs along the rivers and lakes of Hyrule, and are constantly competing with the Ocean Zora's attempts to eradicate them. Many lay low in isolated areas and only emerge to hunt and raid when the coast is clear. They are a fairly common sight across Hyrule, avoiding only areas where there's little food or water. They also skirt away from extremely cold areas, preferring more temperate regions.

The River Zora prize rocky rapids difficult to navigate by boat, and look on the underwater caves claimed by Ocean Zora with equal envy. When they do establish communities, these are the places they prefer for they are easily defensible and perfect for their aquatic lifestyle. The grandest of these places is, much to the rest of Hyrule's frustration, a system of caves, rapids, and waterfalls branching off of Zora's River in the southeastern reaches of Faron Province, near where it drains into the marshy Castor Wilds, known as Veil Falls. This area is dominated by a massive River Zora whom they call their King, although his authority is recognized only by that community.

- Talents -
River Zora have a potent natural weapon in addition to their sharp claws and savage teeth: the ability to breathe small fireballs at their foes. They rarely see a need to use any others, but some of the more cunning among them employ stolen weapons like swords and spears when they raid on land or employ crude wooden clubs. The poisons of any creatures and plants they've learned to harvest usually coat any bladed weapons they've chosen to use.

River Zora are somewhat stronger than the average Human and a good degree tougher, but they are slow-moving and clumsy on land and tend to rely on their massive numbers if they truly have any desire to raid on land. In the water, they're every bit the match of the Ocean Zora.

Aside from their innate magic 'fireballs,' the River Zora rarely practice magic of any kind and have little talent with it. They're typically aligned with water, and the few mages among them have a propensity for weatherworking. (It helps in their raids.)

Gerudo

- Overview -
A band of all-female desert-dwellers, the Gerudo have a reputation as thieves, raiders, pirates, murderers, and homewreckers among the people of Hyrule. Only one male is born among them per century. The Gerudo live in the Gerudo Desert, and bear the dubious distinction as the race that gave rise to Ganondorf, the King of Evil of ancient legend.

- Origin -
The Gerudo are the Children of the Goddess of the Sands, one of Din's many titles. The blazing Goddess desired a people who represented the part of her multifaceted soul which was cast into the sands - the passionate, capricious nature of the desert. At first, Din wanted this race to represent feminine strength in contrast to the Gorons. Farore rejected Din's first proposals on grounds of an all-female race's spiritual imbalance, given how Din used Humans as the base template. Begrudgingly the Goddess of Flame declared that One Male would be born among them every 100 years to maintain the Gerudo's heritage, and so Farore breathed into the sands, and from the resulting sandstorm the first Gerudo emerged into the harsh glare of the desert sun.

- Physiology -
Gerudo are thin, their lean bodies well-equipped to life in the sand and heat of the Gerudo Desert. Standing from five to six feet tall and a little heavier for their size due to muscle mass, they greatly resemble Humans. Gerudo skin is darker than said Humans however, ranging anywhere from a healthy ruddy brown to nearly black. Gerudo have yellow or green eyes, and their ears are always round. A Gerudo's most telling feature is their prominent, slightly pointed noses, and their blazing red hair that doesn't fade to white until they're well into old age. The rare Gerudo male tends towards prodigiously muscular and tall builds, easily reaching seven or eight feet by maturity.

As most are female, Gerudo typically venture beyond their kind to reproduce, seducing Human, Sheikah, or Hylian men for this purpose. A bloodline too far removed from the one male wanes, however. After eight or so generations away from his blood, children merely show a few weak Gerudo traits at most, and are distinctly un-Gerudo.

- Behavior & Society -
In ancient times, the Gerudo were merely reclusive yet capable nomads living in the arid valleys bordering the great desert, with many of their number serving in all walks of life within the lusher parts of Hyrule. But then they fell from favor, and the Gerudo lifestyle has never been the same. The Gerudo are fierce warriors who embrace an unforgivingly harsh lifestyle by necessity. Children are never left idle from the moment they are capable and have minimal free time - they, like all other Gerudo, must strive hard for the community. Gerudo raise their own from a very young age in a profession crucial to their survival - as 'raider' is chief among these, practically no Gerudo reach adulthood without knowing how to defend themselves, and an individual Gerudo is often more than a match for a dozen Human soldiers. By land, by sea, and any other enterprising direction they can wrangle, the Gerudo raid, pillage, and steal what they need, for much of Hyrule denies them trade - and the few towns which accept them face severe stigma from the rest of Hyrule. The Gerudo do not particularly care through what means one of their own brings in resources, so long as they do without putting the rest at unreasonable risk.

Though Gerudo care for one another deeply, it's understood among them that their resources are limited, and so respect and survival is guaranteed first to those who are useful. They tearfully offer weak, ill, or crippled children to the mercies of the gods, abandoning them to the desert sands. The blind, the deaf, the lame, the deathly ill, the weariest and weakest of the Elders, and anyone who is otherwise an unreasonable burden on the community traditionally offer themselves just the same. Smart, thoughtful Gerudo train themselves in many arts and professions so that they will always have something useful to offer if they become a burden, and Elders are valued chiefly for their wisdom and experience.

Gerudo authority is a slightly convoluted matter. A Gerudo enclave typically has two voices of authority: A Council of Elders (which manages its own membership by vote and recommendations of the people) responsible for overseeing the vast majority of domestic and logistical matters, and a Commander chosen by said council who is responsible for the military and raid-aspected matters. The Commander is free to lay out a rank structure beneath them however they see best, and answers only to the Council of Elders.

The One Male born among them is traditionally their King, at least that's the word that best translates in the Common tongue. The Gerudo commonly see him as more of a necessary inconvenience… depending on the proclivities of that individual. His treatment is quite multi-faceted. On the one hand, the Gerudo resent the long-term survival of their race being dependent on one person, no matter how capable he may be. He is a target to their enemies and sometimes an affront to their personal lives or tastes… but at the same time, he holds great existential clout over them. Thus, the One Male is not simply expected to be a 'King,' but DEMANDED and forced to be an unmatched warrior and commander that the Gerudo can be proud of and glad to follow. Traditions of necessity watched over by the Elder Councils ensure he is never without female attention, including a rite where he may demand the companionship of any adult Gerudo he wishes. This, however, is only rarely and very carefully exercised, if at all… if the King is wise and tasteful. (Or, more directly said, only an idiot causes unrest among followers who can flatten a dozen soldiers single-handedly.)

Though as a whole the Gerudo dislike their long and seemingly irreparable banishment from Hyrule, they remain proud of their accomplishments in the face of every difficulty and take most hardships as new difficulties to be overcome. Acts of extreme passion and whimsy mark typical Gerudo actions, tempered with just as extreme pride and discipline gained in their intense training regimens. While fierce, they disdain unnecessary bloodshed for several reasons. They usually see slaying an opponent who stands no chance against them as beneath them, and know that being too brutal on their raiding targets means they lose targets to raid or draw a united military hammer down upon them. They do not take slaves, seeing such as lazy and beneath their pride, and prefer straightforward and honorable combat. The Gerudo respect strength, skill, and competence, even amongst the non-Gerudo, and have been known to accept members of other races who earn their respect and benefit their communities as honorary Gerudo. They treat their crucial horses and other animals they depend on practically as they do each other, and Gerudo are known as some of the best horse breeders in all of Hyrule.

The Gerudo traditionally do not marry, and children are raised in a communal creche, keeping only a tenuous connection with their mother and even MORE tenuous with the father… Paternal parentage is more tracked by race than individual name, if only to see where a bloodline stands in distance from the One Male. In the desert the Gerudo wrap themselves up tightly in cloths and linens to keep out the blowing sands and glaring sun by day and keep out the frigid cold at night. On raids and in less harsh areas they tend to dress provacatively, adorning themselves with vibrant silks and linens and all manner of makeup and jewelry as they see fit, using their fit bodies and exotic allure to distract and seduce men to make their goals eaiser. Masters of Enhancement magic typically adorn themselves specifically with large and prominent gems, often worn on the forehead, and store extra Force Energy in them.

Most Gerudo are capricious, whimsical, emotionally volatile, and of course somewhat promiscous. They take lovers according to no particular overarching standards, but many favor strong, independent, and capable mates, believing it will make for stronger children. Some attempt to disguise themselves when traveling in Hyrule proper, others travel openly. Many capture potential mates who catch their eye or spirit during their raids, but it's considered quite crude to force the act. According to tradition such individuals can be kept for no longer than one month before they must be released whether or not the seduction was successful. Exactly how many children result from these activities… well, the Gerudo aren't telling, and few of their captives have any wish to either.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Gerudo enclaves pepper the Desert that's become named after them where it borders Hyrule and an oasis can be found. Their dwellings range from simple tents they can disassemble and relocate on a moment's notice to the great stone walls of the Gerudo's Fortress at the biggest and most convenient entrance to the desert. The Gerudo's Fortress is their greatest meeting place and contains the vast majority of their achievements as a race.

Far across the Desert, where it meets the Great Sea's coast, the more piratically inclined Gerudo make use of the Forsaken Fortress' harbor, though they have little love for the Moblins and various other primitives who run the place.

Surprisingly, Gerudo conduct some trade with Hyrule, mostly under cloak of darkness, but very few make any kind of 'legitimate' living within the borders of Hyrule proper. Gerudo find it quite simple to get around though, if only because most folk will give them a very wide berth and it takes quite an effort by any guards to stop them. They are officially outlawed by old laws, but these laws are impractical to tightly enforce.

- Talents -
The Gerudo are all but born athletes and warrior, possessing somewhat denser muscles than the average Human. Their bodies sweat comparatively less than Humans, allowing them to survive in areas lacking much fresh water very easily.

Gerudo warriors are brutal and efficient. Many of their traditional styles favor curved swords meant to slash and slash, and resemble nimble and deadly dances more than a straightforward fighting style. Falchions, scimitars, and glaives are quite common, and Gerudo are the best mounted archers in the land. Most Gerudo shun armor, favoring parrying and evading their opponents' blows instead and capitalizing on the agility their lean bodies develop so easily.

Gerudo Mages are far and few between, but they do exist. Most are artificers and alchemists who focus on the logistical needs of their fellows rather than combat, or weatherworkers who try to coax rains and fertility to keep oases livable or create new ones.

Lynels

- Overview -
Primitive nomads of the mountains, steppes, and bluffs, Lynels are a race of proud warriors. Uncivilized and untameable, they are feared by the people of Hyrule, widely regarded as barbaric savages.

- Physiology -
Lynels are large human-lion hybrids, standing between seven to nine feet tall and long. Their flat feline faces bear leonine teeth. Their human torso merges with a lion's body at the waist. All four paws have sharp claws. Fur may be red, brown, or a rare blue-grey. Males bear shaggy manes, darker than their fur colour, or a striking white. Females bear much shorter manes, and are generally smaller than their counterparts. Lynel senses are extremely acute, and they are excellent natural hunters. While omnivorous, the race has a strong preference for meaty diets. LOTS of meat.

Lynels are monstrously strong, possessing both the stamina of horses and the nimble agility of a mountain goat to go alongside their tremendous physical might. Their tough hides brush off most blunt weapons and all but the sharpest bladed ones, unless wielded with great strength and skill. Only the Gorons and Hinox are physically stronger or tougher, and the Lynels are considerably nimbler.

Lynel reproduction is mammalian, as befitting their lion-like form. The females commonly bear litters numbering between 3-5 Lynels, who grow to adulthood in about eight years.

- Behavior & Society -
The average Lynel is loud, rowdy, uncivilized, and savage. A (usually) male warlord stands at the head of Lynel Prides, the greatest of which can reach hundreds of members, though most split long before that. Contrary to popular Hyrulean belief, Lynels are quite cunning, crafty, and intelligent, but these apex predators fear no other creatures, wind, or snow, and much prefer to rely on their talents with elemental magic and simplistic lives over the trappings of Hyrulean civilization. While many Lynel prides are patriarchal, new prides that split off are free to govern themselves as they wish… they just typically stick to tradition. The Lynel look to no central authority as a race, treating seperate Prides entirely as separate peoples. Lynels are daring, easily provoked to take on challenges to their might, and often going off to test themselves against bigger and toughter monsters to prove themselves and earn bragging rights and trophies.

Many Lynel Prides are exceedingly territorial, and react swiftly to intercept intruders to their claimed lands - violently, if they feel particularly threatened or the subject of their ire doesn't acquiesce to their demands. As a matter of pride, few see any need to associate with non-Lynels unless necessity warrants it. Their written language is extremely simplistic, consisting of crude-seeming marks gouged into tree bark and cliff faces mostly to mark their territories, and the majority of their traditions involve worshipping and honoring the powers of nature rather than the Great Spirits who embody it or Goddesses who created it. Much of Hyrule views this as crude or heretical, but the Great Spirits are largely unperturbed. Lynel singing voices are grand, and they pass on their ways to their young through majestic teaching ballads. Some Prides annoy, intimidate, and/or awe any neighboring settlements on those rare days when all the members gather to roar out their traditional musics for the whole world to hear without a care.

It's quite rare for Lynels to become involved whatsoever with other races. They keep their distance and expect others to do the same as a matter of simple principle, no matter what happens. Extenuating circumstances can push them towards grander organization, and a rare few Prides or individuals engage in cooperative relations with Hyrule proper. Most of their trade is only amongst their own, though if forced to trade with other races they tend to resort to tasteful (in their eyes) applications of nature magic as a bartering chip - their agricultural fertility blessings are time-honed and quite effective, as is their weatherworking.

Lynels view clothing as a variety of things, but rarely 'useful' or 'necessary.' Most often they adorn themselves with all kinds of colorful paints and dyes, display any of the (admittedly rare) scars they might gain in life proudly, and sometimes fashion ornamentation from trophies acquired in their hunts. Some craft tunics or bear trinkets and jewelry acquired here or there, but Lynel culturally places little emphasis on such practices, though they often ridicule each other over anything especially un-Lynel that wasn't acquired as some kind of prize.

- Habitat & Settlements -
As a whole, the Lynels prefer mountains and rocky areas for their settlements. Grassy steppes are also acceptable, such as those found near the border of the Gerudo Desert. Settlements are small, with tents or huts made of animal hide built from readily available materials. Very little trade occurs between other races. Lynels are not automatically hostile to outside races as a matter of course, but they are quite territorial and their trust must be earned gradually.

- Talents -
Lynels are fierce and potent warriors whose natural weaponry includes sharp claws, prodigious muscle and agility, and thick skin that wards off minor attempts to harm them. Some craft or otherwise acquire arms and armaments for themselves, favoring swords, shields, and spears. In war they even adopt the traditional role of cavalry if it suits them, couching spears and lances and relying on their own legs to propel them. They rarely bother with armor.

The Lynels are strongly in tune with nature, and are one of the few races to be strongly gifted Force energy channelers. Indeed, they stand near the potential held by Hylians. It is no surprise then that magic is widely practiced among their race. The manipulation of and harmonious existence alongside nature is a key principle to their most Lynel Prides. While Humans utilize tools, the Lynels channel the power of the Earth, Wind, and Weather through their honed mystic arts and well-composed song magics.

Lizalfos

- Overview -
Hardy and surprisingly stealthy reptilian humanoids, the militaristic Lizalfos are cold-blooded caste-oriented warriors who make most of their homes in volcanic cave systems. Almost their entire population served Ganondorf during the Imprisoning War, and it was devastated in the resulting Great Cataclysm.

- Physiology -
Lizalfos are humanoid reptiles with a forward-leaning hunched posture, six to ten feet from snout to tail. They have large black, yellow, green, or red eyes, their skin covered in large scales in mottled browns with brighter highlight colors: green, red, orange, blue-grey, or slate, and their underbellies are whitish with a hint of the highlight coloration. They are very obviously lizardlike, with splayed limbs, slitted pupils, and medium-sized and quite muscular tails. However, unlike most reptiles, they are warm-blooded - though still bear a severe dislike for cold. All Lizalfos have three-fingered clawed hands and three-toed clawed feet with a dewclaw, though few use these claws in combat. Their mouths can unhinge like a snake's, and their sharp teeth can cause nasty bite wounds. Small spines and ridges decorate much of a Lizalfos's body, and these tend to vary by tribe and age, including the occasional nose horn. Female Lizalfos look no different than males by Human standards.

For all they hardly seem it, Lizalfos are actually dragon hatchlings. Many have the ability to breathe fire, and others are born with functional large leathery wings that can keep them aloft for quite a while. While the latter are often termed Aerolfos by Hyruleans, they are the same race. Truly ancient Lizalfos who've lived for centuries grow beyond ten feet, and sometimes reach twice that, though so many die from violence that few are known to reach that age. These are similarly known as Dinolfos, and they almost always develop the ability to breathe fire if they didn't possess it earlier in life. It's rare for Lizalfos to develop wings simply through age, but it does occasionally happen.

Those few Lizalfos who live millenia AND possess wings sometimes grow into mighty Dragons. They are so rare that many Hyruleans believe them extinct.

Lizalfos females come into season once per year, and lay eggs after mating. Clutch sizes are based proportionally by size, with average Lizalfos laying between 15 and 20 eggs per clutch. Actual full-grown dragons lay hundreds of eggs. Properly incubated eggs hatch after about 80 days, and Lizalfos are capable of defending themselves with natural weaponry competently within about 3 years. It takes about 8 for them to reach adult height and maturity.

- Behavior & Society -
Lizalfos have a militaristic hunter-gatherer society, with nearly all Lizalfos trained as warriors and hunters according to caste-based roles and very military-styled rankings organizing their hierarchy for extensively large groups. Each Lizalfos tribe has a general, who is responsible for all the tribe's matters. Obedience and discipline is of crucial import to a Lizalfos den, and they generally do little that promotes or benefits indivuality. They are trained to think only of the good of their tribe, and never themselves. Conditioning to life in Lizalfos warrens begins as soon as a hatchling can comprehend events around them, and they rarely ever know who their parents are. The weak and dimwitted are weeded out rather early by their rigorous training and the dangers of life in the volcanic regions they call home, and infant mortality is high. Indeed, Lizalfos' greatest enemies are perhaps their own kind, for more Lizalfos are killed by other Lizalfos than any other source. Those who survive this grueling stage of life are however, the best of the best, and they are what matter.

Lizalfos are not very emotional beings, and don't form emotional attachments to anything very easily. They are very dedicated, and opportunistic, but not very passionate or inventive. Lizalfos are chiefly concerned with food and territory. Those who prove themselves incapable of benefitting the tribe, whether through incurable infirmities, or disruptive behaviors, are exiled or killed without hesitation. Love and mercy are foreign concepts to their thought process. A General will assign male and female pairs according to what they think will lead to the strongest children, with a strong preference for lines that show potential for wings or firebreath.

Lizalfos care little for other races, and have no overarching spiritual beliefs. Some organize cult-like activity to worship a Great Spirit or other powerful figure who has inspired them or aided them, however. Those on Dragon Roost Island revere Valoo simply because he has an alike form and keeps the island safe from most threats - that, and they do not wish him as an enemy. They engage in very little trade with each other, and practically none with Hyrule. Few non-Lizalfos are welcome amongst their ranks, and they react to intruders violently. This can lead to many prolonged conflicts when a Lizalfos den seeks expansion but has to compete with another race's settlement. If they feel they can oust their competitors, they rarely think twice about trying.

The Lizalfos who reach centuries of life and near the point where they could be called Dragons often have long since left their lesser cousins, for these few who have proven their dominance and capacity to survive go through many drastic mental changes that makes them more cunning, intelligent, and emotional than the typical Lizalfos. Their behavior is extremely varied, though rarely particularly friendly. So few Dragons exist that they have no actual society.

- Habitat & Settlements -
Lizalfos are a mountain-dwelling species, and with excellent low-light vision, inhabit caves and mountain valleys inhospitable to most other species, with a strong preference for actively volcanic regions rife with caves. Settlements of other races anywhere nearby are sometimes subject to brutal attacks when the Lizalfos seek to expand or wipe out competition.

The mountain passes leading into the Gerudo Desert once hosted a rigorously defended Lizalfos den built during the Imprisoning War, and many Lizalfos look on it now with envy. Sadly for them, the Gerudo and other races routinely clear them out, and prevent the Lizalfos from regaining a foothold there.

A thriving Lizalfos community lives in the volatile lava tubes and volcanic caverns of Dragon Roost Island, surviving off the subterrean critters and occasionally fish. Their only possible competitors are the Rito, but Valoo's presence and patronage of the Rito keeps the Lizalfos from expanding in their territory. The two races have essentially agreed to give each other a wide berth, and Lizalfos who patrol some of the beaches are sometimes open to conversation, but are mostly focused on ensuring nothing enters their warrens without the General's permission.

A smaller and untenably hostile tribe exists within Death Mountain, having completely overrun the Fire Temple since the Imprisoning War. The Lizalfos enjoy its protection. The Gorons are frustrated at this, but lack the resources or inclination to actually wipe them out. The Lizalfos do not see the rock-eating Gorons as competition.

- Talents -
Lizalfos craft and wear armor and weapons of their own design, fielding leather, chain, and plate armor that can only be used by their kind, and helmets of bone, leather, or steel. They prefer small bucklers that do not restrict hand movement, though larger shields are made at need. Swords are their preferred weapon, though axes, spears, flails, and bows are also used. The tail claw is a weapon unique to their species, a set of twin spikes lashed to the tail that allow a warrior to attack foes behind him. The strongest of Lizalfos warriors are taught to field giant ball & chain weapons capable of taking down many foes at once. Magic-using Lizalfos are rare, but the race is more than capable at the arcane arts, and have a preference for fire and earth magic.

Moblins

- Overview -
Moblins are in fact five different races, each similar in temperament and savagery, but quite different in nature: forest-dwelling Moblin, desert-dwelling Bulblin, plains-dwelling Bokoblin, mountain-dwelling Butablin, and cave-dwelling Miniblin. Possessed of a crude but efficient warrior culture and generally dumb as rocks, they are the most frequent foe of the good people of Hyrule.

- Physiology -
Moblinkind are a vast and varied group that's actually five seperate varieties. Despite many cosmetic differences and matters of size or facial features, they are all omnivorous, quite ugly by Human standards, and those of similar sizes can interbreed to… interesting results, generally in their facial features, leading many to think they are the same race with wildly different adaptations to different environments. While many variations exist due to such encounters, the breeds that are supposedly pure blooded are as follows:

Moblins, the largest of the kind, are bulldog-faced humanoids that stand a stocky and thick six to eleven feet in height. They are covered in short coarse fur, and can be any shade of brown, with a few blue-grey and rust-haired specimens. They have dangerously sharp teeth, though their claws are fairly blunt. Eye color runs from black to red, and they generally have black or red tongues. Alone among the Moblin species, they have relatively human-like body proportions. Female Moblins are smaller than males and have multiple teats, but not breasts. All Moblins have a tendency to drool when excited. Despite their doglike appearance, they don't have tails.

Butablins stand from five to ten feet tall and resemble humanoid pigs. They tend to be very heavy for their size, and obesity is frightfully common in older individuals. They can have pink, brown, or blue-black skin, and have sparse coarse hair in shades of red, blue, green, and white. Their eyes can be black, red, green, or brown, though they are small and generally see poorly. Butablins have dangerous tusks and broad noses that they use to sniff out food and other prey. Butablins are barrel chested, with short legs and large, muscular arms. Females have teats like Moblins, but no breasts.

Bokoblins, named for the boko sticks they use as their primary weapons, are roughly equivalent to humans in size and weight and have batlike facial features, with long pointed ears and upturned noses. A few Bokoblins sport a vestigal horn in the center of their forehead. Bokoblins are hairless except for their heads, which carry stringy white hair, often bound tightly or shaved bald. They have short legs and long arms, which can drag against the ground when running quickly. Eye colors are black, green, purple, and red, and skin color can be purple, blue, red, or black. Females have poorly developed breasts, and are as ugly as the males to non-Bokoblins.

Bulblins are named for the boarlike Bulbos they tame and often ride into battle, and tend to be smaller and lighter than humans, about four to five feet tall but hunched over at the shoulders. They are hairless and green, and alone among Moblins have humanlike teeth, though they rarely have a full complement. Bulblins have beady red eyes that glow in the dark, and have excellent night vision. Bull-like horns grow from either side of their head, usually curved forward and about a foot in length. Like Bokoblins, they have short legs and long arms. Rare Bulblins grow as tall as eight feet, with long upward-curving horns, but tend to develop obesity. Female Bulblins greatly resemble the males, with similar figures and small breasts.

Miniblins are the smallest Moblin species, never more than three feet tall but heavy for their size. They have stocky builds with short limbs and broad rodent-like faces. They have large eyes in blacks, reds, and greens, large ears, and sharp protruding teeth with pronounced incisors. Curvy horns extend from the tops of their heads. Miniblins are covered in fur, and have two-shade patterns of dark red, blue, orange, or purple. Short tails hang from their backs. Miniblins chatter in a high-pitched voice, and are very annoying to most other races, including other Moblins. They appear to have no visible difference between genders, fur obscuring any details.

- Behavior & Society -
Moblins of all races are hunters, scavengers, and raiders who take far more than they make. The average Moblin is dumb, simple-minded, and thoroughly uneducated. They are rarely talkative to strangers, whom they often consider simply victims to mug or amuse themselves with, but many are capable of speaking in crude Hyrulean Common if they so choose, and have had an occasion to learn it. Some never do.

The Moblin races do not really grasp industry or complicated architecture, and lack the ingenuity to greatly innovate on anything they have learned to use or make - which rarely includes more than basic weaponry and sometimes shelters. They will readily use tools, weapons, and lodgings made by others, though many Moblin clans were taught rudimentary crafting practices, animal husbandry, and other basic arts useful for warfare by Ganondorf Dragmire before the Imprisoning War, and have passed it on. Most Moblins born nowadays follow these teachings, erecting military-style camps out of wood and earth, complete with watchtowers, when they see any need to settle down anywhere in numbers for a time. Others will readily seek out caves or dig tunnel complexes into hills and sometimes even into and down below trees where they can be found.

Moblin camps are often small and located in unobtrusive, out of the way places compared to the settlements of Hyrule… many, but not all. Plenty of Moblins focus on amusing themselves throughout their simple lives, hunting, foraging, and often punching each other in the jaw in sparring matches when they have nothing more interesting to do. Amongst their own kind, they are social and not too unpleasant, though their violent lifestyles and primitive natures make them seem all the more brutish to Humans. Those who enjoy more roughhousing and danger in their lives dwell deliberately near the settlements of other races whom they will raid and steal from as a matter of course. The rare Moblin might act more civil towards their neighbors, but they find acceptance quite hard to achieve amongst Hyrule's… well, polite society.

All in all, Moblins have little to no civilization or culture of their own. They are too dumb to appreciate much in the way of philosophy, art, or even the basics of engineering, and practice tactics and strategy to the absolute minimum required to chase whatever they want at the moment. The few exceptions, those few Moblins who show surprising ingenuity, creative intelligence, tactical thinking and complex emotions usually quickly find themselves leaders of their own kind. Most Moblins will readily follow the first being who wins their respect, and this almost universally means trial by combat. A warrior of any race who can best a Moblin in combat is often respected as an equal, even if they are enemies, and whole tribes can change allegiance overnight when leaders quarrel.

Moblins wear clothing made of roughly tanned animal hides, and stolen jewelry when they can get it. Occasionally their outfits are adorned with skulls and similar trophies won in battle and hunts. They are smart enough to adopt environment-appropriate clothing when necessary, though their thick-skinned physiology makes them quite resilient to extreme environments compared to the average Human so Moblin garb is usually minimalistic, often little more than loincloths.

- Habitat & Settlements -
There are no great Moblin settlements to speak of, most Moblins preferring to simply lodge themselves wherever there's shelter from the wind and the rain, though there are several semi-permanent camps out in the wilderness. Left to their own devices, and without pre-existing lodgings, Moblins will dig lairs beneath dead trees and in caves, and are quite capable of surviving on their own. Miniblins are the least choosy about these dwellings, lairing like simple animals. Moblins, Butablins, and Bokoblin have the same needs as humans, and prefer a dry, warm dwelling. Butablins especially are fond of lairing in old ruins and castles. Butablins and Bokoblins will sometimes lair together, with the larger Butablins ruling their weaker kin.

- Talents -
Most Moblins are good at really only one thing: Beating the tar out of everything in sight. Tool-users but not generally tool-makers, they will readily scavenge weapons from other races. On their own, few will bother to do more than grab the nearest rock, stick, or log and call it good. Moblins who've been at all raised by other, more successful Moblins are far more likely to wear armor, employ shields, and use advanced combat techniques like flaming arrows.

The Moblin sub-races are little different, save for their different builds and environments lending to different strategies and preferences.

Moblins are hardly intellectuals, but they are surprisingly skillful hunters and possess superior senses of smell to Humans. They're hardy and doggedly stubborn, and the greater races are brutishly strong and tough.

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