Mana Shift Universe - Thalluinn
This is a universe with high technology and powerful magic.
At some point in human development, we discovered that magic was the only way to overcome some of the laws of the physical universe. One of the biggest rules we learned to break was the speed limit of the universe: the speed of light. With a powerful mage on board, a small craft could “shift” into another plane of existence (some call it the Astral Plane), and tremendous distances could be spanned in very little time. Navigating this kind of travel is difficult, however, and if a craft is too close to a planet or other large source of life or magic, it becomes nigh impossible, so modern spacecraft are a mix of technological and magic devices used to explore distant stars. Also, the size of the craft is very limited. As a result, nearly all starfaring ships are small, and mages are precious, as precious as the masts of an ancient wind-powered ship in the middle of an ocean.
We soon discovered we were not alone in the universe, and not alone in the discovery of manashifting.
The first race we encountered was also the most alien: a race of amorphous “blob” people. When they met us, they used the name “Thalluinn” (“tha-loo-IN”, first syllable with the vowel in “hat”), but eventually we learned that this name was given to them by another race, and it means “The Movers.” Some humans call them Movers, out of some attempt at respect, and that’s the “official” name of the race used in diplomatic discussions, but most people just call them Blobs, and the blobs don’t seem to care.
Blobs are an inherently magical race. They are called the Movers because that’s their specialty: mastering motion through magic. They are able to move around physically in some limited ways on their own, but essentially all of their primary movement comes from innate mastery of magic that allows them to manipulate their own bodies. As a race, these innate talents have been explored and expanded over the millenia, and they are currently the best navigators and ’shifters in the known universe. But they all have more “localized” magic that they use to get around. Some are able to manipulate many “limbs” at once. Some are able to move very rapidly over terrain on “legs.” Some can even fly.
Blobs are also an inherently curious race. They are still individuals, and some individuals are driven by different motivations, but as a race, they seem to be primarily motivated by just wanting to know what’s out there. They are incessant explorers, scientists, and researchers. This also makes them mostly very agreeable beings, since they are rarely concerned with “territory,” wealth, or power as some of the other races perceive these things. Still, the blob homeworlds remain a complete mystery, because the blobs guard them fervently. Magical movement like ’shifting appears to be completely blocked to anyone but blobs alone, which creates a very effective barrier to getting anywhere close to a blob world. Some people believe this is purely defensive, since they are not very militaristic, and might easily succumb to an invasion, but other conspiracy-theorist types believe that something more sinister is hidden behind the shroud…
In the next installment: the highly religious Teryx race, commonly called “birdpeople” among humans.