Demihuman, or ‘Demi’, is a slang term primarily used by humans in the Kriterran empire to refer to ‘halfbreeds’ with a non-human parent. Because the humans of Kriterra are able to crossbreed with other races with relative ease, demis are fairly common in the cities of the empire. ‘Demi’ is a derisive, insulting term to imply that these half-breeds are ‘less than human’, and is most often used in communities rife with racial conflict to demean those that bridge the gap. In polite society the appropriate term to classify a ‘halfbreed’ would be to call them ‘half-elf’ or ‘half-zev’, acknowledging the source of their non-human ancestry.
A magical beast or creature can, at a glance, appear very similar to any normal animal. The main way to differentiate them is that magical beasts have a much higher natural reserve of mana compared to a standard animal. Magical beasts are often the result of experiments by mages to create chimeric creatures, though they can be the natural result of mana corruption.
‘Mana and Mana Corruption’:
Mana is the essence of life itself, and the flow of mana through the body is important to the body’s health and natural functions. Mana naturally flows out of the body through everyday activities and, in most living beings, mana is primarily replenished through the intake of food and drink. Mana is also passively absorbed from the environment at a slower rate. Mages can use the mana in their bodies or the surrounding environment to create various effects. Because use of mana through natural means is typically inefficient, Mages throughout history have created various tools and foci to refine the use of mana to achieve their desired effects without draining their own reserves too greatly. A typical catalyst, for example, has a mana-imbued gemstone upon it from which the mage can augment their reserves when casting a spell.
Mana corruption is a condition which occurs when the natural flow of mana to the body is heavily disrupted. This can be caused by a mage overusing their magic until their flow of mana all but ceases, causing mana stagnation which typically results in a coma. There is, however, a more insidious form of mana corruption; that which results when a living being is subject to a flow of highly concentrated ambient mana. This can corrupt the ‘essence’ of a living being, often resulting in a slow and agonizing death. In some cases the victim of mana corruption will survive the effects but their body will be permanently changed as a result. Mana corruption from the fallout of the Great War is said to be the origin of many magical beasts that still trouble the woods and borderlands of the Kriterran Empire to this day.