The people of Ismirra are divided into a number of various races differing in both appearance and genetic makeup. Each race has different strengths and weaknesses. These following entries go into more detail on the many races of Ismirra and the traits of each.
Humans are a race much in their infancy when compared to other races. They are strong of build and quite cunning. They much resemble Hylians, but possess short, rounded ears rather than the long, pointed ears of the latter. Of all the races of Ismirra, humans are the most versatile. Though they lack the natural talent for certain fields that other races possess, their innate determination and drive to succeed result in much diligence. Therefore, humans can become proficient in many skills if their minds are set on it so strongly. They are strong of build, and keen of sense making them ideal warriors. Naturally, their skills in magic and archery would SEEM subpar as they possess neither the keen eyesight, nor the innate magical prowess of Hylians, but their powerful determination can lead them to turn these short comings into strengths in a relatively short time compared to other races. Compared to other races, their life spans are relatively short (around 75-85 years on average). However, their versatility and determination allows them to accomplish much more in their short lives than other races could in the same time. Humans age at a consistent rate throughout their lives.
Unlike Humans, Hylians are a much older race, having existed since antiquity. They possess leaner, taller builds than humans and possess long, pointed ears rather than rounded ones. They lack much physical strength, but this is more than made up for with superb agility and great magical power. Their eyesight is sharpened to a level that allows them to easily see over great distances, while other races would be hard pressed to do so. They could be nimble swordsmen, powerful mages, or keen archers but lack the physical strength for more ‘punishing’ roles. They possess an innate ability to read the thoughts of those whose minds are open to them, and to communicate telepathically over short distances. They also possess the ability to ‘hear’ magic rather than simply sense it, making them very adept magical scryers. Hylian wizards excel in all forms of magic but are most proficient with spells of the Light Elemental class. Hylians are the race said to have been modeled in the image of the Divine Trinity and with their many strengths this is a fitting analogy, but has unfortunately lead many Hylians to believe themselves above other races. They possess great longevity, living anywhere from 695-730 years. In the early years of their lives, they age rather quickly until they reach adulthood at the age of 18. It is then that their bodies’ aging process slows considerably. It is for this reason that Hylian children often appear to be near the same age as their parents.
The Kokiri are a race of child-like beings who live deep within the forests that stretch far to the southwest of the Kingdom of Hyrule. They possess vaguely Human or Hylian like features, but to compare them to either of these races would be similar to comparing a flower to a tree. Kokiri are often characterized by having 'forest-like' features such as green, brown, or orange hair and similarly colored eyes, as well as the distinctive clothing they wear which distinguishes them from children of the other fair races. They are deceptively strong, possessing might easily matching that of an adult of other races and their keen sense of smell allows them to detect the slightest changes in scent within the mists of the forest.
The Kokiri make their homes within the village of Neiraki - a settlement hidden high above the forest floor, concealed from the eyes of any outsider. They are not 'born' in the same way as many other races. Instead, every ten years, a special seed is planted at the base of the Forest God, whom the Kokiri refer to as Róhtànketzel. Nurtured by the fertile soil of his glade, and tended by the roots of the Father himself, this seed grows for six days, ultimately taking the form of a large flower. When this flower blooms, a new Kokiri is born, fully grown in body and mind. Though they possess the forms of children, and appear to possess distinct genders, 'Male' and 'Female' Kokiri (Referred to as Cero and Fera respectively) are actually two different subraces. If the flower they bloom from opens during the day, the new Kokiri will be Cero, if at night, they will be Fera.
Many Kokiri possess dispositions similar to children, but others are very wise and mature despite their physical ages. They are seen by many to be as much guardians of the forest, as they are defenders of those who inadvertently wander into it, and there are many tales of people stumbling into Lost Gates, only to be guided out of the dangerous wood by strange beings resembling children. Kokiri are an elder race, but none know just how far their lineage stretches, for no scholars have successfully made contact with them since any outsiders who enter the forest quickly succumb to its curse. They are said to live anywhere from 475-510 years.
Fairies are a race of sentient magical creatures. At first glance these beings seem to be no more than winged balls of light, however this glow is simply the manifestation of the great magical power that exists within them. In actuality, fairies possess forms that are more reminiscent of Hylians or Kokiri, though it is said that these are simply the forms they choose to embody. They have no distinctive habitat, but rather tend to make their homes in whatever areas suit their fancy. They seem to prefer areas close to other races, as many fairies seem to possess a natural draw to those outside their own kin. A large number of them are said to make their homes within the southwestern forests, along side the Kokiri but it is not uncommon to see them in the outskirts of villages or small towns.
They are friendly, but mischievous and therefore interactions with other rares could consist of anywhere from giving one a treasured gift, to playing a (normally harmless) prank. Despite this however, being immortal beings, fairies possess a vast wealth of experience and knowledge, and though their laid back, playful nature often prevents them from using it themselves, this fey race is not beyond sharing their knowledge with others. Indeed, it is often said that many of the greatest magical advancements in Ismirra have come from the minds of Fairies.
Not much is known of what sort of society or culture the fairies embody, if any at all. Rather they choose to remain secretive of this, or simply prefer more engaging subjects is beyond any scholar's comprehension. What is known is that they do possess some ghost of a hierarchy. There are some Fairies who possess larger forms, and magical power much exceeding that of their diminutive kin. These are known as Great Fairies, though there are few accounts of anyone having been audience to one. In addition, there are accounts of Fairies referring to one among their kind as their queen. However it is unknown if a fairy of such great power truly exists, or if this mysterious 'Fairy Queen' is actually a god that they worship.
Fairies are immortal beings. As long as the magical glow surrounding their bodies exists, they cannot die of age nor illness. Should the light ever fade it is said that the fairy will vanish along with it, returning to the Aether Veins that spawned them.
The Deku are a race of living plant-like creatures who inhabit forested areas. Many different Deku Tribes exist in the world of Ismirra and most have created very civilized (if rather tribal in nature) societies. Their civilizations exist mainly within forests and swamps where they are at home among the larger trees and shallow marshes. They are quite weak, possessing little physical strength and limited magical capability. In fact, though some have the ability to use weapons to some degree, their main source of attack is the mere spitting of nuts from their round mouths, which are unlikely to kill even the weakest of foes. Despite their many weaknesses, they are quite cunning and possess a natural camouflage which they can use to disguise themselves from those who would do them harm. It is unlikely that one would be aware of the presence of a Deku unless the latter were to reveal themselves from the underbrush where they hide. They grow and reproduce much like plants; pollinated by insects and scattering their seeds to grow more of their ilk. They are rather short lived compared to other races; living anywhere from 60-100 years depending on the state of their environment. They grow and mature constantly throughout their lives.
The Minish are another race of diminutive creatures even smaller than fairies, known as the Picori to most of the larger races. In many ways, they much resemble monkeys, though their minds are far more advanced. Though their bodies are covered in fur, they often wear clothing magically weaved from plant life and their ears are long and narrow, similar to Hylians. Most Minish also possess tales which look similar to the feathers of a bird. They make their homes in literally any and all places where life flourishes; from towns to forests to mountains, but are rarely seen as their magical aura renders them invisible to all but those who are pure of heart. They are a very simple people, preferring to remain hidden under the guise of their innate magical aura rather than make themselves known to other races. The Minish are a very peaceful race, and as well they should be due to their lack of ability in all areas of combat. They have no need for weapons, and therefore they have no proficiency with them, and the magics they use are mainly healing and support abilities, though they have only a small fraction of the power that fairies wield. Their abilities are mainly used to aid the growth of plant life, and play the occasional innocent prank on other races. They enjoy gathering small, discarded or lost items and hiding them within places such as clumps of grass or pots and barrels for humanoid races to find. For this reason the Minish are seen by most races as beings of good fortune, and to see a Minish is considered a good omen among most peoples. Some Minish possess the ability to alter the their size, and there have been records of Minish performing this feat in order to speak to humanoid races; such as the ancient Minish craftsman-turned-hero, Ezlo. Like the Fairies, Minish are an ‘Spectral Race’ and therefore live much longer than ‘Corporeal Races’, though they have shorter lifespans than Fairies, Minish can live anywhere from 2200-2400 years.
The Rito are the People of the Skies, having appearances much like Hylians or Sheikah but with more bird-like characteristics. They are easily identified by their beaks, talon-like feet, and wings which sprout from their arms. They, like the Gorons and Dwarves call the mountains their home, specifically the area around Dragon Roost Peak. With their keen sight and ability to fly, they make excellent archers and spearmen and their affinity for Wind Elemental magic makes them very formidable in the air. However, a grounded Rito is a very vulnerable target. Their talons allow them to cling to many would-be treacherous offsets, but on the ground, they do not allow for very quick, nor nimble movement. Though they have bird-like anatomy, Rito do not lay eggs and instead give birth to live children just like other humanoid races. Rito are born wingless, and when a child of the race reaches a certain age, he or she must travel to the summit of Dragon Roost Peak and request a scale from the Sky God, Valoo. The magics contained within this scale allow them to grow their wings. Rito are one of the youngest races in Ismirra, second only to Humans. Their life spans range from 185-200 years. Rito age at a ‘human-like’ rate until they receive their wings; at that point, their aging process slows noticeably (though not to the degree of Hylians); a secondary effect of the scale’s magic.
The Gorons are the People of Stone. They are a race of living rock-like creatures with broad bodies, wide faces, short stubby legs, and powerful arms. Their skin is as tough as granite, and they possess great physical strength. They exist in many areas around the world of Ismirra, but the most prominent Goron settlement lies within the slopes of Death Mountain; the aptly named Goron City. There is no stronger race in the world of Ismirra when it comes to sheer power than the Gorons, and only one imbued with magical strength could ever hope to stand against one in hand to hand combat. However, they’re massive frames and great power are balanced by a very friendly a personable demeanor. Gorons value friendship and brotherhood above all else, and for this reason they are a very accommodating race, though some tension exists between themselves and the Zora. Gorons greatly enjoy food, drink, and merriment and to be involved in Goron festivities is said to be a very enjoyable – and tiring – experience. They cannot move very quickly on foot, however they possess the ability to curl into a ball like form, in which they can use their massive strength to roll their own bodies at great speed albeit with great lack of control. With their bulky frames, Gorons make inadequate marksmen, and though their control of magic is very limited they DO have a few magical abilities. They are strong and tough but also heavy. Because of this, they cannot swim and sink like stones in deep water. For this reason, many Gorons shy away from water sources outside of their mountain hot-springs. Gorons can live from 560-600 years before their bodies return to the rocks. Goron children are not ‘born’ in a traditional sense. Gorons grow constantly, and when they gain enough mass, the some of their excess stoneflesh may break off from their bodies. In time, this stoneflesh will grow into a young Goron.
The dwarves are a stout, hearty race which have an appearance much like humans but are shorter, and broader in stature. Residing within the snowy peaks of the Kharazim Mountain Range in the north, Dwarves are masters of the forge, having produced all manner of fine metal-crafts from pottery and utensils to weapons and armor. They’re living is based largely around the smelting furnace and the blacksmith’s hammer. They possess great strength, albeit not to the level of the Gorons, and are adept with magic of the Fire element. The Dwarves true strength lies in their mastery of the art of blacksmithing; their metalwork is known for its quality and many nobles will not settle for anything less than Dwarven Craft. It is also rumored that they are developing a revolutionary new type of weapon which may well change the very nature of warfare. They can be very hot headed and stubborn, but also very friendly. It is common for Dwarves to offer shelter for travelers braving the icy peaks within the comfort of their cities. Like the Gorons, they greatly enjoy the simple pleasures of life and Dwarven parties can become as hectic as those of their Golem-like counterparts in the south. Dwarves and Gorons hold a strong bond of friendship because of their similar cultures and trades. Dwarves can live between 330 to 345 years, and though they age at a constant rate, dwarves are resilient and tough, and do not succumb to the woes of old age until long into their final years of life.
The Zora are the masters of the waters and make their homes within the many aquatic areas of Ismirra; from lakes and rivers to seas and oceans. They have a humanoid appearance, albeit more ‘fish-like’ in nature. There are a few different subraces of Zora; the most common of which being the large bodied, powerful Irongills and the nimble, slender framed Swiftfins. Sleek bluish skin and finblades are trademarks of their ilk, and these features allow them to move through the water with the greatest of ease. Zora are amphibious and can survive on land for periods of time, though their bodies have need of constant hydration outside of their watery homes. They are competent spear wielders and hand-to-hand combatants, and their finblades can be launched from their arms like boomerangs, making them capable at close and long range. They also possess powerful Water-based magics. These versatile abilities are only increased while in the water. Their great skill in diving and swimming, as well as their affinity to the Water element makes them very dangerous foes in when engaged in aquatic combat. However, for all their strengths, the Zora are very susceptible toward changing conditions, and sudden bursts of extreme heat, or extreme cold could be fatal to them. Most Zora have a very calm, intelligent demeanor and many prefer to take things easy, though they hold an ancient tension with the Gorons; the cause of which none can remember. Like the Sheikah, Zora have a taste for fine music, and there are many famous Zoran bards and music troupes. Of these, the Indigo Gos are the most famous. Zoran children are born much in the same way as fish; the female lays the eggs while the male fertilizes them. In time, the eggs hatch into young Zora who will spend their first years developing their humanoid bodies. Zora often live 235-250 years and, after maturity, age at a constant rate.
Merfolk, more commonly known as Mermen and Mermaids are another aquatic race. They possess an upper body resembling a nude human or Hylian, with the lower body of a fish, whale, or shark. Their homes are located mainly upon the floors of deep lakes, seas or oceans but the exact locations are largely unknown to any save the Zora. Merfolk are swift and graceful, rivaling the speed of Zora while in the water. They are competent with Spears but most tend toward a more magical role; using musical instruments such as lutes or harps as well as their beautiful voices to cast powerful spells through the use of song. Though they have an appreciation for music as the Zora do, they see the art as sacred, and most musicians of the Merfolk race live as clerics and healers. They, like the Zora have a high affinity for Water based magics, though Merfolk are highly adept in other forms of magic as well. They possess the ability to communicate with creatures of the deep on a level far exceeding even the Zora, and can use these creatures as familiars to aid them when needed. Merfolk however, lack the amphibious versatility of the Zora. They can survive outside of water for a short time, and can move via the use of levitation magics, however their abilities are much more diminished on land, and a merman or mermaid outside of their watery environs is a very fragile thing. Merfolk have a strong friendship with the Zora, but due to their lack of ability to survive comfortably on land, they do not hold very strong ties to other races. Children of Merfolk are born in the same way as Zoran children. People of this race often live 315-335 years.
The Gerudo are the people of the desert; a race of humanoid beings well adapted to life in the burning sands. The Gerudo are a chiefly female race with only one male born every hundred years. They largely resemble humans, but their rounded ears are slightly pointed, and they are slightly taller than the average human (Though not quite as tall as Hylians). Defining factors of the Gerudo are their tell tale golden eyes, fiery red hair, and dark colored skin. They are masters of the sword and excel in the art of horseback archery. Most Gerudo lack magical ability, however there are some born with the gift. Those who are, are known as ‘Ra’shiran’ which means ‘The Gifted Ones’ in the Gerudo language. They possess innate magical strength, particularly in that of the Spirit element. Gerudo are a proud race with a rich heritage, however due to sins of the past, they are often seen as no more than thieves. In truth, though the art of thievery is still taught among the Gerudo, there are not that many true Gerudo ‘thieves’ in this day and age, no more than the number of thieves belonging to other races at least. Most make their living through honest means such as weavers, alchemists, and adventurers. True Gerudo thieves, though considered a nuisance like any other thief, hold much more honor than others. They never steal from the poor, nor do they steal from women or children, and Gerudo have strict moral laws against acts of cold-blooded murder. They are often at odds with the Sheikah, and the two races tend to stay as far from one another as possible due to this. Gerudo typically live around 420-460 years. However there are some, often males, who have been reported as living for longer.
The Zuna are a reclusive race of desert dwellers, who inhabit the sands of the Gerudo Province along with the people of the same name. They are characterized by their green skin and slender bodies, very different from the Gerudo race. Zuna are competent spear wielders and possess greater magical ability than the Gerudo, but lack the archery prowess of the former. Moreover, Zuna are a rather peaceful race when compared to their fiery haired neighbors, and would rather keep to themselves than to participate in battles. They possess vast knowledge of the flora and fauna of the desert, and have amassed a level of renown as alchemists. For all their reclusiveness, many of the remedies and medicines in Hyrule and other countries were first discovered by the Zuna, and were brought back by adventurers who stumbled upon their settlements during desert expeditions. Zuna possess a society which seems like a hybrid between Gerudo and Kokiri societies; they live in homes made from massive desert cacti and have a strong connection with the desert, but have a system of government much like the Gerudo. Not much is known of the Zuna, and they are rarely seen due to living deep within the desert where only the Gerudo and curious (or foolhardy) adventurers dare to tread. However, they are known to be kind hearted, and are known to take in weary travelers from the desert sands, and to aid them in finding their way out of the desert expanses. Zuna age consistently throughout their lives, and most live anywhere from 190-215 years.
The Sheikah are known as the Shadow Folk; a race of beings with affinities to the element of Shadow. Many refer to them as the ‘Shadows of Hylians’ due to their strong resemblances to the afore mentioned. Sheikah are often characterized by their tall bodies, which stand slightly higher than Hylians, and their piercing crimson eyes. Sheikah are very quick and stealthy, preferring tactics that allow them to sneak up on, and dispatch opponents before they even have a chance to react rather than to attack head on; a choice that seems dishonorable to some but nonetheless gives them a reputation as skilled assassins. They are skilled with all manner of blades, but most prefer daggers and light weapons above all else. They are also proficient in archery, and possess an array of Shadow based magical abilities among others. A Sheikah’s true strength lies in their innate ability to Shadowmeld; a technique which allows them to become one with the Shadows; rendering them nearly invisible. A lesser known characteristic of the Sheikah is their great musical talent. It is said that all those with Sheikan blood possess an almost unnatural musical ability; able to play even the most difficult songs with very little practice, and possess the ability to create beautiful music of their own with little required effort (A talent few Sheikah exploit due to their nature of being neither seen nor heard). This is thought to be due to their strong connection with the Seiryu but this theory has never been confirmed. Sheikah age much like Hylians; progressing into adulthood quite rapidly when compared to their long lives. Sheikah often reach maturity upon the age of 20 and may live between 645-670 years.
An enigmatic race of legend, the elven race is considered all but a myth in Ismirra. Though there are records of their existence, most are written in a language that was spoken in the time before the Divine Trinity, and the Elemental Deities cleansed the world of its taints, which has never been fully deciphered. What is known from all known records is that the elves lived on the world of Ismirra before the Divines granted it their blessing. Not much is known about the elves, save vague descriptions of their appearance, which seem similar to Hylians. This has lead some scholars to theorize that the Hylian race may in fact be descended from the elves. However, this theory is met with some opposition as the Hylian race is associated with the Light element, while records suggest the Elves to be affiliated with Aether. Nothing is known of their abilities or culture, and the latest record of one making contact with them is dated in Frostfall, 1E 27. The twenty seventh year of the First Era. The elven race is said to possess the gift of Eternal Youth; that is, from a certain point in their lives they cease aging and cannot die from old age.
* - The Goron race only produces males. There are no females of their ilk and their society is more like a large family of brothers, fathers, and sons.
** - The reason the Gerudo only birth full blooded, female Gerudo is due to a genetic trait within Gerudo women which causes their bodies to reject the Y Chromosome the precise moment it enters their bodies, leaving only X Chromosomes to fertilize the egg. By the same token, the ‘Gerudo gene’ also eliminates all traces of any other ‘racial’ DNA which would cause other races to give birth to ‘twinbreeds’. Due to this, Gerudo women only give birth to full blooded, female Gerudo with the exception of the one male born every 100 years; a genetic defect, or perhaps ‘intentional flaw’ granted by the Goddess, Sunare. The secondary reason is made much more plausible by the fact that male Gerudo possess the opposite characteristic; in that their own DNA is inferior to the DNA of the females of other races. Children born of a Gerudo male but not a Gerudo female will take on the traits of the female alone, though they will still only be female. It is unknown rather such a union has the potential to produce a male child as Gerudo Kings and Princes rarely commence in sexual intercourse with any others save their own people.