Believed to be the native race of Azaleon, and for a time, the only sentient race anywhere on it, the ilim were on this continent long before the humes appeared. As such, they are very different from humes, culturally and otherwise, and tend to think perhaps too far ahead. Ilim, unlike humes, can use magic without draw-backs, and often do instinctively.

History

As far as the ilim are concerned, before the humes, it was always them, and Iuna, the goddess of life. For thousands of years, ilim have lived on Azaleon, and in harmony with the world around them. Unlike the humes, the ilim were born with the ability to manipulate aura, and invented many of the sorcery techniques used today. While the ilim needed to displace, if not kill, other creatures in order to get things they needed, such as food, construction materials, and similar, they have always done so with the utmost respect to the creatures whose lives they needed to disrupt. In all things, the ilim have always lived fairly, and simply.

Ilim are notably extremely different from humes, culturally. Where humes do not seem to think much about the long-term effects of their plundering and resource-mongering, the ilim are exceedingly mindful of how everything they do affects everything else. In time, they learned to, rather than cut down trees and try to force the natural world to move out of their way, encourage the natural world to shift, and change, in ways that were beneficial to the ilim. Their settlements, when the ilim began to create them, took shape nestled into natural formations, trees being magically "sung" into moving into a configuration they could work with, carefully balancing their strucutures around the trees without harming them. Cliffsides and mountain caverns were shifted with care, and the fauna that depended on these biomes left mostly alone, allowed to wander as they would. The ilim share Azaleon with all those that would seek to call it home, and did not, for the longest time, understand the concept of ownership, for nothing is truly anyone's.

When humes first came to Azaleon, the ilim viewed them much the same as other animals; they were kindly, and welcoming, to the tall, bipedal creatures without paws. Some might argue, that detrimentally to themselves, the ilim still are unnaturally kind to humes, and for their own sake, they'd do well not to be, anymore, but it is not in an ilim's nature to be vicious. Instead, the ilim do only what they must. Through the humes, the ilim learned of owning something, of borders and boundaries, of government, and eventually, of war.

As the humes spread across Azaleon, the ilim were pushed further and further north, coralled into a single general area, that the ilim began calling Galace, the last stronghold of their species. Fearing they would, eventually, be driven to extinction, the ilim, with the help of a few hume allies, created the weres, durable fusions of hume and ilim that could change shape when the moon was round and high in the sky. The weres became Galace's first army, but they were eventually defeated, and nowadays, are scattered across Azaleon the same as the ilim, thanks to the slave trades. Weres later created their own fortress, but many still remain in Galace, and the ilim view them as brethren.

While the ilim have always done what they could to avoid another outright war with the humes, the humes often have their eyes set on the valuable minerals, ores, and other natural resources, that lay within the borders of Galace, preserved for the ilim have no use for them. Despite constant threat from Dalmasca, Galace remains standing, through assistance of auratech from Haradi, and the help of the Macenians. Still, many ilim are convinced that, someday, they will die out.

Biology

All ilim are small, typically remaining around 3' to 4' in height, though heights closer to 5' are not unheard of, built like small children with rounded faces, small hands, and slender builds that seemingly haven't quite filled out. Despite their never really seeming to grow up, they do still visibly age, albeit it takes quite a while for this to occur. They do eventually gray and become wrinkled, and will sooner or later die of old age, but they are known to live for hundreds of years, and it may take just as long for their youth to begin to fade. The ilim typically have paws instead of feet, and some kind of animal-like tail and ears. Ilim have been seen that resemble canines, felines, and rodents in their animal-like features.

Ilim used to have color variants, based on which side of Azaleon they have blood from, but over the generations, the ilim have intermarried between north and south so much, there is no real separation anymore. Ilim are known to be born occasionally with hair colors such as blue, green, and purple.

Age and Development

Ilim children are raised much as humes children. They grow perhaps a bit faster, as they do not grow as much. Ilim are taught early the very basic fundamentals of magic, and often the basics of hume culture and engineering. Not all ilim end up integrating into hume society, but it is not rare for them to. Ilim age, beyond maturity, very slowly, and most never quite stop looking like children; eventually, they do go gray, and visibly age, but it tends to happen within a very short period of time well into their lifespan.

Abilities

All ilim can use aura/magic, and thus sorcery. However, ilim are not known to carry the traits for empathy, nor does prescience occur in the ilim bloodlines, which leads most to believe empathy and prescience were a dual-edged blade meant only for humes.

Notably, however, ilim are in-tune with nature enough to be able to manage something very akin to empathy with the natural world. They can sense the natural world changing, sense the passage of aura from one living thing to another, almost see the aura connection pathways between the trees and flora of a forest. Given enough time, they can read the memories of past events that occurred in natural areas, such as battles on open fields, and murders in thick woods. Likewise, they have a knack for just knowing what is wrong with an injured animal, for being able to calm frantic creatures, and even some humes and weres may find them a bit calming to be around.

Relations with Other Races

As the ilim society has always worked alongside and tried to get along with humes, if not outright integrated into it, one can safely say ilim mostly get along with humes. Some ilim find humes unbearably stupid, others view them more like children that never quite grew up, others are fascinated by them, but none truly detest them. It is a similar situation with weres, though due to their physiological similarities, ergo being part hume-like and part animal-like, ilim often bond with weres quicker than humes.

If one happens to find a hume small enough, ilim can interbreed with humes (and subsequently smaller weres, as well), but genetics are a finicky mistress, and birthing children of mixed bloodline can either be relatively easy, somewhat uncomfortable, or kill the mother. Half-ilim are often smaller, and will retain their ilim parents' animal-like traits, but may lose one or two of them (ergo, a half-ilim may have wolf ears, but no tail and hume feet).