Denizens of mountains, cliffs and clouds, the Regency's inhabitants live in the highlands and skies of the tropics. Most of the flesh and blood creatures have names given to them by the Aztotl, a large tribal people that live amongst them, hunters in harmony with nature and 'the spirits'. With excellent eyesight and ability to attack from above, almost all of the Regency's life survives by preying on creatures that wander into their territories.
Able to move easily from mountaintop to mountaintop either through flight or 'magic', the Regency often consider themselves above all others in a very abstract way, in addition to the literal. Through discipline and spiritual training, they have mastered many forms of improving their hunting and trapping, and are almost unrivaled in these capacities. That is, until they are forced to clash with each other, or fight much closer to the ground in open plains or forests where some of their advantages are lost, or matched by others. It is through these swooping attacks and dominant vision abilities that they hold their territory and way of life, and different types of creature are known to work together when needed to achieve their lofty goals.
The ancient hunting tribe of the Aztotl have built an advanced civilization and society based on living in the mountains and plateaus of the tropical regions of the world. Through emulation of varying other creatures in the Regency, these adaptable people have gained a large and varied set of abilities, ruled over by their benevolent monarch, she who is known as Crimson Diana. Living at different altitudes ranging from nearly in the forests, to the high temple pyramids, the elemental energy of the Aztotl people varies considerably, and it is for this reason that they also have such varied abilities. One common point is their ability to hunt and track prey from afar, though their specific methods of dispatching their prey of course also vary.
Members of the Aztotl tribe aligned with the element of Fire have learned from the Phoenix and War Dragon creatures of the world, and those aligned with the element of Lightning often have abilities more similar to those of the Griffons and Falcons. Only the most enlightened of Aztotl shamans are usually aligned with the element of Radiance, having studied the capacity of the skyfaring Luminaires and learned to handle elemental 'magic' in various differing ways. Their Queen, a Warrior Priestess in her own right, combines the power of her fiery subjects with her own enlightenment, becoming a devastating force in nearly any conflict. Their greatest power often comes when they work closely together towards their goals, and it is in this way precisely that their Queen can fight to her full potential.
The Aztotl also are trained in such a way that they are very effective when working together with nearly any other creatures in the world, however, building such a force can be difficult due to their need to bring multiple members of the tribe to be most effective, causing a 'division' when the other creatures are not also somehow close to the Aztotl in elemental alignment.
The birds that wield the spiritual flames which has given them the equivalent of this name, amongst the Aztotl, do not in fact possess any other properties linking them to the creatures of our world with such mythos, save their appearance. Their feathers seem to flicker with living flame, but this is mostly an illusion, created by the coloration of their plumage and the effects that their heated bodies have on the air around them. What is most definitely true about these faux Phoenix creatures is that they do have considerable control over heat and flames. Because of this, the Aztotl tribes do also believe that they are creatures capable of restoration and rebirth through fire. In a sense this is true, since creatures whose bodies have such thermal outputs are seldom prone to disease, and a Phoenix can often ignite itself temporarily in a burst that makes opponents believe that they have dealt fatal damage to the creature only to have it flutter away.
In truth, though, the Phoenix birds are no more hardy than any other avian, and in fact often less so, making up for this with their speed and occasional bursts of destructive power. The high pressure exerted on their bodies by the temperature of their body fluids also contributes to their prowess in combat, but it would come as no surprise to most biologists that these creatures are not found near heat sources nor volcanoes as those from our mythos would be, but rather actually prefer waterways. Sustaining their body fluids under their high rate of evaporation can make life difficult for them, and they get exhausted quickly, so they only enter combat for short periods of time. Enough of these birds exist to have a notable effect on weather and cloud formation, something that the Aztotl tribes have been studying for years.
Individually, though, the birds are solitary often, and sometimes predatorial to even other creatures of the Regency. The only reason they are not more of a threat is that most other Regency creatures are stronger than a single Phoenix, with even the mighty "Sables Duress" often posing not much threat to those prepared to see one.
These strange beings are made up of hundreds of thousands of interconnected 'plates' of biological matter that is functionally extremely reflective. Like plants, they are powered by sunlight in some ways, and their forms arrange their small, normally hexagonal or octagonal plate structures in ways that capture this light. The name Polaroid comes from the Aztotl's strong understanding of the creatures' ability to affect electromagnetic fields, using these to fly, attack, and even in advanced cases attack with light itself or ionization blasts.
The form of a Polaroid changes relatively easily, with larger ones such as Skylia able to change forms in ways that increase their combat potential itself, dramatically. Disk shapes become concave bowls, or deflect attacks by manipulating this the other way around. Stored energy in their forms can be discharged in small bursts or concentrated further for greater attack power. Although individual Polaroids do not need to be involved in any conflicts and could simply float about in the lower stratosphere indefinitely, they are connected to the Luminaires and sometimes to the Aztotl, especially during the night. Due to this, they often enter conflict along with these beings. Polaroids are generally not particularly intelligent by most standards, but this is more-so because of their lack of complex needs, than their actual reasoning ability. Nevertheless, they often do not do much other than defend against attacks and float around their allies, with very little communication usually taking place.
A group of Polaroids is often an extremely effective defense wall against an attacking enemy force, and for this, creatures of other elements often enlist their assistance. Hard to disrupt and usually hard to get rid of unless they have come quite close to the ground, their abilities can be astounding to those who are unprepared for dealing with such a tightly knit defense force.
If one accepts the common definition of 'dragon' as giant, intelligent, fire breathing lizard, then the War Dragons of the Regency cannot be labeled anything else. However, depending on your outlook, the 'War' part of their name may be misleading. The Dragons are usually sedentary, moving only in search of food, normally content to bask on rocks or in caves, or even to simply soar through the sky on powerful updrafts from mountains for their own amusement, if they can fly. The name is taken from their connection to the Marauders of the Dominion, with whom these dragons have a strange symbiotic relationship.
The Marauders, being raiding, warlike nomadic people, quickly learned that befriending the smallest type of War Dragon, the wingless Spotter Dragon, gave them large advantages, as the dragons' keen eyesight and unexplainable other senses made them perfect scouts and early warning systems. Through this respectful relationship, the Marauders also slowly gained contact with other, more powerful types of Regency Dragons, and found that the normally sedate and apparently aloof creatures were quite friendly in many ways, as well as being very intelligent and having a penchant for warfare matching or surpassing the skills of even the 'generals' amongst the Marauders themselves. Since the beginning of this alliance hundreds of years ago, the bond between the Dragons and the Marauders has only grown, since the Dragons are capable of understanding human speech and signals, as well as many military maneuvers. Though the Marauders do not understand the language the Dragons use to communicate to each other, simple things like nods of the head or warning roars are easily understood, and even those dragons which do not often join in with the Marauders can be communicated with, if the Spotter Dragons are willing to translate.
Their relationship to the Salamanders is unknown, as it may simply be that all lizards exposed to the power of the fire element gain the ability to harness it, be they Salamander or Dragon. One thing is for certain, that the War Dragons are nothing to be trifled with, capable of decimating entire enemy forces if given an opening, or, conversely, able to lead strikes to make the opening required by their allies. Few but the strongest of creatures in the world can even hope to face one of these behemoths in even combat.