The game of Familiar takes place in the world of Elytha Tira. In the language of the Mannish that is literally translated as “Magical World”.
Elytha Tira was once composed of one singular realm, existing on one plane. A great cataclysm occurred in the ancient past that rent it asunder, splitting it into one central realm, called Ea, and 12 splinter realms each existing in their own plane.
Each Realm has its own ecology and indigenous peoples and resources unique to them. Inhabitants are able to travel between realms only by the way of magical portals called Realm Gates.
Throughout all the realms magic can take many forms, but the most prized and highly sought after is a physical form of it that occurs called Elyth.
Elyth is typically found as luminescent colored crystals, but can be found in other objects of nature as well. The colors often give some indication of the type of power the stones can hold such as: Red for strength and power, Orange for defense, Yellow for vitality and stamina, Green for Healing, Blue for intellect, Violet for powerful magic, Black for death, and Clear for divine.
Elyth can be found and utilized in varying degrees of strength, beauty, and power, with the purest forms being the most valuable. The people of Elytha Tira have adapted to harness the abilities of these crystals to help them in their daily lives wherever possible. Mighty castles, illustrious temples, and ancient architecture often display the awesome majesty of Elyth in their creation.
Runes are symbols imbued with magic that are inscribed onto stones to do a specific task. Magic users with the knowledge of how to impart different magics into a stone create them. The spell is sealed in the stone until used by someone who knows how to read it and channel the magic.
Among the many ways that magic can be wielded and mastered throughout these realms, one method in particular stands out as being rather unique..
Onlookers often call them Beastmasters, for they seem to magically bend the will of powerful creatures, called familiars, to do their bidding. Among themselves however, the phrase “beastmaster” is distasteful, for the truth is that the creatures and their “masters” share a powerful bond of mutual companionship, which the languages of mann fail to adequately describe. Words used to describe them typically are master, handler, trainer, or the favorite of the people themselves – friend.
Once, long ago, there existed many people who possessed these innate, magical bonds with animals. The people and their familiars would train to harness their abilities together to fight and survive, overcoming many obstacles and felling powerful foes.
As history relates it, in the Second Dragyn War, more than 95% of those who had this skill were wiped out by the Dragyns, who feared that these people might dominate them, turning them into mindless slaves (or so they thought). Those who survived went into hiding, and small enclaves of them exist throughout the various realms today.
In modern times the days of fighting for survival are considered long past, but the practice of battle is maintained to keep their abilities sharp, just in case there is ever another uprising. The people come together with their familiar companions in what are now traditional friendly competitions, all throughout the different realms. They call them the Mythic Arenas.