On Biomagical Speciation

On Biomagical Speciation

By Thorion Silverleaf, Professor of Biomagic

The species of modern Evergreen began in a similar way to earth. Bacteria gave rise to marine arthropods and fish through an equivalent to the Cambrian explosion. Amphibians evolved and more complicated ancient animals, including the dragons and many that remain.

This is where the similarities diverge, and the latest biomagical anthropology makes the contribution of our own elven race clear. Due in large part to our advanced cognitive abilities, and to a lesser extent to some contribution from other notable races, our world retains a flourishing of magic that Earth would not attain for additional 219.2 million years, according to current best estimates from Magnaria et al.

Earth suffered a major asteroid impact that wound back its evolutionary clock an estimated 65 million years. Evergreen has had several impacts, but none in equivalent severity. Evergreen is positioned slightly closer to our star, and our three moons make the lunar situation a bit different. As a result, we are better protected from issues like asteroid impact, and our evolutionary tree has gone much further.

The closest extinction event for us would be the Great Flare, but it occured far later in our evolutionary history, so that the First Elves, closely related to modern High Elves, had practiced open access to the mental plane for over ten million years. The dragons, fae, merfolk, lunari, and even some humans had also attained magical access, not to mention the technological success that Evergreen had achieved across races. The lower races such as the goblins contributed some technical shielding against the flare, even while they lacked ability to contribute to the Stellar Magiplex, the primary tool used for mitigation against the Great Flare.

The current paper focuses on the order of speciation. Using the latest of all nine years of the Royal Biomagical Survey, we finally have conclusive statistical evidence that species on the elvish line attained magical access early than any other hominid, far earlier than the humans, and only slightly behind the dragons. Admittedly, comparing access to the mental field between elves and dragons is a bit of an unfair comparison. Their access, through an oversized and biomagically primitive lizard brain, leverages different techniques than ours, resulting in a very distinct set of abilities, even if they both operate through fifth-dimensional cognitive pressure.

Humans, on the other hand, developed premental technologies first, and only far later adapted direct planar access. Evidence from the literature on human anthropolical neurology suggests a consensus that the ancient human brain, like the ancient human eye, was capable of mental planar observation but not generally capable of remote mental vocalization until later adaptations took place, potentially associated with post-flare environmental pressure. Even today, only a minority of humans can directly and consistently access the mental plane without the use of tools. For the elf, access failure is a rare and tragic medical condition.

An interesting divergence occurred in the aquatic realm, where dolphins, already intelligent, evolved into two distinct yet related races. The Lunari and the merfolk, both possessing powerful forms of mental manipulation and water affinity, fall short of the elven range in kind of magical ability. The Lunari, lovers of the moon, find solace in the night, shunning the sun's harsh light, much like the creatures of the deep. The merfolk, bound to the water, are limited in their terrestrial capabilities.

For the human, succesful access and manipulation is the abnormality. Evolving from our common ancestors in the apes, their journey was mostly marked by mere survival rather than flourishing. To their credit, their modern civilization is far more glorious than many of the beastfolk, and it is well-known that magic among the ape-descended beastfolk is even rarer than among the humans. Overall, humans placed right-of-center in our survey of the races. It is worth noting that our survey excluded orcs, celestials, and non-sentient biomagica such as the elementals, magical flora, and magical bacteria.

The celestial exemption is first due to their detachment from our evolutionary tree and secondly because it is inappropriate to assess celestials as a single race. Rather, they are a collection of various biomagical lineages which would need to be seperately assessed. Orcs do not participate in the Royal Survey because magic is so rare in their race that recruiting participants is infeasible and any analysis of those participants would be of only minimal utility considering the overwhelming selection bias.

Humans generally outperformed the beastfolk, although some aberrations were noted for highly magical foxfolk and birdfolk, calling for a rethinking of their usual evolutionary story. Marine and amphibian beastfolk including the merfolk and frogfolk were moderately proficient on average. The lunari performed nearly as well as elves, only deficient by 0.2 standard deviations on average, with gnomes close behind. Lizardfolk and dwarves performed about as well as humans.

The result on merfolk and lunari is not entirely surprising, given their early evolutionary divergence from other mammals. Avoiding the ape line entirely, this group is closer to dolphins or whales. While the often appear humanlike, this is on account of their image manipulation abilities. In their natural forms they appear rather different. Similarly, the evolution of frogfolk is relatively early to humans from an evolutionary perspective.

In conclusion, the evolutionary journey of each race in Evergreen speaks volumes of their place in the world. The elves, with our deep connection to both the natural plane and the mental or magicl plane, and particularly the high elves, stands as the epitome of what biomagical evolution can achieve. This is not something to take lightly, but is instead a great responsibility placed directly in our hands, one might say, by the Great Mother and her First Children, the Laws of Nature. We stand as the custodians of the world's beauty and harmony, a role that the lesser races, with their mundane origins and simpler forms, can scarcely comprehend.