Welcome to the Guarded Realms
In the world of The Guarded Realms, there are two Spirit Guardians: the Fox Spirit, and the Raven Spirit. Everyone who enters the Realm will be drawn to one of these two, which will usually be revealed to them in a dream. Those drawn to the Fox are referred to as Foxlings; those drawn to the Raven are referred to as Ravenkin.
When people in the land dream, they enter the body of a Fox or a Raven: their spirit exits their body, and manifests as a little fox or raven, which they control, and can wander or fly around in. This is true whether you're an elf, or a faerie, or a human, or a halfling--everyone who enters the Guarded Realm suddenly gains this ability, as a result of being close to the Fox and Raven Spirits.
The History of the Twin Cities:
The Guarded Realm was once split into two tribes: one was connected with the Fox Spirit, and the Power of the Sun, while the other worshipped the Raven Spirit, and the Power of the Moon. After several wars between these two tribes, they finally united: there are many tales as to why and how, but they taught each other a deep understanding of all existing beliefs, and to spread acceptance and respect for other beings among their land. Today the Twin Cities represent the history of each tribe, and even though they couldn't be more different - their bonds seem indestructible!
In the lovely City of Foxford, its citizens are all about tradition and merriment. It's unbelievably warm and welcoming, and gives its visitors the feeling of being in a gigantic, quaint village. They love music, theater and games, and usually there's some kind of festival going on; if there isn't one, they'll probably invent one soon enough. But don't be fooled by its quaintness: it's extremely large, and one could get lost in its immense structures, or busy markets. If you get lost, be aware that you can get a cup of tea at every corner! There are also some of the finest--or at least, the funnest--taverns in the city where you can go to play cards and dice, and sing rousing shanties and drinking songs with the local bards.
Corvix is known for its incredible inventions, they are a people who love knowledge and engineering. They have made lovely machines, which help them to create many shiny--and profitable!--things. Their city is industrious and prosperous, but with good markets comes a lot of trouble - they have a serious problem with pirates and thieves, but advanced assassins and The Watch hunt lawbreakers. The most important building in Corvix is the Great Library, which spans nearly a quarter of the city; many have become lost within its shelves, but occasionally you'll find a Book-stalker--permanent dwellers in the Library--hiding in a reading nook, who will guide you to the entrance, as long as you don't reveal them to the Librarians!
Within the land there are several locations:
Before--and after--the war between the Fox and Raven tribes, the Woods of Wyrd stood, mysterious and foreboding, yet oddly inviting to some at times. This enchanting forest is home to several unique creatures like nymphs and dryads, but in the heart of it one can find the Hollow Tree, which is not only keeping the forest alive, but also is a source of magic for the fairy tribe: Various folk seek their magic, especially the power of the tree's leaves, which seem to be a combination of all the tree leaves in the forest. While they fairies did naturally find themselves aligning with either the Fox or Raven Spirit, there were never many quarrels because of it, and they were almost entirely unaware of the conflict. There are element fairies, mushroom and flower fairies, dark fae, and so much more!
Many years ago, during the war between the Fox and Raven tribes, a group of Ravens left the land, to go seek their destiny and fortunes. The folk of Foxford and Corvix never expected them to return, but one day, a great dragon-headed ship came over the horizon, followed by a fleet of smaller vessels. They landed on the shores outside the Twin Cities, and decided they wanted to stay, converting their great dragon boat--the Drakkar--into a Hall. They have strange and different beliefs from most of the other folk in the Guarded Realms. Over the years they built many more halls, and trade on occasion with other folk in the land: pins made of bone and antler, cloaks with wooly mantles, and of course, leather clothing and armor.
In the old days of the tribes, there were three sisters: One a raven-worshipper, one who married into the Fox tribe, and one who abandoned both tribes to go live by herself in a tiny cottage she built at the edge of the Woods of Wyrd, away from the conflict. Eventually her two sisters worried for her, and left their families to go find her. They discovered they were all quite content living out in the woods, practicing their Magick. They drew their power from various sources, experimenting with different techniques. Their reputation for magick grew, and they started to attract apprentices who wanted to learn from them. To accommodate the amassing witches, they built extensions on the little cottage, until it grew into the sprawling complex it is today, housing all manner of witches: from forest witches, to lunar witches, to kitchen witches, to garden witches, and more!
A contingency of the Fox Tribe, who were not interested in conflict, broke off and ran away into the hills. Over a century later, after the conflict was resolved, they started to emerge and become more visible, having lived in secret houses in the hills for all these years. They started to expand on their homes, now that they felt comfortable being more visible, and developed into a hard-working farm village, producing the best crops in the land. The hillfolk of the Shiredom live a peaceful and blissful life, and while many of them are Foxlings, the occasional Ravenkin will appear in their midst. They love to tell tales, and while most of them are extremely cautious and fearful, they have an inner curiosity that makes them unwittingly wander into adventures.
When the conflict between the Fox and Raven tribes was over, and the Twin Cities of Foxford and Corvix were established, many of the tribespeople were not interested in the busy and industrious city life: they wanted to be more one with nature, and so they left to go live in the Woods of Wyrd. These were the Elves, later referred to by the city dwellers as the Elder folk, since they seem to have changed very little since those historic days--in fact, it seems that they have hardly aged at all. Perhaps there's something about the Woods extends their life, or perhaps they learned some tricks from the Fae. The elven people are a proud and graceful folk, with extraordinary dwellings made out of living trees. Not all stayed in the wood, but wherever they go, you can tell an elf by their poise and connection with nature.