Chaldor is home to not one but two distinct humanoid races: the Númia and the Mahanub (silent “h”; accent on “u”). The Númia are very similar to the humans here on earth. The Mahanub, on the other hand, possess a magical gene that produces a variety of powers. In short, they are a race of mages. The precise power possessed by the Mahanub varies much like hair color, skin tone, or height. The most common powers are telepathy and telekinesis, but there have been cases of transportation and even precognition.
The two races are compatible with each other. Because of this, arranged marriages among the upper classes have often been used as a means of tying families of the two races together politically. The magic gene is passed on about 25% of the time when the races mix. The children who do not inherit the gene, however, cannot pass it on. In other words, there is no such thing as a latent Mahanub.
The Mahanub power(s) are active from birth; however, they are initially very weak. A Mahanub’s powers strengthen as he matures, but they often are not of any practical use until puberty or later. As with any other ability, training strengthens a Mahanub’s power and control while disuse dulls them. For most Mahanub, training consists of basic pointers from their parents until the age of 12, when they are apprenticed to a Mahanub of similar abilities. Their mentor is required to teach and look after them until they reach 18 (legal adulthood). After that, the student is no longer required to stay with the mentor. Often, the student does not actually leave until his mid- to late-twenties.
Although the form of government has often favored one or the other, neither race has ever ruled over the other completely. This is because the Númia are so much more numerous that they can meet the Mahanub on equal terms. In recent years, however, the Mahanub population has entered a decline which has increased tensions between the two races as the balance of power slides towards the Númia. There have been extremist groups on both sides. Some Númia wish to increase the monitoring of their Mahanub counterparts in an effort to control them. A portion of the Mahanub population has responded violently to these attempts, and there is a group known as the White Fist that is attempting to overthrow the current government in favor of an Mahanub-controlled system.
Chaldor has a unified federal government which governs both races. The legislative branch consists of a council body of elected officials and an executive branch headed by the Númian royal family. Both races are allowed to participate in either branch, but Mahanub with mind-controlling abilities are forbidden even entry into the capital during council sessions, and brainwaves are carefully monitored against tampering during votes.