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The general idea behind Alora Fane is that it's a world in a pocket dimension created by a race of magical aliens called the Aolmna. They're a hive mind, and so they've never known conflict; what one individual feels, they all feel, so they only know cooperation and never war. They see other races wiping themselves out through senseless combat, and they FEEL SADDENED by this... so they try to solve the problem in their own special way.
They gather up genetic information of various warmongering races, and use that DNA to create 'children' of those races... who they plonk in artificial worlds that they call 'fanes'. They call those races the 'Barbari'.
These worlds are divided into several 'petals' - one for each race held in that fane, with the environment being the ideal for that race's specific needs and desires - surrounding a central multicultural city called the 'Nexus'. Each race is expected to stay in its own petal until it reaches adulthood... during which time each individual is taught spiritually in the ways of what the Aolmna call 'unisis'. It's basically just empathy, stressing that anything done to another is effectively the same as doing it to yourself, so BE GOOD and DON'T HARM. The 'gods' - the Aolmna - aren't distant myths like Earth gods are; they actually directly interact with their Barbari 'children' and teach them what needs to be taught.
The Elarna developed technology that could capture and train monsters (the gauntlets), and were by far the hardest race for the Aolmna to 'educate' due to their destructive tendencies. Eventually, they did some terrible thing that completely shattered their entire petal, wiped them out, and sent the entire fane tumbling away from the gods and away from the universe.
Hundreds of years have passed since then, and many of the Barbari have reverted to their barbaric tendencies. Some races remember the unisis concept and the Aolmna, but it's now seen as an old religion, which many don't believe.
Unlike the Astrostles Galaxy's fairly standard elements like fire, water, air, earth, light and dark, as well as the more idiosyncratic aether and fig elements. Alora Fane's elements are based on emotions.
Monsters form from the miasma, similar to in the Astrostles Galaxy. Essentially they're caused by strong feelings agitating the omnipresent miasma; if someone fears wolves a lot, then a snarling wolf monster might appear from thin air before them, for example. 'Species' form when thoughts occur a lot and form natural vortices or 'patterns' that the miasma more easily manifests as. Different feelings affect the miasma in different 'elemental' ways.
Magic, then, rather than simply being 'magic because it's magic', without explanation, is similar; mages essentially amplify their own emotions to the degree that the miasma takes on their form; they might feel a deep surge of sorrow, for example, which might make the miasma form into a brief eruption of pure 'sorrow' energy. Emotionally sensitive people make the best spellcasters in this world, because their emotions are stronger and more easily triggered.
The six elements - or 'sentiments' - are Courage, Fear, Bliss, Destruction, Creation, and Sorrow, with each one of those being strong against the next one in the list (Courage beats Fear, Sorrow beats Courage, etc).
Each Barbari race in Alora Fane is associated with one of the sentiments. The Bold are Courage (they're a race of gutsy fighters), the Meek are Bliss (they're a race of gentle priests), the Mhandisi are Creation (they're gadgeteers who live in a steampunk city), the Varnyn are Fear (they're lupine lawless thieves who lurk in the shadows), the Sindrels are Sorrow (they're toga-wearing moody reptilian artists who live in ivory towers amongst crystal cliffs) and the extinct Elarna were Destruction (which is WHY they're extinct).