Mortals are one of the four dream races and are material and evanescent. Mortals are often taunted by the members of all other races because they are short-lived. However they possess bodies throughout their existence which are envied by Jin and Spirits alike, they are also possessed of free will which is envied by Fae and Spirits who are subject to geis. Mortals enjoy the easiest access to powerful Dream magic and thus present a danger in their potential. They pay for this with their short life span of barely a century.
Mortals are born of a living mother and father who combine their bodily materials to produce offspring in a manner similar to Fae. Unlike Fae, however, Mortals are usually fecund and able to sire or nurture many children in a single lifetime. The child of two parents is almost wholly a product of the genetic code, the mortal's free will prohibits them from being constrained in the ways that Fae children are.
Mortal children are smaller than fully grown members of their respective species to allow for their physical birth. Aetheric beings often refer to children as "homunculi", particularly if they are unfamiliar with material worlds. The children develop conscious thought in stages of varying speeds and strengths.
Because of the reliance on genetic variation to produce strong offspring and the tendency for similar codes to cause mutations Mortals often have strong taboos against blood-relatives mating. The mutated offspring of such pairings are known as inbreeds and are vilified although they often have some sensitivity to magic and direct dream manipulation.
Mortals have a natural life span of between 80 and 200 years. They are often children, or at least somewhat child like for up to a quarter of this time. Once a Mortal is dead they either sublime into the Dream, the Void or transform into a spirit form. A human disciplined in thought enough to assume spirit form after death retains much of their consciousness but becomes subject to the spirit geis.
Not all Mortals are organised enough to become spirit conscious and when they die their vital energy is either repurposed or consumed. It is possible for a Mortal sorcerer to indefinitely prolong their life span but they are subject to increasing pressure from the agents of death to move on with their lifecycle as they become longer and longer lived.
Mortal societies come in two forms, dynamic and static. In a dynamic Mortal world originality is profound but lifespans are short. A dynamic Mortal society passes through many stages completely transforming their worlds across the centuries, civilisations with wildly different cultures rise and fall in rich and varied histories. To a dynamic Mortal the worlds of the past and future are expected to be substantially different and the unfettered Mortal imagination does much to seed new worlds in the Dream.
In a static Mortal society societies remain almost the same in perpetuity, the past and future are seen as just distant, but adjacent lands. The different and the strange are seen as the properties of other worlds and these Mortal worlds often act as gateways to Fae and Aetheric realms as well as having some limited connectivity to dynamic mortal worlds. Mortals from one type of world often regard the other type, upon encountering it, as somehow "not real". Static Mortals see the chaotic jumble of history as a signal that Dynamic worlds are chaotic, jumbled and irrelevant. Dynamic Mortals see worlds where nothing ever really changes as somehow "inferior". Of course, neither are correct.
Only Mortal sorcerers ever manifest aetherically. Even then those sorcerers who walk abroad from their bodies retain a single thread-like connection to their bodies like a silver strand. If someone were to kill the body at this time the Mortal would have to sublime or transmute.
Mortals are possessed of a will that has the potential to far exceed every other dream race and this iron clad free will manifests in a variety of different ways from consciously cultivated to developing a mindset so mundane attempts to manipulate or possess just bounce off. Unless an aetheric presence is particularly strong (i.e. experienced Spirit with the blessing of geis, powerful Jinn sorcerer, experienced Fae sorcerer with the blessing of geis or just about any Mortal sorcerer in spirit form) it cannot arbitrarily possess any mortal body it wishes to.
Mortals have so much latent potential for magic that they can often find themselves struggling to access it, minor cantrips can seem out of reach to all but the most dedicated Mortal student of magic, however when Mortals do first practice magic they quickly become very powerful fettered by no geis and possessed of a hugely powerful natural free will.
Another factor that inhibits Mortal magic is that minor magical workings will not affect other mortals, they "fizzle" before the effect manifests and the potential sorcerer is often not aware that they have had any success at all. It is far easier to manifest magical will upon other Dream races, therefore the path to magical proficiency is often more clear cut in Static Mortal worlds than Dynamic.
Although Mortals are tormented by the other Dream races their natural aptitude for powerful magic is envied and feared outside of the mortal realms. The fact that many Mortals do not even seem to appreciate that such powers as those that they possess even exist is regarded by the other races as one of the Dream's supreme and quirky ironies.