In Waincraft, there are six types of non-human beings that are honored, ranging from greater in power and scope to lesser in power and scope. These are the Powers, the Tribes, the Fair Folk, The Relations, the Nature Spirits, and the Dead. Each have their place, and each contribute in their own way to the underlying structure of the world.
The Powers are the Archetypal Ideas that underlie the very fabric of existence. Most of them embody or represent a specific piece of the physical world/cosmos (e.g., the Star-Mother is the darkness that was before and birthed all things, but she is also present in and represented by the literal starry night sky), or a notable time of year/day (e.g., the Gatekeeper is representative of and represented by the forces of renewal present in dawn and spring). Some are both (e.g., the Witcher is represented by both snow-storms and Winter itself). There is a mystery in Waincraft about the nature of the Powers and their relationship with humanity.
The Tribes are denizens of the Otherworld that represent and embody specific mysteries of life and development – e.g., Birth, Memory, Initiation, Magic, etc. They are grouped into clans/tribes named for specific earthly animals that also represent these mysteries through long cross-cultural associations. The Tribes-folk have the ability, per shared experience in Waincraft, to assume the shape and mannerisms of the animal associated with their particular Tribe, and some have the ability to shift into other shapes or forms as well.
The Fair Folk are spirits that reside in the regular world (as opposed to the Otherworld) that generally have one of two major functions – guarding and caretaking a particular place, family or building; or embodying the essence of the creative processes, particularly in physical crafts such as carpentry, masonry, pottery and weaving. These were termed, respectively, elves and dwarves in Germanic mythology, and variations of the Folk include the Celtic sidhe and dusii, the Slavic leszi and vilas, the Greco-Roman satyrs, fauns and nymphs, and various house-spirits such as the brownie, the nisse, the tomte and domovoi.
The Relations are the physical animals and plants that co-habit this planet with humanity. Everything that lives and moves is our family, as many indigenous and pre-modern cultures have believed, from the smallest microbes to the blue whale and sequoias, and yes, even the 2.2k acre Armillaria ostoyae. Recognition that humanity is not the only important inhabitant is vital in this age of climate change, mass extinction and ecological destruction.
The Spirits, or Nature Spirits, are the spirits and souls of the non-animate persons that reside in this world with us – the rocks and mountains, the winds, the rivers and oceans, the minerals, etc. These are also important and vital to a complete and rounded cosmology. Indeed, many cultures revered the local major mountain range/peak or river/lake as a deity in and of itself, or associated them as the home or power of an existing deity.
The Dead are, of course, those humans who have passed on, particularly those in a person’s direct genetic line or who have otherwise had an impact on the development and growth of the living person in question. They are the closest in nature and influence to living humans, and are one of the main building blocks to a truly local, personal religion.