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In Cavnish folklore, thayoi are daemons, or supernatural beings that are more powerful than humans but not as powerful as gods. They are not necessarily evil, but most are considered malevolent, or at least indifferent to human affairs. They are not all of equal power or rank, either — some are powerful enough to wreak havoc on the entire world (like the so-called Mad God), but others are mere tricksters, like imps or brownies of Earth's folklore.

Interestingly, despite their powers, thayoi are considered to be entities entirely separated from magic, which is Wake's province — most thayoi are believed to be as indifferent or hostile to Wake as they are to humans. In more ancient times, this was the root of the distinction between magic and sorcery.

In artistic depictions, thayoi take on many forms, from the lying, thousand-mouthed thayo of children's parables, to the shadow-hearted nightwalkers that cause chaos by taking on the likeness of the recently deceased.