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The Numen is a being first explicitly mentioned in Roman Mythology. In accounts mentioning Numina (Numena, Numinae, Numenae), they are said to be ancient and powerful nature denizens, with origins in both the natural and supernatural realms of existence.
And they are said to be very closely connected to life-force, the transcendent, creative energy that permeates all the essence of nature. In addition, many speculate that they possess a deep connection to mana, the essence of magic.
Moreover, Numina are much more powerful than any simple mage or elemental spirit. As such, they may often be (and often were, in the past) confused with, and worshiped as, gods, complete with their own cults, temples, prayers, offerings, sacrifices and the like.
However, while they are divine, it should be known that Numina are not deities. Much more powerful beings than they exist in the mortal coil. Rather, they are much better described as a higher rank of elemental.
In fact, the name 'numen' in Latin means 'an influence perceived by the mind, but not by senses'; more literally, as 'a nod', or 'that which is produced by nod', which indicates subtle mental power, similar to a hallucination, or subtle spiritual power, similar to a ghost. An apt comparison, in relation to a true god.
In comparison to mortals, on the other hand, a Numen is, by no means, a weakling. As a matter of fact, even to this day, anything fearfully ominous or mysterious is often described as 'numinous', as in denoting 'the feeling that a Numen gives off', or denoting 'the feeling caused by a Numen's presence'.
The Numina are otherworldly beings, extradimensional entities composed primarily of raw elemental energy, which they exude at all times (unless they make a conscious effort not to).
Though, the energy a Numen is composed of (and exudes) varies, based on that Numen's particular domain of supernatural influence.
In addition, though they may vary in size and build, they look to be the peak of physical fitness, power and majesty. Even in their abased (humanoid) form, they look intimidating and demanding of respect, veneration, admiration, adoration or fear.
When they dress, Numina often adorn themselves immaculately; their clothing may be elaborate and ornate, or thin and veil-like; they may dress in simple Roman togas or in absolutely nothing at all, but regardless, they nearly always appear regal and majestic.
That is...if they should want to (or have power to) appear at all. Some Numina, typically the younger, weaker or more deceptive ones, may simply remain invisible, intangible and shapeless, so as to avoid detection by potential attackers and enemies, potential unwanted masters...or potential victims.
Numina are very wise; highly intelligent and vastly perceptive. Despite this (or perhaps, because of it), they find most human and humanoid customs odd and unorthodox.
They do not bow to dignitaries, nor do they expect anyone to bow to them (despite the power they possess).
Likewise, Numina tend to be somewhat stoic and reserved; do not shake hands or give hugs, and they often try to make as little physical contact as possible; they find such gestures frivolous and meaningless (sometimes even offensive).
Numina are often also great judges of character and very deeply contemplative. Serious matters such as politics, philosophy and religion typically intrigue them the most.
In fact, most accounts of the Numina are philosophical mentions of their influence in nature, and mentions of their rapport of good favor with Roman emperors. As rightful caretakers of the mortal world, it was even said that the Numina bestowed the emperor with his royal power. As a result, those who saw the Numina as gods often also regarded the emperor as being blessed and highly favored, or even as himself being an expression of divinity.
Aside from rulers, dignitaries, thinkers, philosophers and religious leaders, though, Numina rarely speak to, or even acknowledge beings they do not consider worth talking to, except in times they deem it truly necessary.
And, though capable of displaying emotion, even beyond the human range of emotion, the feelings of Numina are typically well-masked with an air of frank honesty, clever wit and stately charisma.
The abilities of the Numina range far and wide, on physical, mental and spiritual levels. Though, some weaker or more single-minded Numina are restricted to one particular element, such as fire, creativity, luck, light, fertility or time, a domain to which it is attached, and otherwise, they possess no knowledge or skill.
However, many (if not most) Numina have power over numerous, even ALL, elements of nature. As such, they are often also capable of feats one would normally associate with high-level magic: shapeshifting, telekinesis, teleportation, flight, levitation, and more—including high resistance, or even immunity to, or the negation of magic! And naturally, these, for the Numina, require no spell, incantation, potion, magic object or magic ritual.
In addition, as evidenced by the Roman emperors of old, Numina may also be summoned or conjured, by minds of prodigious capability or value, to serve as guardians and familiar spirits. Those who invoke them may ask for inspiration, insight into realms beyond the wildest dreams that mortals can imagine, or even to be endowed with some of the power that the Numina possess.