They are the Majestic Ones, magical nonhumans that lived thousands of years ago. But when seven immortal mages, the Incubans, tore magic from the world to keep to themselves, the elves, dwarves, valkyries, and djinn could not exist. They died, unable to live in a world stripped off it's magic.
Now they've returned, brought back to the modern world by those that destroyed them ages ago. The spirits of long-dead nonhumans have been magically reborn into a few newborn humans. Now these magical races can exist, but only if they believe in what they truly are. If they have faith in their magic, a faith stronger than this cynical world can muster against them, then they can become elves and dwarves, djinn and valkyrja. They can use their ancient magical talents, but only if they believe. The moment they stop believing, the second they doubt their true heritage, their magic is lost forever, and they can never become what they were destined to be. To lose faith is to lose magic. . . forever.
There are not many Majestati left, and the numbers dwindle rapidly with each man who cannot believe that he's something other than human. So the Majestati search the world desperately trying to find others of their race that might be willing to take a chance and believe that they are something different -- something extraordinary.
The Majestati are not organized. The elves struggle to unify their five ancient lineages even as a jealous sixth lineage seeks to destroy the others. The dwarves are splintered into dozens of clans, each with their own motives and goals. The valkyrja, and their heroic brothers, have discovered deadly supernatural creatures that survived Ragnarok, and who have an appetite for Norse blood. Finally, the djinn wage a holy war against themselves, struggling for leadership of their ancient people.
And the world continues to be the plaything of the immortal Incubans. Gargoyles creek to life on ancient cathedrals, their human servants, the Adepts, fight amongst themselves, and creatures of legend, such as the furies, the bacchanals, and the were-creatures roam the world.
To the disbelieving world, myths and legends are dead, but the Majestati know they can live again. A new life after death. This is the time of the Requiem.