Do you want to have disease based 'supernaturals' and are they automatically bad?
IE - vampires, zombies, lycanthropes
Are there any hidden races - demons, dragons, aliens, lost ancients...etc?
Do all races have the same capacity for 'evil'? are there serial killer elves, charlatan Djinn, homophobic fundie dwarves? do all races have the same capacity for the same kinds of evil or would it be more like the end of the movie Alienation - where they have whole different kinds of 'evil' and are flabbergasted by some of humanities failings?
If your religion is incompatible with free speech, the problem isnï¿½t with free speech.
Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel, bald is a hair color and not collecting something is a hobby.
Djinn are meant to have free will, Aos Si, I think, are meant to lean towards malevolence but I'd still go with free will, for two reasons: 1. there isn't really that good a reason for a race of beings to be intrinsically good or evil unless there is a central, deterministic source to their morality, and 2. I, erm, can't make the story I vaguely have in mind fit without morally grey djinn.
I'd prefer for at least dwarven and elven morality to be similar to human. Mostly because of story reasons, but also because it makes sense in evolutionary terms (assuming dwarves and elves came to exist like any other species, they'd have to be closely related to humans, the common ancestor at some point after evolving sapience, which I think is way past basic morality).
If it's sapient, it has human-like morality. Maybe some tendencies like elves placing greater value on social harmony(leading to a stereotype, but please only in-story, not in the narration) Only small differences, and no 'evil' races.
According to my research, "a very long time". I found one source saying a thousand years, but it cited the Quran and I found no such claim in said book. The Arabian Nights talks about djinn living for thousands of years, but often they're trapped in something for much of that time. It's worth pointing out that:
1. whatever the proper lifespan is in folklore, they do die, and they're not immortal, 2. they're also just as killable* as human beings, so a sufficiently violent area of the world will bring down the average, 3. they also live in a sort of otherworld, and as such, the flow of time there doesn't have to be the same as ours.
In the absence of an external source, I'd say 1,000 years is reasonable; it's a long time, but it's definitely not forever.
This is going to be a long, multi-part post, so bear with me.
* * * * *
Elemental Souls: A Race Proposal
I propose that we have 5 sapient races in our world (humans, dwarves, elves, and two others, yet to be determined). They all have bodies of flesh and minds forged by biology and experience. Their souls (the seat of their deepest impulses) are connected to the five elements, which greatly influences their psychology and behavior, both on a micro and a macro level.
Humans: Wood: Flexible and adaptable. At their core, they never really change, but outwardly they can twist themselves into all sorts of unlikely shapes.
Dwarves: Stone: Strong, stable and unyielding, but not without their breaking point. Once broken, they're broken for good.
Elves: Metal: Strong, stable, resistant to change, slow to adapt, but ultimately malleable and able to reform themselves.
Race#4: Water: Inconstant, infinitely adaptable. Tranquil when undisturbed but capable or a tempest.
Race#5: Fire: Violent and destructive, never at home, moving from place to place, ravaging anything in their way.
(I have ideas for the other two races, but I'll wait and see what the response is to the concept first)
* * * * *
Djinni/Ghost-Mage Consolidation Proposal
My proposal for djinn as ghost-mages (mages who's bodies have died but who's minds and souls remain in this world) seemed well received, but as CtraK pointed out, all the djinn folklore describes them as being made of fire, specifically smokeless fire. So here's my idea for fixing that:
Ghost-mages are invisible, as they don't have a corporeal body. If they wish to be seen, they can use magic to manifest a temporary body that can be seen. The easiest way to do this is with fire, simply be exciting the molecules in a given volume of air to give off light and heat. As long as their fire-body didn't touch anything flammable, nothing would burn, thus no smoke.
So djinn/ghost-mages would be most commonly seen as a being of smokeless fire.
* * * * *
I did some research on these terms, to find out what the heck they are, and here's my thoughts:
Usonia is an alternate name for the USA, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 30s, originating in the early 1900s and possibly related to Esperonto. All of this gives it an early 20th century flavor that's perfect for our setting.
I couldn't find any info on the word vespun. I can only assume it comes from the Italian word vespa, meaning wasp. Wasp, or course, is an acronym for white anglo-saxon protestant, so I'm guessing that's what "Vespun" is referring to. I don't like this term for two reasons. First, because in our world, WASPs probably won't make up the majority of America/Usonia. Christianity might not even exist in our world. Second, WASP is usually used in a derogatory way, and who would name their country after a derogatory term for themselves? I'd be like calling America "Cracker-land."
Elemental souls: Question: what does this mean for their afterlife if souls are distinguishable? Approved by me in any case, but I want to know.
Djinn consolidation: You're right, fire is a quite easy way.
Usonia: not my business. Although... CtraK: you seem to have a specific story idea already in mind and need both a V.S.U. and Djinn for it. Might sketch it on the Wikia forum under Story Discussion so we can see why and maybe help consolidate it with our ideas? We're flying blind here.
Norden is Esperanto for northern. North America would be Norden Usonia, and South America would be Suda Usonia
And 'Usonia' is another name for the USA specifically, and the USA =/= America, just to point that out. I'm not against giving the New World a different name, however.
Re: the elemental souls concept. How about if the different races have different funeral traditions fitting their associated element*? And what consequences does having elemental-aligned souls have in regards to the afterlife?
*Fire, Earth and Water are easy. Wood could mean cannibalism, but I'm having trouble with metal..