HUMANS // FAE // VAMPIRES // WEREWOLVES // WITCHES
Playable groups are loose categories and they only represent the relative norm in appearance or ability of each group. Additionally, unique "species" may in fact be a subset of another group. If you so desire, you are invited to fit new ideas within the loose framework of this story.
Humans were once deeply aware of the supernatural. However, with the modern age and the triumphs of science and technology, Man's knowledge of the arcane has faded into obscurity.
MUNDANE: While the majority of Humans are unaware of the supernatural (or choose not to see it), there exists a certain percentage of people who are engaged in some manner with the unseen, world of darkness. This group may include the ignorant dabbler as well as the more nefarious Occult Scientist.
OCCULTIST: The advancement of high orders of physics and mathematics has allowed for the entry of the mundane into the arcane. In fact, the supersensible matter of magick was first and verifiably detected by the Nazi Theosopher, Gregor Saenger. Prior to this, secret societies such as the Masons and Ćon of Horus or the mad scientist Victor Frankenstein had dabbled variously in the dark arts for hereto unknown purposes.
HUNTER: An illustrious and great society of Hunters has persisted since antiquity. The members of this society are often unrecognized and forgotten by those whom they protect. Yet, these Hunters continue in their personal quests with a zealous persistence. Hunters are often organized around prominent families, and in the past they were supported by great benefactors that publicly included civic and religious organizations. However, the modern age finds Hunters antiquated and they now must operate by their own means.
Fae are talented users of magick, and some believe that they are the very embodiment of magick itself. Fae are divided into two major groups: Ljósálfar (civilized) and the Dökkálfar (wild). In Fae mythology there exists an ancient, non-corporeal Fae, but these powerful beings were thought to have faded from the world long ago. The modern Fae are also a dwindling population dogged by their failing fertility. Previous attempts with human coupling have resulted in horrific abominations. Unsurprisingly, interspecies relationships are staunchly outlawed in all Fae societies.
Strengths: Lifespan roughly 200 years, adept users of magick, does not suffer from mundane ailments. Weaknesses: Mortal beings, procreation is rarely successful, interspecies relationships outlawed.
LJÓSÁLFAR: The civilized Fae or "Human born Fae" are nearly indistinguishable from humans, with the exception that these Fae live twice as long as humans (see: age conversion) and do not suffer from mundane ailments. As with all Fae, the Ljósálfar are adept users of magick, and they derive their abilities from Lífvatn or simply "Light". Lífvatn is a unique energy held and produced by the spirit of Humans. In the cultivation of Lífvatn, the civilized Fae have generally become the great muses of humanity.
The Ljósálfar are members of a feudal society of Fae called the Hierarchy. This is a dying order that has been in decline for hundreds of years.
DÖKKÁLFAR: The wild Fae is a loose term for the strange and varied Dökkálfar. Where the civilized Ljósálfar took on the visage of mankind, the Dökkálfar adopted the likeness of animals, trees, or the elements themselves. The great diversity in the Dökkálfar make both their appearance and physical attributes difficult to generalize. Some are long lived and some quite ephemeral. Some are small and some are gigantic. Some are etherial and some are horrible in their ugliness.
The Dökkálfar are also adept users of magick and like the Ljósálfar, the Dökkálfar acquire their Lífvatn from Humans. However, unlike most Ljósálfar, the Dökkálfar typically feed upon the very spirit or "soul" of Humans. (In other words, they consume both the hen and her eggs). The Dökkálfar are not necessarily "evil" as a result of this as the ethos of nature diverge from the morality of man. However, many groups have found the Dökkálfar particularly repugnant and this has caused the Dökkálfar to be hunted nearly to the brink of extinction by Humans, Witches, and even their own Fae cousins.
While a Dökkálfar society may have existed in centuries past, the Dökkálfar are too few and fractured to be anything more than tribal. In the modern age, with man's dominion over the wilderness, the Dökkálfar have been known to adopt illusions to mask their true appearances so as to blend into Human society.
All Vampires are creatures of darkness. Young and old, an animalistic and predacious quality color all aspects of a Vampire’s life. They are pleased no longer by the same wonder and love that compels mortal Man. In truth, as Vampires are dead, it is believed by supernatural scholars that they are bereft of a spirit or "soul". Whatever feelings they have may only be the recollection of their former life as a human.
Vampires do not digest food or drink. They do not breathe or carry a heartbeat when at rest (although they may fake this with practice). Their pallor and appearance is cool as that of a corpse, but is warmed and enlivened following feeding. All Vampires require a consistent supply of Human blood to survive. They may not subsist on animal's blood and prolonged abstinence from Human blood results in insanity and bloodlust. Vampires may not feed off Witches, Fae, or Werewolves as those beings possess magick, which is harmful to Vampires.
The creation of Vampires is ritualistic with the passing of vampiric blood onto the progeny as a sacrament of rebirth. (It is impossible for a Vampire to turn Witches, Fae, or Werewolves because of the toxicity of magick). When turned, the bond between a sire and progeny is stronger than any other bond a human might ever experience in life.
Whatever the origins of the Vampires, it is known that with each successive generation, the potency of the vitae or blood grows thin. Younger Vampires will never advance further in strength and ability over their sire nor their sire's sire. Additionally, the need for blood and the adverse affect of silver, magick, and sunlight grows less with each new generation. Younger Vampires suffer less of the frenzy for blood or the rampant desire to kill than might older Vampires. Although few ancient vampires exist, if at all, legends suggest that the Vampires of olde were great and terrible creatures truly worthy of hatred. All Vampires, however, still feel a carnal pleasure in a Human's death during feeding. This feeling can be addictive.
Strengths: Inhuman strength and speed, immortality and regeneration, supernatural charm.
Weaknesses: Must consume blood to survive, sunlight and silver reacts like acid, beheading and destruction of the heart kills the vampire, magick and some alchemical compounds are toxic.
PURE BLOOD: These unadulterated Vampires are the cunningly beautiful, and dangerous, creatures we now commonly imagine to be Vampires. Pure Vampires are finely tuned hunters of humankind. Their abilities of subterfuge and manipulation is matched by none. Through the mimicry of their prey, they have become the most dangerous of predators.
Pure Vampires are not prone to Vampiric societies and governance similar to that of the Fae Hierarchy. Instead, the pure Vampires maintain a clannish society based around the kinship of bloodline.
NOSFERATU: Very little is known about the Nosferatu. The few bloodlines that persist are remnants of an Order of Vampire that worshipped their mythic progenitor. The Nosferatu believed that their progenitor had ascended from the ancient Fae and that the vitae of subsequent Vampires had become diluted by generations of Human progeny. To bring themselves closer to their progenitor and God, the Nosferatu forced themselves to consume Fae blood in the mistaken belief that they would transcend. This toxic practice deformed the Nosferatu and turned them into into repulsive and monstrous creatures. It is believed that the Nosfeartu's Order was the terrible threat that spurred the Fae to create Werewolves. Hated by both their pure cousins as well as the Fae and their Werewolf allies, the Order of the Vampire was eventually extinguished during the Renaissance. The few Nosferatu that remain live in secrecy.
The Nosferatu have a high tolerance against magick and although, intrinsically, they cannot use magick, the Nosferatu have the ability to possess it for a short while through the consumption of Fae (or Witch) blood. The Nosferatu have a mastery of illusionary magick and use this ability to great affect in disguising their monstrosity. Unfortunately, the drinking of Fae blood undermines the immortality of the Nosferatu and Nosferatu do age in proportion to their use. Heavy use can disintegrate the Nosferatu quite theatrically... and repulsively.
Werewolves were once humans who had been transformed by magick. They are gifted/cursed with the sense of a beast and they can transform into ghastly wolf monsters whose berserker rage is the stuff of horror. Werewolves are all harmed by silver and other alchemical compounds that relate to the pale glow of stars. Werewolves are typically born from Werewolf parents. However, humans can also be transformed into Werewolves but this is increasingly rare in the modern age. This transformation can occur either through Fae enchantment, a Witch's curse, or via the bite of a cursed Werewolf.
Strengths: Lifespan roughly 200 years, transforms into werewolf and wolf form, possesses regenerative ability and heightened senses in all forms.
Weaknesses: Mortal beings, silver (and other alchemical substances) is toxic, substantial injury will result in death, has (potentially high) risk of berserking.
BONDED: The first Werewolves were made from worshipers of the Ljósálfar (civilized) Fae to serve as their protectors. This is an ancient tradition, which is reflected in mythical accounts. In some tellings, humans were mysteriously taken by the Fae Lord Woden upon the Wild Hunt where their souls promulgated as a pack of wolves that forever ran alongside the Fae. In reality, the Ljósálfar Fae are very selective in their recruitment of humans. Traditionally, Fae searched amongst newborn humans for a fortitude of spirit. Promising candidates were replaced by changelings and the baby was raised into the service of the Fae. The magick used in the transformation has become uniform over the years, but minor variations have allowed for different 'breeds' of Werewolves.
In the modern age there now exists a strong bloodline of Werewolf packs that have been in the service of the Fae Houses for many centuries. The Fae (although respectful) consider their Werewolves as precious draught animals and thusly breed them in much the same way. Likewise, in the interest of creating a stronger line, Fae will exchange breeding stock amongst Houses. Some Houses still continue the old practice of stealing Human babies, but this is now considered gauche.
Werewolves are bonded to their Fae families and are taught to worship the Fae as deities. Due to this bonding process, as well as their original created nature and burdens, they age in the same way as the Fae (see: age conversion). The greatest honor in a Fae bonded pack is to die in service of their Fae and to do so before old age.
ROGUE: In some instances, Werewolf packs have lost their Fae progenitors either through abandonment or death. These unbonded packs roam the world independent of the Fae and may or may not recall their origins with the Fae. Additionally these feral packs drift closer to their animal side and pose the greatest danger of Man. Some of these rogue packs also question the particularly divinity of the Fae altogether, believing in freedom for Werewolves, and as such making them particularly dangerous to the Fae.
CURSED: Ushered to their demise with all the ill intention of those Witches whom inflicted the curse, this class of creatures is unsurprisingly, quite ephemeral. Cursed Werewolves are not true Werewolves. They may only be a convergence or coincidence of magick.
The wretched generally experience the horrible changes into were-monster and beast without any personal control whatsoever. In fact, the transformation can be so severe as to take away both humanity and sanity. As the nature of the curse is unique to the caster, the manifestation and severity of the curse is varied. While cursed Werewolves may resemble true Werewolves, they are in fact not the same creature. For example, cursed Werewolves may (counterintuitively) be manifested as monstrous apes, jaguars, hyenas and other generally mammalian predators. This is because the magick of Witches is but a facsimile of the Fae's enchantment. A notable departure is that cursed Werewolves do not pass their curse onto potential children. Generally, the lifespan of a cursed Werewolf is significantly shortened, unless of course prolonged suffering is a part of the curse.
Both cursed and bitten Werewolves are considered abominations by the Fae and they are summarily and humanely put down by the Ljósálfar.
BITTEN: This is a subset of potential victims of a cursed Werewolf (see above) that have been transformed via bite. All told, this is a very unusual case, however it is not unheard of. The unfortunate experience the exact same uncontrollable changes as that of a cursed Werewolf. While a cursed Werewolf may transmit the curse via bite, a bitten Werewolf may not then impart the same curse onto another. A bitten Werewolf is a terminal case.
Both cursed and bitten Werewolves are considered abominations by the Fae and they are summarily and humanely put down by the Ljósálfar.
Variously known as shamans, seers, and diviners... witches have had a complex and diverse history. Witches and their covens are numerous and fractioned in their desires and principles. Some argue if Witches are protectors of mankind or their subjugators. However, most agree that Witches are not immune from the same greed and self-interests of their Human counterparts- and in many ways, power corrupts.
Strengths: Indistinguishable from Humans (are humans), uses magick.
Weaknesses: Mortal beings.
Witches are born with the gift of magick and this is generally passed through bloodlines. While rare, it is possible for the gift to arise spontaneously in Humans outside of established bloodlines.
Witches are generically divided between practitioners of light and dark magick. This can be described as the arts of self interest versus that of service. However, few witches fit easily within either of these extremes. Even the progenitor of the first coven, Baba Yaga, is enigmatically retold by witches as both a protector and villain. Similarly, many other witches of prominence were equally ambiguous in their intentions, which ultimately reflects the poorly understood or dangerous lure of magick.
Witches consider magick the expression of human "Will" or θέλημα (Thelema) after their patron goddess Ἑκάτη (Hekate). Thelema is believed to be an infinite energy found within all humans and nature. Similarly magick is hypothesized by Witches to be limitless as well and they believe that it is only constrained by the belief of the user.
As all practitioners have different failings in spirit and that these failings limit the expression of Thelema, witches often form covens in order to pool Thelema. Additionally, the corrupting nature of magick, in its frightening potential, is ameliorated when balanced within a coven. Despite the safeguards of covens, the history of witchcraft is abound by the abuses of magick.