The world of Falleron is split between two planes: the Mortal Plane and the Faewild (also known as the Dream World). Unlike traditional D&D, many of the extraplanar beings do not have an origin within the Falleron mythos and have been adjusted to fit within this dual-plane universe. For creators and players with favored enemy features, a list of creature types and their correlation with D&D creatures is listed below:
The following races are commonly found across the realms of Falleron and are available for player character creation:
The powerful Clont are a race that stands above all others (literally). Descended from Giantfolk, these tall nomads seek adventure and stories to share with their great ancestor spirit: The Great Clont. Clont have a great amount of power to spare, and their strength of will, mind, and body are unparalleled.
Originally born of Alethia and Selnoir, the Giants dominated much of the world with their power and rage before a small number were blessed by Compassion to understand the consequences of their great strength.T hose touched by her were reduced in size, but gained a collective consciousness that allows them to communicate and learn from their ancestors. While far from the size of their Giant cousins, Clont tower over the other races and their strength of mind and body is rarely matched. With their desire to contribute to their collective consciousness driving them onward, all Clont seek new adventures and secret knowledge to provide their people after they pass on.
Clontish folk are large, often towering over the other races for even the most diminutive of their race. Ranging from 6 to 10 feet tall, and frequently weighing 200 to 400 pounds, Clont retain the physical fortitude of their Giant cousins. While their body types and coloring can vary as greatly as humans, most males sport thick facial hair which grows too swiftly to make shaving not a consistent chore. Clontish women tend to be as athletic as their male companions and are frequently taller than their male brothers.
The Great Clont
The Great Clont is the ancestor spirit and collective consciousness of the Clontish people. Formed from Compassion’s blessing in ancient times, she created a bond between every Clont and their ancestors, so that they would know the consequences of their actions and learn from their mistakes. This manifests itself in different ways for each Clont, though the ability to tap into this consciousness exists in every Clont should they choose to embrace it.
In most, it is only found in dreams and visions during times of great stress and conflict, granting them insight to attain their goals through the wisdom of their ancestors. In some more attuned to their spiritual side, it manifests itself as a constant dialog between their ancestors and themselves, providing insight and occasionally eccentric behavior as they learn and grow from the experiences of the past.
Due to this, all Clont seek to make their lives worth living so that when they pass on they can leave experiences and wisdom to provide to those who follow after them. This shows up in the legendary boast culture that Clonts follow, where their personal tale of triumphs defines their self identity. Clont seek to be the best at their goals, or to overcome a great challenge, or to try to see and discover more and greater things than any who have come before them. This has led to Clonts wandering the wide world and mixing amongst all of the races as they seek their goals.
With the collective knowledge of their ancestors driving them, Clont tend to seek out a great task over their lives to achieve and add to the collective knowledge of their people. Many become great warriors, explorers, scholars, and masters of craft as they single-mindedly pursue the aspect of achievement they wish to have remembered amongst the Great Clont. While Clont are frequently raised on the road and in the communities they were born to, all try to take a great pilgrimage to Clontstead in the Genevian Highlands when they come of age to declare their great purpose for their ancestors to hear. From that point onwards, they seek to further that goal with great resolve. Because of this, Clont have come to be accepted and appreciated in most cultures and peoples of the world as welcome friends of those who aid them on their purpose or fearsome enemies should you stand in their way.
Constructs are a race of sentient objects, either made from technological design, cunningly crafted art, or the dark powers of necromancy. Their lack of organic biology grants them the amazing and uncanny ability to ignore many types of physical ailments.
Constructs are a race of sentient objects, either made from technological design, cunningly crafted art, or the dark powers of necromancy. The first construct was born from Compassion alone in her desperate search to find a guardian to keep the First Blade safe from the other gods. In her travels she came across the tinkerer Daedalus, working alone in his workshop. Daedalus was a lonely man. His wife had died before they could have children, and he sought to have a companion of his own to pass down his skills to. Over time he crafted a lovingly created statue of wood and stone, cloth and leather, and spoke to it each day as he worked in his workshop. While many thought him mad, Compassion saw not only his desire but his kindness, and placed her hands upon the statue, granting it a soul and the ability to move and think. This became the first construct, and thereafter whenever someone crafted something with all of their soul, there was a chance that it too could come alive and become aware.
Charge of Compassion
Most constructs all have a secret mission passed down from Compassion: they must protect the First Blade and the Fool from the other gods. While an opportunity to do so may never occur in their lifetimes, should the opportunity present itself they frequently feel compelled by the Maker to aid in this mission.
The Uncanny Valley
Being alive without a biological body is not without its drawbacks, and many races, especially those of Fae and Vampire heritage, dislike and distrust Constructs. Fae fear their metal bodies as being naturally harmful to them, while Vampires see them as a mockery of their own curse of undeath, that life is so freely given to things of metal and stone yet denied to them. Beyond these races, Constructs are frequently seen as miracles of wonder and amazement by much of humanity, and though some constructs have become known for their war applications (especially those Technological Constructs of Grandmill), in most places they are seen as calm, useful helpers in whatever their application demands.
B.A.S.I.C. and D4D1-0S
Constructs all inherently know the language of B.A.S.I.C., a machine language of numbers and equations that they can communicate with others through what sounds like a series of static, beeps, and chirps. While a small number of other races learn to interpret this language, and even write it in some cases, none but Constructs may speak it effectively without magical or technological assistance. In addition to their language, Constructs all are aware of and venerate their original maker Daedalus, referring to him as D4D1-0S in their own language. While other faiths may also appeal to the individual, it is common for Constructs to praise “The Maker” even above the other gods they serve.
The denizens of the Faewild are a beautiful and mysterious people. While frequently called collectively as Fae, there are a number of Fae races in their plane of existence, including the savage Greenkin, the industrious Stoutkin, the graceful Elfkin, and the clever Fiendkin. All share a love for magic and a mischievous spirit, through internal rivalries between the Summer and Winter courts keep many locked in perpetual conflict.
The magical beings of the Faewild, also known as the dream world, are more varied than in the waking world. While chaos and change is inevitable in the Faewild, some beings were touched by Compassion and given more permanent forms and identities. Aligning into their courts ruled by the gods Mab and Auberon, they wage a superficial war against each other within the Faewild for purposes not entirely understood by the mortal races. While there are many types of Fae across the realms of Falleron, they all share a deep connection to the Faewild: the source of all magic.
All Fae are beings of the Faewild and creations from the imaginations of Mab and Auberon. As such they have a terrible fear of the First Blade, the weapon created to prune the Faewild at Alethia’s whim. This fear of the First Blade carries over to all sources of iron and steel, especially those of cold iron, which are unpleasant to painful for them to touch against their skin for long. A Fae might lift an iron bar gingerly for a few moments of discomfort, but in being pressed against a piece of iron for a long period of time would feel unease, followed by discomfort, then great pain as time passes. Cold iron burns them as flames do most beings, and the touch causes active and immediate pain to a Fae.
The Summer and Winter Courts
At the core of the Faewild are the Summer and Winter Courts, the two nations that remain constant in their eternal struggle over the rest of a plane that is filled with chaos and change.
The Summer Court is ruled by Mab and primarily consists of Elfkin and Greenkin. While there is no set geography in the Faewild, their domain tends to extend over places of growth and light, where things are thriving and fighting to survive. The Summer Court seeks, in all things, to encourage growth and life and finds humor and valor as valuable traits in their companions. Elfkin embrace this through tricking and manipulation of the mortal races wit their curiosity driving them, while the Greenkin are more direct and drive their great hunts to the mortal races alongside, and frequently against, the mortal races.
The Winter Court is ruled by Auberon and primarily consists of Fiendkin and Stoutkin. Their domain tends to fall into places of permanence and darkness, where beauty and knowledge can be forged and hidden. The Winter Court seeks, in all things, to encourage perfection and beauty and finds competence and gracefulness as valuable traits in those they work with. Stoutkin seek perfection through the crafting of objects and tools, for both themselves and others, and are constantly seeking the betterment of their craft. Fiendkin seek perfection in the mind and self, and tend to be drawn to those they can assist as advisors or that can help them better themselves.
Between the two courts are innumerable beings of wild magic that make up the majority of monsters and elementals found across the world. These are generally unaligned, but occasionally can be found working in one court or another.
In the most rare of circumstances, a Fae of one court may flip sides and join that of the opposing court. The change is typically more than just symbolic, and usually requires a great show of loyalty to the other court to prove their intentions. Changing courts literally involves a transformation of self, and at the end of it, a Greenkin or Elfkin might find herself transfigured into a Fiendkin or Stoutkin upon switching sides as the magics of the Faewild alter the balance.
Beyond these rare exceptions, the two courts frequently see each other less as healthy rivals and more as bitter enemies. A Summer Court Fae will be hostile in sight to a Winter Court Fae, and vice versa, whenever they encounter each other in the Faewild. On the mortal planes they may be a bit more reserved out of respect for the mortal races around them, but they will rarely be willing to tolerate a rival court member for long.
The Wild Hunt
Only one thing brings the two courts together in harmony, and that is the Wild Hunt. A great traveling pack within the Faewild, which offers a choice to all who come across it: become a hunter or the hunted. Those mortals who join the hunt become akin to hunting beasts, often hounds, which serve the Fae lords of the hunt. Occasionally they survive the encounter and return to their waking lives with lingering lycanthropy, if not fully transfigured into a werefolk. While the hunt is usually associated with Greenkin, and they are the Fae race to embrace it the fastest, all Fae races can be found amongst its ranks and even the most flighty of Elfkin, reserved of Fiendkin, or diminutive Stoutkin finds joy and exhilaration in participation.
Leaving the Faewild
Fae are beings of magic, and while they frequently leave the Faewild to wander the waking world for a time, they cannot remain their permanently without hardship. A Fae in the mortal world for over a year at a time begins to find their magic is fading and their natural traits become erratic. A Fae in the mortal world for decades might be diminished so much as to become unrecognizable as a Fae. Left long enough on the mortal plane, a Fae will eventually have their native traits diminish until they become only slightly odd looking humans. A Stoutkin might gain height, an Elfkin’s ears or Fiendkin’s horns and hooves might recede, and a Greekin’s skin and teeth might diminish to that of more normal human tint. Returning to the Faewild reinvigorates these traits, and over a short period of time will restore them to their native appearance. A similar trend happens in reverse to humans who stay in the Faewild for long periods of time, eventually causing them to gain the traits of the Fae they live with until there is no practical difference between them.
Humans were the first mortal race upon the world. Spreading far and wide, humans are possibly the most plentiful race in Falleron. While humans are often seen as weak in some fashion by the other races of the world, their diversity provides great strength. Humans come from a variety of realms and nations, each of which provide unique benefits to their adaptable natures.
Humans were the first mortal race upon the world, born of the Fool and Compassion’s love. Spreading far and wide, humans are possibly the most plentiful race in Falleron. While humans are often seen as weak in some fashion by the other races of the world, it should be remembered that each of the other races were born out of rivalry from humanity itself and humans frequently can become as strong, fast, wise, or clever as the other races through practice and upbringing.
A Broad Spectrum
With their penchant for migration and conquest, humans are more physically diverse than all but the Werefolk. Standing between four and seven feet tall, and boasting of a wide range of skin and hair colors, there is a great deal of variation between human appearances depending upon where they have settled over time. Humans frequently have the blood of their closest cousin races, and many have a dash of Clont, Fae, Werefolk, or Vampire blood in them, gaining a small amount of the traits of those races.
Realms of Humanity
Humanity in ancient times spread across Falleron, and to this day is largely defined by these diverse regions. Due to the vast distances between their cultures, humans have a wide range of social structures, though they frequently tend to congregate into large, structured societies fixed around specific political ideals. Revalians, for instance, value personal liberty over all else and have a loose clan society that gathers together only at the greatest need, while the Orlandian Empire boasts a powerful state law system that influences nearly all aspects of life within its borders. Human families tend to vary just as much, with regional variations of kinship and courtship rituals. A handful of similarities encompass all human cultures, such as the giving of rings to loved ones in honor of the Fool and Compassion, worship of the eight gods, veneration of the Fool and Compassion, and respect for the high goddess Peace. While there are regional variations in the genders, identities, and natures of their progenitors, Humans venerate the gods of the Fool and Compassion over all other deities.
The Realms of Ovid
Once the Kingdom of Ovid, the now fractured and leaderless Realms of Ovid are a vast and diverse realm, and one of the only places in the world where humans and other folk of every kind are jumbled together in war, conquest, love, and friendship. Ovidian humans tend to be a hearty folk, hundreds of years of fighting and surviving much of the worst of what every race has to offer, humanity included, tends to toughen up even the slightest of humans. Ovidians don’t tend to venerate any god or goddess over any of the others, having more pressing matters at hand such as survival. Language: Players from the Realms of Ovid start the game with one Ancient Heartlandic in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The southern realms of the Avalonian Republic are known for their unique and egalitarian rule of government. Every man and woman in the realm gets to earn their right to vote for the rule of the realm, and so long as they are strong enough to fight for their desires, can prove their worth as citizens through trial by combat in either protecting their borders or fighting for glory within their vast network of arenas. Avalonians value strength above all else: Strength of Body. Strength of Mind. Strength of Will. They admire these traits above even the gods, and tend to be an agnostic realm with little interest in the divinities. Regardless of their original creation, Avalonians prize their strength in themselves and confidence in their skills over relying upon divine intervention or assistance. Equal parts prideful and capable, many humans find them a great benefit to their cause, even if they can be a bit full of themselves at times. Language: Players from the Avalonian Republic start the game with Avalonian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
No human realm has seen the suffering and destruction that the Brevardrim know and live. Once a stable, prosperous empire, the Brevardrim people were decimated in a series of wars filled with terrors both magical and technological. Much of their homeland remains an unlivable wasteland, with only the cities and villages on the farthest edges of the wastes remaining untouched by the malevolent spirits of death and destruction that wander their abandoned cities. Venerating Morrigan and Samhain as much as their progenitors, the Brevardrim embrace the terrors they face on a regular basis with an acceptance and uncanny courage that many other humans find bizarre. One minute a Brevardim might accept the wholesale destruction of their homeland as inherently beautiful, yet the next they might fight tooth and nail against a minor slight against their character. A volatile people indeed. Language: Players from the Brevardrim start the game with Brevardrim in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The peoples of Crealocheli are secretive and few in most realms. In their own lore, they are the descendants of those who sheltered the Fool when the world was lost to Compassion, being the only people to remain true to their original natures. On their island is the Hall of the First Men, where Compassion and the Fool brought humanity to the world. Kind and compassionate over all else, only the secretive nature of their hidden homeland prevents crueler beings from overwhelming them. Crealocheli are known for their innate healing abilities, and those with their blood in their veins are frequently found in hospitals and temples throughout the land spreading the word of compassion. They are also known for their self-depreciating humor, a trait they retain from the Fool. Unlike many other humans, they venerate none but the Fool and Compassion. Leaving Crealochel is not done lightly, as once they leave the wandering island it is impossible to return. Language: Players from the Crealochel start the game with Crealocheli in addition to Ovidic (Common).
Jemai is a realm perched at the tops of the massive trees of the vast jungle of the same name. The Jemaian people are reclusive and suspicious, and with good reason. Ovidian trade cities like Waterford and Grandmill have pillaged their shores for resources on more than one occasion. Their neighbors across the sea in Meridian have made attempts to colonize and conquer the independent communities that manage to survive in the jungle time and again. However, despite the ambitions of neighboring realms, Jemai remains free. The jungle itself is their greatest weapon, and they treat the trees and rivers with the greatest respect. Plantfolk frequent Jemaian villages, and frequently have a hand in their construction as they wind their way around the towering trees that often rise hundreds of feet into the air. Respect for nature comes first with the Jemaian culture. And with that respect comes shelter, prosperity, and a quiet power that has withstood all threats. Language: Players from the Jemai start the game with Arborkin in addition to Ovidic (Common).
Kendredai, the Dark Island. Few humans indeed live in that accursed land. The only settlement of note, Daytown, looms in the damp mists as a modern township amongst the unknowable evils that haunt the inner depths of the island. One must not see this city as safe, for in basements and on balconies, creeping amongst the rooftops and swimming along the canals are terrors too horrifying to mention. While constructs are plentiful in Kendredai, programmed to ignore or restrain the horrors of the isle, the humans of the realm manage to ignore the intense gloom and growing dread that haunts their footsteps. Language: Players from the Kendredai start the game with B.A.S.I.C. in addition to Ovidic (Common).
Holy Dominion of Kernaugh
Kernaugh was once a tiny village, home to a young woman named Amalas who, in time, became known as the physical manifestation of Compassion upon the world. This fact was highly contested by nearly everyone but her followers, which led said followers to defend her life with a resolve and skill that bordered upon the fanatical. Long after her death, the Faith Militant of the Church of Amalas remained and her town grew into a holy city by many from around the world. What is now known as the Holy Dominion of Kernaugh was once a number of Orland provinces (Gauferid, the Zephyr Isles, and Syvantos), all conquered and held by the Faith Militant. With bordering Orlandian, Winderi, and Meridian interests all nervous at the rate of this nation’s expansion, the people of Kernaugh remain faithful to their martial tradition and see enemies on all fronts. Language: Players from the Kernaugh start the game with Orlandian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The Prefecture of Tarchay
The Prefecture of Tarchay was once a minor corner of the Brevardrim Empire, one city of many dominated by that ancient and glorious culture. When the breach was opened in the Brevardrim capital, the nation was torn apart by the magics and monsters unleashed from the deep places of the earth and Tarchay became isolated from the rest of their kin. Over time the Prefecture gained defacto, and then overt independence and now stands as a powerful city-state with influence across the world. A good portion of this influence comes from the construct-based mail and parcel delivery service based in the capital of Tarchay that many nations of the world have come to rely upon. Language: Players from the Tarchay start the game with Brevardrim in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The Meridian Islands
The peoples of the Meridian Islands tend to be the smallest of humanity, yet often the most energetic. Venerating the gods Gein and Tamberlain as much as their progenitors, they have a powerful fire within them to bring joy to those around them and protect those they love. Yet they also can be prone to greed and excess when they take their passions to the extreme. Many of the most generous in history, along with some of the most dreaded pirates, come from Meridian heritage. Language: Players from Meridia start the game with Meridian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The Orlandian Empire
The Orlandian Empire marched across the western continent in a conquest dominated by innovation and cunning as great generals and tacticians commanded vast armies in inspired conquest. After centuries of eternal war, the realm was unified under a single Empress and under her divine rule the realm remains eternally peaceful and orderly, or so they will claim. In reality, there is much to fear within the realms of Orland and the Imperial Legion, with all of their gold-armored glory, is only the face for a much more sinister network of informants and assassins that keep the order in this most serene empire. There is a madness within the gold filigree of high society in Orland, one that demands honor must be upheld for a brush in the gilded hallways of the nobility even while peasants starve in the squalid slums but a block away. Still there is a beauty in all they create, and even with the vast inequities of the empire many of the greatest bards, artists, and courtesans hail from its shores. Venerating Mab and Auberon as their progenitors, Orlandians tend to seek the beautiful, even if it is only skin deep. Language: Players from the Orlandian Empire start the game with Orlandian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
Freeholds of Revalia
The peoples of Revalia are known for their fortitude in drinking, fighting, and enduring the bitter cold and harsh wilderness of their northern homeland. Venerating Alethia and Selnoir as much as their progenitors, they fight a constant battle against the nature of their homeland and the perils that would thwart their independent way of life. Revalians tend to be single-minded in their pursuits, be they protecting the weak or vengeance, making them both fast and reliable friends and implacable enemies. Language: Players from the the Freeholds of Revalia start the game with Revalian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
The southern forests of the Orland Continent are a dense realm of giant redwoods. In the Winderwood, it can be difficult to see the sky upon the ground, leading the inhabitants to live amongst the trees as often as not. When the Orlandian Empire came to the forest, they found a peaceful people that were easily cowed. But once the Empress demanded more and more of the forest to be cut down for her palaces, the people rebelled. Over a hundred years later, the forest remains in a state of open rebellion, constantly fighting at its borders to keep out the Imperial Legions. Criminals, dissidents, and disenfranchised nobles from across the empire have flocked to this new bastion of freedom and continue the fight to this day. Language: Players from the The Winderwood start the game with Orlandian in addition to Ovidic (Common).
Magic and Technology
Humans have a moderate magical affinity and many humans learn the magical arts. Several large schools of magic exist around the world, with the Versity Magic College being the largest and most prestigious (though far from the only such place of learning). While magical use is not uncommon in larger cities, small human communities generally only have one or two learned magicians of various calibur and more pragmatic solutions to problems are generally preferred over magical.
Humans are inherently clever with machinery and devices and have drive the development of technology across the world. From firearms to engines to airships, Humans have made their mark on the world by harnessing what is naturally occurring in the waking world rather than trying to alter it by tapping the Faewild for magics. While combinations of these arts are uncommon, a few danger-seeking individuals attempt to harness both technology and magic together to often disastrous results.
The plantfolk are a mysterious and reclusive race. Rarely found in society, they are frequently found in the deep forests and caverns of the world. Arborkin, the tree people, are found dancing and singing in woodland glades and protect places of natural beauty. Their more insidious cousins, the Trufflekin, are a race of mycellian creatures dwelling in the deep caverns of the world, spilling out to the surface for occasional, and horrific, invasions.
Plantfolk are a race of sentient plant creatures that dwell hidden throughout the natural world. The first plantfolk was born from Compassion alone in her desperate search to find a guardian to keep the Eternal Rose safe from the other gods. Along her journey, she came across a wooded grove, filled with flowers and mushrooms. Here the precious rose would look like but one of many, and she hoped it might be safe. After planting the rose at the foot of a great tree, she spread her power throughout the grove and the mushrooms, trees, and grasses rose up as sentient beings to her call. The strongest of these was the Mother Oak, an Arborkin that emerged from the tree above the Eternal Rose. Mother Oak swore to compassion that her arms would shelter the rose from harm and guard it throughout the seasons that would follow. The youngest of these was Shimmer, a willowy Meadowfolk maiden, who swore to keep the Eternal Rose company and be the last line of defense should someone enter it’s garden. Last to rise was the elderly Trufflekin crone, Vein, who swore to seek and destroy those who would take the rose for themselves, and left the grove to seek out this dark mission. And so these beings continue to keep charge of the Eternal Rose, and the wild places across the world. While most believe Plantfolk to be the least numerous of the races of Falleron, their capacity to hide in plain sight makes this hard to prove.
Charge of Compassion
Plantfolk all have a secret mission passed down from Compassion: they must protect the Eternal Rose and the Fool from the other gods. While an opportunity to do so may never occur in their lifetimes, should the opportunity present itself their free will is momentarily overridden and they will come to the aid of this mission.
The Wild Realms
Plantfolk are different from most sentient beings of Falleron in that they do not often create societies and communities of their own kind, instead dwelling in hidden places in the wilderness they feel most comfortable with. While many will, in their early years, wander the world to explore, dream, and adventure after a time most Plantfolk find a place they feel is precious to them and ‘take root,’ choosing to dwell and protect that place for their remaining years. In some places such a rooting may be done in small communities. Arborkin typically dwell in solitary trees, or at most in pairings with a spouse or confidant. Meadowfolk typically live in groups of ten or less amongst the grasses, reeds, and flowers they love. Trufflekin, the most martial and plentiful of the Plantfolk, tend to form large, organized warbands deep underground, with the full size and scale of these varying by the location and band. The largest known warband of Trufflekin emerged from the Breach, a massive collapse into the underground caverns beneath the Brevardrim Wastes, numbered in the tens of thousands. It is presumed (and hoped) that this is an uncommon event by most scholars. Plantfolk are a very rare sight in large cities and settlements, though they can occasionally be more common in small communities along the wild places and frontiers of the world.
Languages of the Land
Plantfolk speak one of two languages, either the silent and gesture-based language of the Arborkin or the strange, backwards language of the Trufflekin. Both are frequently infuriating to other mortal races, though for different reasons. Arborkin is a very slow, though deeply expressive, language involving nearly imperceptible motions and gestures. It can take hours to make a simple hello in Arborkin, and days to communicate a complex idea or request. Trufflekin is frequently spoken, but rarely fully understood as its language is almost entirely spoken of in lies. Trufflekin tend to say the opposite of what they mean in their language at all times, and with the range of implications misunderstandings from mortal races are… frequent. While Trufflekin understand their own language perfectly, many suspect their language was developed specifically to confound the other races.
The Vampire are a race of sentient undead granted a hopeful and haunting need to restore their life force. Their lack of lifeforce is only matched by their desire to become the living once again. These desperate hungers and longings drive their every action, and are impossible for a Vampire to ignore. Vampires are split into two orders, Blessed vampires which draw their energy passively from the adoration of those around them, and Fallen vampires which aggressively feed upon the lifeforce of others.
Morrigan, goddess of death and destruction, tried to bring her own children to life in ancient times, but none were able to withstand the terrible forces that surround her and everything she raised died around her. Over time, her despair grew so great that it gained form and became her spouse, Samhain. As they encountered the dead of other mortal races, they tried together to raise them back to life and each time failed, creating the races of mindless undead that populate the world today. One group of these attracted the attention of Compassion, who granted them sentience, creating the first vampires. A terrible and horrific race to behold, their lack of lifeforce is only matched by their desire to become the living once again. These desperate hungers and longings drive their every action, and are impossible for a Vampire to ignore.
Vampires have an odd place in society. While Fallen (when identified) are usually shunned, Blessed vampires are commonly found throughout the lands and generally tolerated and accepted, not only because of the effects of their blessing but because of their natures as social and friendly creatures (by necessity). some of the most powerful people in the realms have been vampires of both types, and a large number of Turned vampires exist on the fringes of society, usually unnoticed by most.
A small number of vampires are those who have contracted the Vampire Plague, a crafted disease made by humans originally to help them fight after suffering mortal wounds that had serious and disastrous consequences. While curable, doing so is incredibly difficult and more often than not a lifelong pursuit.
The vast majority of vampires are the Fallen, a race of life draining undead that seek out and quickly consume the lives of other creatures for themselves, taking the life drained for themselves for a short time. This quick fix has a cost, and with each feeding the life consumed lasts a bit less. Mature Fallen, those that have lived for centuries, generally gain only a few hours or days of life from draining an average mortal creature, a process which usually kills the creature in question. Because of this horrific and predatory exchange, fallen are considered to be the most terrible and horrific of the undead.
Fallen vampires tend to appear as the type of creature they originally were born as (usually human, but occasionally Clont or Werefolk), only generally in an advanced state of decay. Many legends of powerful mummies, revenants, corpse-walkers, and worse originate from Fallen vampires in their naturally decayed state. Upon consuming the life of the living, they regenerate to a state of of vibrancy that makes them appear almost more beautiful and alive than even the most energetic of their race. During this state they gain a sense of powerful euphoria, but it is short lived. As time continues they immediately decay, first returning to the appearance of a normal member of their race, and eventually starting to decay back to their corpse-like state.
Fallen vampires are unable to conceive unless they remain in a euphoric, living state for the duration of their pregnancy, an act that is at extremely high cost of life to maintain. Those children born of a Fallen are always Fallen themselves, but are not bound to their parents for succor. These unfortunate children grow to maturity as living creatures, needing only the smallest amount of lifeforce to remain living, but upon reaching adulthood begin to decay as their hunger grows exponentially.
The majority of Fallen vampires are created through the Turning, with a Fallen vampire sedating or binding a creature and forcefully draining them of all of their life essence, then passing all or most of it back to them after it is consumed. This process is excruciating to the turned, frequently driving them to madness and rage in the process, making doing so to even a willing subject nearly impossible without bindings or drug-induced unconsciousness. these turned mortals become entirely dependent upon the succor of their vampire parent, needing life energy from them, and them alone, in order to remain in their state of undeath. The death of their Fallen vampire parent generally leads to the death of all of the turned vampires they created, though a small portion are able to withstand this and live on as Fallen vampires themselves. The very smallest percentage might become restored to their previous lives, though this is incredibly rare.
The Blessed vampires are those descending from the ancient vampire given charge by Morrigan to warn Compassion of the plot made by the gods to kill the Fool and steal her treasures to give themselves the powers of life and death. A Fallen vampire, she fought across the realms of the living where she was driven away as a monster and horror, shunned by all, before finally coming before Compassion to warn her of the danger. As a gift in exchange for her great sacrifice, Compassion embraced her and her hunger left her. Her flesh was restored to great beauty, and her eyes were opened to see the beauty in all things around her. The first Blessed, she gained a longing for the moment of that initial embrace with Compassion, where life and love filled her and made her whole for just a moment, and that longing was passed on to all those Blessed who followed after her.
Blessed vampires are, even more than Fallen, nearly always human in appearance. Though that appearance has been greatly altered by their blessing. Their skin is always a perfect, even tone of unusual caliber, frequently pure alabaster or ebony, though in rare cases gold. Their eyes have a glow to them that persists in the dark, though the color of this glow varies between clans of Blessed. They always appear as perfect specimens of physical health and their beauty is both striking and hard to ignore for those speaking with them. Those who meet their eyes find themselves entranced and are hard pressed to resist their requests and desires.
The Blessed vampires have the Longing, a powerful physical and psychological need for love and acceptance. They must surround themselves with the living, specifically those who wish to be with them in companionship, and are in constant need of physical contact. A Blessed that goes without immediate living company begin to diminish and love energy and vibrancy, to very real and painful effect. While this longing cannot kill them, an isolated or trapped Blessed vampire will quickly become in a state of pure agony that cannot be restored without the touch or embrace of the adoring living.
For this reason Blessed then tend to be very social creatures, frequently using their charm and hypnotic beauty to surround themselves with adoration and love. They make excellent entertainers and performers, and equally adoring parents and lovers. Blessed can conceive children with mortal spouses and their children have a 50% chance of becoming a Blessed vampire once they reach maturity, usually manifesting around adolescence.
Blessed do not need to use their gifts to force those around them to grant them the love and life they need to survive, but many in desperation do and find that this cycle leads to a horrific feedback as those they have charmed come to hate them whenever they are not under their sway.
Blessed also have the ability to cause the Turning, but theirs is not possible until a creature they love is killed by unnatural means. They have the ability to embrace those that fell and try to grant the same blessing given to them to the recently slain and, on occasion, it may raise the creature as a turned vampire. Such vampires are mentally changed by the process, and have no choice but to adore the vampire that raised them and, to a certain extent, obey their commands. This usually leads to heartbreak, as the Blessed almost always has to be close to the creature before and, in saving their life, causes them to lose some of their free will. Turned in this fashion also tend to perish with the death of the one that raised them, though a rare few might become Blessed vampires fully themselves and a tiny portion may become once more alive as they were before.
Werefolk were animals once, blessed by the gods to become more than their instincts and desires. Werefolk come in as many shapes and sizes as there are animals in the world, but all have humanoid qualities. Some appear nearly as humans, save for the sheen of scales on their skin or broad wings upon their backs. Others appear closer to their animal kin, being slightly more humanoid rabbits or reptiles. The range of diversity is broad across werefolk, and while some castes and cultures remain constant, the possibilities are more than any have been able to catalog.
Werefolk were animals once, blessed by Compassion to become more than their instincts and desires. Werefolk come in as many shapes and sizes as there are animals in the world, but all have humanoid qualities. Some appear nearly as humans, save for the sheen of scales on their skin or broad wings upon their backs. Others appear closer to their animal kin, being slightly more humanoid rabbits or reptiles. The range of diversity is broad across werefolk, and while some casts and cultures remain constant, the possibilities are more than any have been able to catalog.
Werefolk are directly tied to a specific animal from which their being derives. Be it avian or whale, beast or bug, all werefolk derive from a source animal and they revere that animal as their own kin. A snakekin will not willingly harm a snake, nor the snake it, as they are in both eyes the same creature. Frequently werefolk will protect their animal cousins and their habitats as a point of pride, though this homage rarely extends to the rival animals and prey of their kind.
History of the Hunted
Humans, Clont, and frequently Fae of the Wild Hunt have long sought Werefolk as the ultimate challenge in the hunt. Seeing them not as conscious creatures but just as new challenges to prey upon, Werefolk history with the other mortal races has been fraught with danger. In Ovid, only within the last 500 years were Werefolk acknowledged to be sentient creatures, and for much of the same time since they have been slowly rounded up and deported to their own island “sanctuary” far from human settlements until the events of the last 100 years or so. While Werefolk are now a common, and largely unremarkable sight in major cities, in rural and isolated communities they are frequently a source of fear and distrust. While many Werefolk get along with the other mortal races in modern times, the majority still live in the wild with their own kin and distrust the trappings of civilization as little more than a new form of a muzzle or yoke.
The Great Clans
While most Werefolk are very individualistic, several great clans of Werefolk species have emerged as cultural powers over the years.
The Aviary are perhaps the best known. With their birdlike wings and sharp eyes, the Aviary have long been an organized clan in northern Ovid. It was the aviary Clan that led the wars against the Ovid Kings with such ferocity and strategy that common conceptions of Werefolk being mindless beasts were finally tossed out by the monarchy. They emerged as one of the great houses of Ovid in the centuries that followed, and remain a powerful voice on the Council of Nobles to this day. The Lapine Warrens are a loosely collected group of rabbitkin that lead many of the temples of the Heartflame. Open to outsiders and well known for their hospitality and friendship, Lapine combine their fleet speed with the fluffy tails and ears to be at once highly capable messengers and well received guests.
Other great clans exist across the world, such as the Lizardfolk River Clans of Mullenstone or the Molekin of Winterark, with more being discovered each year.