Part One: Worlds

 

Material World

This is similar to the physical world we all live in.  It includes all the planets, stars, asteroids, comets, nebulae, and so forth.  Of course, the comic takes place almost exclusively on Earth.  Spirits and magic are relatively rare in the Material World.  However, the Material World is the primary source of spiritual energy, which is generated by all living things.

The world of the comic is not identical to the world we live in, though it is darned close.  The town of Queen’s Cove, Maine, for example, doesn’t really exist, and of course, there are no werewolves, vampires, ghosts, or mages in our world (as far as we know).

 

Spirit World

A dimension very close to the Material World.  In many ways, the Spirit World mirrors the Material World, though it tends to be much simpler and less cluttered.  All non-sentient objects of the physical world have a spirit equivalent in the Spirit World: rocks, rivers, lakes, and even man-made buildings exist in some form, though most are pale reflections of their physical counterparts.

If the physical object is destroyed, the spirit counterpart may continue to linger in the Spirit World, in one form or another.  And if the spirit is destroyed (usually by something draining all its spiritual energy), the physical object may fall into disrepair.  If a physical tree is cut down, the spirit counterpart may suffer and even wither, but remain.  And if a lake’s spirit is drained to the point of death, the physical counterpart may become stagnant or even toxic.

Living beings, including humans and Others, do not have Spirit World counterparts.  However, there are spirits that embody the general attributes of all other beings.  So while the Spirit World has plenty of rabbit spirits, each physical rabbit in the Material World does not have a corresponding counterpart.

The Spirit World is a very dangerous place.  The Material World’s laws of physics are radically different, and what humans would consider magic is commonplace.  Fortunately, a Veil exists between the Material and Spirit Worlds, a barrier which prevents easy passage between worlds.  Werewolves, the Children of Luna, are able to step through the Veil with relative ease, and stronger spirits can manifest themselves in the Material world for short periods.

Very rarely, a normal human may stumble through a breech in the Veil and find themselves in the Spirit World.  As humans generate large amounts of spiritual energy, they would find themselves attacked by even the meekest appearing spirits, who depend on that energy to survive.  The majority of humans have no defense against such assaults, but like werewolves, mages are uniquely qualified to fend for themselves, and they are often able to use magic to manipulate and control spirits.

 

The Underworld

Another dimension close to the Material World, the Underworld is a dark, dismal place.  Since there are no living beings in the Underworld, there are no spirits.  Instead, this is the place for ghosts.  Only the most lost and miserable ghosts, or those banished from the Material World by some means, dwell in the Underworld.  Humans, most often mediums, and werewolves with Death Sight, might visit the Underworld in astral form, but it isn’t possible for a physical being or object to exist in the Underworld — with the exception of vampires, who are already dead and souless.  Spirits too might visit the Underworld, but as there is no spiritual energy there, they wouldn’t last too long.  Most ghosts prefer the Material World and would rather not even visit the Underworld, lest they become trapped.

 

Faerie World

This may be another dimension, or even another planet entirely, because the geography is very different from the Material World.  The Faerie World is home to the Fair Folk, or Fae, a species of intelligent beings with several races.  Like the Spirit World, the laws of physics are vastly different, and magic is commonplace.  There are several places where the Material World and Faerie World intersect, with established and stable portals between the worlds.  These portals are hidden and guarded in the Material World, to prevent humans and Others from accidentally stumbling into the Faerie World.  However, it is possible for humans, Fae, and Others to cross between worlds.  In theory, spirits and ghosts can also cross into Faerie, but it is extremely rare for them to do so.  Like the Underworld, spiritual energy does not exist in the Faerie World.

 

The Afterlife

This is the great mystery, and nobody knows for certain where people go when they “go into the Light.”  Entire religions have been built around ideas of what happens after one dies.  Heaven and Hell?  The Celtic Blessed Isles?  The Classical Realm of Hades?  Valhalla?  Happy Hunting Grounds?  Nobody knows, and the passage from life to the Afterlife, the Light one goes into, is a one-way passage.  Even the Celestials, the oldest and most powerful spirits, are clueless.

 

Part Two: Humans

Humans are, by far, the most numerous of the sentient beings on Earth.  The majority are completely unaware of the existence of the supernatural, though many believe the various myths and legends, to one degree or another.  Most humans are ordinary, everyday people, but some are also something more.

 

Wolfkin

Wolfkin are the human relatives of werewolves, and in fact, all werewolves are born as wolfkin.  Though there is no ‘werewolf gene’ that can be found scientifically, the ability to become a werewolf is definitely a family trait.  Because it isn’t genetic, it can’t be ‘diluted’, despite what some purists believe.

Every wolfkin is a direct descendent of at least one werewolf, even if that werewolf lived many generations ago.  Most wolfkin families are ‘in the know’ – a First Change can be highly traumatic, not to mention dangerous, so werewolves tend to keep their families informed about what could happen to their children.  However, some branches of the family tree can become ‘cut off’, especially if several generations have passed since the last werewolf was known.

Wolfkin integrate easily into the human world, and for that reason, they make the perfect buffer between werewolves and humans.  All wolfkin have the innate ability to sense the presence of a werewolf.  This normally manifests as a tingling sensation, often accompanied by the hairs raising on the back of the neck, when a werewolf in within a fifty-foot or so radius.  However, it is impossible to pinpoint a single werewolf in a crowd.

Wolfkin can also be psychics, magekin, or thralls, but they lose their wolfkin status if they become vampires or mages.  Wolfkin can also be halflings or fae-touched.

 

Thralls (Human)

Vampires often dominate humans through supernatural means.  This domination may be involuntary and temporary, but with greater effort and a small dose of their own blood, a vampire can enthrall a human for a longer period of time, often years.  Sometimes these slaves are people in positions of power, whom the vampires then manipulate behind the scenes.  More often than not, however, a thrall is used as little more than a servant for the vampire.

A thrall has a slightly greater strength than a normal human, as well as somewhat accelerated healing abilities.  Their charisma is greatly increased, making them excellent politicians and professional entertainers.  Vampires often promise to turn their thralls into vampires as reward for loyal service, but this rarely happens.

Thralls can sense the presence of a vampire.  This normally manifests as a tingling sensation, often accompanied by hair raising on the back of the neck, when a vampire is within a fifty-foot or so radius.  However, this sense cannot pinpoint a vampire in a crowd.  Thralls may also gain some of the abilities of a medium, such as being able to see, hear, and even command ghosts.

A thrall may also be wolfkin, magekin, halfling, fae-touched, or psychic.  However, werewolves, fae, mages, and other vampires cannot be enthralled.

 

Halflings and Fae-Touched

A halfling has one Fair Folk parent.  The other parent may be human, another halfling, or fae-touched.  Someone who is fae-touched has a Fair ancestor at least one generation removed from their parents (so grandparent or earlier).  Scientifically, both halflings and fae-touched are indistinguishable from other humans, as there is no ‘fae gene’.  Only the Fair Folk (the most human-looking of the fae) are able to reproduce with humans, so there are no half-goblins or half-trolls.

Halflings have many of the physical characteristics of their Fair parent, such as elongated, pointed ears, but those features are hidden from human eyes by a magical Glamour.  Many halflings can see through the Glamour innately, while others must use a supernatural aid, such as faerie glass.  There is no Glamour in the Faerie World, so there, halflings appear much like the Fair Folk.  Halflings also have access to a good deal of fae magic, though these abilities are rarely innate and must be taught.

The fae-touched sometimes have Fair-like features, but they are much milder than those of halflings – for example, their ears are usually of regular length and only slightly pointed.  Fae-touched are rarely able to perform faerie magic.

Both halflings and fae-touched may also be wolfkin, magekin, thralls, or psychic. Fae-touched can be turned into vampires, but feeding from a halfling is as dangerous to a vampire as feeding from a full-blooded fae.  A halfling that has been turned into a vampire is actually a redcap.  Halflings cannot become mages or werewolves, though fae-touched can.

 

Magekin

Like wolfkin, magekin are the human relatives of mages, and in fact, all mages are born as magekin.  Though there is no ‘mage gene’ that can be found scientifically, the ability to become a mage is definitely a family trait.  Because it isn’t genetic, it can’t be ‘diluted’, despite what some purists believe.

Every magekin is a direct descendent of at least one mage, even if that mage lived many generations ago.  Most magekin families are ‘in the know’ – an Awakening can be highly traumatic, not to mention dangerous, so mages tend to keep their families informed about what could happen to their children.  However, some branches of the family tree can become ‘cut off’, especially if several generations have passed since the last mage was known.

Magekin integrate easily into the human world, and for that reason, they make the perfect buffer between mages and humans.  All magekin have the innate ability to sense the presence of a mage.  This normally manifests as a tingling sensation, often accompanied by the hairs raising on the back of the neck, when a mage in within a fifty-foot or so radius.  However, it is impossible to pinpoint a single mage in a crowd.

Magekin can also be psychics, wolfkin, or thralls, but they lose their magekin status if they become vampires or werewolves.  Magekin can also be halflings or fae-touched.

 

Part Three: Psychics

There is a large variety of psychic powers that a human can have, though these abilities are relatively rare.  Although such abilities often run in families, it is also possible for a psychic to be born into a family with no other psychics in in the family tree.  Specific abilities may also be inherited (sometimes skipping a generation), but this is not always the case.

Specific psychic abilities will be detailed in a future update.  Psychics can also be wolfkin, magekin, thralls, halflings, or fae-touched.  However, when a psychic becomes a werewolf, a mage, or a vampire, they lose their psychic ability.  The exception are mediums, who may or may not retain their abilities after becoming something else.

(More information regarding specific types of psychics and their abilities is forthcoming)

 

Mediums

Mediums are a specific type of psychic whose abilities center around death.  One of the abilities all mediums have is Truesight (Ghosts), which allows the medium to see and communicate with ghosts, even when they are invisible and inaudible to others.  Another common ability is Unseen Sense (Ghosts), which allows the medium to sense when a ghost is within a roughly fifty-foot radius.  This normally manifests as a chill down the back of the medium’s spine, though this is sometimes accompanied scent, which some describe as ‘like freshly fallen snow’.  Both of these abilities are passive and always ‘active’.

There are some other abilities unique to mediums, though an individual medium may have all, some, or even none of these other abilities.

Summon the Dead: This is the ability most often witnessed during a séance, though that ceremony is not strictly necessary.  A medium with this ability is able to summon a ghost from anywhere in the Material World or Underworld.  A ghost can resist this summons, at which point it becomes a battle of wills between the medium and ghost.  Once summoned, the ghost can be communicated with normally, though the ghost is not compelled to answer honestly or at all.  The ghost is, however, compelled to remain near the medium for a period of one hour, though after that time, the ghost is free to go where it pleases.

Banish the Dead: This ability is rarer than Summon the Dead and does just the opposite, banishing a ghost to the Underworld.  Normally, this banishment is permanent, though a ghost can later be summoned from the Underworld and is then free to go where it pleases.

Command the Dead: This ability is extremely rare and allows a medium to essentially enslave a ghost for a period of about one hour.  When successful, the medium is then able to compel a ghost to follow her commands or honestly answer questions posed to it.  Naturally, ghosts resent when this ability is used against them, and once freed, may attempt to retaliate.

Blast (Ectoplasmic): This ability is normally something only ghosts can do, but in extremely rare instances, a medium may be able to learn to use it as well.  The medium directs a blast of ghostly energy (commonly called ectoplasm) at a target.  Against a physical target, the blasts acts as a sort of telekinetic punch, though it may also involve some scorching.  This is rarely lethal in and of itself.  But against an ethereal target, such as a ghost or spirit, the blast acts more like a science fiction laser weapon, burning through the etheric form and causing painful damage.