Pyromancy (aka Pyrokenisis):
Pyromancy is the ability to manipulate fire. Specifically to unleash searing jets of flame that can be targeted at enemies in acts of suppression or aggression. In addition, those who possess this gift can control fire to a certain degree, forcing smaller blazes to move in specific directions.(dependent on skill mastery). Pyromancers are less susceptible than other Chosen to fire (and will recover more quickly from burns), but are not invulnerable to it.
Telekinesis is the ability to manipulate all non-organic materials (and post organic – I.E. wood cut from trees) through mental cognition rather than sensory touch. The strength of the ability differs from Kinesist to Kinesist, but is widely considered one of the most desirable of the five gifts a Chosen can poses and thus those who have it are often regarded in higher status. However, the ability is not without risk - trying to manipulate large and heavy objects often causes nasal bleeding, which if sustained for long periods of time can rarely cause fatal hemorrhaging of the brain and / or a stroke. Thus it recommended not to manipulate large mass objects for sustained periods of time, unless absolute necessary.
Charm (Neural Manipulation):
Charm is a slightly rarer gift and gives its wielder the ability to temporarily control the cognitive thought and actions of a human (as well as some weaker Pandemonian species). This makes the ability particularly effective in diplomatic situations or to aid the avoidance of conflict, and is often used by members of logistical support teams to 'clean' a crime scene and manipulate witnesses. this is due to the gift also allowing the charmer to force targets to recall events differently, or forget whatever the Chosen wishes them to.
However, it is possible for the effect of neural manipulation to eventually break down over time allowing original thoughts to return – although this is very rare. The time it takes for this phenomenon to occur is the source of much debate, however is commonly attributed to the level of mastery the chosen has over their gift, or less commonly due to the emotional resonance of the memory that is being blocked. (it is theorized that memories containing strong feelings of love and affection are the hardest to block and the most likely to break down over time). When Charm is applied, the Chosen uses an otherworldly cadence of voice that is far higher in frequency than normal – often referred to as ‘manipulation speech.’ the reason for this is not yet understood.
due to the potential danger that Charm could bestow upon an innocent victim and its potential for severe misuse, all instances of neural manipulation are required to be logged by the alliance, and severe penalties are levied against any chosen using their gift for unlawful, unsanctioned or direct personal gain.
Teleportation is the ability to transfer oneself from one location to another using only thought. It remains a mystery how exactly this is achieved, although it is hypothesized that it is due to an unconscious control over the molecular structure of the chosen's own body – allowing them to disassemble themselves into base atoms and ‘float’ to a new location before reassembling at the required destination. The float range varies depending on the skill of the Chosen and a certain degree of 'luck' related to genetics, however it is generally between one and three square miles. Whilst a very sought after gift, teleportation comes with a variety of dangers – some fatal.
Firstly, when a Chosen teleports, the immense power required causes significant particle distortion in an area roughly ten square meters around the wielder. most notably this includes air – which whilst immediately rectified when the chosen re-appears, has been known in rare cases to cause fatal asthma attacks in those prone to breathing difficulties.
It is also fatal for a teleporter to float with a non-teleporter. in all cases the ‘stowaway’ – although able to reassemble themselves physically – will suffer from immense internal injuries that lead to instant death. Thus such use of the gift is forbidden unless in a life-and-death combat scenario and has severe ramifications if used outside these parameters or on civilians.
Another typical danger also posed around teleporting is the seeming possibility of reforming inside a solid object. however this concern is unwarranted, as when floating into a solid object, the teleporter will‘bump,’ meaning that they will unconsciously move away from dense particle areas and only reform in a space that can safely accommodate the full size of their body. Thus a death or injury associated with that concern has never been reported.
Levitation is the ability to telepathically lift oneself from the ground for a sustained period of time. like many of the other gifts, conventional science is unable to explain exactly how this is achieved, but it is speculated to relate to teleportation in that the wielder has some form of unconscious control over the molecular structure of their body, causing it to behave in otherwise impossible ways.Less competent users of the gift (around 15-20%) are restricted to vertical movements. However those who who are committed to honing the skill through rigorous training (or those with a natural affinity for it), can develop horizontal movement too – although it is far more difficult to control.
When levitating the arms are used to control movement – with the force applied in moving them correlating directly with the speed and intensity that the Chosen will move at whilst levitating.It is unknown if the use of arms is connected to levitation somehow on a physical level or is more psychological, allowing the chosen to feel they have more direct 'control.'
The range of vertical movement ranges from forty feet to a known maximum of eighty. (Only 30% of chosen registered with the gift can achieve the maximum height). Levitation can be utilized for a maximum of twenty-three minutes before fatigue occurs. Also those at maximum height have a risk of minor injury, if they are unable to sustain ‘flight’ and fall to the ground. Thus safety measures and observation are recommended whenever a new Chosen practices the ability.
due to the otherworldly nature of the gift and its potential to cause immense distress in civilians, the use of levitation is only permitted either when it is certain that no witnesses are present, or when using a kapre belt to render the chosen invisible to the naked eye (preceding any direct interactions).
(please note that the folowing section is very much a work in progress. as such, many entries are outdated / incomplete / rough.
all will be systematically updated and improved over the coming weeks). Keep your eyes peeled for hidden info!
Elementals: 'Photon, Lafalei, Anemoi and Cetus'
Dwarves are a species of humanoid beings almost identical to humans apart from their limited height (on average between four and five feet) and superior strength. They are also notable for their thick beards and keen eyesight, which allows them to move and work comfortably in near pitch-black conditions. The male number of Dwarves far outweigh that of females, (at a ratio of roughly 13-1) and thus it is customary for a female dwarf to take numerous male partners in order to create several offspring lines. Dwarves hail from the island of Gridore situated to the South-East of Pandemonia, where they mined Whiteore and Adamantine from the various naturally occurring cave systems – and forged various weapons and equipment for protection against the native Ogres, and later as items for sale to the highest bidders in the Ageless War. Their ability to produce fine weapons is world-renowned. Dwarf legend speaks of Ogre Riders – those who were once able to tame and mount the vicious creatures, becoming almost undefeatable opponents, however, this is highly disputed and most certainly no longer the case in contemporary times.
Fiercely protective of their own race, many Dwarves chose to join sides in order to create alliances when the war first broke out, so that they would have support when the war inevitably reached their own shores. In actuality, this divide caused civil war on Gridore – resulting in two main factions - The Darris and the Creedor, who have now become sworn enemies. The Darris support the Umbra, whilst the Creedor support the Luminar. Generally it is the Creedor who aid the Alliance on the Earth side of the Veil, however this is not always the case. Generally one base will only employ one faction of Dwarves, to alleviate any potential conflict between each other.
The average age of a Dwarf before death is three hundred years.
Dragons (The Great Six)
System error: Data removed. Classified entry.
Kapre (Liberi umbra)
Kapres are now belived to be extinct. they referred to as a type of Demon, however, no proof exists that they are in any way genetically linked to Demon genus. They are very solitary, mysterious beings adept in magic and obsessed with mischief and misfortune, which has earned them the nickname ‘tricksters.’ Using belts crafted from rare metals and imbuded with Umbra magic, they are able to enter a ‘stealth’ mode, which makes them difficult to detect. (During the 17th Century these belts were reverse engineered and have since become an invaluable part of Guardian equipment). With belt camouflage Kapres wreak havoc on unsuspecting targets, such as luring them to their death by mimicking sounds of loved ones that draw the target into dangerous situations, or creating landslides, provoking dangerous animal attacks and various other malicious methods. There is no real knowledge as to why they are intent on harming others. Some suspect it is simply down to their malignant nature, others believe that they are somehow able to ‘feed’ from death and misfortune, as they have never been sighted eating or drinking.
Kapre Demons are very tall (averaging seven feet in height) slender, and are able to levitate to short heights (10-12 feet). They have four completely red eyes that can see in ranges far beyond that of a human, including infrared and X-Ray. Their skin is a pale grey and they often have facial ‘hair’ that resembles smoke, which they can blow at opponents to cause choking and temporary blinding, giving them time to escape any potential dangerous encounters. They also carry visual incantations that they tattoo on themselves with sticks and their own saliva, which when spoken aloud, can produce an alarming number of dangerous spells.
It is not known how Kapre’s reproduce and female variants have never been witnessed, suggesting that they are A-sexual. In addition, it is unknown what regions of Pandemonia they are originally from, as they are rarely seen – and when they are it is in all manner of locations. However, they tend to stick to forest areas, where they can easily move between trees and hide themselves when their belts are not activated. Kapres despise being watched and base their entire existence on one of anonymity and the avoidance of detection. Again, it is unknown why they hate being seen so much – it could be that it somehow weakens them – or simply that it is bad form that could be seen to highlight ineptitude in their culture.
Demons are considered to be the nobility of Umbra, and as such are treated with reverence (and often fear) by other species. Although other Umbra lifeforms are often incorrectly referred to as Demons there is only one true type of Demon. However, within this classification there are several subclassifications:
Apex Demon: By far the most deadly of all Demons. Few have this lineage and those that do are considered royalty by all the Umbra. Hades and his forbearers are all Apex Demons. Legend and myth has carved them into objects of abstract terror. The fearesomeness of the legends is not far from the truth.
Apex Demons stand at an average of nine foot from head to toe. They are covered in red, reptilian skin. The biomolecules within their blood contain natural phosphates, which causes a sweeping orange glow underneath the epidermis, believed to be the origin of the phrase Ah’draki Tagathul G’henem Ilis.’ ‘The fire that rages beneath the surface’
Their eyes are black orbs and they can see in a number of ways far beyond that of humans and many Pandemonians, including Infra red and X-Ray.
Lamiae: Effectively a subspecies of Demon and the most lowly regarded. Unlike other Demons, they are not automatically given noblitiy status, however, some still achive powerful roles through hard work, dedication and often clandestine methods (such as murder of higher officials etc).
Can practice magic. Very dangerous
Stand over seven feet tall
They are as fiercely intelligent as they are brutal and unforgiving in their nature.
Hades – the Umbra leader – is the most feared Demon on the planet, as were all of his linage before him.
Asrai are small, winged humanoids who resemble miniature humans. Unlike Nymphs, they are usually of a very gentle and kindly disposition. Although very small (ranging from nine to twelve inches in height), they are relatively strong and hardy. They have pink irises and hair that is very soft to the touch – with a tactile composition similar to silk. Although for obvious reasons they are ineffective in combat situations, they are working and dedicated, which has made them invaluable assets to the Alliance in household roles, such as cooking and cleaning. In Pandemonia, they are often captured and sold as slaves to wealthy individuals or families, who will often take advantage of them – working them until they die from exhaustion.
Asrai have a defence mechanism they can activate at will, shrouding themselves in a brilliant, pure white light. It is believed to be a deterent to predatory animals and also as a signal to other Asrai that they are in danger, who can then come to their aid. However, it has not always proved an effective method of defence. The homeplace of Asrai is the Forest of Elemental light. However, as with many other species, the they were forced from their home, when the forest was invaded and trees (which provides their sustenance) were cut down and fashioned into weapons. As the war evolved to more modern methods of combat, the forest was abandoned and a some returned, however, the corruption of it has made it a far more dangerous place to live, rife with predators and disease. Thus many moved to the remaining cities and took up work, or passed through the Veil to the safer residence of Earth.
Each generation of Asrai produces one male Asrai offspring, who is taller (fourteen inches on average) and has blue eyes and no bust – but is otherwise difficult to distinguish from other Asrai. The males of the species are treated with upmost reverence and care as their death can spell disaster for the race. The male will procreate with many Asrai to produce children and then chose one to be his life partner. This polyamarous situation is temporary and done purely for the preservation of life - once a partner has been chosen, the male Asrai is usually completely faithful and dedicated to his family. The average length of pregnancy is 4 human months, and three babies are ususally produced per single birth.
The average age of an Asrai before death is eighty four years.
Average age before death: 600 years
Average height: 6’ 9”
Weak against: Silver, Fire Crimson Twins.
Language spoken: Th’ail (Monist Umbra)
Devils are a bipedal species with goat-like features and cloven hooves, with dark fur that is normally black or brown. They have black eyes and large ram-horns that that they often use as an offensive weapon – butting their targets with enough force to render them unconscious. They also have sharp claws and teeth that can tear through even Chosen skin. Devils are incredibly strong and have an extremely high pain threshold, enabling them to continue fighting through almost any injury.
Devils are among the most feared of all Umbra and generally have a nature geared towards violence and chaos. In the history of the Alliance, there has been no record of a Devil seeking to uphold peace and thus the species is considered a natural enemy to the HASEA. Like Vampires, they are native to the Darklands and thus are able to see well in extremely poor lighting. However, unlike Vampires, they have no intolerance to sunlight. They are however, very susceptible to fire and silver, both which can kill them in seconds if applied to the correct area (namely – the head, throat and heart/chest).
Devils are of limited intelligence, but are very adept to combat and make deadly opponents. They live as nomads in the Darklands, creating subterranean cave systems that act as temporary homes, moving on every few years, but returning when necessary. Due to their extremely aggressive nature, they often fight one another in death battles called Th’Anda Aghül. The victor will drink the blood of the fallen opponent, claiming rights as the alpha of the group. However, this usually only lasts a few years before another rises to challenge, creating a constant cycle of death and disorder. Devils are selfish by nature and though many of them fight for Hades, they do so only for the perks they receive. (Namely easily accessible food, the opportunity to fight constantly, females – they are fond of interspecies intercourse - and prisoners of war, whom they can torture to satiate their lust for violence).
Female Devils are completely indistinguishable from their male counterparts to anyone other than Devils themselves. Once impregnated, they have a pregnancy time of two years. Although they are considered to be mammals, female Devils actually lay eggs - often up to fifty at a time – which gestate over a period of three years. (The eggs are identifiable by their spiked exterior and fur coating which is poisonous to the touch). A Devil will grow from infancy to adulthood in a mere ten years, at which point their ageing slows greatly. Old age Devils have greying fur and develop a white sheen over their eyes similar to cataracts. However, ageing is purely aesthetical and they will fight with the aggression and speed of those half their years.
Nymph - wood and water
Reapers of Knowledge
The Reapers were the most mysterious of all of the species in Pandemonia. They have not been seen in over 100 years, leading most to believe that they have somehow gone extinct.
Reapers appear at all major events, documenting…
Ignus Fattus (Will o’ Wisp)
The origin of Will o’ Wisps is unknown, however it is theorized that like many negative natural phenomena that affects Pandemonia, they appeared as a result of the constant use of destructive magic and the Ageless War itself. (Some believe that they might even be remnants of magic that have gathered and concentrated into a singular form.) They appear all over the world with seemingly no bias, although they do appear to be more prevalent in areas that have seen recent outbreaks of war and magic use, further reinforcing the stated theory of their origin.
Will o’ wisps are on average about eight inches in diameter and appear to the naked eye as bundles of dark, spiked energy that through an unknown process are able to produce blinding particles of unnatural light that can cause temporary (or if looked at for too long) permanent blindness in most life forms. In addition, whilst they have no conscious thought, they naturally gravitate towards natural life forms, at which point they explode, producing a powerful blast that releases a corrosive substance that is deadly to all documented life forms within a fifteen feet radius. Although destroying itself seems counterintuitive, it is actually a primitive form of reproduction, as if the remains of the victim are not burned within a strict 12 hour time limit, the wisp will self replicate and emerge from the body as two life forms. (This can be particularly devastating in untouched areas of mass death, where Ignus Fattus have been used as methods of weaponry, as in a matter of weeks, thousands of the life forms can emerge, making the battlefield a ‘no go’ area. (This was indeed the case in the documented battle of The Bay of Teeth, which became a dead zone for over a year).
Due to their deadly nature, Will o’ wisps are generally treated with fear and only the most foolhardy attempt to disarm them – it is generally advised to immediately vacate the area if one is discovered. However, if it is not possible to leave the area – there is a slim chance of rendering them temporarily harmless (a period of about eight minutes). This is done by throwing thick material over them at the point right before explosion, which has the effect of negating their self-destruction process for the aforementioned time period. It is very inadvisable to do so, as their surface is smooth, which makes them naturally resistant to grip and it is more likely that the material will slide right off and the person in the area will be killed.
Average (half) life before self-destruction: 400 days.
Oni – allergic to iron
Wendigo (species unclassified)
Average age before death: 200 years.
Average height: 7’ 2”
Language spoken: Kidesh (although most modern varients do not speak at all and commiunicate via non-verbal gestures and gutteral growls)
Weak against: Lead.
There has been much debate over whether Wendigos should be classified as Umbra or Fera, as they remain a very mysterious species, whose motives are unclear, and not much is known of their origin – (however it is speculated that they originated in the weeping isle province but have since migrated across pandemonia). Wendigos are deadly opponents in aerial combat, and when injured produce blood that is highly toxic and acidic – capable of burning indiscriminately through non-organic and organic material alike – including flesh and bone.
Wendigos are tall and sinewy, with dense muscle mass that makes them extremely strong. Their skin is incredibly pale which has earned them the nickname ‘White Devils’ although they have no genetic link to Devils, nor many similarities in appearance. They have long black hair and sharp claws as well as tough ‘batlike’ wings that are capable of sustaining flight for many hours at a time. Their arms are very long in proportion to the rest of their body, reaching past their knees and when they walk, they hunch their backs over, giving them a gait that is similar to that of a gorilla.
Wendigos usually fight on the side of the Umbra in the Ageless War, however there have been a few cases of the opposite and old Alliance records show that handfuls have served the HASEA in the past. They are fiercely loyal to those they serve and will gladly die in battle for them. This unflinching dedication coupled with their acidic blood and great strength make them terrifying opponents. Wendigos are very susceptible to lead and this is one of the only sure-fire ways to kill them (like many other species, attacking the throat, brain or heart is the most effective way of dispatching them). If attacked with other weapons, they can often ‘play dead,’ stopping their heartbeat and breath at will for several minutes at a time. For those unfamiliar with this practice, it can often be a fatal mistake to make, as the Wendigo will spring back up and attack when their opponent is sure of their defeat.
Wendigo females are identifiable by their lack of wings and shorter height (normally 6’). They are few in numbers and give birth only once in their life-cycle (becoming infertile afterwards) making Wendigos quite a rare breed that are bordering on extinction. However, recently they have been seen in greater numbers, suggesting that as the war draws to a close, those who remain are choosing to fight to secure their future. The pregnancy of a Wendigo lasts for a similar time to that of a human female – averaging eight to nine months. Wendigos reach maturity after forty years, but are fully capable of looking after themselves after only five.
The Three Fates
Ifrit (classification – Liberi Umbra)
Ifrits are humanoid creatures that grow to comparative heights for both the male and female variants. What sets them apart is their core temperature (86 degrees Celsius) and possessing hair that they can ignite at will. In addition, they can focus incredible heat to specific parts of their bodies without damage to themselves. This allows them to perform several seemingly miraculous feats of spontaneous combustion. The first is in the hands, which will heat and then be followed by an oily secretion from both palms, which ignites, allowing them to produce fireballs that they can throw as an offensive attack. The second is in the mouth, which whilst a similar process to the hands, creates a pillar of fire, which they can spew outwards to devastating effect. (This ability has lead to the more racist Pandemonians referring to Ifrits as the ‘bastard dragons’).
Unlike their Djinn contemporaries, Ifrit’s cannot use Umbra magic, and therefore are considered less powerful. However, they can still present a very serious opponent once angered, or if they feel under threat. Whilst Ifrit’s can theoretically breed with other species, they tend to do so only with one another as their incredible temperatures make interspecies sexual relations risky to say the least. The gestation period for the female before producing offspring is an average of two human years, however, they will usually give birth to at least three children each time.
Ifrits - like humans – generally do not have a proclivity to any particular type of nature, becoming ‘good’ or ‘evil’ through their surroundings, upbringing and personal experiences. However, they are considered to be quite obsessive and dedicated, so an Ifrit who desires to commit criminal activity will do so with absolute commitment and little regard for those it affects, making them potentially very troublesome. In contrast, Ifrits who work for the Alliance are generally considered to be extremely dedicated and loyal Guardians, who will uphold the laws of the organisation even if it costs them their lives.
Ifrits, like their Djinn cousins were once indigenous to the island of Mirhisk – also known as the fractured land – which is situated to the east of the Idisa continent. However, aeons ago, the supervolcano Cabarak erupted, causing magma far hotter than that on Earth to cut through the entire island, wiping many species from the Face of Pandemonia and reducing the once rich lands to thousands of floating patches of land. The Ifrits, like most other inhabitants of Mirhisk were forced to relocate to other areas of Pandemonia (in particular settlements around the Bay of Teeth). Although the land has since reformed, held together by cooled magma - the island remains far too structurally unstable and the active Cabarak too much of a risk for Ifrits to return to their homeland.
Sirens – (Classification: Liberi Fera)
Sirens are variants of Merfolk who resemble beautiful, human women. They live in large bodies of water and rise up when it is time to feed or procreate, singing haunting songs that can mesmerize many different species, luring them into water where they will sexually embrace the siren until they drown. Rater than being ‘evil’ as such, they act purely on survival instinct. Indeed it is said that each sad new melody they create is a dedication to their previous ‘lovers’ who they have been forced to kill as a result of their need to feed or reproduce. When many used the underwater sections of the Veil to reach Earth, they found many targets in sailors over the centuries, who were traveling to new lands. They would work together - grouping on precarious rocks and singing together to devastating effects. The captains would steer their ships into the rocks, causing them to wreck, at which point the Sirens would claim every man who jumped overboard.
If a potential victim can ignore their song (which is an incredibly difficult task and requires incense focus), then they will quickly move on to other, easier targets. They are quite weak and can be killed in many ways, to the degree that there is no specific method for dispatching them. If they do not feed at least once a month, then they will die of starvation. Other water folk are immune to their voices. They have great fondness for Kelpies and often ride them to travel to other places at great speed. The average age of a Siren before natural death is 70 years.
Skinshifters- (Classification: Liberi Fera)
Skinshifters are a breed of sentient canine style creatures native to the Tempolat mountain region of central Idisa in Pandemonia, also known as the Skinshifter Freelands. They are one of the most intellectually advanced and powerful Fera on the planet and as such are naturally feared by most other feral species. Their average length is 3 metres from muzzle to rump and 1.8 metres from shoulder to feet. However, older, stronger Skinshifters have been known to reach lengths of over 4 metres and heights of 2.5+ metres. They are normally black or dark brown in colour with shimmering red eyes. However, Yeth the White – one of the most powerful and deadly Skinshifters ever to live, has fur as white as snow.
Skinshifters were once all part of a peaceful, collective tribe who lived in seclusion in the mountains, with secondary humanoid forms that were similar in appearance to that of Central American Indians. However, once the Ageless War began and the battles reached their homelands, darker members of the species broke into rival factions, all with the desire to place a new Chieftain on the Throne of Skin and rule the tribe. Much bloodshed occurred and many Skinshifters fled the mountains, choosing to become nomadic rather than face death. Others chose to stay and fight for supremacy, claiming small pockets of the once peaceful land for their own. During these centuries of war, the Skinshifter secondary forms were either abandoned or forgotten - it is unknown which. What was once a great and proud tribe has now become a shadow of its former glory, with remnants of the species scattered all over Pandemonia and Earth.
Skinshifters have the ability to imprint on other animals and assume their form, acquiring all of their experiences and memories during the process. It is important to note that they retain their own cognitive functions and thought processes no matter the animal they chose to imprint. However, if they chose to mimic a human, they can only hold onto the form until Earth’s full moon occurs. At this point the lunar power negatively affects the water content in their façade skin, causing it to dissolve and forcing the Skinshifter to return to their original form. It is assumed that this change has been witnessed at one – or many – points in history, which resulted in the incorrect legends of werewolves. It is supposedly impossible to imprint on a Chosen, however there have been rumours…
Skinshifters are deathly allergic to silver and it is the only surefire way to kill them. Even decapitation is ineffective if another material is used, as their heads will simply grow back. Apart from intense explosions, only two other hand-to-hand combat weapons - the Crimson Twin swords – can kill them outright.
The average age of a Skinshifter before natural death occurs is 360 human years.
Venenum – (Classification: Liberi Fera)
Venenum (singular and plural) are insectiod creatures that exist in several provinces and islands within Pandemonia. They are equivalent in size to sparrows and have abdomens similar to that of a wasp - except the ‘jacket’ versions of the insect have red stripes as opposed to yellow. They each have a set of four fast-beating wings, which create their deep telltale hum when they fly. In addition they have six appendages - four of which are insectiod and two front ‘arms,’ which have small black claws on each (coated with the same venom as their stingers). The stinger itself curls underneath a Venenum’s body like an arched tail and is four inches in length, carrying enough toxins to instantly kill an averaged size human and cause a Chosen serious pain. The faces of Venenum are considered to be the most eerie part of their appearance. They contain what appears to be a human style head, with a large, fanged mouth and bulbous eyes. However, this is simply an illusion and if one were to touch a Venenum (not that anyone would want to), it would be apparent that they are simply effective markings, apparently used as a deterrent to would be predators. In truth, Venenum cannot bite, and they are completely blind, operating on hearing and smell alone. Interestingly, Venenum do not actually have any natural predators on Pandemonia or Earth, as they are too toxic to eat, which suggests that they were once prey to a species that has long since become extinct.
Venenum are hive creatures that build vast nests that can reach over twenty feet in height and diameter, and resemble a hanging paper cone. They are fiercely protective of their queen (which is notable by its pure red markings and larger size) as well as their brood, and will become frenzied if even one is killed. They attack in swarms and are deadly if encountered without proper protection. That said, they are individually very weak and can be killed by most means. The most effective method known is a ‘Swarm Rifle’ - a gun that emits a high-pitched frequency that imbalances their molecular structure and causes them to explode. If aimed at a nest, a single shot from a Swarm Rifle can kill an entire nest, including the queen. Venenums appear to serve no ecological purpose within Pandemonia - apart from being too toxic to eat, they do not propagate the areas they exist in any way. Thus they are universally despised. The average Venenum age before death is 14 months.
Hiveminds - (Classification: Liberi Umbra)
Hivemind Vampires are the most feral of the three Vampire types. They walk on all fours, (with deadly, retractable claws) and have fifty-six razor sharp ‘fang’ teeth, each measuring approximately two inches in size. Hiveminds have manes that are similar to human hair, which typically descend a third of the way down their back. Their skin is scaled – similar to that of a lizard, although their facial appearance - including their iconic pointed ears - is very ‘bat-like.’ They are usually pale grey in colour, although stronger, black variants have been witnessed and are known as Shadowminds. There is much speculation about how these more powerful variants occur, but most agree it is a somewhat random element of nature – similar to that of an albino human.
Hiveminds have slightly higher intelligence than the average Earth canine, however they are linked telepathically with their Hivemaster– the Bloodseeker – and will not attack any creature unless expressly informed to do so by their leader. They are native to the Darklands – an area of Pandemonia completely devoid of natural sunlight, and as a result, they are very susceptible to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Other weaknesses include oak wood, which if pierced through the skull, heart, or neck will cause them to dissolve into ashes.
When a litter is created, one Hivemind will always evolve more than its other kin, becoming a Bloodseeker. The Bloodseeker will then choose victims, draining them of blood and leaving the meat behind for the rest. Hiveminds do not need to drink blood to survive; indeed they gain all the nutrients they need from the meat they eat.
Perhaps the most peculiar phenomenon surrounding Hiveminds is their mimicking of injuries sustained by their Bloodseeker Hivemaster. If the leader is wounded – for example by fire – then the Hiveminds will act as if they themselves have been injured by the same attack. If the Bloodseeker dies, so too will all of the Hiveminds. It is unknown exactly why this occurs, but the foremost thought behind it is that all Hiveminds and the Bloodseeker are actually one entity split into smaller ‘parts,’ with the leader being the one who has the independent thought that governs the others. Some experts believe that this theory goes some way to explaining the phenomenon of nesting that can occur in Bloodlings – that it is a throwback symptom that relates to the unity of original Vampires. The average age of a Hivemind before death is 380 years.
Bloodseekers- (Classification: Liberi Umbra)
Bloodseeker Vampires are created when one (it is always one) of any given Hivemind pack evolves into a sentient, bipedal creature, shedding its scaled skin and taking on a more ‘human’ appearance. This process occurs anywhere from three months to one year after the litter is first birthed. The early growth of a Bloodseeker is extremely fast, with them passing through infancy and reaching adulthood within two human years. Once adulthood is achieved, the ageing process becomes remarkably slow in comparison – with two centuries translating into roughly ten human years.
Bloodseekers resemble humans, with two key differences – their pointed ears and yellow irises (contact lenses are commonly used for those wishing to go unnoticed in human society, before which darkened sunglasses were used). They have a pale composition and are usually taller than average humans – often reaching heights of up to seven feet – although this is not guaranteed. Their fangs are retractable and descend from a thin membrane that covers their gums. They control their ‘siblings’ by telepathic commands – although it is unclear whether or not they use words or something more instinct based.
Bloodseekers require only blood to survive. Thus when attacking a victim, they will drain the blood and leave the carcass for their brood to feast on. When attacking humans, the venom they use to incapacitate their victims has a residual effect, essentially killing them and turning them into Bloodlings if they are not completely exsanguinated or eaten in time. Like their Hivemind brethren, they are susceptible to light and oak wood, as well as fire.
Bloodseeker Vampires can procreate with one another in an identical way to humans. However, the gestation period of a litter (between ten and forty Vampires) is only three months. If a Bloodseeker bites a human and turns them into a Bloodling, then they will effectively become their master and will be viewed with utter devotion by their ‘child.’ This is in stark contrast to a Bloodling on Bloodling bite, where the affected is often hateful or violent towards those who turned them. The average age of a Bloodseeker before death is 420 human years.
Bloodling – (classification: Hybrid)
Bloodling Vampires are the result of an anomaly that occurs when a Bloodseeker bites a human and does not outright kill them. The venom contains a proteolytic agent that attacks and decomposes organs over a seventy-two hour period, ultimately leading to death. However in 2/3rds of cases the venom simultaneously alters the body on a cellular level, creating a Bloodling. Due to the venom being a permanent part of their system, fresh blood is required at least once every three days in order to counteract the effects, otherwise decomposition and actual death will occur. Originally Bloodlings were refereed to as revenants – those who were dead who have come back to life. However, their thirst (which is signified by an intense, almost uncontrollable urge known as the hunger that can only be satiated by human blood), earned them the new name Bloodlings during the Georgian era.
Bloodlings differ in various ways to Bloodseekers and Hiveminds. Firstly they are immortal, only able to die through decapitation, an oak stake to the heart, eyes or throat, or burning. (They are very susceptible to oak and fire). They look almost identical to humans, although their irises are silver, (the venom alters the colour). Sunlight does not affect them and they can only experience temperatures at extreme levels. For example, a boiling kettle of water would feel only slightly warm to them). Interestingly this does not affect their own body temperature to a great degree, and when touched they are only slightly colder than an average human. In addition, they can suffer from two distinctly disturbing traits once turned:
The Fury – a name given to a condition that can occur after a Bloodling suffers a traumatic change. An even stronger urge than the Hunger, it causes the affected Vampire to fall into uncontrollable rage, coupled with increased strength. This is a very dangerous time for a Bloodling, as they cannot act rationally and thus are a huge risk to anyone around them, including themselves. If symtpoms of the Fury are not treated, (for example at the Rebirth Clinic), then it will have a permananet effect on their behaviour for the rest of their lives, making them more prone towards anger and violence. Indeed it can eventually lead to madness.
Nesting – this is when a Bloodseeker gathers several Bloodlings together naked in a close proximity over a several weeks or months. Over time, this closeness with others coupled with the lack of clothing (clothing reinforces individuality) cause the nested Vampires to lose conscious, independent thought and operate almost like a singular entity. Nested Bloodlings will only serve the command of their ‘master,’ and will treat any threat to their leader with hostile force (in many ways similar to how Hiveminds act). They are able to move as a singular force and can overwhelm their foes with their sheer numbers – an element known as ‘blanketing.’ Once nested, there is no cure for the condition, and death of their Bloodseeker master will cause them to go insane. Death is their only salvation.
Bloodlings grow stronger as they age. A Bloodling of about two hundred years are ten times stronger than humans, almost to a degree of Bloodseekers, but about half the strength of a Chosen. If they do not commit suicide (depression is prevelant among Bloodlings), or get killed in some manner, then a Bloodling will not die.
As a Bloodling is essentially a revenant, they cannot sustain new life. Thus female Bloodlings are unable to bear children.