WAIT
A SUPERNATURAL CREATURES
&
BLEED
INTERMEDIATE AU NEW ORLEANS RPG



SPECIES

Genetics

Generally, Ghouls, Vampires, and Ghosts are incapable of producing children. Ghouls and Vampires no longer have functioning sex organs and Ghosts are not corporeal capable of sexual intercourse. The werewolf gene is dominant in all cases, leading to a werewolves being the most common species, which is partly why they have been exposed before the other species of supernaturals.

Genetics Chart
Parent 1 Parent 2 Offspring
Human Pairings
Human Ghoul No conception
Human Guide Human or Guide (50/50)
Human Vampire No conception
Human Werewolf Werewolf
Human Witch Human
Werewolf Pairings
Werewolf Ghoul No conception
Werewolf Guide Werewolf
Werewolf Human Werewolf
Werewolf Vampire No conception
Werewolf Werewolf Werewolf
Werewolf Witch Werewolf
Guide Pairings
Guide Ghoul No conception
Guide Guide Guide
Guide Human Guide or Human (50/50)
Guide Vampire No conception
Guide Werewolf Werewolf
Guide Witch Guide or Human (50/50)
Witch Pairings
Witch Ghoul No conception
Witch Guide Human or Guide (50/50)
Witch Human Human
Witch Vampire No conception
Witch Werewolf Werewolf
Witch Witch Human
Vampire Pairings
Vampire All species No conception
Ghoul Pairings
Ghoul All species No conception
Ghost Pairings
Ghosts All species No conception

Public Opinions

Public Opinion of Witches

The humans of New Orleans are no stranger to the concept of witchcraft. New Orleans is home to a distinctive type of Louisiana Voodoo, with a blend of African and Afro-Caribbean Roman Catholic beliefs. It became most popular back in the late 1800s due in part to voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau. While tourists strongly associate New Orleans with Voodoo, only a small number of people are believed to practice actively today. The general public may be entertained by thoughts of Voodoo and other types of witchcraft, but don't actually believe in it.

Recently, a small, very strict sect of Voodoo practitioners took to using opioids and hallucinogenics in their practices. Information of this leaked to the media, and ever since the respect humans had for those who devoutly practice these arts has disintegrated. 'Witches' have become synonymous with 'drug addicts' and 'cultists.' This couldn't be further from the truth, but in the court of public opinion, no one really cares.

Public Opinion of Werewolves

Werewolves came on the scene back in the mid 90s when the internet took off and it became much more difficult to avoid ever present cameras and viral videos. Enough werewolves caught shifting on camera changed public opinion from amused with silly fiction like Teen Wolf, to terrified in a matter of years... Over the past few decades 'wolf involved murders' have been skyrocketing, and local and federal governments have taken action to quell this threat to public safety. (See Legislative Action).

Public Opinion of Guides

There is little to no public opinion about 'guides.' If you used the term people would squint at you in confusion. One may have heard a rumor about werewolves who are able to shift into other animals... but humans don't know guides exists or any of the intricacies regarding how different they are from the wolves.

Public Opinion of Ghosts

The belief in ghosts is hit or miss depending upon the individual human's religion or beliefs. Sure, there's the odd ghost hunter out there, but for the most part, aside from the errant 'ghost story,' people leave well enough alone.

Public Opinion of Vampires

Vampires have worked extremely hard to avoid the public eye. They blend in with the humans and have compulsion abilities to make humans conveniently forget they exist. They also have strict vampiric laws in place to ensure they stay hidden. In fact, they blame some of their murders on the wolves to divert suspicion. Arrogant, self-righteous, manipulative bastards.

Vigilante Justice

"The Reapers" are not one singular group, but many. When the werewolves came out, the public cried out for protection, and when they felt the police weren't providing it, turned to the local gangs or vigilante groups. Those that take an active stance against the wolves are known as the Reapers.

These groups sprung up mostly in poor neighborhoods with a high minority population. Most Reaper groups are known for drug trafficking and violence. Yet, with the rise of murders being pinned on the werewolf population, they have seen a nice reprieve in policing of their activities. They have stepped up as protectors of their neighborhoods, if only to sink their hooks in deeper to peddle their illicit substances and gain control. Yet, in the poorer communities where there is little to no trust in the government keeping people safe, the Reapers represent safety. They ensure that their neighborhoods do not allow werewolves, that children are safe. It's funny, how the villains suddenly don't seem so bad when there's an even more terrifying threat, isn't it? The Reapers have been known to raid the homes of known werewolves, threatening, killing, and burning in their wake, bringing a whole new meaning to vigilante justice. The most active Reaper sects are Los Muertos, a primarily latino motorcycle club and the Moretti Crime Family, a presumed extinguished Italian mafia.

About

Maleficus, bruja, Hexe, strega, witch - there are almost as many names for magical aspirants as there are languages and cultures. It seems that a curiosity to explore the unusual and unknown is an essential part of human nature. Those who are willing to venture into the realm of the occult, to explore what lies beyond what can be measured by scientific means, have existed for as long as humanity itself. Through copious experimentation and diligent ritual practice, these persons have learned to command supernatural forces and acquire gifts that exceed their plain human abilities.

Because of the power witches gain over the physical and spiritual worlds, they have been either revered or feared throughout history. Human society’s reception of them has ranged from respect for the holistic medical practitioners that witches can choose to be, to attempts at total annihilation by witch hunts. Yet with the dawn of the age of Enlightenment, an intellectual and philosophical movement which dominated Europe during the 18th century, witchcraft and magic have been increasingly viewed as mere superstitions. This has allowed magical practitioners to hide behind the cloak of public incredulity towards their powers. For the small price of not being taken seriously by the masses, they were able hide in plain sight and practice their craft.

But since werewolves have been outed, suspicion against anything supernatural has been at an all-time-high. In the current climate, how long can witches retain their partly anonymous status before humanity’s murderous paranoia is turned against them, too?

Initiation

Although the supernatural powers they gain during their practice might make people believe otherwise, witches are not a separate species. All witches are human. They are not born with these abilities but acquire them through engaging in magic. This means that every human could potentially become a witch. Because other supernaturals species are associated with different kinds of abilities, they cannot partake in witchcraft.

But if humans and witches are genetically the same, what makes a witch’s magic potent and real?

To become a witch, one must first be initiated into witchcraft. This can happen in two ways: either through a coven, or by being called to enter the craft by an ancestral spirit.

By Coven

Initiation by a coven is much more common than the latter. In this case, a person interested in magic usually seeks out a coven of witches and asks to be introduced into their discipline. Covens usually do not accept any outsider seeking initiation who hasn’t reached the age of consent, which in Louisiana is 17. There is an exception for aspirants who grow up in magical families. As their parents are witches who also belong to the coven, their offspring who choose the magical path get initiated around their adolescence, between ages 13 and 16, though some might choose to do it later. Some covens can choose to put the aspirant through a series of tests to prove their worthiness and resolve to learn, and most require them to have a basic understanding of what witchcraft is before making the decision to go through with it. After that, the initiation process can begin.

Although there are many variations of initiation procedures, the main elements remain the same. First, there is a period of separation from regular society. This can involve actually removing oneself from all human contact by seeking out solace in nature, or simply disassociating from people one is usually surrounded with, and lasts anywhere from a few hours, to days, to weeks or months. This is followed by a period of more extreme isolation where all senses are restricted. The aspirant is confined in a tight dark space or even tied up. Again, the amount of time until this part is considered complete varies. The third step is the introduction of the elements. Depending on the coven, this step can get very elaborate. Sometimes this incorporates trips into nature for the aspirant to personally experience all elements: the heat of the sun on their skin, the sturdy earth beneath their feet, the wind in their hair, and the the flow of water as they submerge themselves into streams. This step serves as a means to find out where the witch’s elemental affinities lie. A pledge to secrecy and/or loyalty follows and with that, the initiation process is complete.

In exceptional cases, an initiate can be guided through the initiation by a solitary witch, but they must have obtained the highest level in their mastery of magic.

By Ancestral Spirit

Initiation by an ancestral spirit is an even rarer occurrence. This is because it usually only happens in very ancient witch bloodlines or with a reincarnated witch. An ancestral spirit, aided by a guide, can temporarily cross over into this world and have the abilities of a ghost. The spirit usually visits the witch to be for the initiation around adolescence, that is, between the ages of 13 and 16. Through dreams, it then guides the future witch through the steps of initiation. The ancestral spirit oftentimes demands a natural setting for this, and a witch must seek out solitude in the outdoors to complete the steps. The guide who helped the ancestral spirit with the initiation process will sometimes seek out the witch in question and a familiar relationship might arise from the contact.

In contrast to the initiation by a coven, this is not necessarily a voluntary process. It is not the initiate’s own volition that draws them to the craft, they are called into it by an external force. As such, they can choose to refuse the call, ignore the dreams, not follow the insistence of the guiding spirit. Because this calling to initiation will typically happen in early adolescence, it can oftentimes be a frightening or disorienting occurrence. However, a refusal to follow the calling will result in a type of permanent affliction that presents as mental illness with some physical symptoms. The uninitiated witch might suffer from schizophrenic, depressive, anxious episodes, and/or tremors of the body.

Magic

As the subject of supernatural abilities has always held a fascination to the human mind, there is no shortage of depictions of magic in literature, art, and film. From children’s books, to superhero franchises, to horror flicks, there are many different representations, but most of these are just artistic interpretations that have very little to do with the witchcraft that is actually practiced. There are no lightning flashes emanating from fingers, moving objects with one’s mind, or changing fundamental things about oneself. Instead, the magic that witches engage with is more subtle, not always visible or immediate, but capable of influencing reality in profound ways. Everything under the sun — the rocks, the trees, the dirt, the air, water, and beyond — has an energy vibration. While most chalk this notion up to hippy, new age nonsense, witches have been harnessing energy to practice magic for as long as they've walked the earth, wielding it for the purposes of their craft.

Also, unlike what is usually presented of witchcraft through the lense of human understanding, there are no “good” or “bad” witches just as there is no magic that is “white” or “black” inherently. Magic can best be understood as a neutral energy that is influenced, formed, and conducted along the lines of the witch’s will through the guideposts of symbols, ingredients, incantations, and choreographies of a spell. With this said, the intention and result that the witch aims to achieve may very well be to inflict harm onto another, and therefore could be classified as evil. But that does not make the magic that is used “black” magic, or the witch a “bad” witch, just a bad person with magical tools at their disposal to achieve their desired results.

No witch is born with inherent powers because there are no “born witches.” All magical ability is a skill that is honed through regular engagement in witchcraft after initiation. In this sense, it is truly a craft. A mixture of physical correspondences and symbolic representations of the witches’ goal is incorporated into every spell, ritual, or hex. Through practice, studying, and experimentation, witches learn to tame magic so that is does the bidding of their will. Magic can be compared to another craft, baking. A person who does not know how to cook an egg will probably not succeed at baking a soufflé. Beginner witches are advised to start with simpler spells, and work their way up to more complex ones. Yet even the soufflé of a famous chef can sometimes not rise properly if all the conditions are not perfect. The success of a spell is not guaranteed even for a very experienced witch. It does increase considerably with time and practice.

Mastery Levels

The strength of a witch’s power is dependant on their mastery of the craft and can be roughly divided into four levels:

Apprentice

Mastery Level I is obtained with the witch's initiation into the craft when they become an apprentice. This enables them to start learning and experimenting with universal spells as well as those that belong to their affinity.

Practitioner

Mastery Level II is obtained after at least 5 years of being an “apprentice.” A practitioner can perform spells of their affinity as well as universal spells with a good success rate. This is the level that most witches get “stuck” at simply because most witches aren’t keen on continuing the in-depth learning that is required to move onto an expert. They are satisfied with the practicality of being able to perform their specialty well. (A witch needs to be at least level 2 to be a medium, for more, see “Familiars.”)

Expert

Mastery Level III is obtained after at least 10 years of being a “practitioner.” An expert can not only ace spells associated with their affinity, but has taken the time to learn spells from another elemental affinity. A witch with an affinity to earth, for example, can learn some spells that are associated with fire. This requires much more practice and is not usually as successful as the spells of their original affinity. Within a coven, apprentices are taught by at least expert-level witches.

Master

Mastery Level IV is obtained after at least 20 years of being an “expert.” For master witches, even the most complex of spells have a very high success rate. They can choose to take up another elemental affinity, though each one will take about 10 years of diligent practice to be able to perform decently. At this level of mastery the witch can take up the most complex of spells out there. Spells that decide about life or death: necromancy, the raising of the dead back to life, or resurrection, the ensurance that a soul will be reborn back into this world.

Please note: The times to reach the different mastery levels that are indicated presuppose a very active and intense practice and study of magic. The 35 years to reach the highest mastery level is the ideal case. For many witches, such intense magical research is not possible since they have other responsibilities to take care of such as jobs and a social life. It is therefore not only normal but also very common for witches to take longer than the indicated times. The above is rather the exception, representing the absolute minimum.

Reaching the next mastery level is not a monumental, conscious experience. There are no flashes of light or fanfares. A witch usually practices and experiments, working their way up to more complex spells and rituals until they finally succeed in performing them correctly with the result they wanted. On the path to mastery, there will be unsuccessful attempts that yield undesired and even comical or catastrophic consequences.

For a witch who wants to perform magic that exceeds her current mastery level, there are two ways to do that.

The simplest way is to enlist the help of other witches in a group ritual or spell. When several witches get together to work towards one common, magical goal, the strength of the spell is calculated according to the witch with the highest mastery level. This means that if an Expert witch performs a spell with Apprentice witches, together they can work very complex Expert level magic. This is additionally enforced with the intentions of the Apprentice witches, which additionally increases the chances of success. In cases where several witches of the same mastery level do a ritual together, it is possible for them to work magic that is more complex than their current level. This happens when the years of experience of the cooperating witches in their current level, added together, would amount to what is required to achieve the next. For example, if three Practitioner witches with four years of active experience in this level each will amount to twelve years at the level, which means they could perform spells at the Expert level. However, the results of such magic are much less successful or stable than when achieved by a witch who has actually achieved the level.

The same effect can be achieved if the witch compels ghosts of former witches of higher mastery levels to lend their energy to them for a ritual. This presupposes a familiar relationship, and, depending on the nature of the spell, mediumship must be performed as well. (For more, see: Familiars as well as Guides and Ghosts.)

Elemental Affinities

There is a plethora of spells, rituals, and charms that can be performed by all witches no matter what the tradition they are trained in demands. These range from simple wards, talismans and amulets, and bonding to a familiar, to very complex rituals like resurrection or necromancy, and are known as Universal Magic. However, every witch also has a specific elemental affinity that opens them up to an array of magic that is connected to that element.

Since the most ancient times, there have been theories about the different natures that make up the world. In the European Middle Ages, the science of alchemy was based entirely in the exploration of the elemental makeup and the employment of these elements to transmute objects. The elements are usually broken into four: fire, earth, air, and water. These represent not only the physical aspects, but also their metaphorical interpretations. It is the same in magic. The spells that an elemental affinity encompasses are partly tangible and partly intangible.

Fire

Warm, warmer, hot! The element of fire represents heat and flames, and a witch with an affinity to fire is the one to turn to when it’s getting cold outside.

Metaphorically, fire represents transformation. Just as a fire destroys wood and turns it into coal in the process of burning, the element of fire is associated with the extremes of creation and destruction. It is energy that can purify by “burning” away the undesired residues. It can destroy bonds or bad habits or addictions, as well as help initiate new projects or ignite passions.

Earth

A phrase to describe a decent, strong person is to refer to them as “salt of the earth.” Earth is the most fixed element of the four and represents solidity and steady growth. On the physical side, earth magic is connected to plants and health.

There is very little that is intangible about earth, and incorporating it into rituals grounds them and the people involved. Metaphorically, this steady growth potential is sought out when the goal of the spell is something that is supposed to last for a long time. Earth’s stability and tangibility also lends itself excellently to any sort of prosperity magic.

Air

In contrast to earth, air is the most immaterial of the elements. Still, a witch with an affinity to air can get a good wind going or even brew up a storm! Levitation is also possible for air witches and is achieved by manipulating the air around them into gusts of wind that support their weight.

Symbolically, air represents intellect. When all that is needed is a perfect idea, air is the element to call upon. Magic connected to air influences mental activities and capacities.

Water

Able to take the shape of any container it fills, water is flexible and can come in many forms. It can be liquid, vapour, or ice. It can come as a still, tepid lake or a strong current that can carry one away into one’s doom. A water witch can manipulate bodies of water and literally make it rain.

Water represents emotion. Witches with the affinity to water can use their magic to manipulate the feelings of others, or heal emotional trauma.

Please note: The spells and rituals can have some elemental intersections, but the energy thereof will be expressed differently. For example, healing by water magic is more of the emotional kind, whereas earth magic can address physical ailments. For complex magical workings, calling on more than one element might be required. If a witch is an Expert or Master and has knowledge of the needed elemental magic, they can do the spell or ritual alone, in other cases, witches of different elemental affinities need to work together.

Weaknesses & Limitations

Since they differ very little from regular humans aside from being able to perform magic, witches have all the standard vulnerabilities that humans possess. They can be killed, catch disease, die of old age, etc. Witches are not distinguishable from humans medically, so this ensures their secret remains just that, should an autopsy be required after death.

Through reincarnation rituals, Master witches have found a way to “cheat” death. Yet this is a very complicated process with a lot of processes that need to be performed exactly right. The multitude of difficult steps also offers a lot of vulnerabilities and stations at which things could go wrong. This is the reason why the success rate of this particular ritual is relatively low. For even if the witch has done everything on her part “correctly,” she may fail at finding a guide who is willing to provide her with an appropriate vessel to be reborn into.

Covens

Although witches are considered to be part of the supernatural community, they do not have a centralized governing body like some other species do. This is largely because witchcraft is very diverse. There are many different traditions from different corners of the world, and new ones being born all the time from witches experimenting and combining different elements together. With the internet, it’s easier than ever to search for information and pick and choose what one finds appealing or useful. Against this background of a plethora of traditions and opinions, coming to a global consensus and establishing a governing body that spans the world is practically impossible.

However, witches do come together to practice their magic in groups and societies known as covens. Within a coven, they can share knowledge, develop their craft, and harness the energy of other witches for powerful, communal magic. Some covens exist over generations, are based on strict principle and tradition or family relations, while others band and disband more loosely, depending on interest and need of the members at the time. Selection processes for covens vary as well: some only take blood relatives, others welcome any interested aspirant, others recruit on the basis of very specific criteria. The manner of the coven organization varies greatly, ranging from democratic unions with flat hierarchies, to family covens, to downright dictatorial. Although there is about any thinkable variation of a coven between these extremes, most of them are typically groups of witches that are comprised of at least four and up to around 20 members.

Any witch who is part of a coven feels her own magical powers strengthened by the regular practice with other coven members. This is even more true for the head of the coven. The leader is known by many names, the most common one being “regent,” although covens can have different titles like queen/king, high priestess/priest, etc. Through the trust and magical authority bestowed upon them by their coven, the regent’s power is strengthened (they become about 50% more potent than if they would be on their own) and their progress in the mastery levels is accelerated (they progress about 25% quicker from the time they become regent). The position of the regent can be acquired through different means which vary from coven to coven: by inheritance, based on ability, or by election. There are no globally defined tasks for the regent, as their role varies based on coven as well, but it is true that no matter how democratic a coven may be, the regent always has the final say in the decision making process. During a new member initiation, it is the regent who leads the process and guides the initiate through it.

Covens in New Orleans

As the city is famed for being the center for all things magic, voodoo, and witchcraft, there are countless covens in and around New Orleans. Three are the most prominent and influential not only among the witches but also in the city and with other supernaturals. Although their reputation is a uniting characteristic, it is nearly the only one. The three covens are as different as they come.

Society for Higher Learning

Sophisticated and secretive, the Society for Higher Learning is not simply a coven but the New Orleans branch of a global organization of witches. The Society practices the very scholarly tradition of ceremonial magic, loosely following the footsteps of such 20th century magicians as Aleister Crowley. They are dedicated to gathering information and achieving the heights of occult knowledge, though to what end remains pure speculation. Run by the strict regent Katazhyna Wells (NPC), the coven requires witches to pay for their membership. Alternatively, they are put to work at the coven-owned Pharmacy museum or their private and very extensive library.

House of Laurier

In contrast to the Society’s international span, the House of Laurier is as local as it gets. The coven started as a family coven, and the “house” in the title referred to the actual residence. Seeped in rich local voodoo tradition, the Lauriers started offering their magic as a paid service to the local community. The coven is still famous for this to this day, even if after centuries of its existence, the house that started it all got demolished, the blood bonds connecting the coven diluted, and the circle of their clientele expanded to include the supernatural species as their most frequent customers. Anyone who wants to enlist their services knows to contact the regent Devika Ambani, or to ask about in the member-owned and run magical supply shop Lucky Hand.

Gaia's Sacred Circle

The third coven, Gaia’s Sacred Circle, emerged only in recent years but managed to gain attention because of their exponential growth rates. Its regent Chad Chadwick, who is known mainly by the name Halcyon (NPC), came from California and quickly started gathering people around him and initiating new members. This has earned the charismatic leader not only a following, but also critique from other witches for having very loose selection criteria and running his coven like a commune. Indeed, with their highly idealistic principles of love and self-development, questionable rootedness in tradition, and very inexperienced members, many doubt the effectiveness and motives of the coven. But then again, the numbers speak for themselves.

Solitary Witches

Not all witches choose to be part of a coven. This can be a permanent decision based on the preference of the witch to act on her own, or a temporary measure due to circumstances. Perhaps the witch has some trouble finding a coven that is in alignment with their ideals and magical traditions, has a falling out with their coven, or is “between covens” because of moving. Whatever the reason, solitary witches do exist, even if they are not as common as witches who practice within a coven.

Solitary witches are considerably less potent and powerful than witches who practice under the umbrella of a coven. This is not only because they have to rely on their own power alone and do not benefit from the aura of magic of other coven witches, but also for very practical reasons. On their own, witches have no communal resources of knowledge to resort to when they try to advance, and have to rely on experimentation and whatever spells they can get their hands on, often from sources of questionable reliability. This extends the time it takes for a solitary witch to progress through the mastery levels by up to 30%. This means:

  • It takes a minimum of 6.5 years to proceed from an apprentice to a practitioner,
  • A minimum of 13 years to proceed from practitioner to expert, and
  • A minimum of 26 years to proceed from expert to master.
  • This makes for at least 45.5 years to reach master level as a solitary witch.

Familiars

Although some witches lovingly refer to their pets as their “familiars,” the word actually refers to two individuals after a specific bonding ritual.

Apart from witches, there is another species that is as intimately familiar with the spiritual dimension of this world that remains hidden from others. Witches and guides are like two sides of the same coin. While guides can cross the boundaries between worlds through their different forms and communicate with astral beings, through their command of supernatural forces, witches can influence these worlds directly.

It seems that guides and witches are predestined to work together.

And indeed, there is a special kind of relationship that a witch and a guide can enter that binds them to each other and enables them to help each other in their workings: the familiar bond.

Guides are the only supernatural species who can form familiar bonds with witches. This relationship must be mutually agreed upon by both the guide and the witch involved. A witch cannot force a guide to become their familiar against their will, even if the witch is the initiating party as the bond is formed through magical means. Nor can a guide force it upon a witch. Both must willingly participate in a ritual to bind them together. Once established, a familiar bond cannot be severed, not even by magical means. It is a lifetime commitment for both witch and guide, not to be taken lightly. Only the physical death of either witch or guide will break the connection between the two.

Because the familiar bond is such a serious commitment, the selection of a possible familiar is very difficult. It is made more so as guides are very rare, and not all will want to enter such a relationship. Trust and alignment in values and goals are paramount for considering the commitment, much like with a marriage. In exceptional cases, guides who aided a witches’ ancestral spirit in their initiation will want to seek them out due to feeling an emotional pull from having taken part in such an intimate event of the witches’ life. If the witch finds the match agreeable as well, the two may decide to form a familiar bond.

To perform a successful familiar bonding ritual, the witch needs to incorporate some of the element she holds affinity to, symbolically or physically, and the guide needs to appear in their astral as well as human and animal forms that need to be tied in ritually. This could mean that a witch with an affinity to earth magic might choose to conduct the ritual while kneeling in mud for a literal interpretation, or, for a witch with an affinity to air, in a library for a figurative interpretation. Per definition, the familiar bonding ritual is very individualistic and creative. Besides incorporating their affinities and forms, the witch and guide must also include their blood in the ritual to consolidate the bond. This makes the guide and the witch each other’s familiars.

There are transactions that witches and guides can do for each other without having a familiar bond to one another. A witch can ward the house of a guide to prevent unwelcome ghosts from entering, or a guide may help a witch to communicate with family ghosts and ancestral spirits. But there are specific, more complex undertakings concerning the spiritual and in-between realms that can only take place when familiars work together.

Spirit banishing

One of the most useful things is the permanent banishment of an unwanted spirit from the guide’s life. As guides act as a sort of spiritual beacon of light, attracting ghosts that are stuck in the in-between, they can also invite ghosts with less than savoury intentions into their lives. For whatever reason, the guide or the ghost might not be willing to do what it takes to finish their business in the physical realm, with the ghost remaining in the guide’s presence. This can take a toll on the guide.

Their witch familiar can help them in this case.

The procedure for this is a more advanced form of a banishing or an entrapment ritual. In both cases, the guide must be actively present, calling the spirit, while the witch works the spell. With banishing spells, an amulet is usually produced that the guide can carry around them to ward off the particular spirit from anywhere near them. The spirit will feel repelled as if by a force field that they cannot cross when they come into the vicinity of the guide. With entrapment, the familiars would usually choose a remote location and enforce a barrier with salt and magical means to the confines of which the spirit would be forever doomed to (unless the limit is broken magically).

Mediumship

Cases where a ghost needs to personally perform some action in the physical realm to finish whatever business prevents them from crossing over into the spirit realm can often feel hopeless. As the physical realm is not accessible to them anymore, they are oftentimes left mere helpless spectators who know what they need to do but are unable to perform the action.

The only way out of this dire situation is through possession.

But a possession requires not only a guide but a physical vessel, a medium.

Because they are attuned to the more ethereal dimensions of this world through their practice of magic, witches are the only ones that are capable of mediumship. If the witch is willing, she can offer herself up to be possessed by a spirit who needs help fulfilling their unfinished business. For this, a familiar relationship with a guide is necessary. The guide can then direct the spirit into the body of the witch, and later draw it out as soon as the task is done or should anything not go according to plan.

From the witch’s side, this requires they have solid magical practice experience (at least Mastery Level 2, Practitioner) and a willingness to give up control of their body to the ghost. It is a question of trust in their familiar guide as well as the spirit that would possess them, because the witch will experience limited consciousness levels throughout the process. How conscious they remain while the ghost is sharing their body depends on their mastery level:

  • Mastery Level 2: The witch’s consciousness gets pushed to the background entirely. The spirit is in full possession of the body and controls every action of the witch. The witch has no awareness about this and will not remember anything that occurred after the ghost has left their body. Caution: If a guide does not remove the ghost from the witch’s body, the ghost could theoretically remain in control of it indefinitely, while the witch’s consciousness slumbers.
  • Mastery Level 3: At this level, a medium is aware of what is happening but cannot interfere. The witch is akin to a silent spectator, seeing what is done through their body without the opportunity to change anything. This can be an extremely alienating experience and often deters witches from becoming a medium again. Caution: As above. If the guide does not remove the spirit, they can be in control of the body of the witch indefinitely. This has the added agony of being conscious but entirely helpless to stop it.
  • Mastery Level 4: Master witches can not only remain aware of what is happening, but can actively take control of their body through concentration and extreme effort. Caution: As above. In this case, the spirit would remain in the body and “share” it with the witch, with both taking possession of it at different times.

Laws & Politics

As witches do not have a central governing body, the rules, laws, and politics vary from coven to coven. Even the issue of remaining a secret from the non-supernatural human society is not something that all of them agree on as some covens are very secretive about their existence while others are practicing openly.

Historically, witchcraft and witches have been regarded in a variety of different ways, ranging from reverence for witches as spiritual leaders and healers, to witch hunts and trials that resulted in mass murder. As the age of Enlightenment sought to demystify occult phenomenon, belief in witchcraft and magic became regarded as superstition, which allowed witches to hide in plain sight. In the US, the 20th century saw a sort of a Renaissance of witches that were “out of the broom closet” as many covens registered as churches to practice freely, exercising their right to religion as guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. However, after the knowledge of werewolves became public and their persecution that followed, many covens felt the need to retreat back into the safety of the shadows of the unknown.

[MORE COMING SOON]

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

At what age do witches typically begin practicing the craft?

Answer.

How can a witch help a werewolf with silver poisoning?

Witches have a myriad of ways to counteract the different levels of severity of the effects of silver poisoning on a werewolf. As always, the rule of removing the silver first applies for magical treatment as much as any other, since the allergic reaction to the metal cannot be stopped.

• For rashes and blisters created by skin exposure to silver, witches can create salves that alleviate the symptoms In cases of flesh wounds, potions can be administered to aid the healing process. These will not get it up to the rate that is normal for werewolves, but will speed it up to a healing rate that lies somewhere between the human and werewolf one.

• When a bullet is lodged in the flesh of the werewolf and cannot be removed immediately, a witch with the affinity for air and at least the practitioner level can temporarily create a barrier of air around the bullet, preventing the allergic reaction from getting out of control.

• Witches can create potions that can aid in accelerating the healing of silver-induced infections. Most importantly, witches can create “bind and purge” potions that are the only possible cure for silver ingestions. These must be administered immediately following the first allergic symptoms to work. They serve to magically bind the silver particles in the body and inducing strong, almost violent vomiting. This gets rid of the silver in the system of the werewolf, but because of the nature of the allergic reaction, other measures must be taken to prevent anaphylactic shock. These “bind and purge” potions must be made fresh to achieve the desired effect, as the ingredients and the binding magic loses its potency within 2-3 days. Please Note: If you want to play out the use of such a potion in game, you will have to prove the acquirement of it via a thread.

• In cases where the “bind and purge” potion is not readily available, and one needs more time to procure it, a witch with the affinity to earth and at least at an expert level can step in to help. They are able to slow down physical reactions, including the severe allergic one that takes place during silver poisoning. In order to do this, the witch has to repeat a chant for this specific purpose that they have learned in their tradition, while staying in physical contact with the werewolf. If the chant and/or physical contact can remain unbroken, this can extend the time of the allergic reaction. In this case, complete system failure would take place in two hours instead of 15 minutes. In this time, a “bind and purge” potion can be procured.

About

Straddling the Physical, In-Between, and Spirit realms, guides are a species unlike any other. The rarest of the supernatural species, they exist to aid earthbound spirits in the process of crossing over, "guiding" them to permanent rest.

The Physical Realm

The world in which the living reside is known as the Physical Realm. All living beings remain here until their death, at which point, depending on the state of their soul and level of trauma surrounding their demise, they will either linger in the In-Between, or crossover into the Spirit Realm. Those caught in the In-Between, are often confused or too angry about the manner in which they died to allow their spirit to rest. In these instances, a guide and/or witch can aid them in settling their unfinished business.

The In-Between

A veil exists that separates the Physical Realm from the In-Between. It is this veil that prevents spirits and ghosts trapped in this level of existence from interacting with the living. In this plane, ghosts and spirit witness everything that occurs in the Physical Realm, but are separate from it. For spirit, this is temporary, as they have a short window to settle their unfinished business and transition into the Spirit Realm, but for ghosts, there is no such option, as they have either lingered in the In-Between for too long, or crossed over into the Spirit Realm and chosen to leave. This type of existence is very frustrating and lonely, leaving the ghost in a state of limbo. Often they follow their loved ones around, watching over them, or in other cases they might tether themselves to a location that had meaning for them in life and choose to haunt it.

The Spirit Realm

A spirit who has completed or doesn’t have unfinished business will crossover into the Spirit Realm. This is the plane of existence that each departed spirit strives to reach. Here they are not burdened by the pain and suffering of their life in the Physical Realm and can finally be at peace. Once a spirit transitions into this realm, the only way to leave is by latching onto a guide’s astral form in order to pull themselves into the In-Between. Unfortunately, once a spirit leaves the Spirit Realm after crossing over, they cannot return on their own and often become permanently trapped in the In-Between. These spirits are what those in the Physical Realm refer to as ghosts.

Genetic

Unlike every other supernatural race, one cannot become a guide by being turned, mauled, trained, or raised. Their abilities are genetic, passed down through long family lines, of which there are few. When guides reincarnate, it will always be into a guide bloodline, though seldom the same bloodline. When one parent is a guide, the other human, there is a 50% chance that a child will be born a guide. If a child is a guide, the first indication of this will be the recognition of spirit, who they will first perceive as faint apparitions as their second sight begins to develop. These apparitions will become more salient to them as they mature, allowing them to not only see them but hear them as well. While astral projection often begins shortly after the onset of puberty, the ability to shapeshift is harder to predict, as it doesn’t become active unless it is triggered by some sort of traumatic or life threatening event that warrants the need for it. As a result, some guides can go their entire lives not shapeshifting at all, but those who do, will always adopt an animal form from their ancestral country of origin, and this animal form is consistent throughout the entire line. For example, a raven guide will always be born into a family of guides with an affinity for that animal.

The Astral Body

The soul, spirit, life force, psyche, élan vital — there are many names for what guides refer to as the astral body or form. In humans and other supernaturals, the astral body and the physical body are tethered together by a psychic cord. When a person dies, that cord is severed and the astral body will either crossover into the Spirit Realm or sometimes, in the case of a violent or traumatic death, linger in the In-Between until the wrong can be put right. Among guides, this is referred to as unfinished business. The astral body of guides, however, is not attached to their physical body, as they are caught in a permanent cycle of reincarnation. Outside their physical bodies, guides are perceived as pure light, often mistaken for angels by those who encounter them in their astral form. In their physical bodies, other guides, spirits, and ghosts can see their astral form glowing faintly beneath their skin. This allows them to distinguish guides from humans and as a result, spirits gravitate toward guides like a lighthouse in darkness. However, the only indication to other supernaturals that they aren't human, are their eyes. If one takes a close enough look, they might see the reflection of a present spirit or ghost in their gaze, their eyes providing a glimpse of what cannot be seen by any other species. While in their astral form, guides communicate with spirit via a supernatural, omnilingual telepathy. This allows for understanding and communication despite language barriers that would be present otherwise.

Characteristics & Abilities

Astral Projection

During times of unconsciousness, guides can disconnect from their physical body altogether and crossover into the Spirit Realm. This is most often utilized when they need to communicate with someone who has passed on for the purposes of aiding another spirit in their unfinished business. They must be asleep to do this and will return to their bodies upon being woken up. The risk of waking a guide without warning is that some spirits will latch onto them in an attempt to pull themselves into the Physical Realm for one reason or another. Usually a spirit does this believing they'll be able to cross back into the Spirit Realm at a later time, but this is not the case. These spirits become ghosts and are rendered permanently earthbound, caught in the In-Between.

Dream Walking

Another form of astral projection, dream walking, allows guides to enter the dreams of another person in their astral form. To do this, a guide need only think about the person in question with the intent to contact them as they succumb to slumber. Both parties must be asleep in order for this to work. Dream walking might be used if the guide is in danger and needs to call for help, or if they cannot locate the person. With dream walking, knowing the person's whereabouts isn't necessary the way it would be if the guide wanted to visit the same person while they were awake.

Guide-to-Guide Visitation

A guide-to-guide visitation, or simply a visit, is when a guide projects their astral form through the In-Between in order to appear in the Physical Realm to another guide. A successful visitation requires them to know the location of the other guide and to have physically visited that location in the past. They cannot project their form to a place they're unfamiliar with. Other species, all of whom cannot see spirits or ghosts, cannot be visited in the Physical Realm by a guide, as the veil that separates the Physical from the In-Between, would render them unable to see them.

Communication with Spirits & Ghosts

A guide's ability to perceive the spiritual is a gradual process. While their second sight begins to develop from birth, it does so slowly, over time. Initially they will see brief outlines of apparitions, hazy shapes that fade in and out, and are often mistaken for problems with the guide's eyesight as a child. As they mature, these apparitions become more cognizable to them and eventually audible. This can be frightening for the young guide at times, as spirits who have failed to crossover are often demanding in their attempts to employ the guide's help. Worse yet, sometimes these spirits haven't figured out that they're dead and can be quite erratic and confused. As children guides are often accused of having imaginary friends whenever they are observed conversing with these entities. Eventually it is believed they grow out of this, but of course, this isn't the case. Rather they opt to stop speaking about the things the rest of the world cannot see.

Guiding

Spirits lingering in the In-Between often possess unfinished business that has left them apprehensive about crossing into the Spirit Realm. Sometimes that unfinished business requires more assistance than a guide alone can give. In these cases, it is beneficial for the guide to establish a familiar bond with a trusted witch. Working together, the pair can aid the spirit in completing their final task(s), the guide employing their ability of astral projection to locate the spirit, "guiding" them to the witch who, for the purpose of assisting spirits, can offer up their bodies as a temporary vehicle. This requires the witch's full cooperation and agreement. A spirit cannot enter the body of a witch without being permitted and should the spirit attempt to retain possession of the body, the guide can call the spirit back, forcefully extracting them from their witch at any time.

Shapeshifting

Every guide has an affinity for a certain animal and can adopt that animal's form at will. Whatever animal they assume will have ties to their ancestral country of origin. For example, a guide with roots in Europe, won't take on the form of a tiger that is native to Asia. Unlike werewolves, this transition is instant and painless. To anyone who witnesses it, only a blinding flash of light is seen before the guide's human form is replaced by their respective animal. In this animal form alone they can hide from the spirits that seek them out for help and guidance. It also serves them well against other supernaturals who might seek to exploit them for various uses. In this form they have full control and human awareness. They are not driven by animal instinct the way a werewolf can be, though they do possess all of the senses of that specific animal in human form.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is loosely defined as the rebirth of a soul in a new body. The idea of reincarnation has early roots in the Vedic period (c. 1500 — c. 500 BCE), predating Buddha and the Mahavira. Among the world’s largest religions, a belief in reincarnation or an afterlife are most widely accepted. Guides, however, know the truth is a marriage of both. It is the goal of every soul to crossover into the Spirit Realm where they can be at peace. Guides exist to assist these souls in this endeavor and as such, are caught in a cycle of reincarnation. When a guide dies, their astral form is transferred into the first available host within a guide family line. If a host isn’t readily available, the astral form of the guide will be temporarily kept in a state of limbo, waiting in the In-Between until they are called into a new body. When they are reborn, they retain no memories of their former lives, though it isn’t uncommon for them to dream of past incarnations of themselves, or experience deja vu when unknowingly confronted with an experience or location linked to their former lives.

Weaknesses & Limitations

Essentially Human

Guides have all the standard vulnerabilities that humans possess. They can be killed, catch disease, die of old age, etc. However, they do not possess the weaknesses of their animal counterparts. For example, a guide with the ability to shift into some sort of canidae, such as a coyote, would not find cocoa to be toxic. If a guide dies or is killed in animal form, their bodies will automatically revert back to human form. Guides are not distinguishable from humans medically, so this ensures their secret remains just that, should an autopsy be required after death.

Too Much Time in the Spirit Realm

Though they are capable of crossing into the Spirit Realm temporarily, guides are not meant to remain there for prolonged periods of time. Doing so severely weakens them, the cold hand of death siphoning their light the longer they stay. When they return to their bodies after a long projection, they are incredibly fatigued and require sunlight to replenish their inner light. Time in the Spirit Realm passes much slower than time in the Physical Realm. What might feel like an hour in the Spirit Realm, would in fact be days in the Physical. For this reason, it is important for guides traveling to the Spirit Realm to crossover and back as quickly as possible, lest they lose large amounts of time. After five hours in the Spirit Realm, guides begin to deteriorate at a rapid pace, their inner light dwindling. If they remain in the Spirit Realm for what feels like twelve hours, their light will be extinguished altogether, killing them and ending their reincarnation cycle.

Witch & Guide Collaboration

Familiar Bonds

Guides are the only supernatural species who can form familiar bonds with witches. This relationship must be mutually agreed upon by both the guide and the witch involved. A witch cannot force a guide to become their familiar against their will, nor can a guide force it upon a witch. Both must willingly participate in a ritual to bind them together. Once established, a familiar bond cannot be severed, not even by magical means. It is a lifetime commitment for both witch and guide, not to be taken lightly. Only the physical death of either witch or guide will break the connection between the two.

Because the familiar bond is such a serious commitment, the selection of a possible familiar is very difficult. It is made more so as guides are very rare, and not all will want to enter such a relationship. Trust and alignment in values and goals are paramount for considering the commitment, much like with a marriage. In exceptional cases, guides who aided a witches’ ancestral spirit in their initiation will want to seek them out due to feeling an emotional pull from having taken part in such an intimate event of the witches’ life (See Witches, Initiation Tab). If the witch finds the match agreeable as well, the two may decide to form a familiar bond.

To perform a successful familiar bonding ritual, the witch needs to incorporate some of the element she holds affinity to, symbolically or physically, and the guide needs to appear in their astral, as well as human and animal forms, in order to tie in each ritually. Per definition, the familiar bonding ritual is very individualistic and creative. Besides incorporating their affinities and forms, the witch and guide must also include their blood in the ritual to consolidate the bond. This makes the guide and the witch each other’s familiars.

Possession

When a spirit needs to personally perform some action in the Physical Realm, in order to finish business that prevents them from crossing over into the Spirit Realm, they're often left feeling hopeless. As the Physical Realm is not accessible to them anymore, they are oftentimes left mere helpless spectators who know what they need to do to find peace, but are unable to perform the action. The only way out of this dire situation is through possession.

But a possession requires not only a guide but a physical vessel, a medium. Because they are attuned to the more ethereal dimensions of this world through their practice of magic, witches are the only ones that are capable of mediumship. If the witch is willing, she can offer herself up to be possessed by a spirit who needs help fulfilling their unfinished business. For this, a familiar relationship with a guide is necessary. The guide can then direct the spirit into the body of the witch, and later draw it out once the task is done, or should anything not go according to plan.

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

When guides astral project, can they still see the physical world?

This depends on whether they've astral projected into the In-Between or the Spirit Realm. The In-Between is separated from the Physical Realm by a veil that prevents the living from perceiving the departed. Here, a guide can see the living in real-time through the veil without being seen themselves. However, the Spirit Realm is an entirely different plane, completely cut off and separate from the Physical Realm and In-Between. Those in the Spirit Realm cannot see us, nor can we see them, which is why in cases where a witch is initiated into the craft by spirit, a guide is required to aid in the process to bring the ancestral spirit through the Spirit Realm into the In-Between, where they can more easily interact with the aspirant witch.

When a guide is dreamwalking, can they interact with the dreamer?

Yes, in fact, this is the primary purpose of this particular skill. The guide is entering the dream of the person in order to deliver a message, or contact them when other means of communication are not possible.

Can guides have dream sex with the person whose dreams they're entering?

Yes. Dreams that are sexual in nature are common occurrences. Everyone has had a steamy dream at one time or another. Likewise, if a guide enters the dream of another person, they can engage in intimate encounters with them. This takes place entirely in the mind, as unlike guides, other species cannot astral project outside of their body. Therefore, the guide is mostly in control of driving the encounter, though the dreamer still retains the freewill to engage in this manner or not within the dream.

What would an outside observer witness if someone was engaged in dreamwalking?

In most cases, nothing. Like normal dreams, typically there is no indication at all that the person is doing anything other than sleeping. Of course, there is the occasional exception where the dreamer might make a sound, or mumble a word, but generally speaking, they will continue to sleep peacefully. When it comes to sexual encounters during dreamwalking, occasionally males will have nocturnal emissions, but this is not common.

What does the dreamworld look like?

There isn't a set dreamworld that a guide and dreamer enter whenever a guide dreamwalks. Rather, the setting is created by both the guide and the dreamer, usually subconsciously on the part of the dreamer. It's a collaboration, a meeting of two minds, to design the location. It could be anywhere, real or imagined, somewhere visited, or only seen in photographs.

About

Often depicted as horrifying half-man half-wolf creatures, true werewolves differ substantially from their literary and cinematic portrayals. While there are a few basic similarities, those who subscribe to the Hollywood version of a lycanthropic wolfman, will be sorely disappointed. To start, werewolves can be either born or turned. For those who are turned, it is not an easy road.

Man to Beast

Contrary to popular folklore, one cannot become a werewolf from a simple scratch or bite. Rather, a certain amount of blood and saliva must get into the human’s system in order to result in transformation. This requires a mauling that is more often than not, fatal for the human on the receiving end. That is because generally a werewolf on the attack isn’t looking to injure, but to kill its target. Puncturing an artery or tearing open a vulnerable part of the body can result in the victim bleeding out long before any change can occur. Should they survive the attack, their body will begin an accelerated healing process, repairing the injuries obtained. Usually this takes no more than a couple of hours and will be the first indication to the afflicted human that all is not normal.

Born vs Turned

One common belief among born wolves is that they were blessed by a moon deity (the name of this deity varies from culture to culture) with the ability to take on their second form. To the born, their dual nature is viewed as a gift, something to be embraced and celebrated. However, for those who were turned, the same ability is frequently viewed as an affliction or curse. This is understandable when you consider their body ceases to be their own, becoming one with a wolf spirit that possesses its own unique temperament and personality. Likewise, the turned do not have the advantage of being one with their wolf from birth. As a result, adapting to this second, animal consciousness is difficult to say the least and differs from person to person. Mostly the adjustment period is dependent upon the individual's acceptance of their new circumstances and willingness to achieve harmony with their wolf. If the new werewolf struggles to come to terms with what has happened to them, fighting their wolf and suppressing its instincts, it could take years to get a grip on things. Ironically, the key to gaining control, is letting go of control.

Dual Nature

Newly turned werewolves are volatile and easily provoked, which makes them especially dangerous. While no werewolf can resist the call to shift during the full moon, the moon needn’t be full for a change to occur. In moments of anger, stress, or fear, it is much easier for the wolf to gain control of its host, forcing a transformation so it can take charge. Once the wolf has a foothold and transition begins, it is nearly impossible for the human half to reverse the process. Over time, the two consciousnesses can learn to coexist and operate more harmoniously, but this takes time. And in the meanwhile the human half is likely to suffer from memory blackouts and time loss whenever the wolf takes the reins. This can be highly distressing once the human half regains control, as the activities of the wolf during that time will be unknown.

Transformation

The transformation itself is an excruciating process that doesn’t get easier with time, as the pain of having one's muscles ripped apart, bones broken and dislocated, in order to be restructured into an entirely different species, is agonizing at any age. On average, this takes five to ten minutes to complete, depending on the level of resistance. Younger wolves are more prone to involuntarily fight the change, while older, more experienced wolves, simply let it come. Born wolves have the advantage here, as they begin to become accustomed to the pain of transforming from infancy. While they still experience great pain, their pain tolerance far exceeds that of a human turned wolf who has gone a lifetime without shifting. As mentioned, during the full moon this is involuntary, however, with practice, a werewolf can take on their second form at will. Leading up to the full moon, all werewolves become a bit irritable, their wolves feeling like caged animals scratching to get out. Allowing their wolves to run in between the full moons helps to soothe their inner beast’s aggravation somewhat. Werewolves do not have an in-between form where they appear a mix of human and animal, nor can they choose to only transform certain parts of their body such as the teeth or claws.

Females

Prior to the 1920’s, female wolves were more likely to be born than turned, as their lives centered around the homestead and thus came with significantly less risk. Men were far more likely to find themselves in situations where they would be mauled, as their responsibilities were more outdoors focused. Following the Women’s Suffrage movement, the number of turned female wolves began to increase steadily, though they still by no means rival the number of turned males.

Dominant vs Submissive

Within the structure of a pack, werewolves fall into one of two categories: dominant or submissive. A dominant is a wolf who, when confronted with disrespect or conflict, will not cower but stand their ground, responding with physical retaliation if necessary. A submissive on the other hand, will avoid conflict at all costs unless cornered and left with no other choice.

Characteristics & Abilities

Werewolves retain all of their enhanced senses in human form, as well as their physical strength and healing abilities.

Sense of Smell

Like vampires, werewolves can be basically immortal provided they avoid contact with any of their weaknesses. A werewolf’s survival is greatly aided by their enhanced senses, the strongest being their sense of smell. A werewolf’s sense of smell is one hundred times greater than that of a human. While the distance at which any scent can be detected is governed by atmospheric conditions, two miles denotes a particularly keen sense of smell. Needless to say, they’re averse to strong, chemical odors such as household cleaners, overpowering soaps, or perfumes. Vampires possess a scent that humans find enticing, but to werewolves the same scent is repulsively sweet, making the other immortal species easily distinguishable.

Hearing

Next to sense of smell, the sense of hearing is the most acute of the werewolf’s senses. They can hear as far as six miles in the forest and up to ten miles in the open. While the upper auditory limits of human beings is 20 khz, it is believed that the actual frequency detected by werewolves is much higher, perhaps up to 80 khz. For this reason, high-pitched noises are particularly bothersome to them and can be used as an identifier if they’re caught off guard and react to one.

Eyesight

Werewolves have keen eyesight and are quick to detect the slightest movement of anything ahead or in their peripheral vision. Combined with the other two senses mentioned, it is virtually impossible to sneak up on a werewolf. Additionally, werewolves possess a greater number of rods in the retina than human beings. The abundance of rods aids in their ability to see and hunt at night. However, it should be noted that turned werewolves who were nearsighted prior to being mauled, will retain this refractive error, as wild wolves are also nearsighted.

Enhanced Strength & Speed

In both human and wolf forms, werewolves boast strength approximately three times greater than that of the strongest human. This enables them to lift up to 1.7 tons (1572 kg) with strain. Second only to vampires in terms of strength, it’s no wonder the human population is nervous about the risk posed by these exceptionally strong supernaturals, considering they're an even greater physical threat when aided by their pack. To add to the sense of fear among humans, werewolves have also been clocked at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour) in wolf form. And while this speed doesn't transfer to their human form the way strength does, their reflexes are still incredibly fast.

Rapid Cell Regeneration

Without their healing factor, a werewolf would not be able to survive the transition from man to beast. During the shifting process, in addition to enduring massive amounts of pain, werewolves also suffer tremendous internal and external damage while their bodies are torn apart and restructured. To compensate for this, their bodies rapidly regenerate before such injuries should become fatal. They heal much faster than even vampires, who can take hours to heal in the case of serious injury. And while this might seem beneficial in theory, it does have its drawbacks, as a broken bone that resets before it can be manipulated back into proper alignment, will have to be re-broken and set into place. Their bodies also require double the amount of calories to meet the demands of their accelerated healing and higher metabolism.

Physical Traits

A werewolf’s body temperature runs slightly hotter than a human’s, between 101-102.5°F (38-39.2°C). The size of their wolf forms are directly proportional to that of their human forms. As a result, most appear larger than the average wild wolf, especially males. Though smaller females could conceivably pass for normal wolves. In human form, during times of heightened emotion, the spirit of their wolf might flash behind their eyes, illuminating the iris. This causes their eyes to appear more vibrant in color, which is a dead giveaway to any human who knows what to look for. Similarly, it isn’t uncommon for their wolves to make their presence known vocally while they are human, growling when angry, territorial, or possessive. In this instance, if the impulse to shift is triggered, their muscles might tremor slightly as they attempt to keep the wolf contained.

Weaknesses & Limitations

Silver

One point legends and folklore get right is silver. By far a werewolf’s biggest weakness, their body regards silver like an allergen, sending antibodies to combat the invasion of the substance. Depending on the level of exposure, reactions can vary from minor skin irritations (if they simply touch the silver), to infections (when wounded), to anaphylaxis (if the silver successfully enters the bloodstream). Highly toxic once it manages to poison the body, the effects can be difficult, near impossible for a werewolf’s immune system to overcome without the assistance of a witch healer.

Fire

A mortal enemy to almost everything, fire has the potential to severely injure or even kill a werewolf. While they can recover easily from minor and even third degree burns, should they find themselves trapped in an inferno, they will eventually reach a point where too much of their tissue is damaged to regenerate and heal them.

Vampires

Tensions between werewolves and vampires have gotten increasingly high since their exposure to the world, as vampires frequently pin murders on werewolves, using them as a scapegoat for their activities.

Lone Wolf

Apart from their mate, a wolf's pack is their entire world, their existence, their very soul. A wolf means nothing outside of the pack in which he belongs, and it is from their pack that a werewolf's strength is derived. However, while wolves are social by nature, that social hardcoding is different for humans. Werewolves who opt to live alone are driven to do so by an antisocial human side. A lone wolf is vulnerable to threat and the longer a wolf opts to remain so, the more crazed and erratic their behavior becomes.

Rabies

A few years after the exposure of werewolves to the mainstream, a viral outbreak that mimicked the symptoms of rabies began to impact werewolf packs and communities. However, unlike rabies, this virus proved to be entirely resistant to vaccines and other medications. What started the epidemic is a mystery, but those who subscribe to conspiracy theories are convinced the government had a hand in it. While displaced werewolf doctors and scientists scramble to find a cure for the disease, the government has used the virus as a catalyst to put down the infected wolves to "ensure the safety" of the human population. Pica, fever, seizures, paralysis, lack of coordination, drastic personality changes, and displays of aggression have all been observed in those who are infected. Humans are frightened, but so are werewolves, some refusing to venture out during full moons for fear of coming across one of the sick and becoming infected themselves. All it takes is a single bite from an infected wolf to pass the disease along.

How to Kill a Werewolf

As mentioned, silver and fire are effective when wielded properly. However, apart from these decapitation is also a surefire way to make certain a werewolf doesn't get back up.

Pack Dynamics

Within Orleans and Jefferson Parish there are currently two prominent packs. The Apex pack is made up mostly of veterans, now with criminal convictions for failing to register and recently released from prison. They are located in Southern Jefferson Parish. The other, the American contingent of the Morrigan pack, is originally from Ireland and located in Northern Orleans Parish.

Rank

Alpha // Heavy is the head that wears the crown. In a pack, the alpha is the leader and commander. It is their job to make decisions that ensure the welfare of the pack as a whole. While the alpha will take into consideration the opinions of his pack, most importantly those of his beta and mate (if applicable), they have the final say and their word is law. When backed by an alpha command, members of the pack must comply with his wishes.

Beta // The beta is the second in command within the dominance hierarchy and an enforcer of the alpha's will. The beta stands in as leader when the alpha is not present and answers to no one but their alpha. Often their personality provides a counterbalance to the alpha's temperament. The opinion of the beta is taken under serious consideration, as they are often the most trusted advisers to the alpha.

Alpha & Beta's Mates // Within family-centered packs (See Morrigan Pack), the Alpha's/Beta's mate earns his/her rank by default, effectively mating into the position. However, not every pack is structured the same. Within Apex, contrastingly, rank is won through fights and skirmishes, which elevates the victor, moving them up — or down in the case of the loser — the hierarchy chain. While the Alpha's/Beta's mate is afforded respect and protection due to their relationship and importance to the Alpha/Beta, they have no authority over higher ranking pack members unless they've earned it like everyone else.

Sentinels // Just below the beta, rank the sentinels. These wolves are among the most brutal and have fought their way to the top of the pecking order. They are fierce fighters, always dominant, as well as strategic in their mindset. When it comes to battle they are always thinking three moves ahead.

Subordinates // Subordinates are the neutral members of the pack. Their rank is established through skirmishes and can be reordered at any time pending victories and losses.

Omega // Always a submissive, the omega plays a very important role in the pack structure. This role differs substantially from wild wolves, as within werewolf packs the omega is held in high regard by their fellow pack mates, providing a sort of social glue. The temperament of an omega wolf is calm and even-tempered. They are never one to react rashly, or make decisions without weighing all of the pros and cons. For this reason they are an asset to the pack as a whole. In tense situations where emotions run high, the omega produces a subtle, pacifying pheromone. Dependent upon receptiveness, this can help to soothe more dominant wolves and dissolve aggression between pack mates.

Telepathy

When a part of a pack, werewolves communicate by projecting their thoughts to one another via telepathic link. Only those thoughts they wish to share can be perceived by their pack mates. Likewise, they can choose to privately direct their thoughts to a specific member. Their pack mates cannot tap into or pick up on their thoughts at will, nor can they sense their emotional state or private intentions without this being voluntarily shared (i.e. no metaplay). While the pack is in wolf form, they have a basic awareness of each other's whereabouts, a sort of radar sense that pings their location to others to allow them to hunt and defend their territory effectively. However, this sense, as well as pack telepathy, have a cut off range of approximately five miles. Werewolves cannot telepathically communicate with wolves outside of their pack.

Alpha Command

An alpha command is a direct order given by an alpha wolf to a subordinate that carries an indomitable weight. When an alpha gives an order like this to a member of his pack, they have no choice but to comply, even if they are in disagreement. A benevolent alpha opts to use this ability sparingly, as abusing it is almost guaranteed to result in their pack growing resentful and turning against them.

Mating & Reproduction

Heat Cycles

Once every season, female werewolves go into heat. For a period of three days, they are highly receptive to mating and at their most fertile. Like wild wolves, they give off a subtle scent that is enticing to male werewolves. This scent triggers the instinct to procreate and as a result, the fertile female becomes difficult to resist. Those males who are not mate marked will gravitate toward her in hopes of mating. In the case of multiple suitors, this can lead to fights. For this reason, many females opt to run lone during this time, though that is not without its own risks.

Gestation

Should a female become pregnant, there is a short window to safely adopt wolf form without harming the unborn. However, she must stay in wolf form for the duration of her pregnancy, as switching back and forth between forms poses risks for the pup(s). Should she opt to remain human, she must seek out the help of a witch to lock her into her human form. Pregnancies last for six months (to be played out in real time in game), as much like their ability to rapidly heal themselves, pups form quicker in the wombs of werewolves. For the duration of their pregnancy, females become extremely territorial and protective. If they choose to remain in wolf form, some will opt seek out a den in which to birth their pup(s) and guard it against real or perceived threats, at times even against the pup’s father. This can be dangerous, as this leaves her vulnerable, without the protection of the pack. Most, however, will simply choose an area of the pack home in which they feel safe and remain there a majority of the time.

Pups

Pups are born in whichever form their mother opts to take during the pregnancy. On average a mother gives birth to one or two pups. Pups are born with the ability to shift and their flexible spines and bodies enable them to do so with more ease than adults, causing them less pain. While they are too young to control themselves, their mother serves as their alpha until they are able to submit under an alpha themselves. This somewhat makes the alpha of the mother the pup’s alpha by default. A mother can prevent her pups from shifting at inopportune times by utilizing their maternal command, which operates as a temporary alpha command. Mothers lose this ability once their pup enters puberty, as among werewolves puberty is the point in which they are acknowledged as an adult within the pack and permitted to be a more active participant. Werewolves age until they are approximately thirty-five years old, after which they will remain ageless.

Interspecies Unions

Though the government has put laws in place to prevent it, interspecies relations between werewolves and humans still occur. Should these unions result in pregnancy, the child in question will always be born a wolf. Where things become complicated are the months that follow conception. As mentioned, werewolf pups form quicker in the womb than human babies. The human body is biologically designed to expand to accommodate a fetus over the span of nine months. As the werewolf baby develops far too fast for their human mother’s body to compensate, complications can arise, including early delivery. Human mothers often suffer bruised or broken ribs, as their stronger than average child kicks against them in the limited space. To make matters worse, going to the hospital to deliver a werewolf child can lead to the mother being arrested, the newborn put into the foster system when the baby either shifts, or their elevated body temperature gives them away. This leads many soon-to-be-mothers to attempt home births, made dangerous by the size of their babies, who have grown and slightly surpassed full-term length and weight by that time.

Marking

Marking is the single, greatest commitment one wolf can make to another. The decision to mark another wolf is never taken lightly, as unlike marriage it is a permanent and unbreakable bond that is only severed by the death of one’s mate. Should two wolves decide to mark each other, it must take place under the full moon in order to be official. Upon biting their chosen mate, a scent marker is released into the bitten wolf’s bloodstream, leaving a trace of the biting wolf’s scent behind. This is permanent and ensures other wolves can detect who their mate is claimed by based on scent alone. It also serves as a warning, as among werewolves, a mark is considered sacred, not to be disrespected or ignored. Disregarding another wolf’s mark is considered a serious offense and in extreme cases can lead to a fight to the death.

After both have marked each other, their eyes will glow, signifying the completion of the bond. From that moment forward, the pair will have a deeper sense of each other’s emotional well-being, their hearts synchronizing and beating as one. They feel what their mate feels, whether good or bad, pleasure or pain. Secrets become difficult, if not impossible to keep. And should their marked mate ever die, the werewolf would know of their demise instantly, feeling that connection sever. A long period of mourning would follow, most opting to never take another mate again, or in extreme cases, following their mate into death. After a pair mark each other, their alpha will howl, signifying acceptance of the union. This is followed by the rest of the pack howling their acknowledgment.

Both wolf and human must be in agreement in order for a marking to take place. Often the wolf can convince the human side that its choice is best for them both and feelings can develop between the two human halves. However, this is not always the case, and in situations where one or both humans reject the choice of their wolves, there is always great anguish, as once a wolf decides on a mate, it is rare that they will change their mind. If they do change their mind, they will only be swayed by another wolf option, as the wolf is looking for a mate of its same species. For this reason, a wolf will never mark a human or any other type of supernatural.

Mainstream Exposure

Technology Outs the Werewolves

In approximately 1995, the internet was commercialized in the US, forever changing the landscape of culture and commercialism. The next decade saw the steady rise in Social Media. In 2005, Youtube launched, giving the world instant access to share videos. By 2009, Facebook was the largest social media site in the world.

In 2007, once Youtube had gained traction, a viral video of a werewolf circulated on Youtube, outing their kind to the public. Even then, however, it was dismissed as CGI or other such doctoring. After a while, the media lost interest, but then other videos began to emerge. Over time, the existence of wolves became highly debated in the press.

Rabies Outbreak Breeds Fear

Within two years, the video evidence could no longer be ignored. Several countries confirm what research had concluded: these accounts were real and werewolves existed. Around this time, however, in early 2010, a werewolf rabies outbreak swept across the United states and soon spread worldwide. Reported wolf attacks went from a rarity to a common occurrence in a matter of months. Civilians cried out for action. In the US, federal and state governments reacted, passing legislation over the next few years to deal with the "wolf problem."

Over the following year, wolves, some completely innocent, were arrested for the suspected murders. Several of the more gruesome trials were heavily publicized. Even with several packs hunting down their own kind, capturing, and executing rabid wolves to contain the damage, it wasn't enough.

In 2011, scientific studies that were little more than anti-werewolf propaganda went public, spurring further fear. They put forward the idea that werewolf packs were detrimental to human communities not only physically, but culturally and socially.

Anti-Werewolf Legislation

In 2014, the United States Legislature passed the Werewolf Registration and Notification Act, which required states to enact laws providing for a Werewolf Registry due to the "significant danger to public safety" in light of several years of "senseless werewolf on human violence." Thus, in Louisiana and almost every other state in the country, state laws were enacted, creating a Werewolf Registry. This included, among many things, that "WEREWOLF" be listed on driver's licenses in all red. (See Humans, "Laws" tab).

Recently, in March 2015, Congress passed the Prohibition of Mixed Relations Act, which forbids werewolf-human marriages or fraternization. Marriages that occurred before the act was passed were grand-fathered in, but such couples faced extreme discrimination in all areas of their lives: visiting each other at the hospital, schooling their kids, etc.

Penalties for even the simplest violation of any law by a werewolf receives the maximum capacity and mostly human juries that oversee such cases have clear opinions on their level of guilt before they even get close to deliberations. Werewolves have to tread very, very carefully. (See Humans, "Prison" tab).

Non-Werewolf Relations

Werewolf-Human Relations

Humans have taken clear legislative action to repress their kind and vigilante hate-crimes against werewolves are both common and overlooked by the authorities. Police ignore the wolves' struggles or actively participate in terrorizing them. As a result, many wolves fear humans, but they obviously cannot be avoided.

Werewolf-Vampire Relations

Vampires are murderous, elitist scum to most wolves. They're entitled, believing they're a superior race. Not to mention, they smell sickly sweet. Werewolves are also not stupid. They know the vampires are all too quick to pin their misdeeds on their kind. Some packs even run vampires off their lands. While a single wolf is no match for a vampire, a pack in wolf form is a formidable force.

Werewolf-Ghoul Relations

Ghouls are associated with vampires in the minds of most wolves. Due to their compliance with vampiric law, they see them as untrustworthy. They also smell like vampires, sweet, but with a distinct aroma of death. It gives most werewolves the creeps.

Werewolf-Witch Relations

Witches and wolves have a relatively friendly history. In some areas of the world, packs provide protection to covens on their land. In return, the witches provide magical services, helping to lock females in human form during pregnancy.

Werewolf-Ghost Relations

Like humans, wolves cannot see ghosts. Thus, they pay them very little attention.

Werewolf-Guide Relations

Generally, guides are very rare and therefore most werewolves have never met one.

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

When and for how long do female wolves go into heat?

Female wolves go into heat once a season (e.g. once in Summer, Autumn, Winter, and Spring). They are most fertile for 3 days during this time, but the entire heat cycle lasts between 5-7 days.

Can female wolves only get pregnant during their heat cycle?

Yes. Like wild wolves, during a heat cycle is the only time female wolves can become pregnant.

Are werewolves allowed to attend public school with human students?

Yes, werewolves do attend public school. However, for the safety of the human student body, they are taught in separate, werewolf only classes. Some schools, depending on budget, have opted to purchase portable classrooms and only permit werewolf students to enter the school building during their werewolf only lunch hour. Angered by the government allowing werewolves to attend the same schools as their children, some human parents, have chosen to yank their children out of public school entirely, springing for high priced private schools in order to keep their kids away from werewolves in educational settings.

Do packs homeschool the younger generation?

This depends on the pack. Those with the financial means to make this sort of decision, might opt to keep their school aged members out of the public school system entirely to spare them harassment and cruelty that runs rampant and unchecked. Prior to werewolves being outed, the age a werewolf was considered mature/in control enough to attend public school was different for everyone, and largely dependent upon individual temperament. Most would have had sufficient control by age 10. However, with the awareness of their kind going mainstream and the resulting restrictions imposed on them professionally, limiting job options, more werewolves are choosing to put their young into public school at an early age.

What is the average height of a werewolves' vertical/running jump in both human & wolf form?

The average wolf can jump between 10-12 feet (3-3.6 m) vertically, approximately 5 inches (13 cm) higher with a running start. For werewolves, since their height and weight in wolf form is directly proportional to their human form, this differs from individual to individual. Someone who if 5ft. (152.4 cm) tall for example, will not be able to jump as high as someone who is 6ft. (182.88 cm) tall. Lankier wolves could potentially jump as high as 17-18 feet (5.2-5.5 m) vertically, 18.5 feet (5.6 m) with a running start, while smaller wolves might not be capable of jumping much higher than their wild cousins. In human form, the average vertical jump for men falls between 16-20 inches (40.6-51 cm) while it is around 12-16 inches (30-41 cm) for women. For werewolves in human form, an average vertical leap for males would be 3 feet (0.91 m), 2.5 feet (0.8 m) for women. As in wolf form, a running start can alter this only by an average of 5 inches (12.7 cm) at most.

My werewolf is more of a loner. Can I have them remain a lone wolf indefinitely?

No. If your wolf starts out in the game lone, you have a period of six months to establish them on the board and determine which pack might be the best fit for them. Here on W&B, a werewolf is a human and wolf spirit residing in the same body. There are differences between wolf and human nature. If your character's human side is more of a loner, that will inevitably lead to inner conflict between human and wolf. But ultimately, regardless of the human's personal preferences, the wolf inside of them is a pack animal and needs the telepathic bond that a pack provides to feel happy and fulfilled. They will wither away and go crazy when that is not present. All wolves are pack-oriented and we encourage and try to promote establishing and plotting strong ties within the pack to reflect this -- which is not to say they cannot interact with people outside of the pack. If you do not like the necessity of being an active part of a pack, perhaps playing a werewolf in this setting is not for you. Other species do not have the same requirements, as vampires for example, prefer to keep to themselves.

What happens if a lone wolf goes without being a part of a pack for too long?

Coming Soon

What happens if two wolves from differing packs mark one another?

If two wolves from separate packs mate, one will end up leaving their pack to join their mate's. As for which one does that, there are no hard rules. Usually it makes sense for the lower ranking member to move to the pack with the higher ranking member, as rank is oftentimes hard won and difficult to maintain. It depends on the pack policies as well.

How does silver affect a werewolf, exactly?

Within the system of a werewolf, silver is regarded as an allergen. The severity of the reaction to it depends on the way and degree of exposure to the metal.

In cases of is skin contact, the werewolf will experience typical symptoms of a metal allergy: itchiness at the spot, rashes, and, after prolonged exposure, painful blisters that drain fluid. If the werewolf is forced to be exposed to silver in this way for a period of several weeks, i.e. when put in handcuffs, the accelerated healing cannot work properly, leading to open wounds and permanent scar tissue.

If silver is used as a weapon that pierces the flesh, more severe reactions will follow. Wounds caused by silver generally heal at less than the werewolf’s usual accelerated rate and are prone to infections. Depending on where the wound is inflicted, this can leave the werewolf incapacitated. If the metal is not removed almost immediately, i.e. in cases of bullets and no skilled medical practitioners around, the body will react with an infection and following that, sepsis, and even death due to multiple organ failure. Depending on how vital the organ affected is, this process can take from hours to days. In any case, a wound created by silver will leave permanent scars.

The most severe reactions to silver occur when silver is ingested by the werewolf, i.e. in the form of colloidal silver. This immediately causes anaphylaxis and without immediate intervention, leads to catastrophic system failure and death within a quarter of an hour.

How can a witch help a werewolf with silver poisoning?

Witches have a myriad of ways to counteract the different levels of severity of the effects of silver poisoning on a werewolf. As always, the rule of removing the silver first applies for magical treatment as much as any other, since the allergic reaction to the metal cannot be stopped.

• For rashes and blisters created by skin exposure to silver, witches can create salves that alleviate the symptoms In cases of flesh wounds, potions can be administered to aid the healing process. These will not get it up to the rate that is normal for werewolves, but will speed it up to a healing rate that lies somewhere between the human and werewolf one.

• When a bullet is lodged in the flesh of the werewolf and cannot be removed immediately, a witch with the affinity for air and at least the practitioner level can temporarily create a barrier of air around the bullet, preventing the allergic reaction from getting out of control.

• Witches can create potions that can aid in accelerating the healing of silver-induced infections. Most importantly, witches can create “bind and purge” potions that are the only possible cure for silver ingestions. These must be administered immediately following the first allergic symptoms to work. They serve to magically bind the silver particles in the body and inducing strong, almost violent vomiting. This gets rid of the silver in the system of the werewolf, but because of the nature of the allergic reaction, other measures must be taken to prevent anaphylactic shock. These “bind and purge” potions must be made fresh to achieve the desired effect, as the ingredients and the binding magic loses its potency within 2-3 days. Please Note: If you want to play out the use of such a potion in game, you will have to prove the acquirement of it via a thread.

• In cases where the “bind and purge” potion is not readily available, and one needs more time to procure it, a witch with the affinity to earth and at least at an expert level can step in to help. They are able to slow down physical reactions, including the severe allergic one that takes place during silver poisoning. In order to do this, the witch has to repeat a chant for this specific purpose that they have learned in their tradition, while staying in physical contact with the werewolf. If the chant and/or physical contact can remain unbroken, this can extend the time of the allergic reaction. In this case, complete system failure would take place in two hours instead of 15 minutes. In this time, a “bind and purge” potion can be procured.

About

There are countless myths and legends about the nocturnal species known as vampires. These interpretations are diverse, varying drastically from country to country. Some claim they’re demons in league with the devil himself. Others describe beings of age-old grace moving freely among the world of mortals. But there is one thing they all agree on: blood. The consumption of the elixir of life itself is essential to their survival. How exactly they came into existence is disputed, even amongst their kind, but these are the facts. A creature such as this cannot be born, they must be turned. This is accomplished through an exchange of blood that creates a blood bond between the sire and the newly turned vampire.

Vampiric Rebirth

First, the vampire must drain the human to the point of exsanguination. Once they are brought to the edge of death, the vampire will then feed the human their own blood, usually from a cut on a large artery at the wrist or at the base of the throat, replenishing what they have taken. This process is painful, as the human will experience their body systematically shutting down, effectively ending their human life. To survive the transformation, a strong heart is essential, as this is the most vulnerable part of a vampire. Apart from heart defects, however, there are no other diseases or ailments that a vampire’s blood cannot overcome within the human. While the human’s body is technically dead, the vampiric blood consumed prior to their mortal death flows through their system, recreating life. The entire transformation process takes nearly a full day to complete, but once finished they are reborn, immortal. Internally, they will be healed of disease and become invulnerable to all human ailments. Their bones harden, turning resistant to breakage, enabling them to drop from heights of up to twelve stories without causing damage to themselves. They become an apex predator in human camouflage, designed to lure and incapacitate prey.

Characteristics & Abilities

Enticing Prey

Physically, their musculature is impacted during this transformation stage, dissolving most of their fat, leaving muscle behind. Imperfections such as freckles, moles, scars, and birthmarks fade, leaving their body an ideal version of itself. This inhuman beauty is one of the hallmarks of their kind, drawing more superficial mortals to them like moths to a flame. Their scent, likewise, is enticing. Subtly sweet to their primary food source, it is vile and saccharine to supernaturals such as werewolves, or guides with animal forms that boast a more sensitive sense of smell — coyotes, bears, and raccoons, to name a few. Their voices are more appealing to the ear, velvet and refined, and they move with an unhurried, feline grace.

Enhancements

This languidness, however, is deceptive, as they possess speed and strength five times that of the strongest human. A vampire could snap a neck effortlessly with a quick flick of their wrists, or cross the length of a football field within seconds. Similarly, their senses are also enhanced. You may have heard it said that garlic repels them, but if your sense of smell was twenty times that of the average bloodhound, you would surely be repelled as well. In fact, their sense of smell is so keen, they could easily distinguish Coke from Pepsi from across a room. In some accounts, they are said to possess the ability to transform into bats, and while this is not true, one thing they do share in common with the winged mammal is superior hearing. A vampire could literally hear a pin drop, through a closed door, on the opposite side of the house. They also have unparalleled night vision, their eyes glowing to gather and reflect light just like a cat’s. Another noteworthy fact, is that their bodies run a cool 89 °F (32 °C), making their flesh colder to the touch.

Not Undead

There are some things that remain the same. While they do not physically age a day after being turned, their hair and nails continue to grow, they can breathe, they blink, and as mentioned before, their hearts beat. All of these marks of humanity indicate they are not technically dead or undead, as often described in fiction, but rather an evolved subspecies of human. Their resistance to disease and the healing properties of their blood would make them invaluable to the human populace were their existence known to mankind because when ingested by humans, vampire blood can heal nonfatal injuries and illnesses without causing transformation. Other supernatural beings cannot be turned into vampires, but vampire blood has similar, healing effects for guides, werewolves and witches, as all are human apart from their abilities and dual natures.

Blood & Feeding

Most have their preferences when it comes to blood, as their sophisticated palates can easily differentiate one blood type from the next. Rarer blood types are highly sought after, which is why many find the blood of their fellow supernaturals so appealing. Some vampires say they can taste magic in the blood of other supe species, while others dismiss this claim altogether. Ultimately it all boils down to personal taste.

Bloodlust

Newly turned vampires find it almost impossible to resist their bloodlust for up to a decade after being turned, depending on individual self-control. For this reason, it is rare that a sire will release a fledgling from the sire bond any sooner. However even older, experienced vampires will struggle if hungry and confronted with the sight or smell of blood. In these instances, their fangs, which remain hidden and retracted unless triggered by the promise of sustenance, will elongate in preparation to hunt. They also extend during periods of heightened prey drive or arousal.

Only the Living Need Apply

The blood a vampire consumes must come from a living host, be it animal or human. Dead blood or blood that has been left to coagulate outside of the body, causes them to become violently ill. Therefore, they must feed directly from the source — no after-hour raiding of blood banks. If they are morally averse to feeding from humans, animals are a viable option. However, this blood doesn’t satisfy them for nearly as long and leaves them significantly weaker. As a result, most opt to use compulsion as a tool to manipulate their prey into cooperation.

Compulsion

Compulsion is a verbal power of suggestion, in which the vampire uses a type of hypnosis to impose their will onto another being. Direct eye contact is necessary to achieve this, and the skill itself requires decades of practice to become proficient. Adeptness or lack thereof, determines the length of time the compelled will remain under the vampire’s control. A newly turned vampire for example, might not be able to compel at all, while a centuries old vampire could hold the mind of their victim captive for several days before re-compulsion would be necessary. The ability is much like a muscle that has to be strengthened over time with use and experience. Newborn vampires will find compulsion extremely difficult and straining, often inducing headaches. All other supernaturals are resistant to compulsion unless physically weakened. When the body is weak, the mind is more susceptible to being manipulated. Torture and alcohol are good ways to lower mental resistance to compulsion if the person is not cooperative. However, with or without compulsion, feeding can be a pleasurable, borderline erotic experience for both host and vampire, provided they are compliant and do not struggle. But should they fight, it can be equally excruciating. A vampire’s skin is palest when they haven’t fed, but appears more flushed and human afterward.

Limitations & Weaknesses

On average, a vampire needs to feed every other day in order to remain comfortable. If they ignore or deny their thirst for longer than this, they begin to experience unpleasant symptoms. These arise because the sustenance a vampire receives from the blood they ingest is not only nutritional, they also draw the oxygen from it, as breathing is an ineffective and mostly futile activity for these immortals.

Too Long Without Blood

The first sign they’ve gone too long between feedings is a parched, burning sensation that spreads down their throat and through their veins. While this is uncomfortable, it can be tolerated for a time. However, this eventually escalates to a feeling not unlike being suffocated, which quickly becomes intolerable. At this stage, they are very, very dangerous and liable to attack the first creature who has the misfortune of crossing their path. If they are confined or otherwise unable to feed for more than two weeks’ time, their organs begin to shut down and their bodies give in to rigor mortis (or mummification in the case of older vampires) as they go into an involuntary hibernation. Once in this state, they can only be revived with living blood and will require large quantities to restore themselves to their former condition.

Loss of Functionality

A vampire’s heart rate is similar to that of a squamate reptile, slower during periods of inactivity or when they haven’t recently fed. As their bodies require blood to function, the longer they’ve gone without it, the more inert they must become to compensate for the lack of nourishment. It will also take them longer to heal from injury. A vampire who is meeting their dietary demands, can heal from minor injuries such as lacerations, within seconds. More extensive damage, such as broken bones, gunshot or stab wound, within minutes or hours at most.

Sunlight

Sunlight however, is another matter. The amount of damage done by direct exposure to sunlight varies based on a vampire’s age. Young or newly turned vampires, who have not surpassed the average human lifespan, will expire slower in the sun, their skin first burning, then blistering, before the sun’s rays begin to eat through their tissue. This allows them a little more time to seek refuge if they’re caught out too close to sunrise, but it is by no means advisable to take their time doing so, as they can be reduced to charred flesh within minutes. In the case of older vampires, who are way past human expiration, they can burst into flame and smolder in the blink of an eye. For this reason, vampires must seek refuge from the sun and remain indoors throughout the day.

Daywalkers

There is a myth that there exist very rare magical talismans which enable vampires to walk freely in the sun. These individuals are known as daywalkers in vampiric mythology and typically wear these talismans in the form of jewelry. Even if this were true, however, a daywalker would have to take heed from exposing themselves to the sun too freely and take precautions such as staying in the shade, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

No Food or Sleep

Contrary to popular belief, they do not sleep in coffins during this time. Rather, it is not necessary for them to sleep at all. Vampires who choose to sleep are typically younger and simply still in the habit of doing so from their human life. Over time, most break this pattern. Another mortal necessity that is no longer applicable is eating food. While some will eat or drink if they need to blend in, post-transformation their bodies are no longer suited to digest anything but blood and any human food will make them feel ill until they can purge the foreign substance. For this reason, they avoid it as much as possible.

How to Kill a Vampire

When it comes to killing a vampire, there are only three foolproof methods. The first, as mentioned previously, is sunlight. The second is decapitation, and the third is destroying the heart. In the latter scenario, any instrument long and sharp enough to puncture the chest and penetrate the heart will do.

Sire Bond

Although they are solitary creatures for the most part, there are some exceptions. A strong blood-bond between the maker and the newly turned vampire is established in the transformation process.

Honor & Obey

Vampires become linked to their sire via a sire bond and must comply with their wishes and commands. While they can resist a direct order from their maker for a time, doing so causes them immense disquietude that can only be alleviated through obedience. Even the most stubborn, strong-willed vampire will comply with the wishes of their creator eventually. A sire must be within twenty miles (32 km) of their fledgling in order to force their will upon them. Every relationship between a sire and their sired is unique to individual circumstances. Sometimes these relationships are parental in nature, other times romantic, or in the case of vampires turned against their will, rooted in hatred.

Long-Term Commitment

Regardless, it is the responsibility of the sire to guide their child through the most difficult years of their vampiric life, showing them the ropes along the way. Neglecting to do so is at best frowned upon, and in some cases punishable, depending on jurisdiction, as the survival rate among newborns without a sire is roughly twenty percent. Most will not make it past their first year.

Breaking the Bond

A sire bond can only be broken two ways: by the sire choosing to release their fledgling, or by the death of the sire. However, even after a sire bond is broken, the formerly connected vampires will always be aware when the other is close, implying there is still some sort of connection even if the fledgling has been granted their freedom.

Nests

The pair of vampire and their sire is the most common form for those who do not live alone, but there are some who live in nests. A nest is a group of three-six vampires living together under one roof. It is illegal for more than six vampires to gather in these types of living arrangements, as it has a greater potential to attract unwanted attention. Typically these groups are comprised of one sire and their fledglings.

Politics

As a species, the vampires’ cruelty is matched by their sophistication. Millennia ago, they established a governing body for their kind. What began as a vanity project for power-hungry individuals has grown to be of paramount importance and a deciding power over all of the vampire population. As the changing times required protecting themselves and extreme secrecy, an established set of rules was needed, along with a governing body that would implement such rules and punish those who stepped out of line. It is rumoured that the vampiric government has their fangs deep in its human counterpart, controlling the major political decisions to benefit their species and agenda.

Today, there are six Councils worldwide, each representing one of the continents: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Within each continent there are hundreds of thousands of vampires, and thus they are further divided by country, state, and city, each with leaders who report up the chain of command to one of the seven Council members or Consuls. The hierarchy, based on the ancient military ranks of Rome is as follows:

  • A Consul or the "chief magistrate" presides over an entire continent.
  • A Praetor or "commander of an army" presides over an entire country as appointed by their Consular.
  • A Legate or "deputy of a legion" presides over an entire state as appointed by their Praetor.
  • A Centurion or "leader of a small battalion" presides over a city and the outlying areas near that city as determined by the Legate, who divides up the state into territories and appoints Centurions to rule over that sector.

Appointments to these leadership roles are never fair, and usually the result of favouritism, manipulation, and killing off one's competition. Only the strongest and most cunning win the favor of their presiding ruler and are gifted the role. Such positions are theoretically awarded for eternity, but typically they only last approximately a decade. Inevitably the role is handed off to someone the presiding ruler feels more worthy or the ruler is killed off so that someone else can take their place.

Each leader typically gathers cohorts around them and may create a council of their own to assist in presiding over their territory. While the leaders may listen to their cohorts and depend on them heavily for advice and guidance, they have no official voice with the leaders ranked above them. Leaders also typically have a guard of vampires around them as protection, usually members of their own nest. Centurions also like to employ enforcers to police their local area and ensure vampiric laws are followed.

Every two years, or in cases of dire emergency, the World Vampire Council meets at a summit where they discuss world affairs and issues that may effect the vampire community at large. This is not open to anyone other than the seven Consuls.

Local Figureheads

In New Orleans, the most notable leader is obviously the Centurion, Armond Coquière who rules over the city of New Orleans, which includes both Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish based on the district lines drawn by the Legate. He has a small group of loyal cohorts that advise him in his decisions for the city.

Legate of Louisiana, Madame Margaret Amotte currently lives in Baton Rouge, the state capital. She seldom visits New Orleans unless she has pressing business with Coquière.

The Praetor, leader of the United States, Charles Beaumont is predictably housed the majority of the time in Washington, D.C., a mirror image of the human president in the big white house.

The Consul, Vanessa Gerhardt is presumed to reside somewhere in northwestern Canada, but her exact location is unknown.

Vampiric Laws

Basic Tenants

Vampires live by a very simple, three law code of conduct:

  1. Never allow a human to learn of their existence and live.
  2. Never turn a child, as they cannot be taught nor learn to control their thirst.
  3. Never turn those with intellectual disabilities, who cannot, even with the vampiric gift, survive on their own.

These laws are taught to every vampire that is newly made, along with the strict insistence of keeping their existence a secret. Those who violate the laws of their secret society, of which there are not many, are executed after a brief trial before the local vampire authority, usually the Centurion ruling over the city where the crime was committed. If found guilty, they often "meet the sun," are decapitated by ceremonial broadsword, or receive a Centurion cohort's long steel dagger through the heart.

Human Pets Forbidden

Some vampires choose to keep a human “pet” for feeding. They can give them a small amount of blood afterward to heal them. The blood will not build up in the human’s system over time and turn them into a vampire, which means they can feed off of them indefinitely, provided they do not take too much and accidentally kill them. However, keeping humans for this purpose is outlawed, as most vampires do not bother with compelling their pets and their knowledge of what is happening to them violates the first vampiric law. Some vampires are additionally reckless with pets as they take more than one, risking discovery when a suspicious number of humans disappears from an area.

Rather than keeping pets, the method of one-time feeding is preferred and allowed by the Council: a sort of catch, feed, heal, compel, and release system. The taboo of keeping humans for food does not always deter vampires from doing so, as some older vampires are still accustomed to that lifestyle before this ruling was put in place, and is far more common within nests.

Vampire-on-Vampire Murder

Although it does not officially go against any of the basic vampiric laws, vampire on vampire murder carries consequences. As vampires generally do not want to feel death breathing down their necks, anyone who has murdered one of their own kind will be seen as a threat. The punishment for vampire murder varies greatly, depending on the power relations involved. The decision process is anything but fair and just, and is contingent on how the murderer gets along with the judicial body, which is usually the next higher authority. Depending if the murderer or the murdered vampire were higher or lower in their importance for the vampiric community, sanctions can range from a proverbial slap on the wrist, to monetary fines, to exile, to execution.

Vampiric Judiciary

Vampires live based on the “eye for an eye” doctrine wherein they are justified in doing unto others as has been done unto them. However, on occasion a vampire will either go beyond this bright line rule or violate a community law. Therefore, every month one cohort on the council is scheduled to be available to preside over violations of the Vampiric Laws. They acts as triers of fact and determine a just punishment (e.g., fines, flogging, torture, exile, death). They typically handle disputes involving:

  • Crimes against the community: Vampires who violate laws regarding maintaining human pets, or kill a human and risk exposure are brought before the Council. Note: Killing a human is not against vampiric law. It only becomes an issue if it was done in a manner that risked exposure of the vampire race.
  • Crimes against other Vampires: Vampires can be punished any time they commit a crime against another vampire without cause. (e.g. theft, maiming, fledgling stealing, etc.) However, it must be shown that the crime was unjustifiable and / or unprovoked, since eye-for-an-eye revenge is permissible under vampiric law.
  • Vampire-on-vampire Murder: The punishment for vampire-on-vampire murder varies greatly depending on circumstances. Sire lines are valued greatly. If a vampire is murdered within a sire line, the sire is justified in killing the murderer or someone within the murderers line in retribution without punishment from the vampire authorities.

Vampire-on-Vampire Murder is treated most seriously. To preside over such disputes, the entire judicial body must be present, the entire council including the Centurion and all of his or her cohorts. They determine whether the murderer should be put to death. This is typically accomplished by beheading at the hand of one of the Centurion’s enforcers.

If a Centurion is murdered, the trial will be performed by the Legate and her cohorts, so on and so forth up the chain of command.

Non-Vampire Relations

Werewolves

Vampires generally dislike werewolves because they consider them brutish and foolish. Elitists who have hidden themselves from human knowledge for centuries, they cannot fathom how they could have 'outed' themselves simply because the humans invented some gadgetry. Thus, they are generally prejudiced against their kind. The vampiric leadership also make it a point to blame any of their messes on the wolves, which is easy given the current anti-werewolf political climate. If a fledgling slips up and kills a human, they aren't above doctoring the kill to make it look like an animal attack and using compulsion to leave a few witnesses behind that saw "a large wolf" attack the innocent victim.

Ghouls

Ghouls and vampires have a sordid history, including the attempted genocide of the entire ghoul species. Which is ironic considering ghouls require vampire blood to be raised from the dead. Eventually an accord was reached. Ghouls agreed to live by vampiric law and vampires agreed not to wipe them out. Some nests accept ghouls into their midsts, as ghouls can venture into sunlight while a vampire cannot, but most consider the ghoul race to be "impure."

Witches

"Damn bloody witches..." would be a common phrase among the vampires. They have a begrudging truce, as some of the more powerful witches possess skills in their craft that can cripple a vampire. Weakness is not something vampires acknowledge, and thus witches are to be avoided. About the only time they will get in bed with the witches is if there's something in it for them.

Ghosts

Since vampires are unable to see ghosts, they really care very little about them, though many of them unknowingly have the vengeful spirits of their victims following them around. Not that it would matter even if they were aware of their presences. After all, what is a ghost going to do to a vampire? Nothing.

Guides

Most vampires would look at you oddly if you mention a guide. "What? Oh you mean those witchy shape-shifters?" They don't pay them much attention because they're rare and 1) they can't do anything that benefits them, and 2) they don't care enough to learn much about them.

Humans

Humans are food. You know how you look at a juicey hamburger? That's how most vampires see humans. It's a struggle not to rip into them at the soonest opportunity.

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

Can vampires feed on other vampires? What about other supernatural species?

Yes. Vampires can feed on other vampires. However, this is most often done in an intimate encounter and is not a substitute for mortal blood, which is the only blood that can nourish them and prevent them from going into a frozen, rigor mortis state. A vampire's blood is a mixture of their own blood and that of their sire. So a vampire who fed on another vampire, would taste both of these components. Guide and witch blood tastes no different to a vampire than human blood, though some vampires swear otherwise. Rather, it is the thrill of drinking from another supernatural species that makes them believe this to be the case. While vampires can also feed on werewolves, their blood tastes like a combination of human and the animal within. This, coupled with the wet dog smell many vampires find so repugnant, is enough to dissuade most from doing so. Ghoul blood, on the other hand, cannot be consumed by vampires. Like their flesh, which is impenetrable by a vampire's fangs to begin with, the blood that flows through their veins is toxic, and will result in a slow poisoning death for any vampire who drinks it.

Which species can vampires feed from and have their dietary needs met?

Mortal species, e.g. those who have human lifespans. Humans, guides, and witches.

At what point is blood considered "dead" and unsafe for a vampire to drink?

When it is no longer warm after being drawn from the body. Reheating or keeping blood warm through artificial means does not prevent it from losing its nutritional value.

What happens if a vampire drinks dead blood? Will it kill them?

No, it will not kill them, but it will make them extremely ill and weak, sometimes for several days depending on how much was consumed. Their stomachs will reject it and send it right back up. Some vampires describe this as taking the dead into themselves, as it certainly makes them feel that way after the fact.

Menstrual blood: can/will vampires drink it?

Without going into too much detail, some will and some won't. It's all a matter of preference and the individual vampire's sensibilities about these things. Some might be completely repulsed by the concept, others might consider it the fountain of life. Regardless of their personal inclinations on the matter, however, the blood must come directly from the source, as with any other blood they drink.

Why can't my vampire be a daywalker?

In legend, daywalker talismans are said to be enchanted pieces of jewelry that protect the wearer from the devastating rays of the sun. However, the actual existence of these talismans are considered little more than folklore or rumor among the vampiric community. This is because most have never seen one, as they have become a lost art among magic practitioners. The few vampires who do have one, make sure to protect the secret of the talismans, using them only when absolutely necessary, as they know walking into the sun is an ability most of their kind would kill for. However, murdering another vampire for their talisman is a futile endeavor, as talismans are custom and will work only for the vampire they were created for. Due to the rarity of these talismans, we have chosen to only make a limited number of them available during sporadic periods on the site. When they appear in the store, they are first come first served.

About

A ghost is an earthbound spirit caught between the Spiritual and Physical realms. There are two ways a spirit might become a ghost. The first is by attempting to return to the land of the living by latching onto a guide, a supernatural being with the ability to astral project and pass between the three planes of existence: the Physical Realm, the In-Between, and the Spirit Realm. The second is by missing the window of opportunity while attempting to settle their unfinished business. The reasons a ghost might attempt to return to the Physical Realm are as diverse as the individuals themselves, but most do so not realizing that once they leave, they will be unable to return to the Spirit Realm without the help of a guide. Since guides are such a rare species, this can be problematic. It is almost never easy to find a guide and even if a ghost does manage to find one, the guide won't necessarily be willing or able to help them. From the moment they cross back into the In-Between from the Spirit Realm, they become energetically and spiritually bound to Earth. Neither gaining energy from a human physical body or from the Spirit Realm itself, people who are ghosts gain energy from their local environment, which often include the living people within that environment.

Spirits VS Ghosts

A spirit is a person who has died and vacated their physical body. If a spirit has no unfinished business, the Spirit Realm will open up to them and they will be permitted to "crossover". If the spirit died in a violent or traumatic way, they have a period of 3-10 days (on average) to resolve any unfinished business that might be preventing them from making the transition. The length of time that this window remains open differs for every spirit, as their final rites ceremony, if there is one, serves as a last call to enter into the Spirit Realm. For this reason, settling any unfinished business they have in the Physical Realm is time sensitive, as failure to cross into the Spirit Realm before their time is up, will render them permanently trapped in the In-Between. The In-Between is a sort of limbo or purgatory, separated from the Physical Realm by a thin veil that keeps the living from perceiving the deceased. To tie up their loose ends, a spirit may require the help of a guide (See Guides).

These earthbound spirits are what are commonly referred to as ghosts, often destined to be bound to the In-Between indefinitely. Though typically unseen due to their lack of corporeal being, ghosts are all around, observing the living through the veil that separates the In-Between from the Physical Realm. Because of this, they can listen to the conversations of the living. Some Ghosts highly enjoy eavesdropping on others in this way, especially if it is something they wished they could have done while alive on Earth, but never had the opportunity. Unfortunately, television media have biased the living's perspective on ghosts. Paranormal teams are called in only when a ghost is causing a problem (kind of like the police), so by default, most humans, if they believe in them at all, only see ghosts as problems. However, many ghosts who don’t make the news, can actually be helpful. It isn't uncommon for a ghost to walk a woman to her car in a late night parking lot, or to scream in the faces of children to keep them out of harm's way. No one ghost is the same, just as no one person is the same.

The Physical Realm

The world in which the living reside is known as the Physical Realm. All living beings remain here until their death, at which point, depending on the state of their soul and level of trauma surrounding their demise, they will either linger in the In-Between, or crossover into the Spirit Realm. Those caught in the In-Between, are often confused or too angry about the manner in which they died to allow their spirit to rest. In these instances, completing their unfinished business (assisted by a guide and/or witch) will help them gain resolution and achieve peace.

The In-Between

A veil exists that separates the Physical Realm from the In-Between. It is this veil that prevents spirits and ghosts trapped in this level of existence from interacting with the living. In this plane, ghosts and spirit witness everything that occurs in the Physical Realm, but are separate from it. For spirit, this is temporary, as they have a short window to settle their unfinished business and transition into the Spirit Realm, but for ghosts, there is no such option, as they have either lingered in the In-Between for too long, or crossed over into the Spirit Realm and chosen to leave, subsequently trapping themselves. This type of existence is very frustrating and lonely, leaving the ghost in a state of limbo. Often they follow their loved ones around, watching over them, or in other cases they might tether themselves to a location that had meaning for them in life and choose to haunt it.

The Spirit Realm

A spirit who has completed or doesn’t have unfinished business will crossover into the Spirit Realm. This is the plane of existence that each departed spirit strives to reach. Here, they are not burdened by the pain and suffering of their life in the Physical Realm and can finally be at peace. Once a spirit transitions into this realm, the only way to leave is by latching onto a guide’s astral form in order to pull themselves into the In-Between. Unfortunately, once a spirit leaves the Spirit Realm after crossing over, they cannot return on their own and often become permanently trapped in the In-Between. These spirits are what those in the Physical Realm refer to as ghosts.

Characteristics & Abilities

Not Alone

Ghosts can see other ghosts, just like people can see other people. Ghosts can choose to ignore each other, interact, be scared of each other, or develop friendships with one another. Think about how people interact when they are alive - some people ignore others, some say "hello" to everyone, some are busybodies, and some people are downright scary. In any event, ghosts can interact with other ghosts, and depending on each ghost and their preferences, this level of interaction and the way it goes down, will vary pretty widely.

Invisible

Ghosts are mostly invisible. They can gather energy in their surrounding space to create a visual appearance or to move objects, but this takes skill, practice, and lots of intentional effort, which some ghosts don’t care to make. If a ghost does manage to make themselves appear visibly to the living, this hazy manifestation can only be maintained for a handful of seconds before they fade back out. So when they manage to make their presences known, they get excited. Wouldn’t you, if you were used to being largely ignored? Because they get excited about being noticed, many will do whatever it takes to hold onto that attention - make noise, dance, start screaming, knock things off shelves or otherwise be more elaborate in their efforts to get noticed. Those that don’t get excited, freak out a little bit, as though they have been caught.

Cold Spots

Unexplained shifts in temperature are one of the most common signs of ghostly activity. If one room, or especially if it’s a small part of one room, becomes much colder than its surroundings, something supernatural is afoot. Because ghosts absorb ambient energy — both emotional and physical — in order to manifest, they lower surrounding temperatures. And so the colder the spot, the stronger the ghost is likely to be.

Haunting

Some ghosts actually do enjoy haunting. Ghosts are still people and some people, for reasons unknown, enjoy laughing at the expense of others. Misery loves company and when a dead person is miserable, they will do their best to make those around them miserable, as well. Some ghosts will intentionally cause fights between two people, misplace items to cause stress, knock over a child’s water glass at a restaurant (getting the poor child in trouble), or push people. It is these ghosts who give all ghosts a bad name.

Electromagnetic Interference

Electricity and spiritual energy are of a very similar vibrational energy. As a result, ghosts can manipulate electricity to varying degrees, influencing electromagnetic fields to cause electronics to malfunction. Often this manifests in lights flickering, sparking, or, in extreme cases, exploding. Television channels or radio stations might change on their own, or go static entirely. Sometimes ghosts can use this static to form what sounds like words to send messages to those willing to listen. They might cause smoke detectors to go off, or make a song skip and linger on a poignant lyric. All of this is just their attempts to connect with the living and make their presences known.

Possession

For the purposes of completing their unfinished business, spirits can enter the bodies of willing hosts on a temporary basis, borrowing their physical form as a means to accomplish whatever was left undone in their lives. The keywords here are willing and temporary, as spirits cannot take control of an unsuspecting person at will or whim. Guides and witches work together for this purpose, assisting spirits in this task. A familiar bond must be formed between the two in order for them to work together in this capacity. The guide, capable of passing between the three planes of existence, directs the spirit into the body of their witch familiar, who has agreed to offer his/herself up as a vessel to be used. Should the spirit attempt to hold onto their host, the guide can draw it out, with the use of salt if necessary.

Weaknesses & Limitations

No Physical Form

While ghosts can store and build up enough energy to briefly make themselves visible or tangible, this lasts for only a handful of seconds. The rest of the time, they wander around, unable to interact with the living. Observing, but not a part of the world they view through the window of the In-Between. This can be a frustrating existence, causing some ghosts to become embittered over time. They're like the air, mostly unseen, sometimes felt, but overall not given much thought or attention. They can accomplish little on their own, as the energy they absorb can only do so much.

Salt

When used as a barrier, ghosts can be repelled by naturally occurring salts and can't cross a line drawn with them. Himalayan sea salt, Celtic salt, Fleur de Sel, black lava salt, Persian blue salt, and Alaea salt are just a few useful examples, but there are others. Contrary to popular belief, ordinary table salt has zero effectiveness, as it possesses large amounts of iodine and is overall too processed. Natural salt is also useful if a ghost is refusing to give up possession of a host being used as a medium. Feeding this salt into the mouth of the person the ghost is possessing, will cause the ghost great pain and potentially force the ghost to relinquish their control.

Witches

Everything under the sun — the rocks, the trees, the dirt, the air, water, and beyond — has an energy vibration. While most chalk this notion up to hippy, new age nonsense, witches have been harnessing energy to practice magic for as long as they've walked the earth, wielding it for the purposes of their craft. Because they lack a physical body, ghosts are beings comprised of pure energy. They can siphon energy from the people and environment around them, in essence charging themselves up for the purposes of appearing temporarily visible, or tangible enough to move objects. While the practice is not common, some witches recognized the power that could be obtained through drawing on such an energy source and would utilize their familiar to guide ghosts to them, elevating themselves and the strength of their magic by draining them. While this doesn't hurt the ghost permanently, it is frowned upon in most circles, viewed as cruel and an abuse of the sacred familiar relationship between witches and guides.

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

Question Here?

Answer.

About

Glazed-over eyes, dead flesh, raised from the grave… this is the stuff that stories about zombies are made of. The image of walking deadman has become a favourite subject in media portrayals in recent years. Yet the human population, and to some extent even the supernaturals do not sense that there is tangible truth to this myth. Distinct from vampires who are also sometimes pejoratively called “dead” or “undead,” this species is known as ghouls.

Ghouls are a very rare species, but the largest population in the United States is local to New Orleans. They are physically and culturally a sister race to vampires, as they fall under the same societal structures and conform to the same rules. They also generally possess the same enhanced strength and agility. There are important differences, however. Ghouls have no healing properties in their blood. They are not aesthetically enhanced upon being raised as they are not "transformed" but simply "reanimated" with a magical life force that protects and energizes them.

Rebirth

Inherently an unnatural but rather a magical species, ghouls are the result of a witch skilled in necromancy raising a deceased person from the grave. Although related in that they both allow a soul to continue on living, the reincarnation ritual and the one that creates a ghoul are fundamentally different. The reincarnation ritual must be performed prior to death, whereas the ghoul ritual is done postmortem. The reincarnation ritual also moves the soul between bodies, but does not resurrect the body.

Since the ritual to raise a ghoul from the dead can only be performed on a dead body, a human corpse is a the fundamental requirement for it. Since they do not heal upon rebirth, fresh corpses are always preferable, in order to avoid deformities that would interfere with the ghoul assimilating into human life. Further, all vital organs must be intact in order for the spell to work properly. Once dead, the witch opens the chest cavity and removes the heart. For this reason, necromancers typically have to have at least some surgical skills. If the surgeon is not precise, the organs are damaged, or the ritual is done incorrectly — usually by an inexperienced practitioner — the ghoul will become 'zombie-like', decomposing and eventually dying over the course of several agonizing weeks, rabid and half crazed.

Once the heart is removed, the witch switches that dead human heart with the heart of an immortal recently sacrificed (i.e., werewolf or vampire). The magic stored in an immortal heart is pivotal to the completion of the spell. A recently sacrificed human's heart will do nothing. As a witch they performs the ritual and the magic takes hold, the witch will begin to massage the heart gently, pumping the immortal blood throughout the body. When the ritual is complete, the chest cavity is closed and the dead human rises as a ghoul within several minutes to an hour.

Since no immortal can lose their heart and continue to live, there are seldom willing donors. As a result, those raising the ghoul must sacrifice an unwilling immortal in most cases, which clearly proves a difficult task. This is one reason, alongside the complexity of the ritual generally, that a ghoul being raised occurs so rarely. Of course, receiving the heart of another is not without consequence. For this reason, it is important that the witch select a suitable donor, as the heart stores a piece of its previous owner's memories and thus, the wrong donor's heart can, in rare cases, drive a newly raised ghoul to madness.

There is a way to avoid the complications of immortal heart acquisition, however. It lies in a variation possibility for the ritual that rebirths a corpse as a ghoul. While traditionally, fresh werewolf or vampire hearts are required to successfully reanimate a dead human, a ghoul heart can also be used for this purpose. The main benefit of this method is that a ghoul does not have to perish in this process, as a ghoul their heart that is used for the creation of a new ghoul can be exchanged with a live, beating human heart. This, of course, brings other complications with it as it would require the ghoul to trust the witch entirely as they would be entirely vulnerable and could easily get killed in the process, but this method doesn’t decimate the already small ghoul population.

Characteristics & Abilities

Unlike vampires, ghouls do not possess enhanced healing abilities. In fact, they do not heal at all once they are reborn. What allows them to remain protected is an additional sturdiness spell that a knowledgeable necromancer will perform along with the ritual that raises them from the dead.The magic creates a protective barrier and makes the skin impenetrable by all but the most dangerous of weapons. Guns, knives, etc. will bounce right off and do nothing to a ghoul. The sturdiness also prevents them from getting scars or new tattoos since once they are reborn, no needle would be able to penetrate the dense, tough texture of their skin. However, if they are wounded by more extreme means (See Weaknesses), any flesh or tissue damage will never be repaired, leaving ugly scars or open wounds.

Like vampires, they gain the same enhanced strength and agility. However, they are not aesthetically enhanced upon being raised. In fact, they continue to appear ashen as they were in death. Like vampires, they have a very slow heart rate of about 10 beats per minute. Their eyes also never regain their luster and over time the color begins to completely fade to a dull, lifeless grey. Thus, ghouls must use makeup and contact lenses to blend in with the human population as soon as they leave their homes. Without their shirt, they are recognizable by the long scars down their chests where their hearts were replaced. Ghouls are also identifiable by werewolves and vampires even in disguise because of the faint smell of death that no cologne or perfume can mask from the other immortals’ enhanced sense of smell. Their body does not change from the time they are reborn, nor do they age.

Toxic Flesh

Ghoul flesh is toxic to anyone who eats it, mortal or immortal. Magic keeps a ghoul alive by holding death at bay, making them immune. Once the ghoul's dead flesh leaves the protection of its vessel, the grip of death is no longer contained and spreads like a virus or disease to any other species that ingests it. But this deadly disease is magically enhanced after so long in containment and thus, can touch even immortals. It begins with vital organs, making one sick. The brain is first and most heavily affected. If small amounts are ingested, one will be driven mad and feel ill. If large amounts are ingested or accumulate in the system over time, a painful death will become inevitable in a matter of days or weeks.

Feeding

Ghouls require living human flesh to survive just as vampires require living blood. It's truly gruesome business. In order to regenerate the magic keeping them alive, live sacrifice must be made at their own hands in regular intervals, four times a year. To satisfy their hunger, ghouls must capture a human and feed on their live flesh. Because this process is very risky and dangerous, the vampiric council views them as a potential exposure risk and in past centuries have tried to wipe the ghoul population out. These days, despite it being against the Council’s laws, some vampires harbor ghouls, offering protection and providing them food in exchange for their acting as servants during the daytime. Unlike vampires, ghouls are not harmed by sunlight.

Also similarly to vampires, ghouls bodies are no longer capable of digesting human food, and anything that is eaten will be immediately vomited back up. The flesh of other species is likewise expelled. Some believe this is because immortal magic gives ghouls life, and therefore cannot provide nourishment.

In big cities where there is a large ghoul population, there is almost always an underhanded deal between the ghouls and a mortuary or two. In the New Orleans area, Majestic Mortuary Services, Inc. and its associates are dedicated to covering up the murders local ghouls must commit to survive. The crematory is used to burn up the bodies post-funeral, and the mostly devoured corpses are put into the ground alongside the naturally deceased.

Starvation

When a ghoul has gone hungry for longer than a quarter of a year, their body begins to shut down. They lose brain function and rationality begins to slip. Their face becomes taunt, their eyes glass over in an opaque white shade as they begin to go blind, and their senses fade. This process takes about a month, but if they are left unfed they will go into a stasis where only the universally healing vampire blood injected into their heart, followed by an immediate feeding, will revive them. They can stay in stasis indefinitely, the magic within them dormant, keeping their bodies from decomposing.

Cannibalism

If the need is great, ghouls are able to satisfy their hunger by feeding on other members of their own species, but the practice is highly frowned upon and temporary in its practicality. Ghoul tissue is coarse and disgusting. It's very hard for another ghoul to chew, let alone harvest, as the act would be akin to chiseling off a hunk of stone or ripping through a Kevlar vest. Further, while feeding on ghoul flesh provides an alternative food source, the ghoul population is too small to sustain ghoul cannibalism. For this reason, the only time you will see ghoul-on-ghoul feeding is if a ghoul is starved and out of their mind, hacking away at another ghoul in desperation. It's extremely violent.

Weaknesses & Limitations

Newly turned ghouls are mentally weak. They are susceptible to vampiric compulsion until their eyes drain of color, symbolizing the death of their humanity, which usually takes a few months. They also are highly unstable. From the moment they are born, they must feed, ripping into the flesh of humans while they are still alive. As a result, a lot of them deal with disorientation at the least, if not outright panic and existential doubt in the beginning. Many choose to end their existence.

Due to the spell performed on them, ghouls are otherwise physically very sturdy. They can only be killed by eviscerating their head or heart. This can be accomplished with almost any tool equipped for the task - most often sledge hammers or other heavy metal instruments, motor vehicles, etc. These can cause enough damage despite a ghoul's thick armor-like skin.

There is one other way to kill them. Since their chest incisions never heal from the rebirthing ritual, there will always been a chink in their armor. If one can get close enough to slice through the sutures holding their chests together, they can be killed by driving a knife through the small opening into their hearts. Their flesh is not pliable, so this is extremely difficult, and if not done just right on the first try, there likely won't be a second since the ghoul will do anything to prevent this.

While their near impenetrable skin makes it very difficult to injure them, wounds they do receive through the above extreme means do not heal. For example, if a car rammed straight into a ghoul at full speed, it could crush them and tear open their flesh. An ordinary surgeon's needle could not sew their flesh back together because it could not penetrate the skin. Therefore, any open wounds could be wrapped tight with bandages but not repaired through ordinary means. Some specialized, rare necromancers might be willing to enchant a needle to repair the damage, but this would likely come at a hefty price. These efforts would also not heal their flesh, but simply hold them together. Thus, they would have yet another chink in their armor for the rest of their immortal lives.

While ghouls can survive in the sunlight, like vampires their eyes are sensitive to light. This often forces them to wear sunglasses during sunny days or to only go out at night.

Politics & Laws

[COMING SOON]

FAQs

Here we will add our responses to any unanswered questions not found in the lore. If you have any questions regarding a particular species, please contact the admin or admins responsible for the write up. No question is off limits, so do not shy away from asking what you need to know for the purposes of your plot or character.

Do ghouls have an enhanced sense of smell similar to vampires or werewolves?

No. While they do share enhanced strength with vampires, there are few other similarities between the two species. When it comes to a ghoul's sense of smell, the level of decomposition they've undergone prior to being brought back to life plays a role. A ghoul who was killed and immediately reanimated through ritual, would retain their normal, human sense of smell, while a ghoul who was left to rot for an extended period of time, would have a dulled sense of smell, or almost no sense of smell at all.