Creatures of the Night
Kindred are the hidden power behind the throne. They hide in shadows and secrey, not revealing themselves to their prey. They seek control and uphold what they call the masquerade to prevent humanity from learning about the supernatural. In this, they are the most valuable ally to humanity and supernatural alike... yet, they do this for selfish needs and to prevent humanity from rooting them out.
For the most, kindred society works the same everywhere you go. The most powerful and old kindred on top, while less powerful (and often younger) kindred serve. There's a definite distinction between european kindred and other kindred however. The eastern kindred are called "kue'jin" by their own and their society is far different than the society in the west. They do however, use hte same game rules that the other kindred do.
Favors: Kindred society uses favors as the favored (heh) currency. Whenever a kindred needs help or seeks an advantage, they trade favors to do so. There are four types of basic favors:
Minor Boon: Something very small like "would you get me a glass of water" or "compliment my looks in front of the prince". No significant risk (1% or less)
Medium Boon: These favors are the stock and trade of the kindred market. These favors are more powerful favors that has some risk (25% or less) but very seldom puts any physical danger onto the boon caller.
Greater Boon: Greater boons are used to call in favors that are dangerous and risky. Supporting a new candidate for prince for example. (50% or less risk).
Life Boon: These are the most valuable of the kindred favors. They are worth putting your undeath at risk for and often include seriously risk (75% or more)
There are two levels of kindred society: Sects and Covenants. Covenants are smaller more personalized groups who, often, share the same overall goal. All Invictus of the world work to aquire power for example. But these goals do not mean they are allies. Covnenants are at most nation wide in their influence, while the sects are far reaching in their influence. The Camarilla for example, has reach over most of the civilized world. The Camarilla
Strix: The birds of Dis is an enigma who have haunted the kindred since the dawn of history. Perhaps they once were vampires who have ascended their form, or they are the beast unleashed without a physical form to bind them. Regardless of what they are, the Strix hails from a very dark place and sometimes new Strix slitter into being from that primal darkness. Neither spirit nor physical beings, the Strix seeks to remove what humanity the kindred has and turn them into the true monster they should be in the eyes of the birds.
The strix is, much like vampires, divided into factions who struggle both against each other and their external enemies. These factions are called courts and vary in both size and power.
VII: Feared by all factions of kindred, but mostly so by the Camarilla, the mysterious creatures known as VII seems to be either a legend, myth or something in-between. It's unclear if they've always been around but deeds attributed to VII has increased in prominence over the last years. Ironically enough the Camarillas denial and fear of the VII has made them both more infamous and dangerous as the Camarilla has a fervent stance that the VII simply doesn't exist. One thing is for sure though: VII can't be detected in anyway that kindred can be detected...
Belial's Brood: Diablerists, infernalists, madmen and insane cultists, the Belial's Brood are vampires who have been influenced by... something else. It's unsure what corrupts the mind of a Belial to the point were not even Dominate can sift through the fanatical fervor they have towards their cause. Even the Carthian Movement view them as zealous fanatics with no remorse. The Belial's Brood is in actually a generalization of vampires who's minds have been shattered by some outside influence and turned them into murderous fanatics without any restraints other than the tenets put forth by their idols.
Infernals: The demons of inferno simply love the damned as they are so close to them in both hunger and desire. The infernals love draging more of the damned into hell and seek to reduce their humanity to better reflect the world as they view it.
Werewolves: The Forsaken
All werewolves fight corruption, wherever it appears. Corruption creates abominations and feeds corrupt spirits who then can tear through the gauntlet, regardless of its strength. Corruption bring the deeper parts of the shadow closer to the world. Even the pure fight corruption even though they mostly do it indirectly by killing of corrupted spirits in their hunts.
The forsaken is not as stricken with factions as the rest of the supernatural races are, but they instead have tribes and different 'kinds' who fight for power and dominance. These can be divided into the forsaken, the pure and the firstborn who are all at each others throats. Usually the different kinds doesn't work together but there are stories of Forsaken working with the Pure to fight a single elder.
The Forsaken: The forsaken are the wolves who killed father wolf to end his reign as the supreme predator and then sought forgivness for their sins. They are the most human of their kind and has thus been blessed with lesser vulnerabilities. Luna has taken them under her wing and they protect the border between the spirit world and the mundane world, preventing spirits and concepts from the shadow realm from entering our world. They know that humankind, to whom they are dependant, cant survive in a world where there*s no border or difference between the shadowlands and the world
Aside from defending the mundane world from the shadow, they also fight among themselves over territory and power. Werewolves are not peaceful and they fight in packs where the larger packs can have as many as 20 werewolves.
While the tribes of the forsaken are their most common factions, there are a couple of exceptions to this rule...
The Anubisets: While most forsaken guard the material realm from that of the Shadow, the gauru sect known as the anubisets have a very special purpose. They guard any entrances and shard realms that leads into the underworld. They have a very special relationship with kindred who they view as misguided and afraid of their own afterlife. Any werewolf can become an anubisets (they are treated as a Lodge) and once done, the gauru form of the forsaken takes on a far more anubis like form.
The pure: Those who did not seek forgiveness. More beastial and raging than their forsaken kin, the pure do not guard the border because as they want the border to fall. They hunt whatever passes into the world for fun and because they are predators. They seek to bring the gauntlet down and usher in a new era of Pangea.
The pure are dangerous because they see the forsaken as weak and pathetic. Humankind are to be culled and ruled by the alpha predators of the wild (who just so happens to be them). The pure have far less chance of having Metis werewolves than the forsaken but they still have greater numbers as they rather mate with someone of their own kind than the with simple humans or lupuses. The pure claim to outnumber the forsaken. And they are the enemy of all other wereeolf factions.
The Lost: some werewolves have lost their spiritual affinity. Seen as a blight on their kin by the pure and seen as oddities by other werewolves, the lost stand out from the rest of society as they are almost only physical beings rather than a blend of spirit and flesh. Children between them and other werewolves always result in a lost. The Lost have strange gifts that further pushes them apart and somebwerewolves believe they are something other than true werewolves.
The Caul Ancient and savage, the Fenrir stand apart from both the pure and the forsaken. Only truly a faction in their homeland of Russia, the Caul rule over wast swaths of land while also being few in number. While the pure seek to tear down the gauntlet and the forsaken seeks to safeguard it, the Caul seek to rule the shadow's shallows as kings. Both forsaken and pure ciew them as potential allies because of their mastery over the shadows.
The Favored Children (Khrinos): The gauru who sided with Father Wolf. They never lost the blessing of their father (and thus their full power) but instead lost their physical forms as their father was killed and the worlds separated. More spirit than flesh, they possess bodies who are then remade into Khrinos forms. Human and werewolf alike fears them, for they are far more savage and horrible than any normal werewolf. Pure or forsaken doesn't matter to them as they are all guilty of the crime once committed. They are extremely dangerous and most of them are still stuck in the depths of the Shadow but all of them wants to return to the once glorious Pangea. The firstborn are potent enough to become a threat even to an entire pack of werewolves... And even if they manage to slay its physical form and send its spirit back to the depths of the shadow, who's to say it wont return?
Morphlings: While gauru can shift between forms, there's an enemy that's so beguiling that the gauru can hardly tell whetever or not they're actually an enemy or a force of nature. Morphlings are true shapeshifters able to take any form or shape. Once they roamed pangea in freedom not interacting much with other species, but with the sundering of the world the morphlings were thrust deep into the umbral landscape of the deep shadow. Longing still for the days when they could remake their forms into anything, many morphlings harbour a very deep hatred against the gauru for their role in the sundering. Those morphlings who hardly care about the gauru for their killing of father wolf are often suspiciously conescending towards the gauru for their inability to shapeshift mor than into simple wolf forms. Shapeshifters grow powerful in the fallen world as the can turn their bodies into anything and the longer they stay, the harder they are to get rid of.
Hosts: Collectives of spirits of former idigam or pangean beasts who seek to return to prominence. They further corruption and hope to upset the natural order enough to reform it and create a new world with a different order.
Corruption: Corruption is the twisting of the natural order into something it was never meant to be. Corruption occurs whenever something absorbs essence that is different from its intended essence. Whenever a grass eater consumes flesh, or a spirit eats something it shouldn't eat, there's a risk that the foreign essence alters the very core of the creature consuming it. Corruption creates new strange beings that were never meant to be. While some of these creatures can fit in the local spirit hierarchy, most become malignant and seeks to corrupt others and themselves further. Corruption can also be the work of an external force. Something that seeps into creatures and alters them for their very own purpose. This kind of corruption is called The Wyrm by wise Garou.
Humans hasten this with their technology and corrupting behavior. When they tear down forest and raise buildings and genetically modified crops. Wise Garou know that corruption can create a new sundering. The strange corrupted beings also create more openings for the abyss.
Gauru who fall to corruption are known as Fallen if they have their entire belief subverted while those who simply join it for the power it posses are called Black Spiral Dancers.
Idigam: Spirits of concepts not yet visualized, understood or even thought of by man or werekin alike. The idigam are dangerous as they bring with them completly new and alien concepts to reality. Once an Idigam coalesces into its full form, the new concept is born into reality by the minds it has touched. Werewolves, being part spirit is less affected by this, but entire packs has fallen to Idigams in the past.
Most Idigams were bound deep in the shadow or in remote parts of the world were they can do no harm, but sometimes they manage to escape or new ones are born into being in the horizon or appears from... somewhere else...
Some Idigam are the same beings as "the earthbound".
Other werekin: While rare, there are other werekin out there who have much of the same abilities that the gauru has. Some speak of Bastets, werecats of the old world and jaguars of the new world while others speak of rarer werekind that have yet to make their presence known.
After the pure and forsaken killed their father, some of their kin tried to fix their loss of power by destroying other pangean gods. Many other shifter fathers and mothers fell to the werewolves during this periid, known as the war of rage. This caused other shifters to loose much of their strength. Some withdrew from the world entierly and others went extinct. To this day, many shifters fear wereeolvesbfor this.
They know fully well that the gauru were able to kill their own father deity... what's to say they can't do the same to them?
Pangeans: The Pangeans are the primal gods of the old world. The physical manifestations of concepts and creatures that was once prominent and lived in the old pangean world. Pangeans are not spirits and some of them have even fathered their own breeds of werekin.
All werewolves posses gifts, depending on their heritage (Homid, Metis or Lupus) and from their moon phase. Some wolves however, are born with extraordinary gifts that surpass that of other werewolves and grant them considerable abilities. he Khrinos have far more dangerous and plentiful gifts than the forsaken or pure as they are closer to their slain father than the other wolves.
Mages: The Ascension War and the Innovatio Conflict
There's a terrible hidden history of the world that goes deeper than even other supernatural beings know. History is not what we know... but rather, history is a playground for powers unimaginable for mere mortals. The world is affected powerfully by something called the consensus. People's belief define how reality works and what is magic and what not is. Currently, the Technocracy rules over the consensus with science while the magic of old is pushed back to the fringes of society.
But not only the world is at stake... Ascended beings wage a war which is only kept in check by the Pax Arcana in the Supernal Realm. This conflict, known as the Innovatio war is ongoing and keeping reality in a flux. The Oracles are keeping the Exarchs from imposing their will upon reality and rewriting history as they see fit. Despite all their power, the technocracy are unable to fight a direct war against gods... and thus they let that war be handled by the Oathbound. Instead the technocracy seeks to starve the Exarchs and the Oracles of the precious resources and quintessences that they need to cast their earth shattering spells.
Once named The Order of Reason, the Technocracy has always striven for progress and the benefit of mankind. At least that was their original motivation. During the Dark Ages and before, powerful and mad sorcerors without any sort of ethical behaviour ruled over mankind and what went bump in the night destroyed lives and families. The Order of Reason came togheter to stop all this. They sought to make magic accessible to the common man by science.
Today, The Technocracy has become an oppressive and tyrannical machine that stiffles human creativity and influence on the world, or so the traditions would have you believe. The Technocracy however claims to instead have tightened ranks against the terrors of the Traditions.
Once magic were common in the world and the traditions ruled openly and fairly... Well, not even the traditions will deny that many of their ranks ruled with an iron fist and a tyranny that rials that of the Technocracy today. But today, they fight for the freedom of man and the creativity of mankind.
The Techocracy seeks to destroy all other magick that isn't their Science. The traditions on the other hand, want to awaken mankind and let everyone have a chance to ascend. Not just those the Technocracy deems worthy.
Unlike their opponents, the Traditions are a mixed multitude of various cultures, beliefs and ideas. This makes the traditions far more flexible than their opponent, but their Magick is also prone to Paradox that spells danger for the careless.
The Oathbound Magi
The Oathbound are magis with an ancient heritage. All Magi families are a result of the Innovatio war and a pact made between the Exarchs and the Oracles in a past that quite possible no longer is a part of our world. The families are protected from the ascension war by the very same pact that created them. The Oathbound has another path to ascension that leads through the supernal realm. Once thus ascended, they become not just pawns but players of the Innovatio war.
The Oathbound have a very specific advantage that the Traditions and the Technocracy lacks. Oathbound awakenings go through the blood. Entire families are awakened and join togheter to play their part in a war few of them even understand. The Technocracy lets them be as long as they don't do anything that threatens their own ascension war.
The Nephandi: Some awakened seek truth and knowledge in the primordial depths of the world. Some come back changed... The nephandi are awakened who have have had their minds and souls altered by the meeting of strange primordial creatures at the edge of reality or in the depths of the abyss. The Nephandi aren't mad in the way of the marauders, but they are twisted and have utterly alien goals. The Nephandi seek to force other awakened to join them and non-awakened beings are treated more as tools or things than actual beings.
Some of the horrid things the Nephandi worship has strange similiarities to the Idigam that the werewolves so fear while others claim to be the old gods that the Exarchs once cast out from the supernal realm. Yet others claim they are entierly new beings that has come into being because of the awakened who met them, creating a chicken or egg paradox.
Maurauders: Not an enemy per se, but rather mages who have turned to so insane and had their beliefs twisted inside out. They now follow a completly different set of rules and enforce their paradigm upon reality, making their spells covert while other spells become vulgar. They are a danger to all mages and most magi deal with them swiftly and terminally if they can't be cured. Many Marauders come into being when an awakened causes a Quiet upon using a too powerful effect.
The Exarchs: In a distant past no longer part of our reality, Awakened beings had the audacity to not just ascend, but to create something called the Silver Ladder. Using this, Awakened beings could be artificially ascended and thus they assaulted the palaces of the very gods themselves. This war was "won" (if such a word even applies to what happened) and before the ladder was destroyed, taking that part of the past with it, the Exarchs conquered most of the supernal realm and became tyrants seeking to enslave humanity. They seek to reserve awakening to their own worshippers, hoping to snuff out the spark that makes humanity able to awaken despite their wishes.
The are an enemy to all awakened beings, except those that has fallen and began to worship them. While their modus operandi seems eerie similiar to that of the Nephandi, the Exarchs are wastly more powerful and the only reason they have yet to conquer reality might be the Innovatio War, where ascended oracles fight to hinder them and to loosen their grip on reality. One of the primary goals of the Technocracy is to permanently block the supernal realm from the fallen world so as to forever cast off the yoke of the Innovatio war.
The Abyss: Not just a single faction, but rather all the beings of the abyss who wants to tear the world away from its moorings and have it descend into the very abyss they came from.
Pangeans: Magi of old hunted and killed the Pangeans for their power and their souls. This has left an ancient scar in many a pangean psyche and they hunt Mage and Werewolf alike. Mages on the other hand still find benefits with the power they can steal from the pangeans...
Demons: The Revolt
The Fallen: Angels that were ousted from the supernal realm during the war in heaven. They were sentenced to eternity in the depths of the underworld. Then, a great cataclysm happened that shook the walls of hell itself. Great cracks appeared in the nightmare realm and many of the fallen managed to escape through those cracks...
...Only to find that the world was no longer the same place. Heaven could no longer be found or traveled to. Many of the fallen are confused and lost. They all expected one enormous last battle against their creator and instead found a world that seemed bereft of any of gods plans. The fallen now face the host of their jailors and various other foes who would stop at nothing to upsurp the power of the fallen or force them to do their own bidding.
Some of the fallen have organized themselves into what they call legions, each with their own agendas. Some seek redemption and wants to enter heaven again. others seek to usurp the power of god now that he's gone and yet others sees the Host as the one thing preventing their rule over reality and thus seek to win their ancient war. A precious few wants to make their own version of heaven, regardless of the cost.
The Unchained: Created first to fight against the Hosts forces, the Angels of the god machine has since become more like its pawns than actual warriors. Those who rebelled against the god machine are what has become the Rebels. Some seek to escape the control of the god machine and to become truly free from its influence and thus gain true life. Others want to remake themselves into new entities, capable of forming themselves into something far greater than before, perhaps even to rival the god machine itself.
The Lost: The natural forces of the world are ruled by spirits of different ranks and powers. Among these are the Lost, spirits who have either lost their way and become something else or simply grown tired of being what they were created to be and have since become something else. The other forces seek to bring them back to the fold so that the world isn't threatened by the disappearance of other spirits.
The fallen recognizes the benefit of cooperation and have thus joined together into many different factions to protect themselves from both their enemies and other factions. The factions are: ...
The Earthbound: The earthbound are creatures that once were incredibly powerful, some even godlike, that have been bound to the material realm through anchors and prisons. Many of them wants nothing else than to shatter their prisons and thus return to their divine power once more. Some of these were the ancient deities of mankind in ages past while others are new powers that the fallen barely recognize, having come into being either after the fall or changed so much that they are no longer what they once were. Some Earthbound are angels that were imprisoned much like the fallen. Summoned by powerful sorcerors and other powers over the years, these angels have long since lost whatever what was left of their humanity and instead they've become more like the monstrous earthbound they once fought.
The Earthbound constantly wage war against each other and waxes and wanes in power depending on their successes in their eternal war. Some Unchained and Fallen serve weaker Earthbound to prevent stronger ones from growing strong enough to upset the status quo. Other betray their lieges when they have gathered enough power and thus prevent them from ruling instead.
Abyssals: Beings from the abyss, some who might even once have been angels so corrupted by the lie that they are entirely new creatures. They seek to consume the world and replace the supernal realm with the Abyss. Their very presence reveals nearby Demons, ensuring their eternal hatred. The bastion of the Abyssals, the Abyss, seems impenetrable to demons and those who have attempted to enter have never returned.
The Host: One of the hosts, the Bull Host, was set upon the task to guard hell itself and prevent the fallen from escaping. Fanatically loyal to God, whom they believe are the creator o the entire cosmos, the Host seek to bring every fallen back to the prison and to destroy the Unchained. They see the state of the world as proof that the fallen must return to their prison. The Host believes that the Unchained and the Lost are the cause of the cataclysm that released the fallen. The Host seeks to restore the order of the universe and thus make God return.
The Host has built their own fortress on the edge of Hell, seeking to prevent anything more from escaping.
The God Machine: The God Machins is a clockwork engine of strange arcane power. Neither the Fallen, the Lost or the Unchained knows if the God Machine is an invader from another reality, the creation of god or something else. The host believes the god machine was built by god but has been corrupted by the Earthbound and the Abyss.
The God Machine seeks to bring back the Unchained under its rule and it seeks to bind the fallen to it. If possible, it also seeks to destroy the Host through its arcane matrixes.
Changeling: The Lost
The Stolen: The ones from Changeling the lost core book. Children or adults stolen by the true fae. Either presumed dead or their dissappearance not noticed at all as a simulacrum was left in their place. Having lost all their connections to the world, the Stolen now seek to make a new existence with what they have. This can be very difficult as their time in Arcadia has changed them beyond most peoples comprehension. What's true however is that all of them are still wanted back by the fae and thus they hide and seek to prevent the true fae from coming to our world to bring them back.
Most Stolen are wary of the Exiles as they might be spies in disguise...
Exiles: True fae that has, for any number of reasons, left the faerie realm behind and has since become more like mortals. Some were exiled for crimes and long for a way back while others are hunted for various reasons. Some are rare breed who in their true form might be hunted for their powers or appearance. While they find a certain kinship with the Stolen, it's maddening to them that the Stolen still won't trust them even after perhaps a life time of work to gain their trust. Yet constant betrayal by spies and tricksters force them to accept this as truth.
The True Fae: As old as time itself, the True Fae seek to bring the stolen back home and drive the exiles either into destruction or capture. True Fae are as mysterious as some old gods and its difficult to know their true intentions. In their homeland, they're virtually gods and can do things beyond the scope of understanding even for the Stolen. The Exiles knew some of that power but has since lost it. The true fae are not a single faction but many different courts and gatherings of Fae seek different goals.
The Strix: Whatever relation Changelings once had to the Strix, it has now turned into something antagonistic. Some old Strix can be asked and they simply refer to the fae once seeking their destruction despite the debt owned. The Strix often ignore the Stolen, but Exiles and their ilk are antagonized or outright attacked if possible.
The Earthbound: The fae predates human culture and some of the Earthbound claim to once have been fae themselves but has since turned into demons. If this is true, that would mean that the fae perhaps are more ancient than previously thought. Some earthbound seek to absorb both the lost and exiles to increase their power but most of them are vary of the true fae and often only target those changelings who have fully left the influence of the fae. Those who haven't are used as pawns in their schemes.
The Old Gods: Not all ancient gods were lost, bound or destroyed. Some survived and live on, albeit in different forms. These old gods seek to restore their once enormous power and see the changeling as perfect vessels for this. The old gods aren't really an enemy per se, but some are. Some seek to usurp the changelings power while other seek to promote them... in the end, they're all selfish and few of them hold the changelings survival in a high regard. Some of these old gods are old pangeans.
Mummy: The Curse
Mummies are part of the undead, albeit not at all in the same way as vampires. Gifted eternal life by spells, curses or divine ruling. The risen are creatures that don't remain the the underworld after their deaths. They have the unique ability to return to the world of the living.
The risen return to recover relics, claim glyphs and other places of power for their cults. The risen fight over these because they award them power in the underworld. This power can be used to rule in the underworld and some of the risen are tasked by their rulers to use this power to keep their ancient kingdoms and empires alive in the afterlife while others use the power to be able to return to the living once more because they find the underworld a dull and hostile place.
Ancient warfare continues both in the underworld and in the realm of the living. Mummies clash and even bonds forged in the underworld can be broken if strained enough. Some ancient empires has it in for each other to the point were their underworld empires meet in battle.
Mummies form Courts with Kings and Emperors (or Pharao's) ruling over their courtiers. Kings send their courtiers out on tasks both in the underworld and in the world of the living. Some risen strike out on their own if they disagree or find little solace in their current court. There also exist alliances between kingdoms in the underworld with equal say in how their cours are run.
Some of the strife is purely political. Some mummies refuse to let rivals or opponents gain any ground in the underworld or the in the land of the living. Some strife is for power. If their power runs out, their souls are lost even to the underworld.
The factions of the risen are called Guilds and form general groups wherein the risen are grouped. Some defy the guilds and form their own factions, but the general ones are:
Kings & Emperors: Ancient rulers who were entombed and gifted eternal life through rites of passing
Priests & Mystics:
Scribes & Nobles:
Warriors & Generals:
Craftsmen & Laborers:
The precursors: Ancient even to the mummies of old, the precursors are a civilization that has been oblitirated by the passage of time and the Innovatio war. Desperate to get back their positions and erase all other civilizations, this civilization has made pacts with both the abyss and the old gods to try to reclaim their history.
The Old Gods: Not all ancient gods were lost, bound or destroyed. Some survived and live on, albeit in different forms. These old gods seek to restore their once enormous power and see the mummies as potential vessels for this. Some old gods have already claimed the Precursors and fuel them with weird ancient powers.
The history of the noWoD is not just long and mysterious, but it's also fractured and twisted togheter. The noWoD has been through many iterations of its history and no one, not even the oracles or gods of the world can tell where it all really began. Not everything is remade with every iteration though. Sometimes, something survives and these things remain in the current history...
The cosmology of the World of Darkness is strange and contains much more than the eye can see. The world is divided into several parts, among them the shadow and the world, that make up the entire world of darkness. See the article on cosmology.