(Please note Abyssals are not demons! For classic demons you want the Nephilim, which are catagorized as Celestials.)
Strengths: Abyssals can smell mental instability. They may not know what form of insanity a person has, but they can draw Quintessence from it, using it to increase the power or duration of their spells much the way the Faemorii can use Lumina or the Celestials use Pneuma. Drawing it through touch tends to be better than from afar. Abyssals are also highly mutatable. They can purchase mutations at the Chimeran cost and can utilize them as efficiently. They can not take rare mutations or ultrarare ones, and can only have up to 5 mutations before additional costs are incurred. Note that mutations cannot be purchased at character creation. Abyssals are immune to anything which causes nightmares or hallucinations. Abyssals have a natural "glamour" power much like the Faemorii, which allows them to pass as human if they wish.
Weaknesses: Abyssals come from another Realm, and their bodies are so different that they do not easily accept technological augmentations. Any augmentations they manage to acquire will have a habit of occasionally glitching out, and they can not take Augmentcraft. Additionally, technology and Abyssals are not friends. They can not start with any skills from the technology skill tree, but can learn them over time. Abyssals are allergic to shatterwood. Touching it can cause blisters, and wounds from it are harder to heal.
Lifespan: Abyssals were immortal in the Abyss realm, but now have a shortened lifespan of less than 1000 years. They're not too pleased about the concept of permanent death now being a thing.
Background: It is difficult for a mortal to understand the Realm known as the Abyss. Some have peered into the Abyss and lost their minds. Others have tried to explain what they saw in the Abyss, but only came up with nightmarish descriptions of impossible vistas and unthinkable horrors. Some say that H.P. Lovecraft and those who write in the same vein are simply trying to reconcile parts of the Abyss they have seen with what their mind can comprehend. Others believe that the Abyssals are reaching out through their portals into the minds of others in order to use them as conduits to express themselves. Many consider the Abyssals to be monsters incapable of true integration into the new society here on Juniper. Their desires are often destructive, and their regard for law is low. Abyssals are often blamed for violent crimes in the city, as their love of bloodshed tends to be fairly notorious. Nonetheless, most hide these proclivities well enough that they can seemingly assimilate, though it's possible they are just biding their time in order to achieve their ultimate aims.
And what are their ultimate aims? Depends on the Abyssal. Some wish to conquer and destroy. Some want knowledge. Some want fear. Some want to become gods, or at least be worshipped like them. And some are more innocuous, wanting only to challenge themselves to become stronger. Are there such things as "good" Abyssals? Well, good and bad are definitely relative terms. Is it truly evil if one is just doing what one believes is necessary to thrive? Does an ultimately good aim become evil if one must commit evil acts to achieve it? These are questions each person must answer for themselves.
The Abyssals are creatures of a Realm known as The Abyss. A number of them found themselves on Juniper when their Realm collapsed, as it was the nearest adjacent Realm with open portals. Unlike many Realms which have been destroyed by the Dark, the Abyss was destroyed a war between two gods, the same two gods who initially joined forces to create the Abyssal Realm in the first place. A god of Time, known as Chronsarylith, and a goddess of Death, Basylika, joined forces to create The Abyss. They wished to simultaneously exercise their power over their Realm to create a place where they could rule benevolently. At first, the Abyss was a paradise, and the creatures who lived there were cared for by their gods. It rivaled Avalon for its beauty and magic, and the Abyssals ruled over a thousand planets within the realm. Time was kind to the Abyssals, and Death was never painful or frightening.
Unfortunately, paradise did not last.
There are always entities which will be drawn to magically powerful realms. One such entity found its way to the Abyss. It called itself The Golden One, and it made itself known to Chronsarylith, and to Basylika. Some people believe it to be an emissary of another god, perhaps Ael, or Lucifer, even Eris. Whatever it was, it ingratiated itself into the confidence of both the gods of the Abyss. It manipulated each of them into believing that the other was working to kill them, and control the Abyss alone. The ancient war that erupted sundered the paradise that the Abyss had been. A Realm in chaos attracts predators, other gods who might want to take over it, creatures who sense weakness and wish to prey upon those abandoned by their gods. Paradise was lost and all lives were in peril.
However, a number of Abyssals banded together on the planet of Arcanos, utilizing their combined powers to protect that planet. At first, they sought to save themselves, and to survive the war of the gods. And later, when it became clear that the Abyss was being literally torn apart by various entities, and survival was not possible, they sought to escape the Abyss.
Arcanos was a strange and beautiful place, equal parts awe-inspiring, and terrifying. Many gravitated to the city of An'lorica, from whence the Arcanos High Council ruled all of Arcanos. Situated on elegant onyx pillars high above an acidic mire, An'lorica appeared delicate from afar, as if a strong gust of wind might blow it over. But it may be considered one of the most cut-throat and dangerous places in all the Realms. Despite their seeming dedication to surviving the greater war, the Councilors and their followers constantly jockeyed to take over Arcanos in a constant subtle political dance that always bordered on not-quite-openly violent. The rest of the planet was awash in strange locales and impossible landscapes.
Eventually, the war that had destroyed so much of the Abyss began to destroy Arcanos. During a ferocious battle, half of An'lorica was knocked into the Acid Sea, and with it, all of the Arcanos High Council. Without the Councilors' combined magics protecting the planet, damage was swiftly done. Emergency escape portals were constructed, and the Abyssals of Arcanos fled, many of them ending up on Juniper, directly deposited into New Convergence. Unfortunately, it's entirely possible that the Celestials of the warring gods have chased the Abyssals here, either wishing to destroy those they see as having betrayed their gods by not dying for them, or simply wanting to drag them back to the tiny pockets of the Abyss which still remain, to use them as batteries to fuel the warring gods powers. Either way...Abyssals have much to be worried about on top of the idea that they must now assimilate into a culture very different from the one they once knew.
Like with many magical creatures, the Abyssals draw magic from others, in specific...from humans. But, unlike the cases of Lumina, or Pneuma, Abyssals draw power called Quintessence. Quintessence is generated by insanity, by chaos of the mind, and mental confusion. In Arcanos, there were human type creatures, known as the Burdened, who did the labor and were servants to the Abyssals. However, the Abyssals also could reach out, using a particular form of mental Portalcrafting they called "Mindgates", and touch the minds of creatures in completely other Realms, driving them mad and drawing Quintessence in this manner. Some people say that this is the cause of some forms of madness and visions of monsters in other Realms, perhaps even the source of some nightmares on Earth. However, the Mindgate power no longer seems to work, a huge loss for the Abyssals. They must now draw Quintessence more directly, and in much the same way as Faemorii can draw Lumina or Celestials can draw Pneuma. Abyssals in New Convergence are allowed to all speak Abyssal, with the Cetea additionally being able to spean Cetean when underwater.
Cetea: Creatures of the sea's depths, scaled warriors and beautiful sirens. The Cetea are more than just mermaids and tritons, they are an ancient and proud race living at the depths of Arcanos' Sibilant Sea. It is said that many mer races of other planets actually trace back to the Cetea, who occasionally would venture to other Realms to hunt in their seas, not wanting to disturb the delicate ecology of their own. (It's probable that the mer of Earth, were a combination of Cetea and Fomorii genetics.) The Cetea's great city of Lemuria was said to be so deep within the Sibilant Sea that no surface light could reach it. There's a problem for the Cetea, though. Despite the fact that they are creatures of the water, water on Juniper is scarce. For many, this makes Juniper a horrifying place where they have had to eke out an existence, savoring what water they can, when they can. The Cetea have long since learned how to transform so as to walk on land, but...many of them find this an awkward mode of travel at best. There is technology, though expensive, which alters the Cetea's weight, and makes it so that they can "swim" though the air. (This will be released as a purchaseable Augmentation.) The Cetea have a special underwater language, Cetean, which only they can speak. They tend to worship Leviathan, a child of of Chronsarylith, a giant, tentacled creature, who has swam through all oceans throughout time, and whose wisdom is as deep as the endless sea. (The Cetea can breathe underwater and swim rapidly. They can also bestow these abilities with a kiss. They can also bestow the ability to cast one of their level 1 magics upon another with a kiss, but this only lasts for one casting at a time. Cetea have enchanted voices with which they can manipulate emotions subtly, but quite powerfully, when they sing. Their tears, when applied to a weapon, cause temporary, but intense, depression to a victim.)
Naga: Just as the Ceteans are said to have been ancestors of the Mer, the Naga are said to be the ancestors of the Lamia. The Naga hail from the Ruinous Shore, where the land meets the Acidic Sea. They pride themselves on being immune to the acid. Snakelike in nature, the Naga can take a humanoid form, a half-snake and half-humanoid form, or a completely serpentine form about as big around as a person, but several times longer. They feature a variety of scale tones, but rarely black, and have a jewel inset in their foreheads in true form. They are known to eat people, but never other Naga, for the Naga see themselves as semi-divine. In truth, many of the Burdened who lived near Ruinous Shore also believed the Naga to be semi-divine, and it was not uncommon for priests to arise and preach sacrifice of everyone from captives to virgins to warriors in order to cure whatever may be ailing their villages. The Naga tend to be led by a queen or king, and it was the Queen Zasha who was serving on the Arcanos High Council when An'lorica was destroyed. She is believed dead. Many of the Naga claim to be related to the royal family, or the Bodha, a legendary figure who is said to have achieved true deity status and could then use his mind to create and destroy entire landscapes, and who could kill a man with a thought. The Naga don't so much worship Bodha as assume that they are simply on the path towards the evolution Bodha achieved. (Naga are immune to acid and the amount of toxins they have soaked into their bodies over time make them quite toxic. A Naga bite causes extreme, maddening pain to the area that grows over time until treated and can cause the affected area to be unusable until it is healed. A Naga's gaze is hypnotic and makes people susceptible to the Naga's suggestion, though they can only have one target at a time. The target does not have to look directly into the Naga's eyes. It's enough for the Naga to look at you. This power is known not to work on Wraiths, who have an exceptional amount of willpower.)
Strix:The Strix, known to many other cultures as "the birds of ill omen", lived in the Forest of Faces in the chilly north of Arcanos. The Forest of Faces is called such because many of the trees there have trunks that seem to have knots all over them, shaped like faces in varying degrees of agony. Other trees appear to be hands stretching upwards, as if giants were being swallowed into the ground. It is here that the Strix nest. There are various variations of Strix, though the three most common are owl-like, bat-like, and raven-like. The bat-type Strix are known to be bloodthirsty, literal drinkers of blood. Raven-like Strix are known for being tricksters. And the owl-like Strix are commonly thought of as wise, but cruel (with a lot of similarities to the Juniperan constellation of Nyctimene). It is said to be perpetually twlight in the Forest of Faces. Only the bravest travel there, usually to beg favor of the Strix, often knowing that they will be called upon to sacrifice some portion of their own flesh to prove themselves. The Strix have no proper society, and live particularly feral lives. All is communally decided, even who will sit on the Arcanos High Council, when a gathering known as The Murder is called once yearly, when the red star above Arcanos reached its zenith. Lasting for two weeks, the Murder was typically a feast -- with each Strix bringing some meat, often people, and often still alive. It was a common time for the Strix to find mates, as well. Strix can transform into humanoid form, as well as a half human-half bird form. They are one of the few subraces that can fly by default. The Strix once worshipped Basylika, though many stopped doing so during the war. (The Strix can fly, though it can be difficult to fly far beyond New Convergence due to the mists that sit in the atmosphere. They can also stomach any kind of meat, even spoiled meat. Strix have three different types of screeches they can use. 1) Mating screech. Although this is typically used to find mates, it is also a screech that can be heard from very far away. Sometimes even miles. 2) Prey screech. This is used to momentarily stun their prey when they are attacking. If prey is fleeing, it must stop for two rounds. If it is attacking, the attack takes an extra round - even magic casting. This screech can only be used once a scene. 3) Feast screech. This screech calls to other birds in the area to temporarily assist the Strix in the hopes of sharing food. If the Strix does not pay in food, the other birds may attack the Strix after this assistance.)
Voidlyth aka High Drow: Of all the races, the Voidlyth exercised the most power in the city of An'lorica itself. The great city, they say, was once built by the Voidlyth utilizing their magic to pull onyx up from below the Acidic Sea. Those who did not live in the great city, often remained in the Voidlyth caverns, in the area of Arcanos known as, "Shattered Steppe". Cruel and cut-throat, the Voidlyth are tall and lanky, with dark skin and pale hair. Many know them as the High Drow, to differentiate them from their descendants on many realms who are known simply as "Drow", but they generally refer to themselves as the Voidlyth. The Voidlyth tend to function as a matriarchy, with the matrons of the Voidlyth houses and the priestesses of Basylika holding the most power. Males tend to be turned to fighting stock, breeding stock, or labor stock, depending on their station and ability. Of all of the Abyssals of Arcanos, the Voidlyth are the most faithful to one of the gods of the Abyssals, Basylika. They only joined with the other races of Arcanos because the priestesses had come to believe that the Golden One had used magic or trickery to turn Basylika against her faithful followers. Though, in truth, many of them think she's just fine and that she obviously would eventually turn to destroying her children because, well duh, she's a Goddess of Death. That does not mean they have to lay down and die -- quite the contrary, respect will only be given in the afterlife for those who fight against the goddess, because she wants fighters with her, not the weak. It is said that in the deepest caverns of the Shattered Steppe, the Voidlyth have a temple where they keep "the void shard". Nobody really knows much of what this is, but it IS a rite of passage to spend a night in its presence, naked but with a dagger. It is said to bring forth one's deepest secrets and fears, and only about half of the Voidlyth survive with their sanity. Many of them end their lives before the night is done, using the dagger. This process, known as the Proving, is mandatory to achieve any rank within the Voidlyth sociey. (The Voidlyth get the first level of Earth Elemental magic for free and can start with the second level of the magic. The Voidlyth have the ability to call upon their goddess, Basylika, for protection. Doing so hardens shadow around their bodies, giving them a strong on-demand armor against casted magics with physical damage effects. This can only be used once a day for one scene. It will decay as magic destroys it. They can cast no magic of their own while the armor is in place, but can participate in combat. This does not raise their Magic Defense skills, it simply cuts down on the amount of magic damage done to them.)
Gargoyles: Also from the Shattered Steppes, though from the peaks and pillars above rather than the caverns below, are the Gargoyles. These monstrous stone-like entities perch high above, waiting for unsuspecting prey to wander through the pathways below. And, when they see something tasty, they swoop down and feast. They are, by and large, not considered to be very bright, and the phrase "rocks for brains" is not completely inaccurate when it comes to most Gargoyles. They have a difficulty learning to read. Gargoyles are particularly territorial, and have little to no problem attacking someone they feel is coming too threateningly close -- especially during breeding season. The Gargoyles lay a clutch of stone eggs which often do not hatch for a century, and when they do, it is not uncommon for the parents to not be there. Thus, it is not uncommon for the first and strongest of the Gargoyle clutch to EAT the rest of the clutch. Occasionally, Gargoyles form up into clans, usually when someone strong and charismatic enough comes along to be able to lead such a group. Clans can be terrifying, leading raids on nearby villages, eating people, destroying property, and even abducting women. Human women can give birth to Gargoyle clutches, though it does kill them nine times out of ten. Because Gargoyles are not particularly smart but ARE particularly strong, some more clever residents of Arcanos gain their trust and loyalty, and then use them as guards for places or even people. It is known that Gargoyles can be more easily magically bound to pacts than other types of creature, so that does help these "clever residents" sometimes. Due to their timeless nature, since they are stone, and the fact that they are immortal unless destroyed by unconvential means, the Gargoyles worshipped both gods of the Abyssals at first, though they called them "Basi" and "Chronos". Many abandoned the religion after the war began. Gargoyles can not fly. They can, however, glide downwards. (Gargoyles are too heavy to fly, but can glide downwards. They are highly resistant to piercing damage. They can also camouflage themselves to look like stone statues or simply a part rock or stone, and in this form resist many kinds of physical damage, though they are unable to move, cast magic, or do anything else. It takes full round to transform into and out of this, at which time they are more vulnerable. Although they are easier than most to bind to magical pacts, they do have some resistance to mental manipulation via casted magic or other latent powers, because they tend to be a bit mentally...dense. This isn't an increase to the magical defense skills, they can just feel freer to misunderstand or misdirect mental manipulation.)
(Highly Restricted) Drakes: It is perhaps untrue that Mab of the Fae feared the Dragons, who are known to generally mind their own business and not be particularly interested in the Fae. It is more likely that she feared the Drakes. Hailing from the Boiling Boneyards, a swampy, steaming area filled with tar pits and giant stacks of bones and skulls, Drakes are quick, terrifying and deadly. They range in size from as small as a housecat to as large as a building, are scaled and winged, and would be probably called "dragons" by those who do not know the subtle differences of size and shape. They eat bone and breathe fire, but perhaps more importantly, they can transform into beautiful humanoids who are notably capable when it comes to magic casting, their royalty supposedly as capable as the Faemorii royals. The king of the Drakes, Hartzog the Cruel, is said to have perished in the destruction of An'lorica, and with him, the other Drake royals. Nonetheless, many refugee Drakes are wistful for the city of Ossica, at the center of the Boiling Boneyards, which is said to have housed ten thousand magical artifacts. Drakes have a huge dedication to collecting and owning magical artifacts, believing that acquisition bequeaths power. In Drake thought, he who dies with the most toys...does indeed win. Drakes don't worship the Abyssal gods because they get nothing from it. (Like gargoyles, Drakes are typically too large to naturally fly, and are able to only glide downwards. However, they can buy the power of flight with XP, whereas Gargoyles can not. Drakes can breathe either fire, ice, or poison, but only one of those. This breath power can only be used once per scene, as it expends naturally produced fuel, poison, or freezing agent. The poison, if chosen, simply slows the target, and eventually, after they've breathed enough of it, they may pass out. Drakes can bite through almost anything, including metal, wood, and rock. However, they can not bite through magical items -- and can not bite through shatterwood.) (You must have played in CV for 4 months on a decently active character before you can apply to play a Drake.)