Strengths: Chimera have strong constitutions and enhanced endurance. They have "iron stomachs" and are able to digest, and gain nutrition, from things that would not normally be nutritious to humans, or might make them sick, such as uncooked meat or moldy bread, even bits of bone. Chimera are immune to biological (non-magical) disease. They can stay awake longer than humans without ill effects, and fight longer without fatigue. Their powers are often typically considered "physical" rather than magical, even if there is a magic aspect to them. Things that affect casting of magic usually don't affect Chimera powers, or at least do so to a reduced degree.
Weaknesses: Chimera have exaggerated response to the "radiation" bands of Juniper. They often require extra doses of AntiRad when visiting the Reach, twice as much as others. As for Ve Radiation? Well, it causes...strange side effects, though those side effects vary from Chimera to Chimera. For some it causes itching, or hiccups, sneezing, dizziness, or even just the strange sensation of being followed. Chimera can pick their side effect. The onset of the side-effect is not immediate, and can take up to several hours to begin presenting itself. For Cyborgs, Ve Radiation will begin to cause their augmentations to glitch and fail over time. However, only their augmentations will fail. They will be otherwise functional. There are able to use Radfilters like Robots.
Lifespan: Human in length unless they have mutations which extend it.
Scientific advancement has pushed human advancement through the aeons. However, advancement often has not only a price, but side-effects that are unexpected. One of the side-effects of scientific advancement in many Earth realms...is the rise of the Chimera.
Chimera are, at their core, what was originally known as "mutants". These mortal creatures, usually humans, suddenly developed new abilities, strange abilities that could not really be classified as magic, but nonetheless far beyond human capability. In early human civilizations, mutations were rare enough that there was no real reason to correlate them with scientific advancement. Many mutants were incorrectly labeled as cursed or evil beings. Some societies saw mutations as "punishments from God for wickedness". In such societies, a rejection of technology as being "wicked" often lowered the amount of mutants being produced, simply because there were less causes of mutation.
Nobody really knows how the relationship between mutation and technology really works. Some think it is a direct effect, that pollution, radiation, genetic manipulation, and other such advancements have led to mutations. But others believe that it's a less direct link, and simply that advances in science challenge the human body to keep up, and occasionally, those challenges are answered by the development of mutations. Either way, by the late 20th century on most Earth Realms, mutants were common enough to be the single "supernatural race" known to humanity. The Global Mutant Association, or GMA, was formed to promote the rights of mutants internationally in the early 1980s. Local chapters of the GMA were known as "Unions", due to a long-standing connection between mutants and the rise of unionization. Since many mutants came from areas where the poor were utilized to push technological advancement in factories, Mutants often arose as "champions" of the poor, standing up to corrupt bosses and factory foremen when others could not. They assisted in pushing unionization, and retained a connection to the lower economic classes (and in some cases organized crime) for many years.
However, the GMA was not aware that much of their early research into the causes of mutation had been stolen in an act of incredible corporate espionage by a company which would later call itself Vecratek. With the means to advance that research far more quickly than the GMA, Vecratek found a way to trigger mutations, and not just any mutation -- a single specific mutation. Vecratek had long been a medical company focused on mechanical prosthetics for limb replacement, and even organ replacement (first through transplants, and later through grown-to-order organs). However, Vecratek wanted to move beyond these things. Prosthetics were inefficient and transplants were prohibitive in their expense.
But, with mutation, in specific the single mutation Vecratek learned to produce with 16% efficiency, the body could be made to easily accept augmentations. Of course, 16% efficiency isn't much, especially when you realize that the other 84% of attempts...died. The process used to create the mutation, known as the Vylos Mutation, after the doctor who initially discovered it, caused such strain to the participants that many of them died during the process. The other 16% lost all memory of their former life. Of course, most people, given these odds and after being told they'd lose everything they once knew, would turn down the option to be forcibly mutated. And because of this, Vecratek ended up pairing with some rather...disreputable governments, in order to procure candidates for their research.
These governments wanted soldiers. And soldiers they got. These new soldiers were known as Cyborgs, and without a past to weigh them down, or knowledge of the pain they had gone through to become Cyborgs, many of them were sold a line of bullshit about how they had opted into the program voluntarily. They were told that they were escaping brutal pasts, that they had joined instead of going to prison, or that they simply wanted to become something more for their country. The Cyborgs were given new names, and put to work in squads. In some Earth Realms, these eventually became Death Squads when D13, an apocalyptic disease, turned much of humanity into raving lunatics. Cyborgs were, by the nature of the Vylos Mutation, immune to the disease.
But, eventually, Vecratek and the Death Squads broke down. Without goverment oversight following D13, the Cyborgs abandoned the Death Squads, many of them figuring out that they were being used by the governments, and by Vecratek. Many Cyborgs simply became mercenaries. Others set out to reclaim their lives in other ways. A few even managed to recover some of their lost memories and start down ther path to finding who they once were.
However, a small group of Vecratek scientists managed to get together for form a new corporation: Lx17 Labs. Lx17 was based out of Area 51 in Nevada, the site having been abandoned by the United States government. Here, they continued their experiments. However, instead of focusing on the Vylos Mutation, Lx17 had a new idea. Cyborgs were too human, too intent on having their own lives and going their own way. But what if Lx17 could use mutation to come up with soldiers, but instead of combining them with machines, they would combine them with domesticated animals. What if you could have a human with a dog's ability to track scent. Or someone who could climb like a goat? What if a soldier could grow their own wool to keep warm in the frozen areas?
This was the origin of a new line of mutants, known first as Chimera, and later as the Wildkin when the group of mutated peoples as a whole decided to call themselves "Chimera" rather than "Mutants" as a re-branding to incorporate all kinds of mutants more seamlessly into one society. The Wildkin liked their new name because it symbolized their escape from Lx17 Labs back into the wild.
Now on Juniper, there is no longer a GMA to hold the mutants and their new family together. However, many Chimera still believe in helping those who are downtrodden, and putting their hand out to pull up others along with them. There is a local Union chapter at the Nexus Shelter, which assists Chimera in learning about utilizing their mutations safely, seeking employment that incorporates (or at least doesn't shun them for) their mutations, and finding unconventional forms of healthcare (such as care needed by Cyborgs for older augmentations).
Recently, some anti-technology organizations have pointed to the rise of mutations and often one-off examples of "violent Cyborgs", "Dirty Wildkin" and "Criminal Mutant organizations as proof that technology should be curtailed, and a more "natural" life embraced. In particular, the "ATL" or "Anti-Technopollution League" has targeted Chimera for disturbing hate crimes. Several Chimera have been beaten, or even lynched.
Some mutants can suppress their mutations in order to look human. Others use technological appearance emitters to look human if they wish.
Mutants: "Natural" mutants still comprise most of the Chimera out there. Though truthfully, they are no more natural than other types. There is now a definite correlation between scientific advancement and mutation, though no one single cause is known. In truth, it's more likely to be a plethora of causes, since each mutant is unique from the next. Mutants continue to hold tight to their history of fighting for the "little guy", often undertaking "whatever needs to be done" in order to achieve their ends. Sometimes, this ends with mutants getting mixed up in organized crime, albeit often with the best intentions at the outset. Humans can become mutants at almost any time in their lives, though the developmental ages or times of high stress are the most common. Other supernaturals typically can not become mutants, though on vary rare occasions they may develop traits which seem very close to mutation. Mutants do not start with magics, but instead with 18 points of mutations. See the mutations page for more details. (Mutants are very adaptable to their environment. They have a resistance to cold environments as well as heat, though fire will still burn them and they can eventually freeze. All mutants have a low level regeneration power that will allow them to heal 3 times as fast as humans.)
Wildkin: Wildkin, formerly "Chimera", are humans with the traits of domesticated animals. (The irony of them calling themselves WILD when they are domesticated is not lost on many.) They were created by Lx17 labs to be loyal soldiers for rising governments, but they escaped (en masse) the facility at Area 51 where they were held. Although many of them lost their human memories, much like the Cyborgs, some of them GAINED the memories of the animals they were merged with...though this is not always as much of a certainty as it is with Cyborgs. Some Wildkin retain their human memories as well. Many Wildkin do not know how to integrate into society and end up in Volse for debt or breaking the law. But others learn how to utilize their mutations to become useful members of society. New Wildkin do show up sometimes, ones that were not created by Lx17 labs, though invariably some sort of incident involving an animal and scientific mishap has occurred. The most common types of Wildkin are: cat, dog, mouse, ferret, goat, pig, sheep, duck, and chicken. Wildkin do not start out with magics, but instead with 18 points of mutations. See the mutations page for more details. (Wildkin can turn into the animal they are merged with, though there is always something a little off about the animal. It has human eyes, or is a little too big, or walks on two feet. In this form they can speak, but can not utilize their other mutations. They are also only slightly stronger than that animal would normally be.)
Cyborgs: Cyborgs were originally created by Vecratek by exploiting processes meant to provoke the Vylos Mutation - the ability to fuse biology and technology seamlessly without side-effect. Unfortunately, the process utilized to provoke that mutation left many dead, and all successful cases without a memory of their past life. After breaking free of the control of Vecratek, wherein they had been forced to work as soldiers, Cyborgs often took up mercenary work. A few were later able to recover some of their prior memories. Now, with augmentations beyond human capability becoming more common, many people think that Cyborgs are dinosaurs, with older technology. However, this is not true. The discovery that their powers come from a mutation has allowed Cyborgs to utilize this knowledge to figure out how to more intimately integrate mutation and technology, with some now able to upgrade old augmentations. New Cyborgs now sometimes come into being, usually through a natural and sudden development of the rare Vylos Mutation on a human, though this is not always immediately discovered, since there's often nothing to really intimate that the mutation exists. Cyborgs do not start out with magics, but instead with 18 points of Cyborg Augmentations or General Augmentations. (Cyborgs, by default, only feel pain about half as much as a normal human. This was designed to allow them to fight longer than normal. Recently it was discovered that most Cyborgs actually can have complete control over their own sense of physical pain, and can shut it off completely, though...this can be dangerous. Cyborgs additionally get a heightened sense for free to start (they may choose the sense).) Cyborgs start with 18 points spent in Augmentations. A list of available augmentations can be seen here.