From Occult Gaming Wiki
|5th Edition Rules|
|CHARACTERS AND ELF CULTURE|
To be an elf is to be better than everyone else, or at least to be raised with that view. Elves, whether they grow up in a corporation or on the street, congregate together with their own and look down their noses at everyone else. But while they do this, they don’t create the enmity most would expect. Their natural charm shines through their disdaining glares, and those around them often buy into the belief that the elves really are better than them. Being an elf means playing with a chip on your shoulder and a smile on your face. Working with the other metatypes is fine, but when it comes to social time, it’s generally preferable to be with those who deserve to be in your presence. Elves tend to live among elves and even have their bolt holes among elves, often making it hard to take others with them since they’ll stand out.
For those who seek to go against the grain, they find the road often easy—but the ease is really a slippery slope. They make friends with their natural charm, they’re often deferred to when charm is called for, and they still get that same feeling of being superior without acting like a stuck-up drekhead. The problem is, they still have pointy ears and almond-shaped eyes, and there are those who, no matter how well the elves sell their goodness, hate them, and most of those people will be hanging out in the same countercultural locations. Elves become a target, a rather easy-to-spot one at that, and some of their “friends” are going to stay quiet when the local ork gang wants to have a “word.” This means playing an elf in the counterculture may be a trying experience for a person expecting their friends to back them up.
World Population: 15%
HOMO SAPIENS NOBILIS
|Racial Traits:Low-Light Vision|
No other metahuman culture has had the obvious world-changing effects as that of the elves. Three nations, isolated neighborhoods in almost every major sprawl, personalities acting as a primary face or voice for almost every major world power, and even with all of that they have still built a culture full of humility and founded on understanding of their fellow metahumans.
Somewhere in the preceding paragraph I was a bit untruthful, or at least skewed the truth a little. And that is the way of elven culture.
Known for their grace and beauty, elves have enthralled the masses with their charm and pissed them off with their arrogance. Their slightly-taller-than-human stature, usually with a lean and muscular frame (or so the stereotypes go), narrow facial features, almond-shaped eyes, and silky hair have filled the airwaves since the earliest days of UGE. They are usually loved or loathed, but they rarely feel the need to acknowledge either emotion when it is not expressed by another of their kin. They use the natural grace and beauty they were given to create an image of trust, while stretching the truth and mastering the art of public relations with their charm. Their ability to spin and skew truths is only part of what defines elves; their isolationist mentality is the second half of their cultural identity.
Elves rarely find the company of anyone other than elves to be pleasant, and when it comes to heroes and idols, you are not likely to find a young elven girl or boy with virtuwallpaper of anyone other than an elf on their bedroom wall. This preference and reverence for their own kin has led to elves isolating themselves out of a sense of superiority. Whether it be their own tribe within the NAN, their own nations behind veils of secrecy both figurative and literal, or a neighborhood within a sprawl that is ninety-nine percent theirs, elves find a way to separate themselves.
The elven cultures of the world have developed many similar beliefs and ideals, no matter where they are situated. A respect for age and wisdom is present in every elven culture I’ve observed or studied. No matter how bright a youth may seem, they garner very little respect within the elven culture until they have gained some years of experience to go with their smarts. Second, in some form, art is always appreciated. Whether it’s the cultivation of a specific artistic talent, the appreciation for the talents of others, or even the admiration of the art of nature, elves as a whole show a strong connection to aesthetics. A third commonality is the concept of the Wheel of Life. Most elves study and learn the Path of the Wheel and the various courses one can take within their life. Some narrowly walk a single path, seeking only to be the best in that one area. Others seek to walk as many paths in life as they can, though they always desire to gain at least a minimal level of mastery in an aspect before moving on to the next. This belief structure isn’t just about learning and walking the paths; it is often tied to arcane rituals that wipe the learnings of a path from the mind. This mental shield stays in place until the next Wheel mastery occurs, and when it is broken it allows the follower to see the differences in the paths, not as they go through them but in retrospect. This religious practice has been growing steadily, though certain aspects of modern society sometimes hinder the practice. Augmentations damage the Essence of the beings, sometimes making future paths impossible to follow, while a global world and sometimes difficult trials can leave foes behind who do not understand the varied journey a traveler of the paths takes. These foes do not comprehend that when a different path is taken, all memory of the previous is gone, making the follower something akin to a new person. This can cause confusion when a rival they do not remember from a previous path lashes out at them.
As the elves are often seen as the most attractive of the metatypes (though many orks and trolls would disagree with this characterization), their fashion trends tend to be the most frequently copied. One such style, long flowing straight hair, is more than just a trend. That hair is a source of pride among elves, and those who wear it best gain a certain level of prestige. This vanity is both a blessing and a curse as elves, both male and female, suffer from frequent eating disorders and exercise addictions in order to maintain their image. This, and the common “elven prize” phenomenon, push many elven youth, and some full grown adults, to an unhealthy brink as they try to be what everyone else wants.
But not everything among the elves is about beauty and long, flowing hair. Elven counterculture is strong and possesses an icon recognizable around the world. The neon-green “A” with a circle through it is known in sprawls around the world as the tag for the Ancients, the largest elven gang in the world. These brash and wild youngsters define the fast-living, honor-the-strong, live-for-the-moment counterculture of elven society. Though art may still gain some praise in these particular elven circles, it’s usually graffiti, a bike’s paint-job, or a driver who is an artist behind the wheel. The Ancients represent the portion of the elven counterculture that ignores the elven convention that wisdom and age should lead and be honored. They don’t, however, do anything to change the elven superiority complex. The Ancients think of themselves as better than other gangs not just because they can outgun, out-ride, out-cast, and outclass any other gang; they think they are better because they are elves.
Deeper into the counterculture, and truly rare, are members of the elven metatype that sometimes go completely against the culture that raised them. Their streak of independence means a disregard for art and disdain for artistic endeavors, a high value in friendships with all metatypes, and an opinion that experience and age does not grant wisdom, as life and the world are always changing. The wisdom of a past age is not wisdom in the modern world, and so much has changed, even since the Awakening, that they believe all supposed knowledge from the past must be questioned. These rebels can often be identified by their short hair (another act of counterculture rebellion) and scars marring their “perfect” form. Their imperfect form is still physically fit; it just has scars amid the muscles.
TÍR NA NÓG
In the ultimate expression of isolationism, the nation of Tír na nÓg, well known to be a nation founded and controlled by elves, hides behind the Veil, its mystical shield. Though issues have been reported with it, the Veil still remains, and the elves are still firmly in control of the nation. They are not the only ones who live in what was once Ireland and not every elf in the nÓg is royalty, but even the lowliest of elves is still more respected among their kin than the highest of anyone else.
For decades the nation of Tír Tairngire was in isolation. They held off aggression from the south, lived surrounded by the cold neutrality of the NAN on the north and east, and did most of their trading through the docks of Seattle, a sprawl that existed in its own kind of isolation. The elves of this nation prospered, especially their princes, and did so while shaping the world’s view of their nation as prosperous, even as discontent grew within. Even now that the borders are more open, the spinning of the truth by elven princes and business executives continues. Though their Council of Princes is not the elven island of supremacy it once was, the unquestioned corporate power in the nation, Telestrian Industries, remains firmly elven.
ZULU NATION (AZANIAN CONFEDERATION)
Africa makes the strong stronger and breaks the weak. Such is true of the elves of the Zulu Nation. Though most famous for the great dragon Mujaji and the Wakyambi metavariant of elves that come from the region, the Zulu Nation has been an elven stronghold (as well as a sapient stronghold) since its creation. The elves of this nation hold to much of the tribal culture of the Zulu, which also values artistic skill as well as age and wisdom, and had a strong parallel for the Paths even before the Awakening—they simply didn’t live long enough to walk many. Africa is a harsh home.
DUCHY OF POMORYA (AGS)
The elven nation of the Allied German States, the Duchy of Pomorya has been around since 2030, making it older than both of the Tírs. They follow an aristocratic form of government, and though age is not the main factor, true power is sometimes not in the government officials but in the people who back them. Here, it’s three old houses that may put a young face forward, but the power and direction still comes from those older and wiser who sit behind the family banners.
HOW ELVES FIT INTO SOCIETY
They don’t have to fit into society. Society adapts to them. Let ‘s take the new season of Date or Dump, which features Keelie, the elf girl next door, who works behind the counter at McHugh’s and thinks human boys are cute and elf guys are all snobs. Seems pretty acclimated, right? But remember, it’s entertainment. How many teenage human boys dream of an accessible elven girl who prefers humans? She’s playing a role, despite the show’s “reality” label. Scratch at most elves who seem to have adapted to human culture, and you’ll find a similar level of artificiality.
Elves connect with elves and do elven work. They don’t work regular jobs to fit in, they don’t join bands because their friends did, and they don’t do menial labor because it’s their only option. Elves work behind reception desks, host trideo shows, anchor the news, work for PR firms, act as the face of ad campaigns, sit first chair for the orchestra, and do a host of other things that include nothing but using their charm, grace, and presence to make others feel comfortable or buy something. Do I exaggerate? Yeah, a little. There are elves at the bottom of the ladder, just like with any other metatype. But the pressure they feel to be something else, and the guilt they feel for failing their heritage, can be considerable. The funny thing is, even when they are shoveling drek for a living, they still carry that annoying air of superiority.
Now, what about in elven nations, you ask? Someone’s gotta be at the bottom there, right? That’s why they allow at least some of the other metahuman races to be around. Grunt work, whether civilian or military, is full of orks and trolls. More technical work is filled by dwarfs and humans. The bosses—those are the elves.
|Racial Traits:Glamour, Low-Light Vision, Symbiosis|
Physical Characteristics: The dryad metavariant greatly resembles the standard nobilis subspecies with only a slight decrease in stature. They also tend to be more slender and fair-haired.
Mental Characteristics: Dryads are the most intelligent of all the nobilis metavariants, and they are often perceived by others to be graceful and physically attractive. Some of this perception may be magically enhanced—Awakened dryads have been known to use their powers to enhance how others perceive them. To date, no dryads have agreed take any standardized tests, meaning the only evidence we have is anecdotal, with all the problems such evidence brings with it.
Cultural Characteristics: Dryads are unique among metavariants in that they don’t possess any particular region of origin. Each of the dozen members of the metavariant interviewed were from different regions, nations, and lineages. Two were even born to human parents in the last forty years. Dryads lack any singular culture to build from, and they lack the interconnectedness within their population to create an in-depth culture. The metavariant is drawn to natural environments, and they tend to stay away from highly polluted areas.
- The pollution avoidance, even urban environment avoidance, is because of their attunement with nature. All dryads, Awakened and mundane alike, are connected to the natural world around them: if it’s sick, they’re sick, and metahumanity building cities sickens the land.
Latest World News: The darkness of metahumanity never fails to horrify. A dryad “farm” has been located in a remote area of Amazonia. No megacorporate owner has been identified, and the Amazonian government is up in arms over the unapproved facility in their nation. For now, the location is being maintained by the Amazonians, as they take care of the resident dryad children and any pregnant females. Speculation has run rampant as to where they’ll go from here. The Corporate Court has offered assistance to the Amazonian government, but Amazonia has rebuffed the Court at every turn.
|Racial Traits:Allergy (Sunlight, Mild), Low-Light Vision, Keen-eared, Nocturnal, Unusual Hair (Colored Fur)|
Physical Characteristics: The nocturna metavariant, commonly referred to as Night Ones, possess all physical traits common to the primary nobilis subspecies. The metavariant’s striking variations from the primary nobilis are in body hair growth, a less obvious increase to their auditory sensitivity, and a serious hypersensitivity to bright light that promotes a nocturnal biorhythm. The noticeable body hair is a layer of short, dark fur covering the entire body and face, similar to the panthera genus commonly called black panthers. This hair does not grow on the palms, bottoms of the feet, eyelids, or genitalia. The fur is most often black but may range from deep blue to violet. Two notable specimens who claimed to have never dyed their fur possessed coats of dark green and a deep burnt orange.
Mental Characteristics: Nocturnae scored within the same intelligence ranges as the primary nobilis. Their EQ statistics saw a slight negative shift, and many scores are consistent with antisocial or introverted personalities. An analysis of those tested and the nocturna population overall showed a high occurrence of Awakened members, with adepts creating the bulk of the increased percentage.
Cultural Characteristics: Biologically adapted to life at night, nocturnae have faced difficulty integrating into many aspects of standard society. Despite this difficulty, nocturnae have found a place in the society of the night. They can frequently be found operating bars or working second or third shifts, especially in security and transportation, where their nocturnal alertness is a benefit. They also tend to operate on an opposite schedule from most people, so they have faced far less discrimination and animosity simply because they do not encounter others much (and people awake during the middle of the night tend to be accepting of people who may be outside standard definitions of “normal.”
Latest World News: Population numbers for nocturnae show rapid growth according to the latest population studies. This growth is likely due to the expansion of nocturnae from their European origins and acceptance in sprawls around the world.
|Racial Traits:Celerity, Elongated Limbs, Low-Light Vision|
Physical Characteristics: Wakyambi are remarkably difficult to analyze due to their rarity and isolated existence. They are taller and thinner than the primary nobilis subspecies, possess the dark skin and tightly curled dark hair common to the peoples of Africa, and tend to have less pronounced extension of the aural helix. Most accounts verify that wakyambi possess the natural low-light vision of the primary subspecies. Their increase in height is substantial over the base subspecies. Records indicate members of this metavariant can reach heights similar to the ingentis giant metavariant.
Mental Characteristics: Few wakyambi have undergone standardized testing, so no statistically significant results exist. Information gathered from various sources indicates a higher rate of Awakened wakyambi, but no population data or personal interviews yet exist to corroborate this supposition.
Cultural Characteristics: Wakyambi remain reclusive. They live in tribal groups in Southern Africa and have limited contact outside their own tribes. They exist as hunter-gatherers and are extremely protective of their tribal territories. According to African folklore and other, more talkative tribes in their region, wakyambi are descendants of the Sky Tribes, spoken of with different names from varying tribes in the area but all referencing something sky related: clouds, heavens, stars, the moon, etc. The legends speak of great gifts offered to the peoples of the region. Many other local tribes worship the wakyambi and protect them from outsiders, even innocents who just want to learn about this nobilis metavariant.
Latest World News: Evo is looking to expand their meta-friendly reach into uncharted territory by petitioning the Zulu Nation for a parcel of land. The offer places limited control of the property and includes no extraterritoriality, but it would allow Evo’s Metaergonomics subsidiary to develop items for the wakyambi.
|Racial Traits:Allergy (Pollutants, Mild), Low-Light Vision, Photometabolism|
Physical Characteristics: The xapiri thëpë metavariant possesses the same primary physical characteristics of the nobilis metatype, with a slight decrease in their average height. The only extensive variation is in their skin. Their epidermal layer integrates patches of cells containing chloroplasts. These organelles employ chlorophyll to produce energy through plantlike photosynthesis. The patches grow with age, and some of the oldest subjects on record are completely greenskinned and claim to spend time in the sun instead of ingesting food.
Mental Characteristics: Due to communications gaps, testing thus far has been limited to visual and virtual methods, though some of the xapiri thëpë exhibit fear of electrodes. The results seem to fall within a range similar to the primary nobilis, though notable decreases in intellect and increases in adaptive thinking seem evident. These variances are likely due to the testing methods that cannot be completely adjusted for relevant cultural variances.
Cultural Characteristics: The xapiri thëpë people have their own culture that is completely separate from the rest of the world. They exist in a tribal society where both strength and wisdom are honored in their leaders, their elders are always given reverence, and the cycle of life seems to be the center of their religious worship. Very few xapiri thëpë ever leave tribal lands. The few that have are usually exiled, runaways, or acting as diplomats, the last being the most common. Runaways and diplomats rarely spend much time in urban environments due to the metavariant’s extreme allergy to pollutants. Diplomats make their trips short, and runaways usually return within a month. Exiles are ignored and forgotten.
Latest World News: The xapiri are at war with what they call the “bloody spikes.” The Sangre del Diablo trees that made a few headlines during the Azt-Am war for being extremely resistant to damage have somehow corrupted a tribe of xapiri. Members of this corrupted tribe have thorns that bleed when growing from their skin. They defend the trees, and according to rumor, the tribe is making sacrifices to the trees. Whether this really was a corruption of the tribe, a SURGE event within a tribe, or some other manifestation of magic remains to be seen.