Magic is everywhere. It surrounds the world and a good deal of power seems concentrated in the very soil of Crescent Hills. The first Native Americans could sense the magic of the land and utilized it in their lives. Settlers who took over the land in their conquest could feel the magic, but credited it towards the land being "rich in gold." After that, it was almost like Crescent Hills was a magnet for the magically inclined.
Covens from all over the country have either moved or visited the area at several points. Many of them left family behind or return occasionaly to utlize the land. The witches that permanently inhabit Crescent Hills today lean more towards the "dark" arts, usually specializing in Santería, Necromancy, or or vodou. That's not to say there aren't wiccans or white witches in town, they're just not as common. The covens in Crescent Hills take magic very seriously, but as powerful as they are, they're also riddled weaknesses. Each family has at least one major weakness, whether it's a certain herb, medallion, or type of element. In addition to this, most witches in Crescent Hills possess familiars of some kind, most commonly: hares, cats, snakes, and birds. They are able to aid witches in their craft, and are directly correlated to the witches' strength. Harming one may harm a witch. So be careful with who and what you hunt; more than one person has been cursed for harming a familiar.
9/20 - SPACES OPEN.
The exact beginnings of the vampire race can be tough to pinpoint. What is known, according to legends, is that sometime several thousands of years ago, demons roamed the earth. When their numbers began to diminish they began forcing humans to drink their immortal blood, a desperate move to increase their population. Thus, vampires were born. True children of the night, vampires are allergic to sunlight and will burst into flames should it ever touch their flesh. And speaking of flesh, their's is often pale or ashy. They often smell of death and aren't the glamorous beings the media has portrayed them as. When they attack their prey, their fangs elongate several inches, as does their fingernails, giving their hands a horrific claw-like appearance. Their pupils dilate and the growls they emit can sound animalistic. The longer a vampire can go without feeding depends on their age. Older vampires can go longer without drinking blood then younger vampires can. Human blood is the most satisfying, but vampires can also drink the blood of animal and other supernatural beings.
To become vampire first one must feed off a human, draining them near the brink of death, then give that human their blood to ingest. The process takes overnight, but afterwards the vampire will rise immortal and hungry. Vampires cannot die by old age, but they can by impaling them with a solid silver stake, removing their head, or setting them on fire. Vampires have often struggled with the idea of having a soul or conscious, this varies from vampire to vampire, as it does with humans. Most vampires are very low-key and tend to be solitary creatures.
9/14 - SPACES OPEN.
The beginnings of the were race can be traced back to Ancient times, when twin brothers Remus and Romulous were abandoned by their mother to die in a river, but were instead saved by series of fortunate circumstances. Rather then kill them, the river swept them to safety where a she-wolf adopted them as her own cubs. The brothers fed from her milk and it made them strong, eventually wrapping their DNA into something unrecognizable. The twins evolved into half-man half-beast, able to shift between the two at will. They returned to their homeland and reclaimed it in their father's name. Throughout the millenniums their numbers increased and soon came the era of weretigers and werepanthers. By the beginning of the 20th century the were race was as common as vampires. They can change from human to animal at will, except for beneath the full moon. The night before, the night of, and the night after the full moon, are the most hectic for a were. While they're in beast form some may have more control then others, it's takes practice and patience to master the animal within. The size of the creature usually depends on it's human counterpart. Bigger people become larger beasts and so forth. While in human form their sense are enhanced, including smell, sight, and hearing. Were's are not immortal, but they age slower then the average human. Most were's live until their late 160s or 170s, unless they're killed by a silver bullet or a silver blade.
8/17 - SPACES OPEN.
While most fairy (also know as faeries, fae and other names) originates from Europe, there are creatures of similair features in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology called Yakshini. Most faeries emigrated from Europe at a time where the ongoing urbanisation of their environment was putting their courts at risk.
Now the biggest most populated courts are in the American continent. Another significant court exists in India. Fae throughout the world fall into two categories Seelie Court and Unseelie Court. While stories have given rise to the credence that Seelie court fae are kinder to humans this is not necessarily the case.
Seelie Courts are simply more open to non-fae entities traipsing into their domain, while Unseelie Courts are more reclusive, and home to more dangerous magic antics. While Seelie Courts seek to revolutionise magic, the Unseelie are concerned with its preservation and nurturing of talent of those showing aptitude.
By nature faeries are tricksters, they can be mortally wounded or poisoned by with iron and cannot enter a door that has iron. Fae find it easy to mingle in the human world due to their glamour magic, easily sustained to make them ordinary looking. An unglamoured fae is usually recognised by their sharp features, slightly pointy ears, and in some cases the unusual colour of their eyes.
Their powers include an aptitude for magic relating to the elements, glamour to hide their appearance. Though some of the more powerful fae are able to mimic people or animals, impersonating them to cause trouble in their lives. All Fae have a weakness for stealing humans and spiriting them away into the courts as their playthings, though there are a variety of protecting charms, and spells to avoid this.
Crescent Hills does not have an entrance to either of the fairy courts, however what it does have is what is known as a Wild Hunt spot. While lore states that the hunt was an omen of catastrophe, as well as a risk to humans the truth is far more mundane. The Wild Hunt is a supernatural market that rotates it's spot around America. Sometimes humans or other supernatural species will join it as merchants or simply compelled by the faeries running the market(though Fae are by no means the only merchants allowed here, there have been vampires, witches and even plain bred humans).
As the market moves from place to place, it has given rise to the stories that encompass the wild hunt and it's recurrent but never permanent stay.
5/8 - SPACES OPEN.
When a person dies, their soul separates from their body, headed towards the bright light and nirvana on the other side. However, there are instances when a soul gets trapped in the realm of the living and is forced to wander the world, forever stuck between both sides. This happens most often when the death is a particularly violent one or when the person has extremely important unfinished business. Spirits cannot fully materialize except for one night a year, Halloween. From the time the sun sets until it's rise, spirits can become completely tangible and viewable to everyone. But every other day and night of the year, they're basically vapor.
They can pass through walls, can turn invisible and are unable to touch or grasp the simplest of objects. For example, if they try to pick up a fork, it'll just pass through their hand. This can be a great source of frustration, as well as the fact that they're mainly bound to the places they frequented while they were alive in addition to the site where they were killed and/or buried. Mostly their own homes, favorite haunts (no pun intended) and homes of their friends and familes. Those select people who can see ghosts are humans gifted with the sixth sense, family and friends of the departed, and other supernatural creatures. Possession is plausible but only in the most extreme cases, the person doing the possession must have a vast knowledge in the dark arts, with the experience to back it up. Spirits retain most of their memory but some events can get foggy, such as the circumstances involving their deaths. Particularly powerful spriits, however, run the risks of becoming poltergeists. Poltergeists have the ability to affect humans, from enacting cold spots to electronic interference and outright attempted murder. Despite this, spirits and poltergeists can be driven out by exorcists and witches alike.
5/8 - SPACES OPEN.
As long as there have magical and immortal beings, there have been those that have hunted them. Most supernatural creatures are just as average and unassuming as the normal human, but there are some who become menaces to society. Whenever this happens the Police Dept outsource to those select few in town. There's clans of hunters, mostly families, who've been in Crescent Hills for generations. Only endowed with the knowledge and strength they can cultivate themselves, hunters are usually carved from steel. Other supernatural beings usually have a low opinion of hunters because they play by their own rules. If they feel someone or something needs to be put down, they (usually) don't hesitate. They're just as feeble as any humans, which means they either retire young or die in the field. Every hunter has a weapon that he or she prefers more, but they can all agree that overall silver is the most potent. Whether it's solid silver stakes, blades, or bullets, the experienced hunters keep them within arms reach.
3/11 - SPACES OPEN.
Throughout history there has been a great number of instances where normal people displayed abnormal abilities. Going as far back as the beginning of time humans have always had a way of evolving. How these abilities form is unknown but one thing is for sure, more and more have been popping up around the Crescent Hills area. Their gifts range from telekinesis to invisibility to ESP, for a complete list check here.. (If an ability isn't listed that you're interested in: come talk to us!) However, with every gift comes a drawback and not everyone's powers are blessings. For instance, the one who speaks to animals has a little bit of trouble blocking out the neighbor's insistent doberman, while the one who can fly keeps smashing into trees. It can take years to hone or even discover these skills, and sometimes even using their ability once can kill them.
3/10 - SPACES OPEN.
Hellhounds, also known as Barghest, are omens of death; according to mythology they were created for the purpose of announcing death, misfortune, and dragging unwilling spirits into the afterlife. Appearing as a huge black dog with red eyes, they are not malevolent by nature serving as arbiters of balance, they are drawn to death -- they are a common sight in places where tragedy has struck or is about to strike. Hellhounds are choosen by other Hellhounds at the moment of birth (sometimes later). These dormant hellhounds wear a deceptive human guise, and they come into their full powers at the moment of witnessing a tragedy. It is often common for newly awaken hellhounds to be mentored by an older one until they are in full control of their powers.
Immortal, they are in their dog form faster, and stronger than most supernaturals, quick healers, and unlike shifters they can change their form with a mere thought, and have an affinity for fire(you cannot burn them). They are rare and do not tend to participate in supernatural or human squabbles, which is why there is no record of anyone having actually killed a hellhound (though they can certainly be killed: by cutting them to pieces and burying them in different crossroads, they are warded away by mountain ash, and can be made sick by violet petals). A lot of hellhounds get tired of immortality and simply choose to retire across the veil between this life and the afterlife.
0/3 - SPACES OPEN.
Mermaids only exist within the heavy salt water of the ocean and are more prodimenint in the Pacific Ocean than the Indian or Atlantic. There are two different types of merpeople, shallow and deep sea. The shallow merpeople are darker skinned in color, have sharp teeth for tearing through gills and shells, speak in echo location, usually have brightly colored tails and fins, have gills behind their ears and in their shoulder blades, and adhere to the original merpeople laws. These include no fraternizing with humans or deep sea merpeople. Shallow sea merpeople live in a monarchy type of system which includes a King, Queen, princes, princesses, and royal subjects. Merpeople are often betrothed from a young age, especially the ones of royal blood. Deep sea merpeople are very different than their shallow sea counterparts. Their skin is lighter, usually pale or white to the point of translucency and their teeth is even sharper than the shallow sea merpeople's. Deep Sea merpeople have tails that are darker in color and have a few more side fins than the Shallow Sea Merpeople in additoin to being more poisonous and often much, much bigger. (It is rumored that some can be as large as an orca!) They also live in a monarchy, but it's more like an oligarchy, and the King and Queen are cruel, constantly at war with the shallow sea merpeople. There's been talk of revolution, if only the shallow sea merpeople would lend them their aid. Alas, the fighting between the types has never allowed them peace talks, until recently.
The Deep Sea merpeople are usually more bitter yet naive compared to the Shallow Sea ones. The King and Queen of the Deep Sea do their best to keep their subjects ignorant of the outside world, including the conflict between the Shallow Sea merpeople. In order for the merpeople to reproduce, they must mate with another merperson. Only male and female can reproduce together. Once they're finished, it takes several weeks of gestation, then mermaid will lay anywhere from 20-40 eggs at once. They hatch three months later, and age like a normal human being. Merpeople have average lifespans, usually living until their 80s. They stay in family pods until they reach a mature enough age, usually 15-17, to be out on their own. Merpeople mate for life, but it is not necessarily for love. Most do not understand the concept, but they understand friendship, which to them is the closest thing to it. Same sex relationships are just as common as other sex relationships as a result. But Merpeople are homebodies and prefer to stay in pods, even after maturing.
Merpeople believe the ocean and everything inside is part of a giant circle, and it is this circle that they worship. A circle in the Merpeople world is like a crucifix to a Christian; they worship Mother Ocean above all else, and if they do anything hurtful to their goddess, or it an outside party attempts to hurt one of them, they will turn quicker than a feral animal. Singing and dancing is highly valued in merpeople societies, particularly in relationships.
Merpeople have quick, vicious tempers and are very formidable. Merpeople are able to take human form, though most Deep Sea Merpeople are unaware of this fact, but they can only reside on land for 48 hours before they must return to the sea. The water is full of nutrients that they need and they must stay submerged for no less than 24 hours afterwards. If a merperson is on land they must avoid getting wet, otherwise they risk exposing their tail or drying out which leads to a painful, drawn out death. Merpeople are also more vulnerable on land; most do not know how to instantly walk and must manage their new found legs. Like their naga counterparts, they can use faerie magic to survive; most, however, use water from their home in the ocean to travel around with. It grants them the ability to walk on land, but should they lose it, they can and will dry out. Many years ago humans and merpeople coexisted, but after years of peace the humans turned on the merpeople, catching them and selling them to the highest bidder. After that they retreated to the ocean, where they stayed hidden for centuries. Only a few humans know of their existence, now. The merpeople are able to communicate with the ocean and everything that lives inside of it. Most sea storms are caused by merpeople, either by then fighting with one another, or when one of them is very hurt. The former doesn't happen often, but whenever it does, it's a violent squall always follows -- this is due to the fact that mermaid blood naturally invites a storm when it meets water.
Mermaids are capable of helping magic; their flesh has been hunted on more than one ocassiona for use in magic. Consuming merflesh, however, is a different story as you will die. Or worse, if you consume it there is a small chance that you will come back, immortal. It's not a good kind of immortality; it's the kind that only activates once you've been killed again. Other magical people can sense a mermaid, but since it is rare that they venture on land these days, will not be able to tell. They smell much more like the sea than anything else, are resistant to human diseases, and highly resistant to other magic.
3/3 - SPACES OPEN.
Nagas are snake people from a long line of ancient, magical creatures that originated in India but were spread out across all continents in varying forms as a reflection of their reptilian populations. They have the head of a human, usually a female, and the body of a snake. The most common type of snake body is cobra but in the past several centuries rattle snakes and anaconda's have began springing up. They're incredibly poisonous; some species are so poisonous that a simple touch to their skin will kill their prey if left unchecked while others simply have incredibly powerful, debilitating bites. They have powerful jaws with equally powerful fangs. Those fangs, if found from a dead naga or taken from one, can be used as powerful weapons or ingredients. The shed skin of a naga can be enormous and a hefty resource.
Unlike mermaids, nagas do not have a convenient way to blend in with humans should they venture into human society. For the first thing, nagas can have multiple arms and some of the older ones possessed multiple heads. Secondly, their lower halfs, a snake tail, cannot transform into human legs. Nagas with this ability have long died out, and taken the secrets with them. The nagas that have survived have found ways around this, but as most nagas are solitary creatures, this is not something that they care so much about. Third is the fact that nagas possess not human eyes, but ones like their snake counterparts: not wholly sharp vision, and made for tracking overall. That and the ability to move the lens in their retina. Nagas also have an incredibly keen sense of smell, able to best the best bloodhound out there. Their lifespans are long; they are rumored to be as old as nine hundred years old. As far as anyone knows, though, they age very, very slowly, and do not bear children often. The method of birth is also like their snake counterparts: eggs fertilized by two mates. Unlike mermaids, they do not mate for life, and it isn't uncommon that children are killed by their parents. They are often not tolerated after they reach puberty, either by abandonment or by leaving the nest. Love is not a subject dwelled upon, but there is extensive naga centric love poetry that does exist.
Despite such home lives, nagas are very intelligent, possess long memories, and the few that come into contact, if pacified, are life long assets. While nagas are evasive of the question of their histories and their personal lives, they are ready to engage humans on subjects of history, mythology, and anything of intellectual interests. In some places welcome to the supernatural, nagas have served as judges, advisors, and scholars. They tend to have an intuitive nature, and a good sense of the behavior of others. They are also very, very prideful; insulting a naga could lead to your immediate death and perhaps, being devoured. So don't piss them off.
They can survive on the flesh of any living creature and possess a general immunity to poison. Magic weakens them, as nagas are not naturals in the art of performing magic. The ones that do tend to use it mostly for healing and are not as good as the worst witch. In the American landscape in particular, nagas tend to go for areas that do not have high populations, or provide enough cover for them to hide from the largely human populous. Those that choose more populous places face the difficulty of attempting to communicate and interact; sometimes this can go well. Others, with the clever use of a hunter and knowledge of defanging, can end up as a hand bag. They can be killed by beheading or fire, though many have been trapped in wells by overeager hunters, knowing their long lifespans. Most nagas navigate among the human world using faerie magic. It's used to work an illusion, for the nagas who prefer not to pay so much, while others, through much stronger and dangerous magic, can use faerie magic to give them temporary legs.
3/3 - SPACES OPEN.
There is nothing scarier to encounter during a dark night than the wendigo. Indigenous to the Americas, and frightening in it's size, scope, and making, the wendigo is one of the rarest creatures that not even hunters enjoy coming after. It is in part of their height: a wendigo can reach an astonishing thirty five feet height if able to live long enough. It makes for a frightening sight however, as they possess a gaunt frame, hollowed out eyes and cheeks, protruding horns, and a frame so thin and long it seems as if they are stretched to the point of breaking. Not all wendigos reach such height; only those that have lived longer than a hundred years and consumed so much flesh can. Wendigos freshly turned, or humans turning into wendigos are much more frightening on a smaller scale.
Wendigos were unheard of until the discovery and culmination of the American supernatural. At first taken as a warning against the ultimate crime of cannibalism, it turned out that wendigo were real. They were created in times of famine: a human would be possessed or go made when no food was available. At first seen as a sickness, as the transformation of the wendigo became a reality, it was altogether different. The human would survive a situation of terrible survival, and as a consequence, would start turning on others. Some were able to fight it; requesting execution or abandoning people altogether to die was often a solution. Others, however, eventually killed. There is no rigid time frame for this transformation; some would be consumed with hunger and take on the horrifying thinness, height, and horns within a month, and others, decades. What is known is that it always starts in an undending hunger for humans. They eventually became synonymous with wilderness, and in an ugly turn, hunters. More than one hunter found themselves in the situation of a wendigo, and while many were able to save themselves, many turned on their families and friends. Unfortunately, due to the process of becoming a wendigo, some hunters would purposely set up the conditions to create a wendigo in order to make a difference. Only, the change is permanent.
The humans who have begun a transformation into a full wendigo do have some level of awareness. They are able to communicate, and life lives but the more lives they take, the less human they are. They will start to have abilities a kin to a true hunter: super speed, superhuman strength, agility, and senses. They will be able to slowly imitate human voices to lure prey, and slowly become more invulnerable. The trade off, of course, is the growing hunger they feel, the inability to relate to others, and increasingly violent tempers, mannerisms and losing their ability to speak beyond imitation to lure others in. Most wendigo, if left on their own for decades, are unable to do anything but echo others. Humans transforming into full fledged wendigos also start to grow antlers or horns, and while sawing it down has an affect, it grows back slowly but denser and harder to remove every time.
Being attacked by a wendigo is almost a guaranteed death. They are vicious, all devouring, and if they don't kill you the first time? They will find you again. Wendigos still retain the senses and sensibility of the hunters they used to be. And humans turning into wendigos can sometimes be more vicious if they are inclined to be more sadistic with prey. One can only pray for death, in the end.
2/3 - SPACES OPEN.
TIt isn't often than primordial darkness leaves an imprint on the world but when it does it does it well. Boogeymen appear throughout most cultures, and have never been confined by geographical location. They are the monsters that people lit fires to ward off. Thankfully, like other hellish creatures who can cause inexorable harm, boogeymen are uncommon -- they don't mate, they are made.
All boogeymen were human children once, though their appearance varies - they are male or female, and while some tend to favour youngish forms, others prefer older "more grandfatherly/motherly" forms in order to lure children. And yes, they eat children, their flesh but more importantly their soul or essence. Many children who are 'eaten' by boogeymen don't go missing, but remain - growing up wrong. To avoid being detected, boogeymen don't always physically eat children, especially because children going missing attracts all sorts of unwanted attention. The true form of a boogeymen is ghoulish and terrifying; however, they are able to digusise themselves to look like normal everyday people.
Unlike other supernatural creatures, boogeymen are evil by nature, they are on top of the foodchain(they have been known to feed on werechildren or young vampires). Like other supernatural creatures they are fast, strong, with good eyesight in the dark; they cannot cast magic, but they have the ability to manipulate shadows. Indeed, some older stories claim that boogeymen are naturally incorporeal being made of shadows, and fear.
They are very good at hiding in plain sight, and most hunters know that when confronted with bogeymen the best solution is to imprison them somewhere, usually through magic. If you managed to imprison one pray it never gets out, it'll come after you and everyone you love. Like Wendigos, Boogeymen are the monstrous side of human nature given a visage.