Demifane are essentially partially-blooded supernatural Furres, including part Lycanthians, part Vampyres, and part Fey. At first, the word Demifane referred only to those with fey blood. Now it includes those of Vampfurre and Lycanthian descent as well. There are also Demifane who are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Feyfurres.
The Demifane - Halfbloods and Mongrels
Demifane are partially-blooded supernatural Furres, including part Lycanthians, part Vampyres, and part Fey. At first, the word Demifane referred only to those with fey blood. Now it includes those of Vampfurre and Lycanthian descent as well. There are also Demifane who are grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Feyfurres.
Referred to by supernaturals as "Betrayers" and "Mongrels", the Demifane live on a line between supernatural and natural. All Demifane are in some danger from supernaturals who possess the talent to detect them.
Demifane occasionally exhibit weak versions of their parents or grandparents' powers. More importantly, they often possess immunities to various powers. For this reason, many groups of supernaturals forbid producing half-mortal children. The strongest persecution of Demifane comes from evil Faerie-furres. The greatest tolerance is from Lycanthians.
What often sets Demifane apart from mortal Furre society are the deep ethical challenges of living with or near often-deadly sapient beings with alien emotions and needs. They also tend to age very slowly, and live twice the natural Furre lifespan.
Supernaturals are infertile with each other, yet, specifically in the Olde World, even Vampfurres on rare occasions beget sons and daughters with pure-blooded mortals.
Note: Half-bloods are infertile with other types of half-bloods. So you won't get a furre who is 1/4 Vampfurre 1/4 Lycanthian and 1/4 Feyfurre, for example.
Table of Contents
Types of Demifane
- Overview of Demifane Factions
Types of Demifane
The oldest group within the Demifane are the part-Feyfurres. Their mortal parents are often druids, priests, priestesses, and other "spiritually minded" individuals.
A Dhampir is a mortal child of a Vampfurre. Dhampiri are generally subject to uncontrollable bouts of depression. They are not so common outside of the Children of the Dawn faction because they often commit suicide at an early age.
The most numerous of the Demifane are those who come from families afflicted with Lycanthropy. Children, parents, and siblings of Lycanthians are accepted, and trained. Parents and siblings exhibit no special powers but form a major support network for all those in the group who are "different", especially those who have lost their real families.
Overview of Demifane Factions
Although the Olde World doesn't support the powers of magic, as in spellcasting and magery, it does accommodate supernatural forces to a minor extent. Lycanthians, Vampfurres, and renegade Fey dominate many small areas of the world, such as islands and isolated country backwaters.
Supernaturals are largely kept in check by secret societies who have fought them for several centuries. These societies are all made up of mortals except for one: Children of the Dawn. A rare few of the Children of the Dawn are, themselves, "full" supernaturals, but most are Demifane.
Of special interest is the obscure Asian nation of Cheng Ban, whose ruling family, the Nendi, are all Dhampirs. The Nendi are the secret weapon of the Olde World's mortals.
The following sections list out the different Demifane factions in the Dragonlands.
The Order of Nemroth
The Order of Nemroth is Kasuria's leading order of Hunters. Made up of mages and their support teams, this group keeps a low profile because, of course, it is dangerous to antagonize supernaturals. They also prefer not to be part of the political infighting between noble houses. When they appear to someone not in the order, they wear cloth draped over helmet-like masks, with metal mesh concealing the eyes. More often, though, they correspond in writing, leaving notes for contacts.
When a supernatural is destroyed, the Order usually seizes their assets. The temptation of such wealth has been the downfall of more than one mage in the Order of Nemroth. For example, there has been false accusation of some rich merchant, and then the use of the Order's covert might to murder them and confiscate their wealth. With no survivors, there's nobody to protest…
Originally, Nemroth was a mage who fought for the eradication of Vampfurres and Lycanthians from southern Kasuria. He amassed a considerable fortune somehow. Then he arranged for this money to keep his Order going after his death.
"True Sight" is an ability to detect supernaturals. Any Furre (not just members of the Order of Nemroth) who possesses it sees a fringe of colored light around supernaturals, although it may give a false reading if the subject is a very kind, sympathetic, and caring person. Characters with "True Sight" have some Light or Dark Prime ancestry.
Members of the Order
The Order of Nemroth is group in Kasuria made up largely of orphans, and children who demonstrate the "True Sight". A large fee may be paid to parents to gain custody and legal guardianship of these gifted children. So, most members came from families too large to feed them all, and so forth. A very small number are Demifane.
Members of the Order are raised from early childhood to make war upon the mortal minions of supernaturals. When the Order of Nemroth acts, there are usually no survivors amongst the servitors of the supernatural entity. These mages are highly organized, highly cooperative, highly capable, and many are relentless in their hatred and pursuit of evil supernaturals.
To ready themselves for their conflicts, members of the order learn to fast, to withstand pain, and to endure extremes of heat, cold, and exhaustion. They practice a form of magic that lends strength from one individual to another, eventually linking them together into a web of communication. The learning of this magic and its use is restricted to those magically initiated into this Order.
As a footnote, the Order of Nemroth does teach "cloak and dagger" skills of mundane disguise. Because the use of magical potions can be detected, they might rely on acting, makeup, and cross-dressing to carry out female impersonation, for example.
Dahna Shee / Elvenfurres
Also called Elvenfurres, these are the offspring of Elementals that interbred with Furres.
Children of the Dawn
The first half-bloods tended to be born to rather religious individuals, Furres who lived in cloisters, abbeys, churches, and so forth. The Children of the Dawn was originally a network to help a Furre pregnant from an encounter with a supernatural being escape persecution. The places where the ladies were kept were somber and ascetic retreats called "fanes". Their children came to be called Demifane. (This word is still not in common usage because their existence, and the existence of the Children of the Dawn, is kept secret.)
The Creed of the Children of the Dawn
By the Dragon, the Primes, and the all-encompassing Vinca,
I swear to use my powers for the benefit of all sapient beings.
I will not pass a blood-taint unto any others for any reason.
I will strive to treat all beings equally, as brothers and sisters.
I will keep what I know secret, to protect all Children of the Night
but I will destroy any who try to subjugate the mortal world.
The penalty for breaking these vows is imprisonment in one of the order's hidden strongholds. The prohibition against "passing a blood-taint" means that Children of the Dawn do not willingly bear children. Most of them regularly drink potions that render them asexual. A few go so far as to become eunuchs.
Children of the Dawn are not necessarily antagonists to supernaturals. They are willing to help supernaturals in need, such as, donating blood to hungry Vampfurres. However, as a rule, they refuse to become servitors or live with Vampfurres.
Dhampir Nendi of Cheng Ban
Long ago, the Jengomai Dynasty fought a vicous war against Vampyres. Desperate to save his tiny country in the Himalayas, Jengomai Ghont left to scour the world to find help. He collected up a handful of rare half-vampyre children (Dhampiri), and commanded them to inter-marry. From these early heroes were bred a new line.
It is thought that a single vampyre was father to them all. The first to be found was "Sittikraipong", a yak in Cheng Ban. "Iago" was a street-child of Madrrid and a bull. "Shilpa" was a temple-dancer from India, and a cow. "Ling", a cow and street-performer acrobat, came from China. "Kenta", a bull, came from Ethiopia. "Luna" was a female horned sheep from Eire. "Nendi", a bull, came from Pakistan. Because these children were bovine, the Nendi tend to be various kinds of bovine Furres. (They are sometimes other kinds of ruminant.)
Jengomai Ghont's fifty-eight children were hunted down and killed until only Ghont himself remained of the Jengomai line. He gave the succession to Prince Nendi, one of the half-vampyres, and thus the Nendi Dynasty took over.
Today, Nendi are forbidden to marry a non-Dhampir. Anyone who marries into the Nendi family must live in their heavily fortified and protected place, the City of Jade Walls. Marriages between brothers and sisters are legal but arranged marriages between Nendi cousins is the norm.
Nendi children are raised in isolated perfect gardens and palaces, and kept out of sight of commoners. They are trained in martial arts and weapon use. When they are older, they go out into the land to do battle with the forces of darkness.
Powers of the Nendi
Unlike other Dhampir, the Nendi have developed their own powers, powers that breed true amongst Dhampirs. The very existence of these special abilities are kept secret, even from Children of the Light.
- The Lords of Nendi perform a ritual with those who come into their household service. Several drops of their blood are put on a mooncake, and fed to the Bonded One. Thereafter, the Bonded Ones are magically forced to be loyal unto the Nendi. The Nendi in turn become aware of their distress, pain, or hunger. Because of this power, no one is ever allowed near Nendi children except for Furres already thus Bonded.
- Instinctively, Nendi change to ghost-form when threatened. While in this "phase" they don't look any different than normal. It lasts several minutes after activated. While "Ghostwalking", they can't interact with objects. Non-living items they were holding or wearing become ghostly too. Older Nendi learn to do this at will. The experts can do so for just a split second and it becomes a part of the family's secret combat training.
- Nendi can heal just about any injury. The older they are, the harder they are to kill. It is said that Lord Nendi Akune, 12th in line of descent from the first Nendi, was beheaded in a war, but regenerated from that head!
- Nendi have speed that rivals their vampyre cousins.
- An assassin or other threat tends to be apparent to a Nendi. Their presence is felt like slight nausea, and when the Nendi looks at them, the more powerful ones will see an eerie white light coming off of the danger. A non-hostile supernatural being will show no such signs.
- Most, but not all, Nendi are extremely strong.
The Contest of the Blood
This ritual is used to select a ruler from amongst the Nendi heirs. Each drinks the blood of the other, mixed into a cup of sweet plum wine. One will be dominant, and the other will be submissive.
It's not quite clear how exactly this works, but the Nendi themselves are almost always content with it. One Nendi will emerge the clear ruler, with the others Bonded to him or her.
On rare occasions, a Nendi fails to be Bonded to the Overlord/Overlady. The few times this has happened, and the dissenter was either executed or banished. Such a Furre and their parents are disgraced- it is suspected that they are not full-blooded, but the product of an affair.
Weaknesses of the Nendi
Linked to Cheng Ban
- It is very important to note that the Nendi do not do well outside of the Valley of Cheng Ban! If they are away for too long, they will sicken and die. The stronger the Nendi blood, the more tied to Cheng Ban they are. There is only one hope for such a Nendi: they must regularly drink the blood of a full Vampfurre. That blood cannot be willingly given- if it is, it loses its lifesaving ability. Thus, as a rule, Nendi do not form alliances with Vampfurres-- they take them prisoner and extract blood by force! This has given rise to tension between them and the kindhearted Children of the Dawn.
- Nendi have a strong blindspot when it comes to matters outside the Cheng Ban and the Royal Jade City. They are only vaguely aware that Kasuria and Drakoria exist. Their perspective is that things outside of Cheng Ban don't really matter. Until they have travelled outside of their country, they think that Cheng Ban is the civilized world, and all other places are little insignificant outlying provinces.
Hated by Vampfurres
- Those Nendi who travel outside Cheng Ban invariably do so as hunters of Vampfurres. For the Nendi's purposes, Vampfurre blood only lasts a month after it is put into phials.