Saturday, April 6, 2019

SPΩRE: Parahumans

The various SPORE settings share several common elements--though, in many cases, these elements are substantially different than their counterparts in the other "realities."  For example, each setting has a class of people who are more than human, no longer human, or some combination.  They are known by the generic term parahuman.

Parahumans in GaiaSPΩRE

The term parahuman was created in initially for the GaiaSPORE setting.  Here, parahumans are a race of people created during the Century War (another recurring theme) to serve as living weapons.  The various factions of the war each followed the same basic process: animal DNA was spliced with human DNA to create specialized super-soldiers.  Dozens of different animals were used, but only a handful of parahumans proved to be viable enough to produce offspring.

After that war, parahumans were almost unilaterally treated like second-class citizens.  Few members of the greater populace could see them as little more than weapons released into civilian populations.  Out of fear, "mundane" humans would belittle, discriminate against, and even attack parahumans.  While many parahumans found refuge among the colonists of space--even here their treatment was far from ideal.

A generation after the end of the Century War on Earth, colonies on the Moon and Mars had to cope with the Parahuman Revolution.  Ultimately, parahumans would "win" this conflict--gaining a homeland among the colonies of Mars.  This Liaka Republic was the first independent nation in space.  Several other colonies would seek independence as a result; which ultimately led to I.O.C.A.S.T.A. closing the atmospheric border of Earth.

Parahuamns in LegacySPΩRE

In LegacySPORE, parahumans emerge much earlier.  In this setting, the term is used (generally) to mean Mutants and Psionics; it is roughly synonymous with mutant in the Marvel universe and metahuman in the DC universe.  Parahumans, therefore, are not a deliberately constructed race, but one that accidentally emerges.  The first known parahumans were made public during World War II.

Parahumans are categorized into three basic groups, based on the reason for their development:  Deliberate Experimentation, Genetic Anomaly, and Exposure.  During WWII, the most common category was deliberate experimentation; while exposure was more common in the years following that war.  Over time, as each new generation inherited mutation from its parents, the most common parahuman category has become genetic "anomaly."

In recent decades, parahumans have started to develop a cultural identity.  Over half a century of being feared and held to a different standard has caused a movement called the Parahuman Homeland Initiative.  Both individuals and organizations participate in this movement--and not all agree on the methods needed to achieve the ultimate goal.  While Dr. Brian Stoker and his Firebird Institute work within national and international law, the Parahuman Liberation Army discards all but their own laws.

Ultimately, this will lead to LegacySPORE's version of the Century War.

Parahumans in EldritchSPΩRE

Though this archetype does exist in the setting--and is a substantial part thereof--the term parahuman is not commonly used by the mundane people of EldritchSPORE.  It is instead used most often by scholars when discussing such characters academically (as by the Watchful Order of Hermetic Masters) or else politically (as by the Supernatural/Paranormal Investigation and Response Services [S/PIRe]).

S/PIRe was the first organization to categorize these beings.  They have done so to establish investigation and response teams tailored to the specific needs of a given "threat": Revenants (aka. "greater undead;" inc. vampires, liches, and mummies), zombies ("reanimations," though living zombie are also recognized), spirits ("hauntings"), therianthropes, and daemons.  The revenant, therianthrope, and daemon classifications are considered parahumans.

Revenants are created through exposure (vampire) or arcane experimentation (liches and mummies). Similarly, therianthropes are also created through exposure--though often a preexisting animal nature is amplified.  In both cases, the existence of these beings is rooted in folklore.  While individuals may show variation, each class of these parahumans shares common traits that can be exploited.

Daemons create themselves through acts of personal greatness.  However, in the process, they are removed form the mortal world in favor of the Overworld, the Otherworld, or the Underworld.  Once ascended, they are bound to their new plane.  The only way daemon blood may re-enter the mortal world is though birth to human parents:  half-eudaemon nephilim, half-agathodaemon changelings, and half-cacodaemon cambions.  These parahumans are relatively rare compared to their super-human counterparts.

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