Beyond The Veil
Vampires concentrate in urban areas, where their feeding on human blood is least likely to draw attention. Each city and its surrounding urban sprawl is the territory of a Count or Countess, a powerful vampire who generally keeps the immortal undead of their “Kiss” under a tight rein working in his own businesses and rarely allows independents of their own kind. They often involve themselves in vice and crime, expecting easier and less noticeable victims – but they’ll also run businesses through proxies or their “Renfield” human slaves. If a master in the Kiss has an “animal servant” then usually the local shapeshifter group of that kind will be dragooned in to bolster the vampires’ numbers. There are stories and legends about a “Council of Princes” of ancient undead that ultimately creates the Laws all vampire-kind and who’s members are the basis for the different Bloodlines of vampire powers – but if so they‘re too involved in political feuding amongst themselves to exercise their might properly. Go To Vampire Lore.
Shapeshifters, other than Wererats, prefer access to wide open spaces for their packs and prides. But modern transport has made it far easier to “commute” to wilderness areas from the cities for the full moon. The most common, because their infection is most easily passed on, are Werewolves and Wererats but there are other were-creatures too: big cats such as lions or leopards, snakes, hyenas, bears and even magical swanmays. Each group is led by an Alpha and his or her dominant, most powerful, lieutenants. Although by far the most numerous group and able to pass as human much of the time, the shapeshifters are handicapped by a lack of co-operation among species or even among groups of the same kind, by the way that some vampires and mages can control them using magic and by their shorter, mortal lifespans. Only the most powerful among them wields magic comparable to that of the other factions – although individually they are among the strongest and hardest to kill of all extraordinaries. Go To Shapeshifter Lore.
Mages often see themselves as either the guardians of mundane humanity against the supernatural predators mundanes believe to be fictional or the rightful masters of the sea of mundanes instead of those other predators. Some have extended their human lifespans greatly through magic and some may even be truly immortal. They are the driving force behind many of the magical cults and mystic conspiracy groups of human history, casting their net to filter new recruits with the rare gift for true magery as well as subtly guiding humanity from behind the scenes. Go to Mage Lore.
The Sidhe or Fair Folk are the last of the major extraordinary powers Behind The Veil and the least numerous, although they make up for that in large part by individual power. They won’t be found everywhere, only in or near wilderness areas where ancient gates to their own Faery Realm still exist. There two main groups of true Sidhe known as the Two Courts, Seelie and Unseelie, have been feuding since before history began. Each Court of immortal Sidhe has its own King or Queen – and there are other Fay Courts too, such as those of the Goblins, Danna Shee and Slaugh, which haven’t been true individual Kingdoms in their own right for thousands of years but instead are bound to the Two Courts. If ever the Two Courts were to be united the Sidhe and their kin would swiftly become the ruling power in those areas they decide to claim as their own – a potential prospect that pleases none of the other powers one bit. Go to Faerie Lore.
Government agencies know about and have an interest in preserving The Veil too, to prevent untold panic, chaos and war if their populaces ever discovered the truth about the monsters living among them.. The major world powers keep various secretive government special forces staffed by extraordinary soldiers and agents dedicated to preserving the balance and the Veil. (The main response agency in the U.S. is The Black Chamber, which is run on a black budget out of the NSA and is based under the Statue of Liberty.) All are deeply penetrated by, and used by, the various Cabal factions. Go to The Black Chamber
Minor Powers of the world Beyond The Veil are all far rarer and include powerful and wealthy dragons; undead lich-mages, mummies kept alive by dark arts and bodiless demons who possess human hosts. Then there are the real monsters, the creatures of legend and nightmare which have so little in common with humanity that they will always be simply enemies or those with so little power they will always be simply minions of more powerful things. Among their numbers you will find zombies, ghuls, medusae, yetis, hellhounds, chthonic horrors from beyond the Outer Dark and so much more.
It’s a wonder humans have survived this long.