Standard Outsider Classifications
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Overview

In a world containing billions of people, a tiny fraction of a percentage reveal a degree of supernatural awareness and power. Yet in a world of billions of people this still means that there are millions of individuals touched by forces paranormal and supernatural. Among these millions, there are thousands of different combinations of races, bloodlines, schools, origin myths and systems of belief about the supernatural. The Quincunx Corporation has not categorised the full range of supernatural entities present in the world. Luckily, there are a few general patterns of classification that can be applied across them.


Classification Pattern

On of the common aspects of all paranormal and supernatural beings is the fact that they consider themselves separate from the masses of humanity. Some consider themselves shepherds over the weak, others consider themselves lords and masters, all have a name for themselves that means something along the lines of "others" or "outsiders" in their native tongue. For purposes of general categorisation, Quincunx calls the mundane masses of the world "citizens" (as they live within the world), while they call anyone touched by elemental energies "Outsiders" (as they are no longer a part of the world's citizens).

Outsiders are classified by three separate groupings:

  1. Relative degree of elemental energy and supernatural potential
  2. Dominant elemental energy type (and any racial or bloodline affinity)
  3. Court/Factional affiliation (and pattern of supernatural belief)

Each of these three groups has a wide scope, and for many of the better understood groups, individuals are defined by narrower classifications. In a way this is similar to the pattern of family, genus and species used by biologists.


Degrees

Archivists within the corporation have divided the Outsiders into six degrees of power. Each of these degrees is exponentially greater than the last, though the exact degree of exponential power is a matter of continued debate (especially since individuals classed within the one level can vary in strength compared to one another, and their relative power levels can fluctuate based on conditions such as physical location and temporal factors). For simplification, new operatives are simply told that each degree of power is five to ten times more powerful than the degree preceding it. Five to ten regular citizens would be a match for a first degree outsider, five to ten first level outsiders would be a match for a second degree outsider, etc. By this rationale, it would take 15,000 to 1 million citizens to match the outsiders rightly described as deities.

The method of determining this scale has evolved since the classification system was first established by the RAPDA in the late 1930s. This early form of the supernatural degrees of power was based closely on the Richter scale, categorising the influence an individual outsider had on the community around them in the same way that an earthquake might impact a comparable group with it's effects. For a brief period of time in the mid 1950's the scale was modifed to a linear format comparing the devastation an individual outsider could do to an area in comparison to metric tons and kilotons of TNT (following closely to the scale used for nuclear warheads). The linear scale was abandoned in the late 1960s, temporarily returning to the exponential classification system matching the Richter scale. In tandem with US government agencies and the University of Chicago, a new system was developed. Seeing public dissemination as the Fujita Scale the supernatural applications of the system seem to match more closely the impact of a supernatural being on a local area.

While the public version of the Fujita scale classifies damage by integer values, the version used by the Quincunx Corporation often retains the decimal values of the Richter scale to provide it's operatives with the highest level of data to ensure adequate resources are requisitioned in a mission.

First Degree - Tainted

Paranormal 1 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the tainted as the first of the paranormal degrees. According to statistics gathered from around the world, roughly 1% of the regular population falls into this category for each of the elemental essences, but the vast majority of people simply don't realise that there is anything different about them on a metaphysical level. Many tainted individuals bear elevated traits associated with the elemental resonance in their veins but rarely manifest anything more. A fire tainted individual might simply think they are more easily prone to acts of aggression, a metal tainted individual might feel depressed more often than the people around them.

When regular people associated too often with supernatural beings, there is a chance that they might become tainted, but it is far more common for a person to be born with elemental taint due to an ancestor who was born with elemental energy in their system. According to leaked Quincunx documentation, all Operatives for the company are tainted, and it is this level of residual taint that allows them to access the powers of the Quincunx Serum.

Second Degree - Halfblood

Paranormal 2 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the halfblood as the second of the paranormal degrees. Roughly 1 in 50 tainted individuals has their status increased to "halfblood". Such individuals were probably born tainted with an elemental essence, but have had this energy honed in some way (either through cultural conditioning, deliberate training, or random genetic mutation). Halfbloods are still able to walk through the regular population without drawing suspicion, but sensitive individuals will notice something "different" about them. Halfbloods tainted with an essence of wood might seem more primal and seductive, while those associated with fire might seem constantly on the edge of anger and violence.

While it is known for individuals born tainted to ascend to halfblood status naturally, it is very unlikely for a regular person to simply ascend to the ranks of halfblood without some conscious effort (either through infection by a creature of fullblood or stronger status, or through their own deliberate efforts). Operatives of Quincunx who rely to heavily on Serum often find their own status increase toward Halfblood unless they make deliberate efforts to prevent this.

Third Degree - Fullblood

Supernatural 1 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the fullblood as the first of the supernatural degrees. Roughly 1 in 50 individuals identified as halfbloods are actually "fullbloods". Such individuals are typically born into a race of supernatural beings such as werewolves, vampires or elves, but occasionally genetic throwbacks are born into regular families with supernatural blood deep in their family trees. Fullbloods are instantly identified by members of the public as something different; most people can't place their finger on the difference unless the full blood releases their supernatural legacy and conjures unnatural powers, they just feel a distinct sense of unease.

Tainted and halfblood individuals need to make a conscious effort to ascend to the ranks of a fullblood supernatural. Regular people typically need at least two conscious efforts, one to reach a paranormal state of being, and a second to reach the degree of fullblood. It has been suggested that the Five might have actually ascended to fullblood status through their excessive use of Serum; Quincunx will neither confirm nor deny this rumour, but it might explain somethiung about their desire for privacy and their need to hide their true identities from the outside world.

Fourth Degree - Ascendant

Supernatural 2 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the ascendant as the second of the supernatural degrees. Roughly 1 in 50 fullbloods are powerful enough to be considered members of the "ascendant" degree. Quincunx rarely encounters beings of the ascendant degree; but when they do, the results are spectacular. In most cases, ascendant supernatural beings are the regional heads of courts and as such they have high levels of responsibility and enough understanding of supernatural politics to know how to keep a very low profile. Such beings do not merely give off inhuman auras, they often look inhuman as well and are unable to hide such appearances without invoking mystical effects of their own.

Fifth Degree - Demigod/God

Divine 1 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the demigod or god as the first of the divine degrees. Although the Quincunx Corporation has a distinctly secular outlook on the supernatural, the rare beings they describe as "demigods" have such power that they have kept the nomenclature of the R.A.M.A. Such creatures transcend the abilities of other supernatural beings in much the same way that Operatives transcend the masses, the few encounters which have been recorded show degrees of power that could only come from the ancient gods or their children. To face one of these creatures alone is tantamount to suicide. Following the pattern, most analysts within Quincunx believe that for every 50 ascendant supernatural beings, there is a single demigod. Perhaps as few as a dozen demigods per court and certainly no more than 20.

If there is a difference between demigods and gods in Quincunx documentation it isn't obvious. Gods seem to be older, or more powerful, but at these levels of magnitude either is a force to be reckoned with.

Sixth Degree - Deity/Celestine

Divine 2 - The Quincunx Corporation identifies the deity or celestine as the second of the divine degrees. Such creatures are encountered very rarely, and have typically been found in regions of truly ancient civilisation such as India, Greece and Egypt. It is theorised that such beings could easily alter reality at their merest whim, and that they have lost all connection with humanity. They seem to be waging a war with one another through the courts, though the exct nature of this war is beyond the understanding of the Quincunx Corporation and seems to have been continuing since the dawn of time.

Again, if the pattern is followed, there would be less than a dozen beings of this power in a world of 6 billion people. Perhaps a single deity operates as the ruler of each court. Quincunx has no records of ever encountering such beings, and even if they had they might never know.

Seventh Degree and Higher??

The Quincunx Corporation isn't arrogant enough to think that they know everything about the universe, and they have left open their scale of supernatural beings. Most analysts have a healthy fear about the creatures existing on the fifth and sixth degree of the supernatural scale, but only a rare few believe that the company has categorised everything. Some point to the legendary works of HP Lovecraft, claiming that the great old ones would be marked as members of the seventh degree or even higher if they were ever encountered. It's little wonder that many people seemed to go insane just thinking about the magnitude of such beings.

[[note]] By the approximate statistics given, in a city the size of Sydney (roughly 5 Million people), there would be 50 000 individuals tainted by each elemental resonance (for a total of 300 000 individuals), 1 000 halfbloods of each resonance (for a total of 6 000), 20 fullbloods of each (for a total of 120). There would only be two or three ascendant individuals across the entire city, scattered among all the resonances. There would probably be no demigods or gods permanently residing in the city, and since the Quincunx archives show no encounters with beings of god-like power this would match the statistics provided.[[/note]]


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Elemental Resonances

At the foundation of R.A.M.A., British government research into the supernatural closely followed the patterns of European Hermetic thought. Four elements of power were recognised, and a fifth catch-all element of "Aether" or "Void" was used to describe anything that wasn't understood.

Continued contact with Chinese alchemists in the streets of Sydney's Chinatown and native spirits, Quincunx was forced to expand it's elemental paradigm to six types, incorporating Air, Earth, Fire, Metal, Water and Wood. Each of these elements corresponds to a particular mental attitude, configuration of appearance and array of paranormal abilities. They are referred to as the parapsychic elements.

For many years, a group of archivists have tried to incorporate two additional elements, referring to them as metapsychic elements as they seem to exist beyond the currently understood energy types. The researchers of Asian descent often refer to these elements as Yin and Yang, while those of European descent call them Darkness and Light. A number of theories have arisen regarding the nature of these energy types and their correspondences to the parapsychic elements. But while the Quincunx Corporation agrees that these elements need to be incorporated into a wider pattern of supernatural classification, few have manageds to agree how this should be done.

Thus far the system of six parapsychic elements and two metapsychic elements has proved adequate to describe virtually everything encountered by Quincunx.

Races and Bloodlines

All Outsiders have a connection to one or more types of elemental resonance, this is the defining feature that makes them an outsider. Some derive this energy from an infection, or exposure to paranormal phenomena throughout their lives, others are born into lineages enchanted by elemental energies for generations.

When a group of outsiders share an origin through a common mystical phenomenon or family relationship, they typically share a range of common powers and traits. Such traits could be the traditional vampiric aversion to sunlight or the common encountered inability for certain beings to cross barriers of salt.

Within each of the specific elemental resonances, there are a dozen or more groups defined as races. Within each of these races, there may be as many as a dozen specific groups referred to as lineages or bloodlines. Thus far, Quincunx has categorised just over a hundred races and almost five hundred bloodlines.

Dryad - Elemental Resonance of Wood

Lycanthrope,Mummy

Gnome - Elemental Resonance of Earth

Troll, Dwarf

Salamander - Elemental Resonance of Fire

Djinn, Seraph

Sylph - Elemental Resonance of Air

Valkyrie, Ghosts

Undine - Elemental Resonance of Water

Kraken, Merfolk

Yindao - Elemental Resonance of Metal

Vampirism, Zombies


Court Affiliations

The Courts are a group of supernatural societies that have existed for thousands of years, regulating their members through careful rules that restrict the interaction between normal and paranormal societies. Many of the members of these courts trace their ancestry back to ancient gods or legendary beings (in fact, some of the older members of the courts claim to be responsible for the myths of these gods or legends). In most cases, the courts deliberately monitor their own, punishing members who step beyond the bounds of courtly procedure, and occasionally offering a bounty to companies like Quincunx when their members turn rogue.

Rogue members of courts bear a range of talents and supernatural powers that they developed within the ranks of their former society, but due to their upbringing they often possess character traits that can be exploited by a canny operative.

Occasionally, an operative will be assigned to deal with paranormal beings who have never had the chance to develop their powers within a structured supernatural society. Typically referred to as Orphans these beings may not even understand that they are supernatural, instead simply considering themselves as different, perhaps considering a heightened awareness to be hallucinations, while supernatural speed or endurance might be viewed as incredible, but innate athletic potential.

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