Chronicles of Darkness - Promethean: the Created Second Edition
- We are what we pretend,
- We are what we pretend,
so we must be careful
about what we pretend to be.
- - Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
A Promethean is created from the corpse of a human by a creator; in certain cases, desired components from more than one corpse are combined into a single end-product. Very rarely, otherwise inanimate matter may be used, making a sort of magical android similar to a Golem but with considerably greater variation in form and composition. Most Prometheans are created by other Prometheans, who must create more of their kind as part of their journey towards achieving a state of true mortality. Much less common are instances where mortal creators wield the Divine Fire in order to create a new form of life; these mortals are known as demiurges, and are the most likely to create new types or Lineages of Prometheans. When a Promethean is brought into the world, they often have full knowledge of any languages their body spoke in life, and the processes necessary to control the body (hand-eye coordination, basic visual navigation, etc.). In all other aspects, they are a blank slate, although individuals may discover "memories" of skills, locations, knowledge, etc. once possessed by the mortal(s) whose bodies they now use. Some Prometheans aid their progeny in learning the basics needed to survive in the world; others leave them to figure things out on their own. There are also cases when the maker is destroyed by one means or another before the progeny wakes.
The Promethean is not human, in either the physiological or cognitive sense. It is a corpse that walks, its autonomic functions and soul replaced by the power of the Divine Fire. While the Divine Fire allows him to pass as a human from a distance, it does not make up for the lack of a soul. When a Promethean spends enough time around humans, the humans begin to fall prey to Disquiet, the feeling that there is something not just fundamentally different, but utterly wrong about the Promethean. Disquiet initially manifests itself as distrust or avoidance of the Promethean; at its worst, it can blossom into mindless rage that can only be abated by the death of the Promethean. Different Promethean Lineages generate different manifestations of Disquiet, each with their own enervating effect on the local environment and population. Disquiet affects more than just mortals; a Promethean who spends too long in one place will find the landscape and environment itself becoming tainted by his Disquiet, eventually turning into a Wasteland. Leaving the tainted zone far behind allows the land to eventually heal, but it does require the Promethean to keep on the move.
There is only one true means by which to truly escape from Disquiet: attaining mortality. Such an act requires years of dedication, but it is possible for Prometheans. By undertaking the Pilgrimage, the Promethean gains knowledge of his self, other Prometheans, and humanity as a whole. The various steps of the Pilgrimage vary widely from one Promethean to the next, but one step remains constant and inviolable: the creation of another Promethean of their line. The Pilgrimage is difficult and lengthy, but it can be achieved.
It is worth noting that the understanding and becoming of humanity can just as easily refer to the baser and worse of human impulses as to the noble and good - although those Prometheans that actually perform reprehensible acts (murder, stealing etc.) are less likely to successfully complete the Pilgrimage.
In our Chronicle, Promethean: the Created characters are included in all genre VSSs (excepting Vigil) on a High-Approval basis, rather than in Created-specific VSSs.
- Global Chronicle Storyteller (CST Chronicles of Darkness): Alex Strange
Though they appear physically human unless using their powers, Prometheans have never been ordinary mortals. Most are the creations of other Prometheans, though a small number were created by mortal demiurges who, knowingly or otherwise, manipulated Pyros. These original Prometheans are known as Progenitors, and they have created other Prometheans, resulting in Lineages of Created who were all brought to life using the same set of rites.
- Extempore: Accidents, created with a shaky connection to the Divine Fire. Unique, lonely, tragic, chosen.
- Frankenstein: Created from lightning and parts from multiple bodies, the meaning of their life is testing limits and struggling against them. Bitter, lonely, gifted.
- Galatea: One or more beautiful corpses brought to life by desire, that now only exists to love. Beautiful, courageous, reckless.
- Osiris: Aloof scholars that claim divine lineage and are obsessed with knowledge, especially secrets. Regal, thoughtful, morbid.
- Tammuz: Brought to life by the power of words, Tammuz exist to labor endlessly. Meticulous, slow, stubborn.
- Ulgan: Humans torn apart and reassembled by spirits, likely more comfortable with them than they are with humans. Spiritual, ritualistic, knowledgeable.
- Unfleshed: Artificial humans, from clay men to robots; they weren’t meant to be brought to life, but were anyway. Mechanical, literal, subservient, artificial.
Prometheans are too few in number and too focused on personal transformation to have large-scale political or social organisation. They seek to gain humanity, the "New Dawn" of existence as a human being with a soul. They call this process the "Great Work", and each chooses a "Refinement", tailoring the work to their beliefs and capabilities.
- Aes: Refinement of Gold, the Sentries. They focus on integrating with humanity so that the Promethean can live among humans and develop an understanding of human nature.
- Argentum: Refinement of Silver, the Mystics. They study the spaces around the edges of humanity; as such, they focus on dealing with other supernatural creatures.
- Aurum: Refinement of Gold, the Mimics. They’re waiting for the day the face in the mirror is the same one as the face in the crowd.
- Centimani: Refinement of Flux, the Freaks. Standing in opposition to the other Refinements, they abandoned the Pilgrimage.
- Cobalus: Refinement of Cobalt, the Cathars. They focus on burning out the impurities of the Promethean condition leads to Roles that study selfishness and vice. That way, a practitioner can identify them and discover how to overcome them.
- Cuprum: Refinement of Copper, the Pariahs. Misery loves company; too many cooks spoil the broth. What great works could be done alone?
- Ferrum: Refinement of Iron, the Titans. Purification above all else. They make their lives a crucible, their weaknesses slag.
- Mercurius: Refinement of Quicksilver, the Savants. They focus on exploring the internal and external alchemies of the Promethean condition, the nature of the Divine Fire, and strange creatures and philosophies.
- Phosphorum: Refinement of Phosphorus, the Light-Bringers. They study human attitudes and reactions to death.
- Plumbum: Refinement of Lead, the Originists. Reverse engineering themselves, they discover their own inhumanity and learn what to shed.
- Stannum: Refinement of Tin, the Furies. At the center of madness, they find clarity. They let loose the storm to find the eye.
This category has the following 22 subcategories, out of 22 total.