Those of you who have perused the Champions Universe: Unique Character Origins
thread have probably seen the entry for the Empyreans
, immortal superhuman cousins of humanity who have coexisted with them on Champions Earth for hundreds of millennia. That entry is fairly brief, and I recently received a request from a CO player for more info about Empyreans. Now, let me first mention that everything to do with the Empyreans is covered in great detail in the book, Hidden Lands
, along with Atlantis, Lemuria, and to a lesser extent several other CU locations. HL is available from the Hero Games website, and in PDF form is extremely reasonably priced: https://www.herogames.com/forums/store/product/272-hidden-lands-pdf/
. What I thought might be useful to this community would be info that focuses more on potential character origins, backgrounds, range of Empyrean abilities, and role-playing tips, to add depth to PCs (or original NPCs) with that origin. To that end this thread is open to additional questions and comments from my fellow forumites. 😇
For millions of years the godlike alien Progenitors experimented on the genes of humanity's ancestors. 500,000 years ago they created the first twelve Empyreans, known as "the Ancients." Only one of those Ancients is known to still be on Earth; today their descendants maintain a city called Arcadia
, "the City of Gold," in a valley of the same name in Antarctica, given a pleasant climate, and hidden from detection by the outside world, by ancient Progenitor devices. The majority of Empyreans actually live incognito among their human cousins, but humanity as a whole is unaware of their existence, and maintaining that facade is their highest law. Only a few humans have been trusted with that knowledge and the location of Arcadia. (Telepathic Empyreans can erase the memories of anyone who discovers the truth.) Hazor, their current king, is the son of the late Ancient Empyrean leader, Amlin, and brother to Arvad "the Betrayer," former ruler of Lemuria. The Lemurians know of Arcadia and have been enemies of the Empyreans for many millennia, having attacked them on multiple occasions. A few Empyreans have acted as superheroes or villains in the modern era.
All Empyreans are physically superhuman to a greater or lesser extent. The magnitude of qualities such as strength, speed, durability, or sensory acuity, can vary widely, sometimes attaining "heavyweight" levels compared to other supers. They're all also ageless, immune to diseases and to environmental extremes that would kill a human, heal from injury extremely rapidly, and can fly, although again, flight speed can vary considerably. Empyreans can manifest a very wide range of mental and energy powers, although the degree of such powers in any particular Empyrean ranges from very formidable to nearly nonexistent. Know Empyrean powers include projection of destructive energy blasts, mind reading and control, shape-shifting, control of light or sound, telekinesis, empathic mastery of animals, healing other organisms or accelerating their growth, illusion projection, transforming matter, growing to giant size, or copying the super-powers of others.
Almost any power appears to be possible, but which powers, physical abilities, or skills a given Empyrean has depends on both inborn talent and what they choose to develop. Most Empyreans focus their energies on a particular pastime to fill their immortal lives, eventually attaining such mastery of it that they're among the best, if not THE best, in their field in the world. Empyreans call most of their fellows by a title reflective of their expertise, e.g. Master Builder Zadin, Hunter Thav, Musician Jubal, Thief Handrel, or Counselor Brax.
Empyreans understand sophisticated technology. Although nowhere near the level of their Progenitor creators, their knowledge is still among the most advanced on Earth, well beyond the average of human civilization. They're noted as employing robots to perform many mundane tasks; however, Empyreans don't appear to otherwise use tech much in their daily lives in Arcadia. Their superhuman strength, flight, telepathic communication, and near-immortality, cover most of the things humans utilize devices for.
Empyreans are interfertile with humans, and those living among humans sometimes have children by them. These children are either normal humans or, rarely, full Empyreans -- there are no "half-Empyreans." They may grow up unaware of their true heritage; but the law-keeper of the Empyreans, Enforcer Ashima, uses her great telepathic powers to scan the world for the minds of young Empyreans not yet discovered. When she finds one they're brought to Arcadia and formally inducted into Empyrean society. After being trained by their parent the young Empyreans are free to pursue whatever activities they like, as long as they keep their people secret.
Money is scarcely a concern for Empyreans living among humanity. Many of them have built fortunes through their activities, and are expected to assist their kin financially or in other ways whenever necessary. That includes helping them develop new identities for when the fact they don't age can no longer be hidden.