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Being Empyrean

bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,244 Arc User
edited December 2022 in Champions Pen and Paper RPG
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/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.
Post edited by bulgarex on


  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,244 Arc User
    Empyreans tend to categorize themselves according to their "generations." The Ancients were the First Generation; their children make up the Second Generation; the Third Generation were born from Second Gen parents; and so on. While which Generation an Empyrean belongs to does roughly correlate to their age, the determining factor appears to be the one their parent belongs to. Hence there can be considerable variation among the ages in a particular generation.

    Since Empyreans don't die naturally, their birth rate is extremely low. The birth or discovery of a new Empyrean is cause for much celebration in Arcadia, part of his or her ceremonial induction into Empyrean society.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,244 Arc User
    edited January 2019
    Empyreans have involved themselves in human affairs almost since homo sapiens evolved. While not revealing their true origins, they nevertheless often opt for high-profile, glamorous lifestyles. In the past a few have directly intervened in human activities, and played the role of heroes or even been mistaken for gods. But for the most part King Hazor has restricted his people from meddling too much for fear of contaminating their mortal cousins' natural evolution. Hazor is fond of humanity, believing they'll evolve to one day rival the Empyreans themselves. But the widespread development of superhumans in recent decades concerns him greatly, and he's considering taking a more active role.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,244 Arc User
    Empyreans can look like any of the ethnicities of humanity, although some of their parents are from ethnic groups who have since gone extinct. They're almost always very attractive by human standards. Even their non-Empyrean children tend to be unusually good-looking and physically fit.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 2,244 Arc User
    edited December 2022
    Here are all the named Empyreans from Hidden Lands and elsewhere. I'll add an asterisk by names that are confirmed female: Amlin, Ogurn, Marya*, Garon, Gaex, Ashari*, Madux, Hadon, Shaneva*, Laddoc, Othor, Hazor, Ashima*, Arvad, Shaderon, Haldor, Abechan*, Brax, Zoltar, Noatar, Handrel*, Chard, Archon, Davos, Thalya*, Lannet, Eidolon, Isacen*, Jubal, Zadin, Thav, Laureanus *.

    EDIT: "Laureanus" came from an early supplement for the current setting, before much about the Empyreans was defined. As a name precedent I would suggest treating her as an outlier.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
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