Earth 204

AU Idea: Neo-Victorian Paranormal/Steampunk/van Helsing-verse

Deep in an ancient Aspen forest in Eastern Europe lies the small town of Cut, which harbors a mysterious school for the abnormally gifted. This school, known only as the Academy, is at the very heart of the Vampire Hunter world. No other school trains hunters quite as well as the Academy, but the students are all…strange. The ancient castle that serves as the school is watched over by an Immortal, a redeemed vampire named Henderson. If you're invited to attend the Academy, think long and hard because there's no going back…

AU Basics: In this universe, the van Helsing-verse, the world is constantly at war with paranormal and supernatural elements. Chief among the elements are the vampires, inhumanly strong nightwalkers with various abilities that far outstrip common humans. In order to combat this evil, the world turns to the Vampire Hunters. Vampire Hunters are humans wielding the most advanced technology imaginable, enhanced with magic, or augmented in some other way. Of importance, fluff-wise: Electricity isn't around, but it is emulated with magic. There are no "superpowers" but some humans born in high magic areas exhibit supernatural abilities.

Vampires: Neigh-invulnerable, ageless, horrifying. They have few weaknesses: Sunlight, need for blood, Aspen-wood stake through the heart, beheading, holy items, and silver to a limited degree. They are faster, stronger, and usually far more experienced than the hunters. Their abilities have allowed them to take over 65% of the Earth, which they keep in perpetual darkness through vile magic. Their power has attracted humans with dark hearts and darker souls, humans that trade their blood for the chance to possibly experience eternity. Many are turned into thralls and many more are used as food. Most vampires are evil due to the vampiric process, which strips away most of the good in a human's heart and soul and replaces it with an all consuming hunger for blood and an insatiable lust for hot, sticky blood.

Vampire Hunters: Specially talented saviors of humanity that sacrifice everything in an attempt to win back the world. They cast off their childhood in order to possibly win back the Earth. Most come from areas of high concentration of magic due to the innate abilities afforded. Some are were-creatures, some are man-made Automata, but most are simply enhanced humans. The greatest hunters of all time were trained at the Academy…but that was before Cut was taken over by the Vampires. Now, 50 years later, the Academy and Cut have been freed and training is starting again.

Immortals: Vampires that have atoned for their sins by killing their masters. They have earned their soul and therefore have shrugged aside all the negative qualities of being a vampire. Doing so is hard work, and few vampires maintain the purity of heart to attain Immortal status. Most Immortals have crosses burnt into their skins, a side effect of the purifying process.

Were-Critters: Yep. They're in. Not just wolves, but badgers, rats, bears, cougars, and hawks. Basic weakness to silver. They maintain some skills even if they're human, enhanced senses and whatnot.

Dolls: At first glance, most appear to be cast-off children's playthings, usually made of porcelain but these soulless beings of pure evil are anything but fun. Dolls are usually found roaming abandoned villages, decrepit castles, desecrated churches, and other places where society once was. Their empty eyes and grasping hands are often the last thing seen by unwary adventurers. Also, reports of a new breed of Doll have been made. These new Dolls appear to be made of human flesh sewn into ragdolls and stuffed with viscera. Someone is making them, but it's not clear who.

Automata: Machines made in the image of men, Automata are made almost exclusively by the forces of good. They're not the most lifelike representations of humanity, but they've got the spark of life in them. They're typically as large as a man, made from brass and steel, and powered by either springs or steam, however, some of the newer models have special Magi-Cores that power them and give them enhanced abilities.

Dhampir: The offspring created when a human and vampire mate. Dhampir aren't as strong of tough or fast as vampires, but they retain their soul and have no problems with holy icons, sunlight, or a need for blood. However, Dhampir are viewed as being blighted and treated as lepers. Dhampir make for excellent vampire hunters due to their inherit immunity to most of a vampire's powers as well as having the unique ability to feel the presence of vampires and their minions.

Mageborn - The mageborn are the superheroes of this universe, born to unusual circumstance or locale. Some are full mages, but others exhibit only a select number of magically derived abilities. It is known that the abilities of the mageborn are sometimes passed through a lineage, but just as often this is not the case. Why and how a Mageborn is created and what abilities they possess is completely unknown.

Possible Plot: When residents of Cut start disappearing, they turn to the Academy for help. Shadowy figures stalk the night, cattle are found mutilated and pulverized: Obviously not vampires…right?

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