Incarnates are people who are able to commune with daimones and harness their power.
It is as if Nature itself is in revolt. The same scenes, played out again and again the world over: Meteorites falling from the sky, massive cold fronts sweeping across the land, an unending onslaught of catastrophe. The so-called "cube phenomena" have enveloped the world, and the people live in perpetual fear of what will become of their planet.
Among the people of this age, there are those known as "incarnates"--humans with extraordinary abilities. These special powers are drawn from daimones, or spiritual manifestations of the gods, demons, and monsters of all the world's mythology. Owing to their eerie supernatural powers, incarnates are feared by the general public, and authorities have attempted to harness these powers for their own ends. But one day, in the mind of every incarnate there speaks a voice: "To avoid certain destruction, you must defeat the Sovereign of this era."
Each incarnate has responded to this message differently. Some take it as a revelation, while others dismiss it as a mere hallucination. If some lament it as an ill omen for the future, others relish the ensuing chaos as a pretext to fulfill their base desires. But no matter the reaction, none amongst them can tell who or what the Sovereign of the era could be.
With their own interpretations and reasons to fight, the incarnates enter the fray.
"Incarnates": Those able to commune with beings of legend--and harness their power.
Able to levitate, channel nature's energy at will, or perform other supernatural feats, these men and women have gone by many names throughout history: sorcerers, witches, shamans, miracle workers, even demigods. Even as superstitions fell away in modern times, rumors of superhuman powers persisted. Today, these chosen few are referred to as incarnates.
Their existence known to the establishment since at least the early 20th century, they became the focus of attention during World War II. From Germany's supersoldier experiments to the German-British paranormal battles waged by Karl Ernst Krafft and Louis de Wohl, to the Japanese attempt on President Roosevelt's life via ritual curses, records of incarnate activity are plentiful. Interest in their kind from Churchill and other world leaders is also well documented. This wartime research quietly continued after the war's end, exploring both the incarnates' military uses as well as applications in medicine and other fields. Today, it is known that all paranormal phenomena once known as magic or miracles can in fact be attributed to the work of these incarnates.
Yet many of these secret studies have still been viewed with skepticism--a view even those conducting the studies have been eager to foster in order to protect their findings. As a result, incarnates have largely been fodder for urban legends.
In recent years, a number of high-profile crimes and terrorist attacks have brought incarnates to the forefront of public consciousness. What were once thought of as fictional bogeymen have now become a very real threat, provoking a wave of fear and persecution from the general population. Research into their abilities from both a military and domestic security stance has risen to high priority, and the world's governments have taken measures to identify and regulate their incarnates while also developing new weaponry to keep them in check. What sense of mystery surrounded their abilities in the age of magic is now gone, replaced with a stark view that paints incarnates' powers as brutal and dangerous tools of immoral destruction.
The term "incarnate" derives from the idea that these men and women are avatars of power given form. Formerly a slang label used in rumors and urban legends, it took root as the mainstream media began to cover stories relating to their existence. The precise origin of the term is unknown, but it stands today as the most common and broadly-used term for these individuals.
The birth of an incarnate
When a human is placed under extreme duress, the self weakens and recedes, giving rise to a fragile mental state in which the individual's consciousness can mingle with that of a daimon--a phenomenon known as "contact." This psychic connection becomes a channel through which the daimon's power can flow into the human, causing that host to awaken as an incarnate. Not all people are capable of making contact, however, even when pushed to their limits. Only those with the mental fortitude and strength of will required to attract a daimon emerge with the ability to wield their powers as incarnates.
Those subjects who draw in a daimon but fail to make contact generally do not suffer negative effects. Those who succeed in making contact but fail to awaken as an incarnate, however, face dire results. In the best cases, madness awaits; in the worst, brain damage or death. In extremely rare cases, the bodies of subjects who suffer brain trauma may be taken over entirely by the daimon they made contact with, allowing for direct communication between human and daimon using the incarnate's body as a medium. The majority of such cases have yielded only strings of unintelligible gibberish, but some have offered crucial hints at the nature and origin of the daimones.
The mentality, desires, and regrets of the subject play a critical role in determining with which daimon a subject makes contact. Consequently, there is a strong correspondence between the personality of an incarnate and the nature of their daimon. Furthermore, it has been proven that the death of an incarnate breaks their contact with the daimon, releasing it back into the collective consciousness. The daimon may then make contact with a new human, giving birth to a new incarnate.
Life as an incarnate
The form and abilities yielded when an incarnate manifests his or her power depends greatly upon the image they hold of their daimon. If a daimon is commonly understood as a fire deity, for instance, the incarnate's powers will likely favor pyromancy and a strong resistance to heat. Contrarily, an incarnate's doubts can greatly hinder the expression of their power; a daimon cannot do what its incarnate believes to be impossible. It is this self-limitation, often a product of so-called ""common sense,"" that greatly diminishes many incarnates' potential.
Some incarnates rise above such limits, however, and the influence they bear on the world is vast. Following a spate of acts of large-scale crime and terror by incarnates, the world's governments enacted systems to preemptively identify and manage their incarnate population. Registered incarnates are secretly tagged with microchips, allowing authorities to track their location and any use of their powers. All children are subjected to mandatory screenings at birth to ensure a complete database of potential incarnates. Even so, children born in developing nations (or who lack birth records for other reasons) exist outside of this system in significant numbers, and many of those born before such tests were implemented have avoided incarnate screenings as adults. Many such "closet incarnates" strive to keep a low profile, hiding their powers in an effort to preserve their quiet lives, making precise estimates of their numbers difficult. As a result, rumors persist of secret incarnates affiliated with any number of military and intelligence agencies around the globe. In truth, in more than a few cases, these claims have a legitimate basis.
Official records state there are currently 3,561 registered incarnates worldwide, but fear of the persecution that awaits identified incarnates means the true figure is likely closer to 10,000.
Incarnates in turmoil
In the wake of the first disasters, incarnates became targets for suspicion and worse. The fear, envy, and entrenched victim-hood mentality of the powerless soon gave birth to widespread persecution of those with power. In return, many incarnates succumbed to the temptations of their power and struck back, driving the wedge between them deeper and worsening the already widespread panic. Elsewhere, a handful of incarnates decided to use their abilities for good, as first response working to aid disaster survivors, or as members of the reconstruction effort.
One incarnate, presumed American but known only as the Good Samaritan, awoke to supernatural strength and used his new-found abilities to save the lives of no fewer than 238 people, as well as aiding in the construction of refugee camps. None who witnessed his work first-hand had anything but praise for the mysterious man, with many saying that if only all incarnates shared his character, the world would be a peaceful place. While others like him did exist, their noble acts were sadly overshadowed by the far larger number of incarnates acting on their own selfish impulses. Popular sentiment continued to sour, until the Good Samaritan was seen as a sort of tragic joke, and public opinion firmly determined that incarnates were dangerous. The simple fact that incarnates possessed a power beyond the ken of average humans ultimately proved enough to convince the vast majority of humanity--most of whom had no direct contact with incarnates whatsoever--that they were an uncontrollable threat. Their very existence placed mankind in peril.
It is unclear what became of the Good Samaritan. As the reconstruction effort stabilized, he was sighted less and less. Perhaps amid the rising tide of anti-incarnate sentiment he felt that his presence caused more unrest than his powers could do good. While the matter is now left to conjecture, the man portrayed by the eyewitness accounts of other relief workers seems to be one compassionate and selfless enough to warrant such an assessment.
|Rise of Incarnates|
Jedrek Tyler - Terrence Blake - Mireia Valentin - Gasper Watteau - Erendira Quinn - Reinhold Kruger