Cambion: the Legacy
The djinn are an ancient race of beings whose origins are lost to time, though according to legend, God fashioned them from smokeless flame even as he made man from the earth. The djinn are immortal, they not only never age, but can never truly be destroyed, though they can be harmed or imprisoned. The djinn are flighty and gregarious beings, always longing to go new places and to see new things. Though ancient and ageless, they are in a sense eternally young, forgetting the past as they move into the future. A few stodgy conservatives among the djinn might remember events from a century ago or recall a few important events that happened before that, but for most djinn the past only goes back a few decades at most and more often less. Two djinn might have been bitter enemies or close lovers in a past time, but meet each other today as strangers. Likewise, two djinn might be terrible enemies now without recalling how the situation ever came to be.
The djinn are creatures of heat, flame, light, and energy. In their natural form, they appear as humanoid shapes of flickering light or fire, though they can become invisible to humans at will or can assume the illusion of a human form with a bit of concentration. Djinn draw strength from energy, from heat, from lights from fire, from electricity – but most importantly from the energy of human passions. From happiness, from closeness, from joy, love, lust, passion, and drive. For this reason, djinn love to associate with humanity, to be the center of attention, to socialize and play and carouse. Alternatively, djinn are adverse to cold, wet, and darkness. They are also repelled by negative emotions, by fear, by hatred, even apathy. For this reason, while the djinn love human company, they also strive to keep their identities and existence unknown to humanity. A human’s hate and fear can repel, weaken, or even temporarily destroy a djinn. A human who holds a holy symbol to keep a djinn at bay is quite dangerous to the djinn, not because of the holy symbol itself but because of the mortal’s perception of the djinn as a creature of evil. Some djinn are evil, but they typically are subtle in how they cause harm as to avoid gaining the direct animosity of mortals.
When interacting with humanity, Djinn can use a portion of their power to manifest physically and appear as a human and manipulate physical objects like any mortal. In this form, djinn tend to be weaker than humans, perhaps half as strong as they would appear to be, though they are also incredibly dextrous and quick, lighter than humans as well. When they receive damage from purely physical (bullets, punches, cuts) sources, it disrupts their bodies but they can quickly reform, making them resistant to such damage. However, they are far more susceptible to damage from supernatural sources, a magical beast’s claws, for example, or an enchanted sword, and such attacks can destroy them even more easily than an equivalent human. They are also vulnerable to cold and water, though when they are in their human guise, they are slightly more resistant to cold and water damage though cannot reform quite as easily from physical damage. Djinn are immune to damage from heat, fire, light, radiation, or electricity – it simply has no effect in them at all, though may damage their clothing or possessions. If a djinn is destroyed, it can take them years to reform, which usually occurs in a place of great heat or energy, often relatively close to a place that was important to the djinn. After reforming from being destroying, most of the djinn’s memories are wiped away. They can still speak and retain basic skills, but even friends and loved ones may seem like distant acquaintances or half forgotten dreams. For this reason, djinn greatly fear being destroyed even though it is only temporary. Djinn can also be imprisoned through a number of different magical techniques, a fate that the djinn fear even more than death.
The djinn have a number of powers, most of which relate to light, illusion, fire, or invisibility. All djinn have the ability to become invisible to humans, though certain supernatural senses can detect them, they are truly invisible in that light passes through them, so machines cannot detect them either. They can also assume a human form, by solidifying their physical bodies and controlling the light produced by it, they take on a human appearance. Many djinn can only assume a single human form, while others can more fine control over this change and can appear as almost any human, even mimicking living humans. Djinn can also burn with a touch, searing things as a torch. Djinn can also glow or emit light, enough to cause discomfort for those who look at them. Many djinn master a few a powers. Some can fly. Some can shoot flame form their fingertips or cause things to burst into flame. Some can manipulate light in such a way as to create illusions. Some more technically savvy djinn can exert some control over electronics, shorting out circuits or in rare cases, powering simple devices. Telekinesis is a power that some djinn can master, though it rare and difficult. Over the centuries, a single djinn may master and forget many different powers, becoming highly skilled in one area of focus before losing interest and eventually forgetting how they use such powers. They do tend to have certain natural inclinations though.
Djinn are social creatures, both among humans and with each other. They tend to be emotional and develop fierce rivalries or passionate friendships that last a short duration before they are forgotten. Djinn place a great deal of importance on interacting with each other, as they need that contact to remind themselves of their nature, traditions, and djinn culture. Djinn form cliques or have circles of friends that are largely based on emotional ties and have rivalries with other cliques of djinn. These groups and rivalries can outlast the djinn who make up such groups, a clique remaining in place long after the djinn who once made it up have left or lost interest.
There are a number of varieties of djinn. Marids are more solid djinn, closer to humanity and less fiery by nature. They have longer memories and can physically manifest more easily, though their fiery nature is less powerful. Ifrits are the most fiery of djinn, the most passionate and supernaturally powerful, but also the most flighty and physically weakest, their memories barely reach back into the years and friendships or rivals are both made and lost rapidly. Ghuls are dark djinn whose fire burns with a pale green light. They can draw power not only from the positive emotions of humans, but from negative emotions as well such as fear, sadness, or pain.
For more information, see Djinn Mechanics.
A Marid is a kind of djinn, one with a more permanent nature than most. They have a far easier time assuming a corporeal form, finding that form natural to them. They are stronger but slower than most djinn, more solid and resilient to being damaged but also slower to heal from damage that they do sustain. Most often, Marids have only one human form which they stay in most of the time. Marids have a more human-like nature and are more resilient to cold. Marids are naturally more orderly than other djinn, trying to live their lives in a more routine way. The most stable and long lasting organizations of djinn are created and largely filled by Marids, creating law and order for their relatively chaotic race. Marids have the longest memories among among the djinn as well, usually recalling events up to 100 to 200 years ago. They also favor record keeping, so that they have the written word to help remember their own pasts and that of their people. The flames of the Marids are a deep reddish or orange flame.
An Ifrit’s fiery nature is dominant, making it more chaotic and less controlled. Ifrits have trouble assuming human shapes for prolonged periods of time, often going invisible or appearing as living light and flame. When they do assume a human guise, each one is different from the next. They tend to be highly emotional, loving and hating passionately and forgetting those feelings soon afterwards. Ifrits are weaker than most djinn, having trouble exerting physical force, though they are incredibly fast and nimble. Ifrits are virtually immune to physical damage, almost instantly reforming from non-magical attacks, though they are more vulnerable to magic, cold, and the fear or hatred of mortals. Ifrits are fiery by their nature, giving off unusual warmth even in mortal form and are masters at creating or manipulating fire, heat, and light. Ifrits have short memories and have trouble mastering skills or more subtle powers that require patience or prolonged study, though they are quick to learn and adapt to new situations. The flames of the Ifrits are bright white in coloration, which flicker and flare up chaotically and occasionally show other colors.
This is a class of djinn that thrives on social interaction. They can draw more power from the love and passions of mortals and also have an even stronger desire for that energy. Not only do Houri draw great strength from the emotional energy of mortals, they radiate some of that same energy back to the mortals around them, making them extremely likable and pleasant to be around though people may not be able to explain why. Houri are also unusually attractive in their mortal guise and can more easily alter that guise to forms more pleasing to mortals around them. Unfortunately for the Houri, they are also more vulnerable to hatred and fear than are other djinn, and can be severely damaged or destroyed by such emotions from mortals. Additionally, they crave positive human attention and when they are denied it for too long they become weakened and depressed. Houri have a yellowish color to their flame.
These sort of djinn do not suffer the strong negative effects of human fear or hatred. In fact, they feel empowered by these feelings just as much as by love, excitement, amusement, or other positive emotions exhibited by humans. Because of this Ghuls tend to thrive on creating these emotions, developing mischievous or even cruel streaks. Perhaps as a result of their ability to feed upon hatred or fear, they have become masters of creating illusions, being able to make larger and more complex illusions, often containing stimuli for multiple senses other than merely sight. Because of their ability to not only endure but even benefit from human fear, Ghuls make ideal warriors against humans when such a need arises, though despite this, other djinn still look down upon Ghuls and their often destructive behavior. Though they can sustain themselves upon fear as well as pleasure or physical energy, Ghuls cannot gain much sustenance from any particular source, making them always hungry and weak. Because of this, they have trouble fueling powers other than illusions and reincorporating themselves when damaged or destroyed. They are also plagued by a nearly constant sense of need and hunger, driving them to terrify humans with frightening illusions. Ghuls’ fire burns with an eerie pale green color.