The Old Gods
The gods of ancient mythology still exist, and most of them are not happy to no longer be worshipped. While they have maintained their immortality and most of their original abilities, as their worship has waned, so too as their powers. Zeus isn’t all powerful anymore, in other words. The lands where they live still exist, but most mortals (and other monsters) have never and will never see them.
The Fae have existed as long as the Old Gods. They are divided into four courts: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Summer reigns over Spring, and Winter over Autumn. There is a Queen over each of the main courts: Titania over Summer and Mab over Winter. And within these four courts, there are two factions, rough analogous to the presiding court: the Seelie Court in Summer and the Unseelie Court in Winter. These are the facts that most humans and other monsters are aware of. What the Fae keep to themselves, however, is the aos sí, the Tuatha Dé Danaan, the gods of the Fae. There aren’t many of them left walking the world anymore: Morrígan, Lugh, Neit, Brigid, the Dagda, Dian Cecht… Legends among the Fae say that a Tuatha Dé Danaan will fight on the side of mortals, of humans, if the cause is just and righteous.
Demons are one of the newer, younger races of monsters to walk the world. While humans believe that there are a series of ranks and distinction amongst the demonic hordes, it’s a lot less complicated than one would believe. The highest of the demons is Lucifer, with his wife Babylon being second in command as it were. Their offspring, the Antichrists, are considered princes and princesses to demon-kind. The rest of the demonic horde consists of what could be considered minor demonic beings: crossroads demons (what could be considered Tricksters to some), incubi, succubi, and leviathan (sometimes confused with dragons). All of the demons look to Lucifer as their leader; in the unlikely event of his absence and without Babylon around, they will look to Yahweh as an interim commander as they consider themselves to be the same race as the Angelic Host.
Like demons, angels are one of the new monster races. They are likewise believed to have a certain hierarchy; this is difficult to prove or disprove due to the fact that save for angels of death, they tend to avoid humanity. The only thing truly known is that they consider Yahweh the highest ranked of their race, although he is considered an Old God; second to him is Yeshua, his eldest son, and third in rank are the archangels with Michael being the name most commonly spoken. There are ranks amongst the Angelic Host, and the names if nothing else correspond with what humans know: cherubim, seraphim, virtues, archangels, and angels of death. They will interact with the Demonic Host, as they consider themselves to be the same race.
Dryads, salamanders, undines, daeva, gnomes… All of these things are alike in one major way: they are all elemental spirits. They draw their power from their elements and may feel weakened when they are separated from it or when close to an opposing element. A salamander is stronger the closer it gets to fire but weaker on a boat at sea. A dryad feels safest and at their most powerful when they are at their home grove or forest, and so forth.
Skin-walkers are one of the rare breed of monsters that are obvious at birth. The source of the humans’ werewolf mythos, they are born with no hair on their bodies at all, and do not start to grow any until they are a month old. However, not all skin-walkers are wolves, just as they are not all from the Indian tribes of North America. Notable skin-walkers include bears, wildcats, coyotes, and of course wolves in the Americas. If a skin is available, a skin-walker will take it as their own altered state and “weave” it into their own self.
A cynical person may say that there is no such thing as a trickster. The beings known as tricksters in some traditions are simply more… playful versions of other monsters: Old Gods, Fae, even demons. There are legends of tricksters throughout the world, though, so this is a bit harder to pin down. Some skeptics have even espoused the idea that all tricksters are one and the same monster: maybe an Old God like Loki. Of course this has never been proven, and the beings who have earned the title of trickster? Well, they’re not telling.
Rumored to be extinct, as much as an immortal being that rises from its own death can be extinct. Other monsters haven’t seen a phoenix since sometime in the 1400s. Rumor has it that the last one was killed by the Spanish Inquisition so many times that they could not rise again, but there isn’t a soul alive who knows the particulars of that.
Called demigods to some, Changelings to others, and Nephilim to still others, every kind of monster has a version that’s a bit watered down. Usually it means that a monster and a human have produced a child, but this isn’t always the case. Changelings, for instance, are fully Fae, but because they have spent almost their entire lives living amongst humans, they are considered halflings by monsters. Even if a halfling isn’t an even mix of human and monster, even if the monster was generations back, as long as that faint hint of power remains, they are considered halflings.
Those in between
Witches are the most called to mind when it comes to those in between monsters, halflings, and humans. They possess a monster’s sense of magic and power, but they have to study and practice to use that magic and power. They are humans with magic, and they are subject to human frailties. Some, though, have found the right spells and incantations to extend their lives indefinitely, and damn the costs… and there are always costs.
Some male witches may call themselves ‘wizards’ or ‘warlocks’, but older monsters don’t tend to recognize these terms; they see ‘wizards’ as scholarly witches and ‘warlocks’ as traitorous or deceiving witches. Like with any group, there are good witches and bad witches. A well-studied witch can counteract some of monsters’ spells, and they can move outside of a monster’s magic. For instance, while a monster may be capable to freezing time, a learned witch know what was going on and could possibly unfreeze it.
Hedge witches are the less talented cousins of witches and shamans. They don’t possess the same gift for magic as a full witch and they certainly aren’t as flashy, and their skills lie more towards nature and shamanism without the connection to monsters that true shamans can boast. They certainly are not capable of understanding the Old Speak that monsters use to talk to one another.
Herbalism, healing, and an affinity for nature tend to mark a hedge witch. They can walk into the “thin places” between worlds. They are capable of cursing a human, but their curses (and consequently, also their blessings) aren’t very effective against monsters.
One of the few sets of fully humans out there who can understand Monster Speech (also known as the Old Tongue to the Fae)
A talented seer can peer through any disguise, even the glamour cast by the Fae or the Old Gods. They can take glances into the past and the future. They can see spirits and ghosts, and some can even communicate with them. It’s that first ability that makes mages into people that most monsters would really rather avoid. It’s tough to keep up a pretense of being human or even being a different kind of monster than you are if there is a talented seer around. Less talented seers may cotton on to the fact that there is something odd about a person or that they aren’t what they say they are, but for some, that still might be too close for comfort. This trait does tend to be something a person is born with, usually showing up by the time they are eight or nine. Seers are, however, essentially human with a mortal lifespan.