My Highlander campaign has developed a "canon" and mythology all its own. This page features some of the facts and legends about the HDR world. Player Characters may be aware of some, all, or none of this...
Fledgling: An immortal who recently died his or her first death. Honorable immortals consider it unworthy to kill a fledgling, and doing so earns you a bad reputation. There's no official point at which you stop being a fledgling, but it's generally considered to last roughly until you're old enough that mortals who knew you at the time you "died" will start noticing that you look much too young for your age, i.e., anywhere from 5 to 20 years. (Obviously, a young immortal who goes out on his own looking for duels will rapidly exempt himself from the unwritten rule against beheading fledglings.)
Pre-immortal: (Some sarcastically use the term "egg"). Someone who will become immortal, but who has not yet died his or her first death. Immortals can sometimes sense a pre-immortal.
Moderns, Medievals, Elders, Ancients: In recent years, some immortals (mostly younger ones) have started labelling their own kind by age. Moderns are immortals who were born in the last couple of centuries. Medievals are theoretically immortals born during medieval times, but some younger immortals apply it to anyone born before 1800, which tends to annoy immortals born long after the end of the medieval period. Elders are immortals born during or before the so-called "dark ages," i.e. pre-1000 A.D. Ancients are immortals who remember the Roman Republic (or is it the Roman Empire? Some of the younger immortals have a poor grasp of history). Obviously, these categories are imprecise, and the dividing line between them inexact. A few cheeky young immortals have started referring to their "generation" as post-modern, and some use the term methuselah or antidiluvian to refer to really old immortals, but they've probably been reading too much Anne Rice.
The Watchers: This is what immortals call them, not what they call themselves. Some immortals know (or suspect) that there is a mortal organization that's been keeping track of them for centuries. Others laugh at such conspiracy theories, and believe that it's natural that occasionally mortals would stumble onto the truth, and perhaps form unrelated groups dedicated to learning about (or hunting) immortals at various points in history, and others think that only in modern times have a few government agencies begun to apprehend the existence of immortals.
While HDR is inspired by the Highlander movie and TV series, I do not use them as canon! Nothing that is true in the "official" Highlander universe is necessarily true in my game.
The following things are true in the HDR universe:
Every immortal knows of "the Game." Immortals hunt and kill each other, taking each other's heads in order to gain their Quickening. But why this game? What's the purpose? What's the point?
All any immortal knows is what other immortals have repeated! No one knows who started the legends, who was the first immortal, or the origins of the Game. Maybe the Game was devised by the first immortal(s). Maybe it was ordained by God. Maybe it's just a tall tale someone made up eons ago, which has been passed down as gospel for untold millenia.
"There Can Be Only One"
This phrase has been repeated from time immemorial. Every immortal has heard it. Supposedly, someday there will be but two immortals left on Earth, and they will fight, and one will take the other's head. The victor will be the winner of the Game.
Legends say that the last immortal will win the Prize. Presumably this will be the sum total of every other immortal's Quickening, throughout history (discounting those few immortals who lost their heads to non-immortals). Such an enormous Quickening would certainly suffuse any immortal with incalculable power. Some believe it will make the last immortal into a god, granted powers beyond those of all other immortals put together. Others believe the last immortal will finally receive the answer to all the questions immortals have had throughout history. Or perhaps the Game will simply start anew....
Most immortals obey the "Rules", though no one knows where they came from. Immortals who violate the Rules are generally considered evil, but nowhere are the Rules formally written down, nor are there any formal enforcers of the Rules. The Rules that are recognized almost universally are:
An immortal who is known to have violated these Rules is reviled by other immortals, and is commonly considered to be exempt from the Rules himself; i.e., no one will hold it against an immortal who beheads a Rule-breaker after gunning him down with a machine gun. (In practice, most honorable immortals have a hard time violating the Rules even against a known cheater.)
Not every immortal follows all the Rules or interprets them the same way. Different immortals may interpret certain rules differently, and some follow rules that others do not. For example, most immortals consider it unacceptable to kill a pre-immortal or a fledgling....but while killing a fledgling will get an immortal labeled as a scummy hunter, it won't get him labeled a Rule-breaker.
Most also consider it dishonorable to kill an immortal who's unarmed. Almost all consider it a breach of the Rules to take someone's head while he's weak from the Quickening after beheading someone else. But exactly what the Rules are, and how they are enforced, is not necessarily universal.
These immortals are fairly well-known (some only by legend) in 2000 A.D.
Akiko Inoue: She is world-famous as head of the Inoue corporation, but some immortals also know she is one of them.
Sir Alastair Stewart: A Scottish immortal who works for the British Crown, and thus has powerful contacts with the government.
Aman: Very, very old. Most elder immortals have at least heard of this ancient African dictator, though he rarely interacts with fledglings. He may at this point be the oldest surviving immortal; he's certainly the most active of the ancient ones.
Casca: A fabulously wealthy immortal who dates back to Roman times, known to be a devout Christian and very reclusive.
Ciaran: An ancient Celtic immortal, known to be a hunter of hunters.
John Smith: He's been around the world and is known to most sociable immortals as a gentleman and an honorable soul.
Morrigan: At one time believed to be possibly the oldest immortal alive, and likely the greatest combatant, she has not been seen in at least a thousand years, and is generally assumed to be dead. Most immortals over 1,000 years old had heard of her.
Nimrod: Supposedly one of the most ancient and deadliest hunters, rumored to be the Nimrod, from the Old Testament. On the other hand, no one knows what he looks like, and many immortals believe he's merely a legend, and that now and then a hunter hears about the legend and assumes the guise of "Nimrod" to make himself seem more formidable.
Payal: Famous as a hunter (particularly of Muslim and Christian immortals), and for her cold-blooded viciousness.
Titania de Charbonneau: A former French noblewoman who owns an exclusive club in London called La Lame ("The Blade"). It provides a neutral ground where immortals can meet; all immortals who enter the premises agree to abide by Titania's rules.
These things might be true. Many immortals have heard these stories, and some might even know whether or not they're true.
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