Mayan Eye (Setting)
|Copyediting is welcome|
Mayan Eye is a shifter based setting taking place in the Prohibition Period in the city of New York, the canon is meant to be played a little on the loose end so don’t worry if you don’t perfectly match the pre-existing stories. With that said it is a time of expansion for technology with the industrial revolution underway, the horseless carriage is starting to catch on, and new business opportunities and conveniences brought to us by new technology have increased both wealth and the quality of life.
The Temperance League and Women’s Suffrage movements have earned women the right to vote, and the Flapper Girls seek to take things a step further not wanting to be reduced to the role of a mere housewife.
It is however not a time for Social Progress. The KKK is considered a mainstream club for Anglo-Saxons, the black man is struggling to find his place in an America that no longer enslaves him, but isn’t ready to embrace him as a human being with rights and dignity. Unpleasant phrases starting with the letter N are commonplace, and the most beloved film is Birth of a Nation based on the novel “The Klansman”
Crime has increased thanks to the recent bans on Alcohol, meant to protect women and children from alcoholic men, but ironically have made the streets more dangerous; the Mafia and other Underground Criminal organizations now have a product that can be peddled to the average citizen.
They were difficult times, now made even more ardorous by the fact there are people who can at-will transform into anthropomorphic animals. Hated and feared by the public, and officially dubbed “Weres”, after old wives tales about “Werewolves” who turn into blood-thirsty mongrels under full moon light.
Common slang terms to refer to weres include “Fur Negro“, “Fuzzy Face” and “Wolfman”. Wolf comparisons are often made independent of whether or not a were can turn into a wolf, again due to parallels to ancient campfire stories.
The Origins of Were - No one knows how or why the first were came around or how recently. Discoveries of ancient civilizations in South America and Africa, Ancient Maya and Egypt, that had drawings of half-man/half-animal deities and creatures have led to speculation that they are an old force once feared and revered force slowly returning to modern day. Naturally this speculation leads to theories and fears.
Early on it was believed that Weres could turn other people into Weres by biting them, this was quickly debunked much to the disappointment of Weres hoping to preach tolerance through conversion of their enemies, and to the greater distress who secretly desired the condition.
No one knows how or why people become weres. The US Government maintains that is the side-effect of a recent strain of influenza. Many find this to be a rather weak hypothesis as those who become Were do not typically show signs of sickness beforehand, and those that do retain their Were condition long after the disease has worked its way through.
The true cause is suspected by very few, and known for sure by absolutely no one.
The Earliest Were recorded by the US Government was a pitbull by the name of Abraham Lincoln who self-registered his condition into the US Archives; leaving instructions to form task forces to look into the condition and find if others had it. Only his closest staff and a select number of Union Civil War Generals knew the truth.
The public is kept in the dark about Honest Abe’s canine nature in order to preserve the legacy of the Great Emancipator, and to prevent the South from having any further negative perceptions of him.
Three Stages of Werehood
Those who become Were may find themselves going down a slippery slope for it is only the first stage of a three step program. What triggers progression of the condition is not known, however as of 1924 it seems to be rare enough for it to be a non-issue.
Were- An individual may freely switch between human and Were form at will. Transformation into a Were is universally considered a pleasant sensation. The creature a were becomes is deeply reflected by the individual’s personality and mental state. The downside to this is that if the person has some form of psychosis it will be reflected in their wereform. A warped mind can lead to a warped body.
Though the most common form of Were is animal, there have been Elemental and Plant based Weres as well, though animal is the most common.
This in mind. Body Dysphoria in one’s Were form is virtually unheard of with any dislike of the form being linked entirely to social problems, the Were Form for many feels akin to taking off a restrictively tight garment and finally being able to stretch and breathe.
Para- The Were form becomes increasingly more animalistic than usual. It becomes easier to become Were, and harder to revert back to a human. When transition into the Para Stage is complete one finds themselves stuck in Anthro form. The body euphoria effect from the Were stage is intensified by the time one gets to the Para stage, making it quite the frightening experience.
Feral- The Supernatural Abilities of the individual explode exponentially in power, however the individual now resembles a somewhat larger version of a wild animal. The ability to talk diminishes with time, but this isn’t too big of a deal as Ferals do gain the ability to speak telepathically if they didn’t have it before
Once one awakens to their Were nature it will always be apart of them, though there are methods for reversing the later stages of the condition they require much self-discipline and determination that one may not have anymore.
Magick is very real in the Mayan Eye universe. The Government attempts to keep it secret mostly in the name of national security.
Magick was considered for Military and Agricultural applications back in the Lincoln days but ultimately it was scrapped. Magic is far too unpredictable, it’s unknown how it will manifest in someone or when.
The only things known for sure about it is that the ability to do magick is linked to being a Were. Not every were can perform feats of mysticism, but all mages are Weres. There are few limitations to magick save for
1. The fact that how, why, and what form it manifests in a Were vary from person to person.
2. A Were cannot perform magick while in their human form.
Theoretically there are no limits to a Were’s power, it’s just a matter of figuring out how to connect the dots so to speak. The best way to explain it is to think of Magick as its own language, with each person’s brain having its own language for understanding the structure and consistency of the world around them. Learning and Using Magick is nothing more than a matter of getting these two tongues to translate to one another.
At present most who do know magick, only know one school of it, though it’s possible to use any magick provided you know how… Which is a bigger obstacle than it seems especially considering the legality of Magick.
Even knowing magic is real carries a felony in America, affairs having to do with the supernatural are carried out by an Agency called Mayan Eye that works with America’s Law Enforcement. The Department of Manimal Affairs (A branch of Law Enforcement catering to crimes with suspected Were involvement), is often used as a cover story for Mayan Eye activities and locales.
Agents of Mayan Eye are the only people legally allowed to study, practice, and use magick, and are strongly discouraged from letting the common man know too much about it.
The US Government doesn’t care for or about magick. Only Weres can use it and since most people, even amongst those in Government, Industry, and Military, are human it is not a point of interest or priority for them. They just want to ignore it, and hope that the Mayan Eye Agency can help them do so.
Schools of Magick
If Magick is a language then each “School” of Magick is a single word of it that a Were knows. These aren’t literal words, but rather more abstract concepts that the brain cannot easily understand nor can the mouth say. But if it can “Translate” the word, it can master that “Word”, and find ways to use it in “sentences” that the Were knows.
Sometimes schools “Blend” and “Branch Out”, allowing one to tap into the places where these “Schools” intersect.
For example: Someone who can enchant objects may be able to give them freezing properties, but not necessarily know Cyromancy, while someone who is a Cyromancer may only be able to specifically enchant something for a freeze
There’s nothing stopping someone from learning multiple schools aside from the fact that no one has, or if someone has they haven’t stepped forward and have no reason to.
Writers are encouraged to get creative when determining these, so I will not make a list and say, “These are the schools of magick, no magick but this exists.” Rather, I’ll list examples of Schools characters in setting have learned.
Pyromancy One of the most common powers, however common does not mean weak by any stretch of the imagination. Pyromancy is at heart the ability to conjure fire, though not necessarily the ability to manipulate it. Not only can one produce fire but possibly forge constructs of fire as well. However once the fire is created it’s very much out of one’s hands. You can breathe fire, throw fireballs, create items of fire, though controlling the flame once it’s been cast is quite difficult. This can be a problem for someone with more vision than responsibility. Those impassioned or particularly energetic may find it easy to weave such flames. - Known Practitioner: Jeffrey “Styg” Eades
Empathy The ability to read the emotions and thoughts of others; it takes a creative mind to use this effectively, and an even greater one to be able to shield oneself. A mind is a powerful thing, reading the thoughts and emotions of others without experiencing those things are your own is quite difficult. With enough power and skill one may be able to implant their thoughts and feelings into others. This talent may come naturally to one who makes it their business to read people - Known Practitioner: Madame Puma
Alchemy All things in this world are made up of chemicals - a pinch of this, a dash of that. Those with the Alchemy Power are well aware of this as they are able to conceptualize the building blocks of the universe and rearrange them through acts of transmutation. While not as flashy as a bolt of lightning nor as convenient as mind control, it is quite versatile.
The power is useless if one is not focused and dedicated, giving it something of a reputation as a Puzzle Box power. As one has to do the math and work with the materials on hand, sorting through the molecules to rearrange it, one can’t just up and turn lead into gold with nothing but will. That’s whacky nonsense. There is no something from nothing. Known Practitioner: Chuck “Romme” Matthews
Sonus Capire Sound Manipulation, This is a truly special form of magick to learn as it will literally alter your perception of the world around you. As you begin to perceive sounds as colors, objects, emotions, and sometimes even tastes. Known Practitioner: Carl “Schree” Washington
Chronomancy The manipulation of time is the rarest of all gifts and to date the only Were to do so is Rabb, the head of Ability Assessment for Mayan Eye. His abilities are just what you’d expect, he can rewind and fast forward certain objects as though they were film reels. He uses this to restore the bullets of his gun and the tobacco of his cigarettes often, he can also look into possible timelines as well. If he had a true grip on this power there’s no telling what he could do. This power was granted to him when he merged with an entity, and exists naturally in no Weres. Sole Practitioner: Ledon “Rabb” Gosheven
There are old stories that Weres can only transform under the full moon (which isn’t true, they can change whenever they want), and others that state a Were goes entirely berserk state where they can’t help but murder anything that moves.
In reality all the Moon does is empower weres, mages can use this to their advantage if they know how. However all this really amounts to in practice for the average shifter is that they find it harder to maintain a human form; and they find themselves to be a bit more confident and energetic when the moon is waxing. A waning moon does not weaken a were, it merely removes this effect. It’s common for Weres to literally dance the night away during a full moon because of how hyperactive they get during it.
The Organization Itself
Mayan Eye - The US Government’s nastiest little secret. The only people allowed to study and practice magick. Mayan Eye exists in an interdimensional warehouse a portal to which is found in the elevator of every DMA Office. Said portal is often on a floor left unlisted in directories with only the man running the elevator knowing much of its existence. Some suspect, accurately, Mayan Eye’s existence but dare not speak of it.
Those who work for Mayan Eye are given the title of "Agent", and work under the cover story of being Detectives working with the DMA.
Mayan Eye mostly seeks those who’ve come into magick, yet those willing to follow orders. For this reason new recruits are more often found in Former Military or those already in the Police Force.
Those who are not allied with Mayan Eye yet practice magick are usually arrested, have their memory wiped, or if possible, have some form of allegiance formed.
All chapters of Mayan Eye answer to its head director, Director FOX, a male Feral Fox who lives inside of a Magical Nexus within the various NYC Mayan Eye Offices, 24/7
Mayan Eye was named after ancient temples and carvings in South America that many theorize have to do with the origin of Weres.
Every agent of Mayan Eye is given a few tools of the trade which are familiar to most law enforcement agencies. Guns, Badges, a Police Car, and Handcuffs.
However, Mayan Eye also makes use of the magick it studies and tries to keep out of civilian hands.
The badge of a Mayan Eye officer displays the standard Police Emblem with the caring of the agent’s codename upon it. Early on a Paw Print shaped badge was used instead of the Police Emblem, but it was retired due to criminals and civilians alike often refusing to recognize a “Fuzzy Face” symbol as one of authority
Mayan Eye codes names are usually a three letter long acronym and pronounced as if they were a word. Sometimes in conversation and records, it is spelt the way it’s said. For example Jeffrey Eades’ codename is “STG” for “Sensational Tiger Girl”, but the codename is said aloud as “Styg” and in stories is written as such as an aid for the reader.
The most remarkable thing about a Mayan Eye Badge is that it actually opens up as a pocket spell book, where instructions to perform magick are written in a language that only the person who’s badge this is can read, and even then, only in their Were form.
Finally, Mayan Eye agents may carry “Obsidian Tablets” or “Black Tablets”, to aid with their arrests. These are a solution that if swallowed reverts a Were to human form and knocks them out. What exactly they’re made of is on a need to know basis to avoid similar concoctions ending up on the black market.
Alleycats- A local gang of small-time players in the New York area, a group of outcasts who help Were Runaways from difficult situations back on their feet. Often recruited by larger gangs for small jobs requiring a degree of plausible deniability.
Only cats may join, but all kinds may receive their assistance.
The Alleycats are often quite hedonistic in nature, rarely making enough noise to get DMA attention, and that is not by mistake.
Department of Manimal Affairs- The Department of Manimal Affairs is a sub-group, they share their offices with most police stations or house them close to police stations. Due to how recent Were phenomenon is, some counties and even states don’t have a DMA at all. For this reason DMA Operatives have more lax jurisdiction limits than regular police. It is the DMA’s job to not only educate the public on misconceptions revolving around Weres, but to investigate any crime relating to Weres. Sometimes the DMA works with the Human Police, if it is deemed necessary.
Though it’s not help human police are typically proud of needing from a “Freak.” There is something of a rivalry between the Human Police and the Were Police, as the latter are not only compromised of the Other, but have both a higher budget and success rate in solving crime.
Due to it being the 20’s and all, the DMA does not provide any form of welfare or social service for Weres. It spreads information the Government wants known about and enforces the laws.
DMA Officers dress in Green Uniforms adorned with Paw Shaped Badges.
Agents of Mayan Eye are officially employees of the DMA
Klu Klux Klan- The KKK was founded in 1915 by William Joseph Simmons and whose mainstream popularity is thanks to the film “Birth Of A Nation”, much like their real world counterparts. The only difference is that they are far more weaponized than real life counterparts and consider the Were condition to be a “Plague upon the white man.”
Sadly much like real life, many police look the other way when it comes to these folks simply because there are too many who think highly of them.
Mayan Eye was created by Jessica Kylie “HawlSera” Nichols-Vernon and MatthiasRat in 2012
The setting is owned by HawlSera under the Creative Commons License. All Related Stories and Characters are owned by the writers who came up with them