“Enough.” Titania rose and stabbed a glare of pure poison at me. “We do not need the half-breed, husband. Send her back to the mortal world she is so fond of.”
— Julie Kagawa, The Iron Queen
WWWhen I first started working on the Trigate setting, there were a few rules I had decided that I wanted to follow so despite the setting being all over the place, some things would still have some restraints in place.
One of these was that despite all their probable attempts at trying, no amount of sexual interaction would ever result in hybrid races forming.
It has nothing to do with disliking the concept; I have no problems with your typical half-orcs, half-elves, tieflings, or anything else. It is just that most settings typically involve a single world where many of the races are interwoven in a way where it makes sense for crossbreeding to be possible. The other side of the coin is Star Trek, where it isn’t uncommon for humans to attempt relations with aliens on many worlds, but even then there is a plot point that brings up a background genetic relation.
Each plane in the Trigate setting is a unique world, with life developing and proceeding down different paths on every single one. Though many forms of life may appear to be similar, the genetic differences are too vast for any potential hybridization to be a real possibility.
That being said, hybrids exist on a planar level. On Terrus, there are four sophonts that originated from similar stock: Humans, Wose, Basajaun, and the Majin. While the Majin are unique in their origin, the other three can interbreed, much like how Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthalensis did in our world. However, no large enough populations of these intraplanar hybrids exist to form their own communities or larger cultural groups.
That’s not to say that interspecies relationships don’t exist; they are actually very common. I’ll touch upon it in greater detail in another post, but it isn’t unusual for individuals to be a part of at least two relationships: one with a partner they love and another with a partner with which they can procreate offspring.
One side-effect of there not being any interspecies offspring is that it makes communities of species very important. The only way your kind could keep going while away from your homeplane would be if a large enough group came with you so you could maintain genetic diversity. It is a sad truth that smaller communities, unable to sustain their number, have faded into history. This would lead to racial identity and communities being important, especially amongst species that have sparse populations.
There are unnatural halfbreeds, though.
TTThroughout history, relationships have existed between individuals of different species that wanted to have children of their own and taking features from both parents. For the reasons stated above, however, this was never possible.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean people didn’t try.
Some previous ideas individuals have tried in the past include trying to create hybrid skeletons and attempting to resurrect them, using unique plants to grow hybrids, alchemical experimentation, and many more. Sadly, there are many stories across the planes of these attempts failing and multiple people being hurt or, even worse, killed.
However, once the concepts of Hemotheurgy (first mentioned on the blog in the post “The Planar Council’s Schools of Wizardry: Arcane Magic Colleges”) became more prevalent in the Third Age, the first successful attempts at creating hybrids occurred.
Hemotheurgic hybrids range from monstrous to near-perfect in their condition. The process is still relatively new, meaning there is a lot of experimentation and study that needs to happen before a refined process is created and continuously successful.
Predictably and regrettably is the fact that society on many planes has deemed the idea of these hybrids an abomination and are disapproving, sometimes even violently so, towards their presence. Their existence is still somewhat unknown to the populace at large, with the average layperson not understanding that one of these creatures even has a possibility of existing.
The clandestine development of the process and the illicit behaviors employed by some Hemotheurgists to research and expand on it hasn’t helped in the reputation of hybrids either. Graverobbing, kidnapping, and even removing limbs or organs from transients and the dispossessed are sometimes rampant.
This has the added side-effect of the affluent and powerful individuals seeking out Hemotheurgists so they can ploy this craft surreptitiously. One has to wonder how many hybrids have been nurtured behind the closed doors of manors, castles, and other such places, hidden away from the world.
Eventually, one of these hybrids will make their mark on the world positively and their being will become better known and possibly even accepted.
Until then, all the hybrids… the Human:Bone Skink, the Zuìgāo:Heartwood Treewolk, the Belfry Goblin:Tengu Crowfolk, whatever ones might exist, have to hide in the shadows. At least they can take solace in the fact they are truly unique… for better or for worse.