When the vortexes opened up, monsters came to our world. The vortexes also disgorged the lost island of Atlantis, with its wrecked cities and powerful guardians. Of equal importance were the Beyonder races: trolls, fae, alfar, and wisps.
Trolls are tall, muscular carnivores, with green or brown-shaded skin, and long limbs. Many trolls have upper or lower tusks, and horns of various sizes and shapes are not unknown. Trolls are roughly 25% larger than humans, on average, and tend to the very muscular.
Trolls are born leaders. Their confidence and strength of personality is magnetic, they are naturally charismatic. [Note: In game terms, trolls have a bonus to Strength and Influence, the social stat.]
Trolls are devastating combatants in hand-to-hand combat. They are also famed as warriors and leaders, and many of the most charismatic Beyonders are trolls. Trolls have — despite their appearance — been widely accepted in Outlaw settlements.
In the Beyond, trolls worked as mercenaries, generals, and military advisors. Post-Emergence, this effortlessly translated into service as Guns (especially Lawgivers).
The oldest kingdoms in the Beyond were Trollish. In most ways they were the dominant race. Trolls are as admired as they are feared, and other races often served in Trollish armies and emigrated to Trollish kingdoms.
Fae are an otherworldly race, famed for their shadow walkers, who generally keep themselves apart from other races. They are slightly shorter than humans, and tend to be extremely thin, unhealthily so from a human standpoint. (“Cadaverous” or “emaciated” are the terms often used.) They tend towards metallic shades of hair and eyes; their hair and eyes actually shine like metals — silver, copper, gold, iron, and so forth.
Fae are natural shadow walkers. Not all fae can or do project into the shadow world, but the facility is far more common among fae than any other race. (Which means, in The Outlaw, fae are often found in cracker circles.) [In game terms, fae characters can gain the shadow walking talent for free, though this isn’t mandatory.]
Fae tend to be introspective and withdrawn, often reluctant to speak or act. This derives from the wyrd. Through the wyrd, Fae can sense oncoming misfortune. It’s commonly believed that fae can see the moment of their own death; this isn’t true, but the wyrd can warn fae of danger to themselves and others. (Though they get no warning of what that danger might be.)
This strange sense cannot be controlled or predicted. It strikes at random (not every misfortune is predicted), and usually unwelcome times.
It is an uncomfortable experience, to know that after anything you say or do, you can be struck with a great dread that suffuses your mind. Then, to know that this dread is well-founded, that it almost always presages some ill event. Then to know that this event may well be your fault… fae find the experience draining, and tend to separate even from each other, leading solitary lives.
Fae are few in number, and standoffish. In the Beyond, they had no kingdoms, nor a homeland. They were nomadic and shunned any allegiances beyond their family Line.