BleakHeart Species in Ethnis | World Anvil


Written by Ademal

Sathiidism arrived on Earth just years after the Advent War ended. In order to secure it's superiority over Earth, Aempis needed a source of Meta which generations to come could rely on—Monoliths, who also tended to be Sathiid to offset the demands enlightenment took upon their bodies.

As Jhoutaioan history repeats, often, with gusto: Sathiidism likes to spread. Bodily fluids are its favored vector and, whether it's a thousand kisses or a dozen bites, it will get around. After the famines of climate change and the ravages of alien conquest, the spread of a disease that turned humans ghoulish with a bottomless hunger felt like the arrival of Famine.

It was in this darkest hour of humanity that the Bleakhearts were born. Not as saviors—no, but as the saved. Some of those who came back from being ghouls returned with a scar upon their blood, something which lurked within them.


They are often shunned as a people, as their mutations can make them dangerous and uncontrollable. Many fear them, but others sympathize with them and accept them for what abilities they bring to the party.

Though Firstheart in basis, most undergo their first mutation when puberty is entering full swing. What this mutation is differs from Bleakheart to Bleakheart, but the first is not usually very drastic. Bleakhearts are more often lithe in appearance, a result of their mutations jumpstarting their natural metabolisms.

As a BleakHeart ages or undergoes stress their mutations will worsen and their bodies will become more alien. The ultimate fate of any BleakHeart is to become entirely monstrous in body, spirit, or both in a process known as blooming.

Playable Sophont


The Church of The Somnolent, which tends to protect and help them.

The Federation of Free Planets, which tends to exploit them as a lower class.

The ValuSelu Pact, which has few places for a creature without a purpose.

The Verin Haimarchy, which has little trust for any recurring source of Selschaeus.

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Genetic Descendants
Bleakheart by Ademal, via MidJourney


Each time you gain an Insanity, gain a mutation from the Bleak Mutation table. The intensity of your mutations scales with the amount of Bleak counters on you.

As a Bleakheart, the wounds of your mind take a toll on your body. The turmoil and trauma within you spills over into the physical realm, transfiguring you with metaphor. What shape do your fears take? Your mutations resemble those fears—work with the Narrator to describe the way in which your mutation is Bleak.

The shape my Bleak fear takes is…

Insectile • Abyssal • Fungal • Meaty • Crawling • Uncanny • Necrotic • Corpulent • Scaly • Blasphemous • Corpulent • Marsupial • Cosmic • Holey • Holy • Vulgar • Beautiful • Cancerous • Drowned • Burned • Chitinous | Or make your own…

Bleakhearts are rarely fond of mirrors.

If it pains you to see your character in this way, imagine how they must feel. There is a reason why the best Bleakheart stories are about becoming Bright.


If your Bleak surpasses your Nerve, you Blossom. Jekyll becomes Hyde. Begin a Blossom Countdown starting equal to your Bleak. Each round, that counter decreases by one. If you do not escape or negate all sources of threat within that time, the Narrator takes control of your character and they become a horrendous monstrosity which views all present company as a threat.

If you are lucky, your party will discover you again, unconscious and exhausted from your rampage, but lucid when you next wake. If you’re not lucky… well, there’s a reason all the saddest Bleakheart stories are about succumbing to your Bleak.

Curing a Mutation

Once you cure an Insanity, the related mutation becomes healthy and well-formed. It is still your pain-made-whole, but it is no longer an open wound. Work with the Narrator to describe the way your mutation looks Bright now.

The shape of my Bright joy is…

Mythological • Ecclesiastic • Lush • Fuzzy • Marbled • Glowing • Glassy • Wooden • Hand Carved • Sunny • Clouded | Or it can even be the same as before, just better!

Common Bleakheart upbringings
You may wish deeply to belong, but your mutations have ruined that for you. No matter whether your mutations are borne with shame or pride, you're accustomed to the way you are treated for your mutations.
You know your fate, you were born this way, and the world just can't take you as you are. You retreat to the only person who understands you: you. You let your mutations grow, because hiding them will only make you suffer.
You aren't going to let your Kind define who you are. You can overcome your mutations and be part of society. Instead of focusing on your mutations, you let your blessing with Meta define what you can do.


  Bleakheart NPCs may be outcasts and hermits of society, they may know thier home wilderness like no other.

  Bleakhearts may have unique quirks due to their upbringing which can give them knowledge that no other would know.

  Bleakhearts are gifted with Meta usage, so they may support a Meta-lacking party.

  Bleakheart mutations can give a party lots of new possibilities, depending on if the mutations fit a situation.

Common Descriptors

Throughout Ethnis, the pall of fearful stereotype seffocates the Bleakheart identity. Communities arrive one generation and find themselves pushed out the next. This stress and pressure does not help their condition, and outrage is seen as proof.

Tired • Wary • Haunted • Cautious
Stoic • Guarded • Sunken • Defiant • Morbid • Grave

Articles under BleakHeart

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