01: For Blood or Justice
The Cauliffe Enhancement Scale
Dr. Henrik Cauliffe began his career at the University of Cambridge in 1897 studying mutated rats born near the site of the Ghosa impact. In 1901, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his paper The Physiological Enhancements and Mutations in Rattus rattus As Inspired by Exposure to Ghosa Radiation. With the attention garnered by this award, he was granted the resources to study human subjects.
The methods by which Dr. Cauliffe obtained his data must be addressed. At the time his research was conducted, there was little known about Stormkind. Whether or not the subjects still qualified as human was an ongoing debate, and the unknown test subjects endured unspeakable treatment by today’s legal and ethical standards. Although the scientific community has denounced the techniques employed by Cauliffe, his data remains, with minor adjustments, uncontested.
Dr. Cauliffe mysteriously disappeared before he was able to publish his findings, but his assembled notes became the standard by which all Stormkind have since been charted. He was posthumously granted another Nobel Award for Physiology in 1939, and is credited for coining the term 'Sturmkinder' from the German for 'Storm Children' which was subsequently Anglicized into Stormkind. He is, however, falsely credited with truncating The Wracking Disease to The Wrack, a term which has been attributed to his lab partner and co-writer, James L. Violetta.
What follows have been transcribed from a selection of Cauliffe’s notes.
POWER LEVELS AND THEIR ASSOCIATED PROBABILITIES
- SAVANT (70% probability)
Skills may include any or all of the following: Higher-than-normal intuition/psychic ability; Athletic/Olympian strength or endurance; Above-average intellect. Physically, Savants generally appear to be normal humans, but may exhibit athletic/Olympian musculature.
- ENHANCED (15% probability)
Enhanced Stormkind demonstrate exponentially more powers than Savants, with clearly unique powers or skills, and their Power Origin can be clearly categorized as either Animistic, Mythological, Cosmic, Pranic, or Elemental based on the observed skills
- EPIC (10% probability)
Exponentially greater than Enhanced-level Stormkind, Epics are capable of easily leveling 3-storey buildings without assistance. Typically, they mainifest unique or exceptional externalized characteristics influenced by their Power Origin, and may be malformed accordingly. Examples include perpetual halo of flames around the head, metallic or rock-textured flesh, animal traits like tails, horns, etc. Epics are generally larger in stature than lower level Stormkind.
- TITAN (4% probability)
Titans are exponentially more powerful than Epic-level Stormkind, and by definition have the ability to single-handedly destroy a modern city. Aptly named, Titans are on average at least twice the stature of normal humans, and unless shape-shifting is a documented skill, subjects resemble humanoid incarnations of their Power Origin, and may be severely malformed.
- DEITY (1% probability)
Essentially uncharted, Deities are exponentially more powerful than Titans and it has been extrapolated that they may have the ability to destroy entire worlds single-handedly. Their physical traits vary as they are able to manipulate matter and energy effortlessly, allowing them to appear in any form they wish.
The ability of the subjects to affect the physical world around them.
General wellness. At the top of the scale, Titan and Deity levels demonstrate full regeneration of damaged tissue.
Imperviousness from kinetic and energetic damage.
The speed at which one is able to move across a variety of obstacles.
The ability to gather data, store data in long- and short-term memory, the ability to comprehend patterns, and to navigate through increasingly abstract puzzles.
Generally, the deviation from normal range of human features, however some Stormkind are capable of conscious or unconscious reformation of their features, musculature, size, etc.
The speed in which the subject reacts to and processes stimulus (cross-indexed to the Agility rating).
The ability to predict outcomes, read thoughts of those around them, and other esoteric abilities, many of which defy scientific explanation.
The ability to perform skill tests accurately under adverse conditions. As subjects ascend the scale, events outside their direct control seems to conspire for their success.
MULA, OR POWER ORIGINS
Below is an overview of the categories consistent with all Stormkind. Examples listed are by no means the only ways subjects could manifest evidence of their Power Origin. Some skills and traits were demonstrated across two or more Power Origins. Note: The term preferred by Cauliffe and those studying the esoteric, unchartable traits of Stormkind powers, is Mula, which is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘origin,’ and will be used interchangably throughout.
Qualities of this Mula include the physical appearance or skills of animals, including but not limited to thick hides, claws, tails, some manifestation of bird, bat, or insect wings, fins, gills, the ability to fly with or without supporting physical appendages, the ability to communicate with and/or control other species. In some cases, subjects with clear Animistic Mula are able to transform themselves into other species, shedding or gaining mass in the process.
Earth, Air, Fire, Void, and Water-influenced powers. Subjects with clear ties to the Elemental Mula demonstrate the ability to reshape matter, spontaneously cause objects to combust with a thought, summon lightning and/or hurricane winds, move water as if it were an extension of their body, sheathe their bodies in molten rock, and the like.
Influenced by racial genetic memory, religious beliefs, or by the culture into which they were born, the Stormkind takes the form of mythological beings (deities, heroes, or beasts) and may or may not manifest the skills of those mythic creatures. To quote Cauliffe: "Mythic Sturmkinder are most prevalent in the the aboriginal cultures of China, India, Africa, and the forests and plains of the Americas, within which magic and superstition are firmly commingled."
For lack of a better encapsulation for the remaining skills and traits on record, the Cosmic Mula has been designated. Electromagnetic manipulation seems to be very common within this category. Subjects have demonstrated their ability to see through walls and across vast distances, teleportation, invisibility, energy projection — from simple light-emanation to highly destructive projections — telekinetic flight, mind control of others, control of mass of self and inanimate objects, and to seemingly transmit themselves and others into other realms of reality.
It is worth noting here that Dr. Cauliffe was researching a subject’s ability to travel through time and space when he disappeared.