Many citizens of Freehaven have a special link to the supernatural that manifests in any number of strange and exciting ways. These special powers are collectively known as “Gifts”. A person’s Gift might be something as simple as being able to hover a few inches off the ground or light a room full of candles with a thought. It can also be something dangerous and uncontrollable such as hurling balls of fire from their fingertips or causing someone intense pain with the slightest touch of their hand. A person may have many Gifts that develop over their lifetime, but it is more common for person to possess one minor Gift.
There are three schools of thought on why and how these Gifts manifest:
- A person is born with them. Some believe that people are born with a Gift due to their bloodline or heritage. Somewhere in their family tree there is an ancestor with ties to the Supernatural, such as a Fae creature, Dragon, or a member of the First (the Gifted slaves that washed up on shore with the Free Lady almost 500 years ago). Those that subscribe to this explanation usually don’t realize they possess a Gift until they reach puberty or when they experience great trauma or extreme emotion. Their Gift then manifests unexpectantly and sometimes violently and that person can be a danger to those around them until they get some semblance of control over their Gift. Characters who decide to use this method for gaining their Gifts often use Charisma to represent their supernatural abilities.
- A person has the Divine Spark. Some believe that special people receive their Gifts directly from the Free Lady or the Old Gods. Those that manifest powers and have ties to a church in some way usually rise quickly through the ranks and gain an almost celebrity like status if their Gifts match the theme of the Deity they worship. On the flip side, those that manifest powers that go against the Deity they worship are usually shunned by other members of the church or they are cast out of the church and treated as a heretic. For example, a loyal follower of The Lord of Light who suddenly is able to manifest globes of darkness with a mere thought would be seen as an ill omen and that person would no longer be allowed in the church and would be shunned by all other followers of the Light. Characters who decide to use this method for gaining their Gifts often use Wisdom to represent their supernatural abilities.
- A person can train themselves to be Gifted. Some believe that all people have the ability to be Gifted waiting to be unlocked inside them and that through practice and study anyone can use these Gifts. They believe that the process is aided through implements like focus crystals, talismans, ancient tomes, or through ancient arcane languages and special hand gestures. These people believe strongly in the phrase, " knowledge is power". There are those who give themselves the title of “Mage” and join together with other Mages to share knowledge and be among like minded individuals. There are also those who jealously horde their knowledge or sell their teachings to the highest bidder. Characters who decide to use this method for gaining their Gifts often use Intelligence to represent their supernatural abilities.
A powerful group of Mages have gained the ability to infuse their Gifts into objects, effectively enchanting them to do wondrous things. These Mages claim to be able to teach this ability to any Gifted citizen and are constantly on the lookout for individuals that would help expand their quickly growing company that they call Mageworks. For a hefty fee, Mageworks have people who can create you a lamp that remains lit without fuel, a charm that can cool any room in your house on a hot day, and just about anything else you can imagine. They have contributed quite a bit to the development of the city, quickly ushering in a new age for those districts with enough wealth to afford the company’s high prices. Rumors of the company’s dark side are beginning to circulate, however. It is said that for an even more exorbitant price, Mageworks can make weapons enchanted with dangerous Gifts like disintegration, mind control and life siphoning. City Guard investigations have not turned up anything substantial on this front.
Nestled in the heart of the Green District sits an unassuming mansion that represents the last hope of many desperate people whose Gifts have spiraled out of control: Professor Zirathi’s Academy for the Gifted. Professor Zirathi takes in citizens of all types that are having difficulties controlling their Gifts and tries to guide and train them to have total control over their abilities. The Professor is an elderly elven male who possess many powerful Gifts that deal with the mind. A mysterious tragedy earlier in life left the Professor without the use of his legs and he now spends his days getting around in a wheelchair. While he claims to want to use his wealth and Gifts to better the Gifted community and the city as a whole, many people believe he is using his abilities to form a brainwashed army of Gifted soldiers for any number of nefarious plans. Investigations are underway but being met with heavy resistance by the Gifted community.