Humours are the substances of the human body that are said to weigh heavily on certain aspects of a human's physical and mental condition. A major aspect of ancient medicine and alchemy, the idea of humours play heavily into the practices of the Prometheans. Alchemy traditionally recognizes four humours (yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm), but Prometheans add a fifth, ectoplasm, to the mix. Each of these humour corresponds to one of the Lineages and is heavily involved in the creation of new Prometheans, as well as influencing the way they act and respond.
Early medicine used humours as a way to cure illness in the body; a sick person was said to have too much of one humour, and the substance they were lacking was added into the body in some way, or the excess humour drained. In addition, the balance of humours were said to influence a person's temperament; a person who was cold and unemotional was said to be strong in phlegm, for example, while one who angered easily had excessive amounts of yellow bile.
The idea of this balance resonates quite strongly in the Prometheans. A Promethean's balance of humours can change if they pick up abilities not natural to their Lineage, the most prominent being Bestowments. When this change occurs, the Promethean's personality will alter itself accordingly; a Nepri who picks up the Galateid Bestowment of Mesmerizing Appearance, for example, becomes less distant and more outgoing as the sanguine humour begins to influence the body more strongly.
Humours of the Prometheans
- Choleric humour is said to come from the yellow bile generated by the liver. It corresponds to the element of fire, and causes anger and unrest. It is the primary humour of the Wretched.
- Ectoplasmic humour is from ectoplasm, a mysterious substance of the spirit realm found in those able to contact spirits. It causes instinct to take over, occasionally causing almost feral behavior. The primary element of ectoplasm is, of course, spirit, and it is the primary humour of the Ulgan.
- Melancholic humour has its origins in black bile, said to be generated by the lungs. It corresponds with the element of earth and causes depression and sluggishness. The Tammuz are the Prometheans who resonate strongest with this humour.
- Phlegmatic humour is phlegm, and is traditionally held to be generated from the gall bladder. Phlegm resonates with the element of water and causes distant and apathetic behavior. The Nepri are strongest in this humour.
- Sanguine humour is, of course, blood, which is generated by the spleen. Blood is considered an element of air and causes passionate and bold behaviour. Its effects are strongest in the Galateids.
- Oil humour is the purview of the artificial Unfleshed. Drawing their strength from fossil fuels, Oil causes obedience and work ethic, but also makes them stubborn and hard to control.
Additionally, Prometheans that exist as Extempore can have unique humours that tie into their creation process.
- Vitae, possessed by the Promethean Mircea, who was created by a vampire who wanted a childe that transcended the limits of his condition. Vitae as a humour causes all-consuming hunger, usually for blood, but also for other things Mircea currently obsesses over.