Others (Night Watch)


Others (Night Watch)

The Others are a fictional group of people with supernatural abilities in Sergey Lukyanenko's Watches novel tetralogy (Night Watch, Day Watch, Dusk/Twilight Watch and Final Watch). They also appear in the Night Watch and Day Watch movies.

Contents

Background

The Night Watch universe is based the real world, with one distinguishing feature: Some people, called Others, are endowed with supernatural abilities. They acquire their magical power from the magical energy given off by ordinary people. More precisely, the strength or level of an Other is measured by the amount of magical energy they absorb compared to what they give off, with the strongest magicians having level zero (they do not emit any magical energy). Others differ from ordinary people also in their extended life span. A few mythological types acquire a new interpretation in the Night Watch Universe: Vampires, Shape Shifters, Werewolves, Enchanteresses, Magicians, and Witches make an appearance.

Magical powers allow Others to manipulate inanimate matter, and also to influence regular people and weaker Others without those noticing. Whereas some magical abilities appear natural to Others, special spells are learned for certain tasks.

Regarding their emotions and values, Others do not differ from regular humans. They are actually split into two opposing groups: Light and Dark. Light Others (translating more accurately to "Selfless" than "Good"), believe it is their duty to help the weak and the helpless. Dark Others (translating more accurately to "Selfish" than "Evil") believe they should be allowed to do whatever they like, regardless of morality and ethics. The distinction is more casual in the films (where it is implied that a character's side is a changeable personal choice) than in the books (where the choice can only be made once and has supernaturally enforced implications on the chooser).

This division had always existed between the Others. For many millennia, the two sides fought a vicious battle. Both were willing to use any means to ensure victory. But eventually they realized that if they continued their battle, neither side would survive. So the leaders of both sides entered into a treaty - a set of laws to govern the way the Others used their powers. The Light Others created the Night Watch, to ensure that the Dark Others would not violate the Treaty. The Dark Others created the Day Watch, to ensure that the Light Others would not violate the Treaty. And the Inquisition, a group composed of both Dark and Light Others, was created to ensure that neither side became too powerful.

Since then, the two sides have kept an eye on each other and a fragile state of détente has developed. However, both sides are attempting to find a way to become powerful enough to discard the treaty and destroy the other.

The Gloom/Twilight

The Gloom (or Twilight, depending on the translation) is a series of parallel dimensions that exist beneath the surface of reality.

When entering the Gloom, an Other becomes invisible to humans. Also, time flows at a much slower rate, giving them increased speed and a faster reaction time. While in the gloom, an Other's energy is gradually consumed. If they allow it to be exhausted, they are unable to leave and are sucked to the bottom levels, effectively dead.

It is said that all Others go to into the Gloom when they die, although meeting one of the dead ones there is very rare.

The Gloom has multiple "layers". Each step deeper, an Other moves further away from the conventional reality, as the environment around them changes from resembling the real world to something completely different. Also, the time dilation effect increases with each step and so do the strength requirements. As an Other's strength increases, their ability to reach lower levels does as well.

Initiation

Only some humans are destined to become Others, but that fate is independent of the status of the parents. Thus, the children of Others are no more likely to become Others than are the children of regular humans. The long lifespan of Others means that they typically survive their non-Other children.

All humans that are potentially Others must be initiated in order to be able to use his/her powers to full extent. This usually happens the first time the Other enters the Gloom. This is also when the Other must choose between the Light and the Dark side. The choice is heavily affected by the Other's emotional state, so both the Night Watch and the Day Watch scout for potential Others in order to guide them through their initiation, turning them to their side. In the films, this is portrayed as a matter of choice, just like any other alliance. In the books, it is a natural result of a person's innate tendencies and their mood when they first enter the gloom. In the books, changing alliances is extremely rare and difficult, and there are only very few unaligned Others.

Vampires and werevolves can initiate both humans and Others by feeding on them. Here the choice is between the Dark side or death. Both vampire and werewolves are inherently Dark. They are usually regarded as lower Others, because anyone can become a vampire or werewolf by being bitten (one cannot, however, become one of the "regular" Others without being born as one).

The Twilight Watch novel introduces the powerful Fuaran spell, whereby a normal human can be turned into an Other. That spell can only be used by powerful Others, and is lost during the events of that novel.

Powers

Others are very good at manipulating humans, easily changing their memory and making them do things they don't want to do.

Others can see a person's aura, which shows emotions and possible Light/Dark alignment. The aura can then be sent to other Others, and used to identify that person later.

Most Others have precognitive abilities, allowing them to see and somewhat alter the probabilities of events happening. This can be used, for example, to avoid traffic accidents when speeding. Grand Mages like Gesar and Zabulon can predict some events days or even weeks before they happen, allowing them to forge complex plots that stretch far into the future.

Others can also drain Force directly from humans, Light Others by sapping the positive emotions and Dark Others by taking the negative ones. The difference is that the positive emotions disappear when taken, while the negative ones get worse. This usually makes this method unacceptable to Light Others.

Light Others

Light Others often have little choice in their actions, forced to act for the sake of greater good.

They cannot lie outright, although they can conceal information and manipulate the truth.

Light Others also have a kind of "fail-safe" mechanism: if a Light Other cannot justify his actions to himself, he instantly disappears, banished forever in the Gloom.


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