Keep Columbus Weird
Ours is a strange and beautiful weirdness.
A hollow age makes hollow people. In many regards, the 20th century was that age – filled with sound and fury but very little depth below its rather spectacular surface. The term “lost generation” was coined to reflect the wild rush of indulgence and abandon that epitomized the early part of that century, and though the Hollow Ones are anything but lost, that phrase echoes their questing Path.
Traditionally, the Darklings favor small, familylike cliques; within these groups, social acclaim and stigma keep the members of that group in line. Given the dangerous nature of their world, these cliques prize loyalty and punish betrayal with all the harshness of the streets. The rules within such groups are simple: don’t fuck each other over, respect one another’s autonomy, and remain beautiful in the face of ugliness.
Until recently, the Hollowers were considered the lost Tradition; they had even considered, and been considered for, a 10th seat on the Council of Nine. Those plans fell apart when various catastrophes shook the Council. Hollow elders, disgusted with the constant games of make-nice, decided that the Traditions were a lost cause. Although some Hollow Ones joined the Verbena, Ecstatics, or even the Etherites, the majority decided to ditch their Council aspirations. The talks that seeded the Disparate Alliance proved instrumental in that decision… and now the Darklings – rebel tribes by nature – are adjusting to the idea of being leaders instead of malcontents.
Though they’re typically associated with the Goth-rock subculture, Hollow Ones gravitate toward any fashion steeped in beautiful revolt. Punk, metal, hip-hop, techno-industrial, and even classical music cultures have adherents among the Hollow Ones. Most recently, the neo-jazz, steampunk, fae-punk, Gothic Lolita, and androgynous visual kei subcultures have rattled the old Bauhaus-style cage. Even so, many Hollowers still enjoy the old-school Goth look, if only because it’s so unfashionable these days.
An element of grace must always be present in Darkling company. When an appropriately graceful member gets noticed, a clique begins to test his fitness to join the club. From a discreet distance, they prod him and watch how he responds. Assuming that he passes their tests, they approach the potential member with offers of friendship. If he seems cool, he’s allowed further and further into the clique until the members judge him fit to join… by which point he’s usually a member by default.
Darklings use whatever they’ve got to work with – typically things discarded by society. Broken toys, occult goodies, and symbols and behaviors that so-called respectable people shun make potent tools in the hands of a Hollow mage. Belief-wise, that hollow image is appropriately symbolic: these folks tend to see themselves as vessels of life and death, pouring their Arts out or carrying those cosmic forces from place to place. Magick, then, comes from the proper comprehension and intentional use of the energies that, in most people, are simply wasted. Everything is Chaos, an Illusion, or a Mistake, probably on a One-Way Trip to Oblivion. Some Hollowers insist that It’s All Good, but they’re the minority. Chaos and gutter magick are near-universal among the Hollow Ones. Although such Arts don’t actually nurture chaos, they thrive in the chaos of our age.