Vampires, werewolves, elves, dwarves, merfolk and all manner of other magical creatures, collectively known as "immortals" due to their eternal youth and immunity to disease, secretly live among us. While most local law is determined by whatever clan of immortals holds power in the area, all immortals everywhere are beholden to the law of a group known as the veilkeepers. The veilkeepers are responsible for enforcing the "Veil of Ignorance", the status quo in which human society at large carries on in general ignorance of the existence of the supernatural.

One of the three major rules, and the one most relevant to this question, is 2: The Rule of Noninterference. Which says the following: "It is forbidden for any immortal or immortal-aware human to, whether directly or by proxy, turn, control, steal from, socialize with, befriend, persuade, impersonate, assault, kill, threaten or become anyone involved in CLeMP."

CLeMP being an acronym that stands for: Culture, Law enforcement, Military and Politics. Culture specifically being defined as "Culture: Celebrities, artists, musicians, writers, and anyone whose name and face are both well-known to human society."

Which essentially means that if any immortal or immortal-aware human wants to make a book, or a play, or a movie, or take part in any sort of storytelling, the only demographic that can know about this media, and therefore buy it, is the at most 1% minority of the population that comprises immortals and immortal-aware humans. (immortals being 1 in 1000, immortal-aware humans being up to 9 in 1,000).

This presents a bit of an economic problem, because while the demand has radically gone down, supply has not. Dracula may not be able to sell his memoir to mortals, but his vampire customer-base is still free to buy things made by mortals. That isn't a problem with nonfiction, where the author is providing information about the secret world that the ignorant humans can't provide, but for fictional, artistic work, they're still competing with all of the writers and directors and musicians that the wider world can produce.

So it stands to reason that if immortal culture has any media or stories of its own, it has to be purely amateur stuff that they have no expectation of making a living off of, or stuff they can do far more cheaply or at higher quality than humans can so the increased profit makes up for the lower sales, or it fulfills a marketing niche that human media cannot satisfy.

Given these limitations, what is the predominant form of media that such a secret subculture of magical beings would produce?

  • $\begingroup$ I don't thing the premise of the question makes sense at all. "So it stands to reason that if immortal culture has any media or stories of its own, it has to be purely amateur stuff that they have no expectation of making a living off" why not? Surely if you can buy the memoirs of, say, Cleopatra (who is an immortal) that would fetch a very good price. Despite there being a smaller market, it seems like the demand could be very high. Getting Orpheus to come and sing at your secret gathering should also be paid very well. I don't see why reduce of market suggests things would be cheaper. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Sep 19, 2022 at 12:50
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    $\begingroup$ Also important to note, that immortals can have far more wealth than expected. Mass media works by offering a product at affordable price to a lot of people. But you can also appeal to people with a lot of money. And an immortal Mansa Musa might be willing to spend a couple of million or billion dollars on a piece of art/media. $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Sep 19, 2022 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ "This presents a bit of an economic problem": The idea that art is made for lucrative purposes is modern. Before the late 1700s artists worked because they were artists, not because they wanted to become rich; and art was not intended to be sold to the great public. The goal of an artist was to secure a rich patron so that he could dedicate his life to his art. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Sep 19, 2022 at 13:06
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    $\begingroup$ Given wide range of media produced by human subcultures, why do you expect this question to be specific enough to be suitable for this site? It reads more like an attempt at brainstorming which is explicitly prohibited. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Sep 19, 2022 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ We can exclude blockbuster movies with huge casts or heaps of special effects, because there is no way to hide such a production. We can also exclude computer games for merfolk, because the water keeps shorting out their consoles. Beyond that, 1) we have no idea what artists hiding behind the Veil want to produce, 2) we have no idea what the audience behind the Veil wants to experience and 3) you have provided no information about how any artistic efforts can be distributed. If they are human-like then there's almost certainly someone producing porn, but there's no objective answer to this. $\endgroup$ Sep 19, 2022 at 13:36

5 Answers 5


Unchanging Customer Base:

Books are still likely to be the primary published material. Fiction will actually be a lot easier, since finding an old fiction work you've never seen before in a dusty library isn't going to shock a normie. Finding a nonfiction work on fairy-werewolf social interaction is. Oral recounting (bards) would be a significant way to transmit news and information since it leaves little or no physical trace. Live performances of art in exclusive venues to immortals could be very significant for these folks for similar reasons - they can let their fur down and their fangs hang out at exclusive concertos, book readings, and poetry recitals. Who can beat Cats performed by actual felinoids? Exclusivity is your friend. Old Vlad is really rich and everyone expects live entertainment at his parties.

  • If you are running a masquerade, it is a good idea to have an internal language for immortals that they primarily speak and read in. It can be a coded language, or a language with small circulation. The average person won't know Basque, but a note or recording of a confusing conversation will be less mysterious if it's in a real but underutilized language rather than a code. Maybe Basque is still surviving because of the subtle support of the immortal community. Slap a cover with another book's name on it, and people stop at the cover unless they happen to be Basque scholars.

Your immortals live for a long time. The basic conditions of any immortal society are that regardless of whether the population of immortals is going up, the existing base of consumers doesn't significantly go DOWN. So a musician is still performing their original sonata hundreds of years after writing it.

So anyone who has been producing any kind of media for immortal consumption only risks offending their consumer base. Their customers don't quit reading. Generally, their taste in material will tend to settle down and be stable. So the audience isn't actually decreasing.

But there are means of introducing your material to the general public if there is any flexibility in the system. There would need to be, since you could influence a mortal who later became famous. You would have inadvertently violated the rules, and if things were that strict, immortals would be completely paralyzed for fear of slipping up. Fiction and music isn't obviously from an immortal. If noticed, then it must be the influences of previous works on a new generation.

For example, your literary artists could use pseudonyms. Then, if the fake name is exposed, a convenient dupe gets the credit. The dupe can't write, and sinks into obscurity when they fail to produce any new work.


It seems obvious that whatever media they use, it must not be obviously such. So nothing looking like an ordered signal, because it would easily attract attention.

Possible approaches would be something similar to steganography or an autostereogram encoded in long lasting supports, where the message is disguised under what looks like noise, and can be easily backed up to make new copies.

Such approach should be also supported by noise or meaningless messages disguised in the same way so that, should some mortal stumble on some of the content, the alleged discovery can be easily debunked by observing that even tree bark under proper filters can show random messages.


This is a Frame Challenge

You're operating on a false assumption. Human civilization is filled with sub-cultures that produce music, books, movies, plays, art, and all other forms of media that compete with the "mass media" market and yet are quite profitable in their own niches.

Don't believe me? The book industry is the simplest to use as an example. All of the following sub-genres of books are readily available and sell quite well in their markets in full competition with mass media, and yet they're almost unknown outside of their circles (other than by name for reasons, frankly, unrelated to the books).

  • Wicca
  • The Constitution Party
  • LDS Romance
  • Punk (rock...)
  • Goth
  • Feghoot
  • Nordic Noir
  • Sociopaths

And until pretty recently...

  • Homosexuality

While the media production habits of any small demographic will answer your question, "counterculture" media is exactly what you're dealing with. Your vampires, werewolves, etc are just another form of counterculture. Some of the most fascinating media (art, music, literature, etc) has come from countercultures across the world. They're often published "underground," meaning if you don't know where they're distributed, then you're not a member of that counterculture and you're "out."

So, this problem has already been solved by any number of socially unwanted or shunned groups who would face everything from ridicule to violence if discovered by the public at large. And they published/produced every kind of media you can imagine. There wasn't just one. But if forced to pick one, there's only one that tops the list: newsletters (limited print publications/periodicals).

And given the immortal status of your counterculture, they'd be pushing the envelope of using whatever technology is available for production and distribution. So the media transport (not the media itself) would be highly encrypted digital media, be it music, video/images, or the written word. Don't confuse the transport technology with media. Media is "what" something is (e.g., literature). The transport technology is only how it's delivered (newspapers, books, emails...)


Looking at a modern day and going on the assumption that the world is otherwise like ours given the Urban Fantasy tag, 1% of 7 billion people is still 70,000,000 people -- roughly the population of Great Britain. Yes, that is spread all over the world, but I would not expect it to be evenly spread all over the world.

Seventy million is not a large global audience, but depending on the costs of production, it's potentially enough to make a profit.

Media Options

My suspicion is that culturally, they are caught between immortal stasis and human progress. Many immortals themselves aren't up on the newest technology and the slang, though the oldest ones might shake their head at the emojis -- their pictographic languages are coming back into vogue.

I would hazard a guess that the predominant form of media is intimate performances by individual artists or groups. The immortal bards, be they storytellers, musicians, or artists will show their work at small, private venues. The performances, or displays, will be small and intimate, and only be there for a limited time though they might come back in a decade or two. Likely they will lack the flash and pyrotechnics of the biggest concerts, but make up for that by knowing their audience and their likes and playing to the personal feeling that is more lost in giant concerts and mass performances.

There is likely sub-genres of music as immortals that draw inspiration from both older and more classical musics and more modern pop and rock. That plus their decades of experience creates music that is all their own.

Maybe in the larger cities, there is a full theatre troupe that puts on plays in the smaller immortal-owned theatres in the area, which draws in many from the area. But as you scale up the venues, it becomes harder to keep those not in the know from noticing and sneaking their way in.

Books are still a valid option so long as there at least one publisher that is in the know to keep compliant with the laws. So long as there is away to publish cheaply enough, one will not need to sell that many books to make a profit. The biggest issue is making sure that no copies of the books makes it into the libraries of the ignorant humans. With technology, it may even be that books can be printed in small batches on demand.

Plus, even immortals will still read their bodice-rippers so there will always be a market for those. No matter how tacky they might be.

The humans in the know are more into progress I'd bet, and they are looking at the internet with bated breath. It would not take a lot to put out blogs that people have to sign up for, possibly encrypted with the Immortal Key to keep the knowledge safe. Like with books, they write to put things out there and to keep people connected. If they're goal is to make money, then perhaps their sites are a subscription service.

Alternatively, there is a parallel platform designed for Immortals that they sign up for that delivers content from many people in the know and delivers it to them, not unlike a streaming service or ImTube, the Immortal's version of YouTube. Of course stray video may run afoul of the Law -- see below.

On Loopholes

Now given some types of supernatural creatures, we really have to at least touch on the whole Letter vs. Spirit of the Law debate, I bring you the words from the question, with the relevant part in bold

Culture: Celebrities, artists, musicians, writers, and anyone whose name and face are both well-known to human society.

An author writing a book does not have to put a picture of themselves on the back cover, meaning that nobody outside of the know would ever see their face to know about it which covers that side of the law. So long as they do not attend events for their book outside the immortal's enclaves, they should also be compliant by the letter at least.

Likewise, an alias or a pen name hides their true name from those not meant to know which covers their name being well known to society at large. Plus, it's urban fantasy -- there are probably certain immortals where it is a bad idea to not use an alias.

Combined, a well prepared immortal author could create an entire identity that is separate from their immortal identity. As long as they don't attend awards events to make their face known, and limit their career to a human lifespan, only the most determined of stalkers should ever know the immortal to be a celebrity and thus in violation of the law. And a single crazy stalker can be neutralized.

However, that likely violates the spirit of the law that is in place. Quite break the spirit of it I'd reckon -- especially one called the Veil of Ignorance. The spirit of the law is to likely never give the humans the inkling of what goes on underneath the veil of normalcy that people put up if possible.

Also, there is no mention of what other laws the Veilkeepres might have that affect this law -- namely Rules 1 and 3.



Your immortals are scientific researchers. The media they make is publication of their research findings. These are wide ranging. Some of this research is extremely specialized and interesting / understandable only to a few individuals. Some of it is widely applicable and important.

None of the research involves culture, politics, law enforcement or the military. There are a lot of research fields that do not involve those things. Within those fields, these immortal scientists are free to turn, control, steal from, socialize with, befriend, persuade, impersonate, assault, kill, threaten and become as they see fit.

The world is a better place for it.


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