What is an Immortal?

If we define “mortal” (humans, dogs, dolphins) as a creature that can die by both violence and time, and we define “quasi-immortal” (vampires, certain types of trees, Tolkien style elves) as a creature that can die by violence but not time, then an Immortal must be a creature that cannot die by either violence or time. An Immortal is therefore a being that cannot die at all. In the terms of this definition the Highlander immortals are more “quasi-immortals” than true immortals.

Are there different types of Immortals? If so how many?

There are almost as many types of Immortals as people on the Earth. This is because everybody has a different view of the Immortal, similar to how reading a hundred different vampire novels will give you a hundred different types of vampire. I say “almost as many” because there are people who let their view of Immortals be narrowly defined by movies like Highlander or books like the Lioness Rampart.

What are the different types of Immortals?

Having not read every book concerned with the subject, I cannot cover all the types but they generally fall into two categories, those that are indestructible and those that are not. The indestructible Immortals can be shot and bullets will bounce off of them. They can be hit by trains and be fine. Putting them in the center of the Earth will not kill them, but they won’t be able to move for a long time. When they are able to get out they will be undamaged.

The second type comes in two flavors.

The first subset is an Immortal who can be shot but the wound heals right away. Such an Immortal could be incapacitated for a short time by bullets, or any other type of large trauma. It is debatable as to if the Immortal is incapacitated because of pain or simply because too much of them is damaged to move.

The second subset is an Immortal that heals at the same rate as a mortal but cannot die. If this type Immortal is hit by a train it will be colossally fucked up for a very long time. If such an Immortal breaks its spine then it is shit out of luck for of all eternity.

Are Immortals human?

This is hard to say. Since the death rate for humans so far is 100% one would conclude that humans aren’t Immortals. However we can only go on reported deaths and a man born in 1776 who is still alive would be eager to stay out of the public spotlight.

Do Immortals have magical powers?

Some Immortals might have magical powers, just like some humans may have magical powers. It is hard to tell. To hazard a guess I will say that the rate of magical powers in Immortals is probably equivalent to that of humans.

Are Immortals dangerous? Are they mean?

Immortals are dangerous because they can easily beat a man in a fight, not having to worry about death makes them brave (in a way, though actual courage might be beyond them). They do not fear you, or me, or anyone mortal. Do not fight an Immortal.

They may be mean, but some may be nice. Just like in humans.

Or…

Perhaps years of living makes them bitter and perhaps they eventually come to hate mortals, or look down on them. Never assume a strange Immortal is friendly.

How do I tell if somebody is an Immortal?

Without experimentation it is hard to tell. If you see them get hit by a cement truck and they are fine, they probably are immortal. I do not recommend that you try to arrange an experiment yourself as legation for murder can be a serious roadblock for your future.

Do Immortals know other Immortals?

Do to high secrecy of Immortals it is doubtful that Immortals know each other unless they all came from the same place or can sense each other through some sort of telepathy or empathy.

How do I become immortal?

You can’t. Don’t try.

Are you immortal?

Not that I know of.

Is Fidel Castro immortal?

Until he dies we can’t know for sure, however once he reaches one hundred-fifty years of age we can safely assume that he is.

How do you kill an Immortal?

You can’t.

How can you incapacitate an Immortal?

Trick them into a trap that they can’t get out of. A sealed rocket to the Sun might be a good way, or perhaps a frozen block shipped to Antarctica unless iceowl decides to send it back to you.

with thanks to wertperch.

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