In the Legion of Lawndale Heroes universe, The Elite is a worldwide group of superhumanly powered individuals whose family lines have existed for millennia, and who (through the use of their powers, as well as the political, economic, and social power that derives from the manner in which they have manipulated events) have held near-absolute power over mankind for untold ages.
The Elite is the most powerful of several such groups that have existed throughout history; of all those groups, only the collective known as the Twelve Clans have been of equal standing, force and resources in order to keep from being absorbed into The Elite or being otherwise destroyed outright. The final major series of open conflicts occurred just over one thousand years ago, at the end of the 9th Century A.D.; that conflict, known to The Elite as the War of Assimilation, was ended due to the efforts of Majel Carlyle, the newly-minted High Chair of the Clan Carlyle and her Lord Consort (a man known only as Lexin, who agreed to take on the Carlyle name as his own. Together, they led the leaders of the Twelve Clans and The Elite to a series of agreements that ended the War and kept the peace for over a thousand years.
The Elite are very conscious of social class and also appear to have adopted a form of leadership by means of genocracy. This prejudice has led to what appears to be a somewhat rigid social order according to birth. The known castes are:
- Humans: These are members of the Elite who are born into a family of individuals who have all been born with superhuman abilities - and who can prove their lineage (known as 'proof of pedigree') through documentation.
- Cuckoos: These are Elite members who are born to families with no prior record of superhuman births. While there is some prejudice towards 'cuckoos' (named after the bird which lays its eggs in the nests of other birds, so that those birds will hatch and raise them), they are able to obtain rank and stature in Elite society as 'Humans' do.
- Grubworms: The derisive term used by the Elite when referring to ordinary, non-powered human beings.
- True Humans: There is actually a fourth, hidden caste within Elite society, which acts as a secret society and selects its members upon the basis of possessing 'powers of the mind' (any psionic power, hyper-intelligence, etc.). As one True Human described the caste:
"We of The Elite are all equals… but some must be more equal than others. It is the way of things. By right of birth, Homo Superior is superior to the grubworms that walk this world with us… but those of us, with powers of the mind… we are superior to even our brothers and sisters of The Elite. The grubworms rely on strength and speed to survive and flourish; those who consider us their equals are nothing more than trained apes, using tricks of the body to rise above the grubworms, while a true human needs only the power of his or her mind. Our bodies sustain us, allow us to procreate, and bring us pleasures only afforded to flesh... but they are our animal selves. They are what we have begun to rise beyond. Animal flesh will never be equal to the mind of a human... We are Homo Sapiens Intellegere… we are the True Humans."
Known Elite members
- Anthony Canatella
- Robert Berg (killed in 'Not So Different')
- Magnus Bethke (Executive Director for North America twenty years ago)
- John Dynell
- Anthony Edwards (revealed in LLH Chapter Fourteen)
- Cassandra Farrington
- Colin Farrington
- David Allen Farrington
- Alexander Milhous Graham
- Jala Javarti
- Alimah Kaur
- Chandni Kaur
- Natalia Luchinni
- Sarasota Meyers
- Carey Phillips-Bethke (rendered brain-dead in 'Not So Different')
- Gunther Schultz
- Nicho Silvestre
- Furmann Singh
- Angier Sloane
- Kay Sloane
- Elsie Sloane
- Tom Sloane
- Edmund Stephens
- Kennedy "Kay" Stoudemire
- Lance Strine
- Victoria Todds
- Alberto Valdez
- Sujata Varma (killed in 'Not So Different')
- Thomas Villacana