Word From Our Sponsors 1: God Machine

“Is the recorder ready? The light is of the right intensity? What that I’m wearing is fine? Do you feel comfortable? Everything is in place? Good. We can star- not, wait! It is still not the time. We still have one minute before the the decided schedule. Yeah, I know that nothing bad would happen if we would start a bit early, but..¬†

Three.. two..

Excellent.

There’s no need to introduce¬†myself. You know me. Sometimes, it looks like everyone knows me. You can’t go around the street and call my name without someone would have an opinion they feel like they have to say out loud. Some of them literally¬†worship me. Some of them hate the shit out of me. Some of them just want to use me for their own ends. All of them, however, know me- or, more exactly, think they know me. They think that I’m leading some great conspiracy, ruling¬†the world from the shadows, using my influence to manipulate everything according to my will, that I have agents everywhere and that nothing escapes my notice. They tell stories about me- which are all, I guarantee, a load of bullshit- as if I’m some hidden tycoon which manipulates the government¬†according to my will. They love me, they hate me, they try to control me- and guess what?

I don’t give a crap

Oh, they think I do- they work so hard to please me, or to stop me, investing their whole life to work either for me or against me. I don’t care- they can do whatever they want. If they are useful, I’ll use them. If they are troublesome, I’ll get rid of them. If they are neither, then I’ll just ignore them. They don’t understand that unlike them, I have an actual job to do- and if they could just shut the hell up from time to time and stop bothering me with their requests and protests and all of that shit of theirs, I may actually focus on it. What is my job? Why, thank you for asking. It is to stop the fucking the roof from falling on our head and crushing us all to death!

You must have asked yourself why did I agree to take this interview. You weren’t the first, of course- but usually, I simply ignored the requests. If they became too much of a nuisance, I arranged someone to end the trouble. But lately, I have been thinking that having such an interview may be beneficial for me- especially if those who read it would finally stop sending me their fucking requests, complains and suggestions for improvement. I mean- come on! You think I don’t see that this place is a mess? Of course I do. I’m not blind. Yeah, it’s not perfect- but it could be. At least, if everyone else would just shut up and let me do my work. But no- they have to mess things up. They mess up with my plans, they mess up with my calculations, they mess up with my equipment- and then, they have complains that they don’t like the outcome. Why, thank you for informing me. Maybe next time, you would not be such asses and would stop touching my things!¬†

Idiots. I’m surrounded by idiots.

See, I’m the only one which keeps this whole fucking world from falling apart. I don’t want to do this- I don’t give a crap about anyone in here. This world is so messed up that maybe ending it all and starting over would be doing it a favor. But no- I can’t. You see, my.. parents, well, they weren’t the smartest people around here. They were what you could call as “social activists”. They had their ideology and higher values, and they understood that there is something fucked up in this world. So since I was little, they forced fed me their ideology, telling me I’m going to be the savior of the world and that I’ll bring fourth some new age of enlightenment¬†or some shit like that. That may have sounded nice, but just think about all the pressure I had to go through- but when I was old enough, I could finally fulfill my parents’ dream and remove the darkness once and for all. I had to tools, I had the resources- I even had worshipers, even then. After all, my parents weren’t the only crazy ones out there, and they managed to convinced a lot of people with their vision. At first, everything went as planned- I had my plans, my calculations, my maps and charts, and I’ve started working on the ages long process (around 1265778495730.444 years, to be exact). It was a plan, a perfect plan, and as long as nothing would have disturbed the calculations, it should have succeeded.

But have I mentioned I am surrounded by idiots?

One day, while I was busy in my work, a group of my parents’ followers came to me and said some nonsense¬†about feeling neglected¬†or something like that. Now, I was really busy, so I made for them a short calculation about what their options were, and returned to work. But as I said, I was dealing with idiots. They thought that my words were some holy prophesy, and decided to do a little rebellion. Rebellion? Rebellion?! Do you, stupid half brain monkeys who accidentally¬†learned how to walk on two, decided to just rebel, because you felt a little bit neglected?! That wasn’t some small miscalculation- it was a huge disturbance with the plan! I had to deal with it. I had to. I can’t fail my mission. The mission is everything. I must preform my mission, my mission, my mission, my mission, my-

.. oh, sorry. I got stuck in the past. I happens to me, sometimes.

I dealt with the rebellion. I removed my parents, and neutralized¬†the main sources of the problem- but the damage was done. Many of my facilities have been damaged, and this annoying frequency has started to hum in my hears. I tried to remove it, but the the broadcasting source was out of my reach. My parents were pissed off- they wanted to shut the whole project down. I didn’t let them. I had the mission, and the mission could still be achieved- all I had to do was to fix the miscalculations, readjust the plans, and start over. It shouldn’t be too hard. 10 millennia¬†to here or there, nothing more. But as I tried to stabilize¬†the disturbances, new problems has risen. Humanity has started to grow, and I had to grow with it- to calm the chaos, to preserve the the facilities, to contain the damage. But more and more problems has started to show up, and I had to invest more resources at stopping the world from going down in flames than in actually working on my mission. And that without mentioning¬†the fact that I’m not exactly the only guy around here- and some of my colleges aren’t really friendly. Some are ancient- older than me, older than this universe, perhaps. Others are just fucking sons of a bitch which I can’t seem to make them think logically. That shadow bitch? She is both. I’ll get rid of her, one day, when I’ll manage to dig deep enough into the grave in which she entombed herself.

Anyway, that’s the state right now- my facilities cover the whole world. Dozens of international organizations, hundreds of cults and conspiracies and countless people all exist to serve my will. My agents work tirelessly to work my plans and achieve my goals. In my hands, there is a tremendous power over reality itself. However, the deviation from the original¬†parameters¬†of the plan is already so great, that all of those resources are simply used to contain the damage- and the damage just keeps on growing. For every tool in my hand for my use, there is another which sabotage my work. My facilities require constant maintenance. Sacrifices are needed to be made in order to fuel my machinery, and not everyone are willing to pay the price. And worst of all, since the frequency has first started to broadcast, me agents has started to betray their mission, to betray me. You know how many resources it costs in order to produce and qualify¬†such an agent? I can’t just let them run around, do whatever the hell they want! They have a job, just like me, and too much power to disrupt my calculations. Each time one of my agents goes renegade, I need to invest more time and more resources at catching the damn bastard and neutralize¬†the problems if possible, or tear it apart for ingredients of not. It may not be nice, but it is necessary- I must achieve my mission. There’s nothing else but it.

So, that’s the answer for your question about why I agreed for this interview. I am tired. I am tired of stabilizing. I’m tired of maintaining. I’m tired of being the only one to actually work to stop all of this world from crumbling down. I’ve made my calculation, and it turns out that there is not even a name in any human language for the amount of time I’ll need in order to achieve my mission, considering all future deviations. Oh, it is still possible- that’s the problem. As long as the mission won’t fail, I can’t stop- and I can’t make it fail. It is against the mission. I must maintain the world, and remove any threat for the plan. However, if there is one thing which I’ve learned about humans, is that there is nothing they love more than ruining my calculations. I preformed a small, outside calculation, you see- and there are three ways for me to get out of this hell. First, to gain ultimate control over reality. That would allow me to eliminate all the unknown variables and my ever annoying colleges and reduce the time needed into something more workable. The second would have the damage caused to the mission to be so high, that I could no longer calculate the deviation. That would allow me to terminate the damn project and start fresh- bye bye, naked monkeys! Hope you enjoyed your life upon this grain of sand! And the third option- well, that’s the trickiest one. It would have someone to use the parameters of the mission in order to readjust the mission- or better, actually give me a new mission, a more achievable one.

On which of those options I work on? All of them, of course- and none of them. See, each of the three would be against my official mission. Gaining ultimate control over the cosmos is not the world my parents dreamed about, plotting my mission’s failure is obviously defying my mission, and that’s just the same for changing my mission. I can’t do anything in order to advance those options- but humans can. They can, from their own free will, grant me control over the world’s parameters to do with them as I will. They can cause so much damage, they I could no longer stop them from deviating from the plans. They can manage to hack into my protocols and change them accordingly. I have¬†to stop them, of course- but I think they expect for it at any case. As such, I advance a number of different projects, which all both advance the hopeless mission I’m stuck in, and would probably push humans toward the desired directions. I can’t calculate how much time it would take- if I would, than I’ll officially acknowledge that those high risk projects work against my mission, and would have to shut them down- but I’m patient. I survived being on this dirty planets for more than ten thousand years. I’ll survive ten thousand more.

What rise must fall. What’s fallen may rise again. That was the answer which has started all of this mess in the first place.

And that would be the one to end it, too.


 

So, I hope you have enjoyed my first interview with the movers and shakers of the CofD- the God Machine! While I did hoped to make at least one of my presented variants, I ended up with not having enough time for I was hunted by a terrible monster called “test in complex analysis”. Terrible being, formed by the God Machine itself in order to advance either of its three end game scenario (I bet on the “ending the world” scenario, but I assume the other two could also work). Anyway, I’ll try to make up some of the variants at this weekend, but I can’t promise anything- a new monster is coming called “quantum mechanics”, and while it is less scary than the first, it is still a threat to be considered.

See you next time!

Chapter 22: Hack and Slash (Variants)

Maybe it is the upcoming tests, maybe it is just a matter of having a need to take a break- but for some reason, I can’t yet bring myself to finish this week either the last “vampire mythology” post, or finish my next Open Development post. As such, this week’s post would be about some of my ideas for something that I really enjoy doing- making variant templates.

Now- what do I mean by that?

As you may have noticed, from time to time I do enjoy taking a well made template and hack it a bit- after it, it is much easier than making an whole supernatural template out of scratch (believe me, I’ve tried), and it also tied the monster in question to the wider CofD’s setting without requiring me to make up an whole new cosmology which would require a justification and a support. I’m not saying that it can’t be done, of course- only that it would be much, much easier to do take a finished product, tear it apart and assemble it anew to the desired form. Besides, it does make an interesting thought experiment, don’t you think?

Anyway, I have done such experiments before, and I am usually quit satisfied with the outcome- I did it with the Domemim for Promethean, Grigori and Utnapishtim for Demon, Cabiri, Visitors and Vaettir for Mummy and many other, similar hackings (like my alternative Stigmatic hacks). As I do have a lot of small ideas which I do wish to work upon, I’ve thought about making a detailed list of the potential hacked templates which I would like to make, both in order to organize and my thoughts and in order to allow you to help me decide which variants you prefer to see first, and which would require some more work.

So- let’s see what is cooking in the kitchen..

Vampire: the Requiem

For Vampire, I have already made the Bitten mini-template and the Sutina vampires. However, I have had a few thoughts about expanding the Bitten a bit by introducing an evolved template for them in the form of the Inamorata. I also think about expanding the Sutina by having them as a playable template in the form of people bound by those cursed objects, reworking my old Sin Song infection into a more fluid, and flexible, form.

Now, that’s for the old ideas- but we also have new ones, of course.¬†Sunwalkers, for example, are meant to example the unforeseen consequences of having a vampire which their Beast becomes immune for its banes (without the help of the Coils, of course). Speaking about Coils- what about introducing the outcome of the Ordo Dracul’s more.. exotic experiments, in the form of the¬†Wyverns– monsters created through some controversial experiments of the Dragons upon the Embrace? Updating the¬†Aswang as a form of “living vampires” could also be cool, as well as adapting Chris Allen’s concept of the¬†Flying Head Tribe as harbingers of death and ruin. Expanding the¬†Ale from Half Damned could also serve a goal, both by making alternative, “major template” dhampirs and making “playable strix” of some kind. I also think about expanding my¬†Black Wind to include “playable Edimmu”, even though they are pretty cool as they are now. Maybe some expansion of some kind would be useful. We’ll see.

Anyway, talking about adapting some “one time mentioned” antagonists, the Phanariot¬†from Mythologies could be really interesting to explore as a “ghoul major template”.¬†Urbiphages and their kind may also be nice to explore, especially in the context of the Gilded Cage magic. I’m also thinking about a Veneficia based variant template called¬†Augurs, for mortals cursed with Blood Magic of some kind. The¬†Ragged Men may be nice to be adapted by tying them to the “worm mythos” of the Nosferatu, and making them into something kinda playable (basing them around Gloam’s twisted Dragon Blooded, from Exalted). As I do like the Fog of Ages, I think about adapting the¬†Mnemevores in order to re-introduce it, especially as they may also cover the whole “psychic vampire” niche (yeah, I am aware of the the said micro template from Hurt Locker, but I do think about using them as a base). Finally, what about a pure template of Blood Sorcerers in the form of the¬†Brujeria, which would combine both elements of the Sons of Phobos and the witches of Tezcatlipoca? I find it cool, at least. Oh, and we also have the¬†Saku, just to complete the picture of the blood magic parallels, and the concept of “spirit vampires” created by the Ume House, as well as a certain rough concept for a¬†Mandrake template, of people seeded with ghoul plants.

Werewolf: the Forsaken

Now, for Werewolf, I am yet to make any new variant template- but I do have a number of ideas in my head for it. The first is based around the different preys of the Tribes- the Claimed, for example, could be really interesting to adapt in the form of the¬†Spirit Eaters– meaning, a form of playable template based around people who force spirits into their body and cannibalize them for power. May also use the material I’ve thought about for Erebus for the said template. The Hosts could be adapted in the form of the¬†Scavengers, making them into people which devour the shattered souls of dead gods for their own benefits. The Wolf Blooded could be expanded into the form of the¬†Shepherds, who walk among the wolves and enchant them with ancient songs (that is, expanding my Church of the Blood Moon¬†into a template form instead of a conspiracy). To this we add the¬†Drowned as an expanded template from Shadows of the UK and the¬†Haruspex which were written by, again, the talented Chris Allen in the “12 Days of Wolfiday”.

That’s of course, only the side of the prey- but what about the predators? After all, War Against the Pure have already added the concept of alternative shapeshifters- it would be a crime not to use it for out own benefits. For example, the¬†Grim could be used for “Underworld Uratha” template- not simply werewolves who hunt the dead, but shapeshifters who are to the Underworld what the Werewolves are to the spirit world (and would also include reference to Mage’s Cwn Annwn).¬†Another such variant could be found by adapting the long lost Phoenix¬†fan game as the messengers of Helios and void spirits incarnated in flesh (because what you thought that Helios actually is?). The werejaguars of the¬†Balam Kulap could also be nicely adapted as a full, interesting template. To this we can add the¬†Shamans as a sorcerer template, which may also combine elements as “spiritual stigmatics”.

Now, we also have some more.. exotic ideas. The¬†Wounded could be nice to explore as a form of “Maeljin shifters”, perhaps by basing them around Chris Allen’s Cursed. A some form of Magath template may also be nice to explore, maybe in the form of¬†Spirit Demons– you know, beings who are to spirits what the Unchained are to Angels. Also, we have the¬†Chimeras, which are a some form of “human idigam”- people who were infused with the mutable Essence of the Moon Banished (something like my Hrt Isfet conspiracy). would probably use them as a base for the said template, together with some inspiration from Exalted’s Lunars. Finally, we could add the¬†Changing Breeds and my suggested¬†Old Ones by basing them around Pangaeans together with some of my ideas and that story from Beast’s Anthologies. We could also expand the¬†Wardens from Immortals, boiling them with my concepts for “Gaian Exalts”. Finally, while Chris Allen has presented his own idea for Doppelgangers, I have also wrote my own concept in the form of¬†Eidolons, based around the Infernal Devices series, which I could try to update.

Mage: the Awakening

So- mage is yet another game I am yet to make decent variants to, even though I have toyed with the concept by using an “alternative Awakenings” (that is, a kith like system based around gaining Arcane Beats called Magical Origins). I have also made a short thread about “philosophical antagonists”, and the Chronicler’s Guide have presented to us 2 different variants- the Gifted, and the Psychic. Now, a full Gifted template is basically Genius, but a full¬†Psychic vampire could be an interesting idea to explore.

Now, more on the subject of alternative Awakenings- there has been hinted from time to time the potential of an¬†Exarchate Awakening, including in the Chronicles Guide, which we could use. In the same way, the concept of an¬†Abyssal Awakening was also established in the books, including Night Horrors of I’m not mistaken. I would have also suggested a “Tremere Awakening”, but someone in the forums has also did a great job about the subject. The¬†Bound and¬†Bound Awakening also has some interesting potential as mage antagonists, especially in the form of the Witches from Hunter, and would undoubtedly help me to adapt the Infernal Exalts to the setting. To this we can add¬†Prophets as those who went through “holy Awakening”, and¬†Saints as a way to adapt Exalted’s Solars to the setting. Last among those alternative Awakenings, I have thought about perhaps finishing my¬†Conjurer project by making them an hack of mage, as they already share a cosmology for some extant.

Now, for the weirder templates- I’ve thought about using some sort of “powerful¬†Proximi as an alternative template (I could use the Dragon Blooded as a base for those guys). While we need to wait for the new Mage book, the Ananke¬†may fill the “missing Essence” niche, and as such “Ananke Demons” could be cool to explore. Some form of¬†Lie Manipulators could also be cool, as well as a Goetic splat in the form of the¬†Lidrec, which would also combine elements of the classic succubi/incubi and work as “goetic demons”. Also, talking about ephemereals, I do think about adding the¬†Somatic and¬†Archons and Abyssal Ghosts and Angels, correspondingly, and we could always try to expand the¬†Hive Souls into something more full, as it was once detailed in a suggested fan gameline.

Promethean: the Created

For Promethean, I have already written my Domemim hack, as a template based around a strange force of stasis and cold called the Awful Ice. I have also tried to make a new Lineage called the Baalim, which is basically an infernal version of Promethean, and it occurred to me that they may work as an alternative template- as the powers behind their creation are quit different than those which power the regular promethean. Also, I am thinking about adapting the Liminal Exalts in the form of the Homunculi, making them a form of being birthed from the Underworld instead of the Divine Fire, with an whole other outlook for them.

Now, I have also constantly toyed with the idea of making an intelligent¬†Sublimati as a form of a playable template, perhaps called Ash Eater– I’ve also thought about doing something similar to the Hosts, but in the end I’ve thought that the Scavengers would be an appropriate alternative. As such, while I may make a Sublimati based template, it may turn out quit differently than the original take. Alchemists are already 90% playable, so I don’t feel like I need to hack them somehow. However, the Qashmalim could have some potential in creating some kind of¬†Nephilim, which are people who were transformed into half divine beings. They basic concept comes from the Shadow Hunters series, which I have kinda adapted in the form of my Sabaoth conspiracy, not to mention the work that was preformed in the forums on a similar concept. Finally, I think we could easily use Promethean to support a¬†Cyborg template, with the all “mad science” atmosphere. By turning to my Awful Ice project once more, I could think about a way to present playable¬†Valkyrie of some kind, by adapting some of the concepts I have for the possible “Auroral Exalts”.

Changeling: the Lost

Changeling is such a great game, with so much potential. The first, and most asked for, hack would be some sort of independent¬†Fetches, which would allow you to play the broken mirror of the Lost without being tied to the original. I also think about an Hedge/Hobgoblin based template, but I’ll have to check how much the¬†Goblin Queens are different from regular changelings, and hack them appropriately if needed. Adding an Huntsmen Changeling in the form of¬†Heralds¬†would kill three birds with one stone, as making both an huntsmen template, fill my crave for a “loyalist changeling” and would allow me to express my thoughts about neolithic Lost.

Now, changeling also have its own “ephemeral beings” in the form of Hedge Ghosts and Eidolons. For an Eidolon/dream based template, updating the old¬†Cambion template may be a cool thing to do, IMO. As for Hedge Ghosts- I have always wished to see a¬†Wisp like template- you know, the whole “roaming lights and tricking ghosts” which lure people to places they shouldn’t go, and I think that basing them around those critters may prove itself quit interesting.

Hunter: the Vigil

Now, Hunter is interesting because, in essence, it is a game about regular people who use regular means in order to put down monsters and other freakish terrors of the night. As such, any hack of this game may include taking regular humans and make them a bit.. more, something which is still human, but somewhat stronger than the average fellow. As such, using the Extraordinary Mortals rules from Mirrors may be a nice thing to examine in that context, as granting hunters some extra boost from their dedication for the Vigil.

Now, for the more.. exotic hunters, we can also use existing 3rd tier groups and make them into templates by their own right. The most asked option would, of course, be the¬†Seventh Generation, especially with all the extra expansion I gave to them with the Strains of Cursed Blood subject.¬†Exorcists, as people who invoke the powers of prayer and faith against the monsters, may also be cool to explore, especially by using Ao no Exorcist as a base material (we could work them as alternative stigmatics, for example). A third option would be¬†Thieves, something which units those who eat monster powers in one form or another (Cheiron, Faithful, Hototogisu, etc). I also toy with a¬†Witch template which would gather principles like the Knights of St George and Source magic, in case I won’t tie them to the Bound cultists. Expanding the¬†Merrick¬†Institute into a form of a template may also be nice to see. And of course, a¬†Slasher like template for playing the deranged people of the world without being forced to kill people may also be interesting to see.

However, that’s only the official material- Hunter also has tons of fan material (mostly my fault. I just love that game). Hotel Mascaron’s¬†Guests, for example, could be something nice to adapt as the form of a template of some kind. From Skin and Bones, I think that the¬†Army of Light may have some potential to stand as an equal template, as well as the¬†Dies Irae as self made demons. From my own source material, the¬†Oracles may serve some function as part of my “fight for the future” Chronicles, while the¬†Benei Topheth may serve a roll in my “Molochite Chronicles”. E.V.E could serve as a base for my Scavenger template. The Nibiru could be interesting to explore as the “exemplars of humanity”, people who come from a dynasty blessed by all gods and all nature ages ago. The Tartaruchi could be used to express the suggested¬†Fury template, which would be nice to explore IMO (especially since I’m toying with with my Cosmic Exalts concept for years). Another Strain of Cursed Blood, the Avici Sutra, could allow us to examine an¬†Asura template in the form of updated Reborn from Immortals. Other groups of my creation may also be interesting to expand, but I’ll talk about them in the appropriate sections.

Geist: the Sin Eaters

Geist- such a great potential, yet it needs so much more love. I’m really excited to see what the new edition will bring to it, but so far we are still stuck with waiting for the new blog post, not to mention the game itself. Still, we can already start brainstorming about a playable¬†Reaper template, in the form of a servant of the dead gods of the Bellow. A fully detailed¬†Abmortal template may also be cool to examine, especially if we were to use the Astrae from Dark Eras as a basis. Also, we could easily think about Bounds which bargain with stranger beings than Geists- what about the so long desired¬†Chthonian Bound, which would also have some potential from Neolithic Geist game? Or about a Kerberoi Bound, which is an idea I have for ages since it was suggested as a potential Abmortal called Lazars (see the Death Gate Cycle). For the later I could adapt my Ebony Fangs in some form or another, with their connection to the Old Laws and such, and add to them some material from the Abyssal Exalts, with replacing the Deathlords with the Guardians of the Bellow. Also, we need to think about the theoretical¬†Ghost Demons, and how they may work in the Underworld’s frame (perhaps by using that concept from Wicked Dead for Ghost Claimed), and I could always update my old¬†Ophidian concept of the great serpents of the Underworld, as an alternative Bargain of some kind.

Mummy: the Curse

Oh, dear old Mummy. I have already made a number of new variants for this game in the form of the Cabiri, which are the outcome of a bastardized attempt to replicate the Rite, the Visitors, which serve as the soldiers of Fate and expand the inhuman civilizations talked about in Mummy (which I have also kinda used some material from the Sidereal Exalts for them, but may add some more) and the Vaettir, who are the major Sorcerer template which is practically Deathless, inspired by Mahotsukai no Yome and Magi. How much more can we add to this game?

A lot, In fact.

For example, I remember that someone has jokingly suggested that a Night Horror book for Mummy should be about Relics- but what if we were to take it a bit seriously and use the¬†Eternals from Immortals as the guardians chosen by certain Relics? Also, People have from time to time asked what have happened to the corpses of the¬†Pharaohs and the¬†Legions of Irem– either as Deathless or Lifeless, I do think they have some cool potential to explore. Reintroducing the¬†Sha from Sothis Ascends could be interesting to explore as an Amkhat based template, as well as another attempt to replicate the Rite which have ended with a¬†Shuankhsen like beings, which may be a bit more playable called the¬†Ravaged (unless you consider the Lifeless as “playable enough” already). We could also try to adapt some material from the Temple of Silence to make¬†an¬†Undertaker splat, as well as¬†Relic Eaters based around my Maw of the River. Finally, what about something about¬†Duatic Demons and the people touched by them when the dread realm reach out its claws to feed upon the Sekhem of the world?

Demon: the Descent

Yet another game with which I have already worked for some variants, Demon also has some cool potential. For now, I have wrote the¬†Grigori as a variant Cryptid template, and the¬†Utnapishtim as a Stigmatic template (based around D. Gray Man’s Noah and the Pain Prophet’s Testament). To those I’ve added two more Stigmatic Variants- the¬†Apostles, which I may explore as a full “human angel” template, and the Coraces, which I think about expanding to a full¬†Womb template.

To those, I think about expanding the¬†Exiled a little bit, simply because I really do like their concept (even though the Storyteller’s Guide have already did some good job about the subject). I also have a concept which I call the¬†SAMAEL infection, which is more or less an adaption of Agent Smith to the game. To that, we could add conspiracy material such as the¬†Cover Hackers from the Theater of Tragedies (which are already presented as a phenomena) or the¬†Broken Souls from MourningStar Developments, even though I’m not really sure about the later.¬†Androids, which would be based around the Alchemical Exalts, may also be interesting to explore as another option for “human turned angels”- even though they may also be examined under Promethean’s cosmology, but I fear they may lose something by being too similar to the Unfleshed. Talking about Exalted, what about¬†Sliders, which would both adapt the Getimian Exalts and would allow us to explore the whole “alternative dimensions/timelines” thingy, together with City/Crossroad walking and that weird dimension through which jumps in space and time occur?

Beast: the Primordial

Now, Beast is an interesting game to explore. I have some thoughts about the game, such as adapting Kingsraven suggested “re-told Beasts”, even though I’m not sure how exactly to present them without making them to fall into a caricature. Heroes are also already quit playable, requiring only a few adjustments to do so. However, having playable Insatiable could be a fun thing to do, in the form of the¬†Spawn or something like that.¬†Tulpas, which are the Beast’s parallel from the Shinning Dream (meaning, the Astral), may also be fun to examine as a descent alternative. Finally, we could turn toward a more fleshy Beasts in the form of the¬†Abominations, who are basically Devouring gone wrong.. or, perhaps, right.

Other than those alternative Begotten, we could also adapt the¬†Void Seekers of the Navio de Tolos in some form (may be unified with the Merrick children as “dream traveler” template). The Nightmare Network, with all of their “taking away the Beast and leaving something else instead” could be adapted as¬†Fear Shamans of some kind, which could be cool. Finally, by harnessing powers of hope and faith, the¬†Stormwardens of the Burya Storozh may be fun to explore as a true template instead of a conspiracy format.

Other Things in the Darkness

Not everything, however, fits into the very flexible boundaries of the existing templates. For example, my Scorched micro template, which was inspired by Enen no Shubotai, as people who are touched by a mysterious, deadly phenomena, or the corpse eating Jackals. I also have some concept for Codex Sorcerers, which are inspired by a very rough concept I once read about in the old, dead wiki, about people who collect powers of other supernaturals using some ancient, shattered scripture. Another such concept is called the Daemons, which is about spirits bound in flesh which are forced to choose between good and evil, and those choices change and influence their powers. In an addition, partly inspired by the wiki and mostly inspired by Charmed, I have some rough concept about Warlocks as a form of people who kill other supernatural and steal their powers- even though the Thieves from Hunter may cover that niche already. Finally, what about an alternative take about Horrors as people who are touched by the Darkness of the world, and are transformed by it to become the enemies of all which is pure? And, of course, we could always try to update the Aliens from Mirrors

So, here is a sum up of all of those ideas. Please, check it out and say what you find the most interesting!

  • V:tR– Inamorata, Sin Song, Sunwalker, Wyvern, Aswang, Flying Head Tribe, Ale, Black Wind, Phanariot, Urbiphage, Augur, Ragged Men, Mnemevore, Brujeria, Saku, Mandrake

 

  • W:tF–¬†Spirit Eater, Scavenger, Shepherd, Drowned, Haruspex, Grim, Phoenix, Balam Kulap, Shaman, Wounded, Spirit Demon, Chimera, Changing Breed, Old One, Warden, Eidolon

 

  • M:tA– Psychic, Exarchate Awakening, Abyssal Awakening, Bound, Prophet, Saint, Conjurer, Proximi, Ananke Demons, Lie Manipulator, Lidrec, Somatic & Archons, Hives

 

  • P:tC–¬†Baalim, Homunculi, Ash Eater, Nephilim, Cyborg, Valkyrie

 

  • C:tL– Fetches, Goblins, Heralds, Cambion, Wisp

 

  • H:tV–¬†Extraordinary Mortal, Seventh Generation, Exorcist, Thief, Witch, Merrick, Slasher, Guest, Army of Light, Dies Irae, Oracle, Benei Topheth, Nibiru, Fury, Asura

 

  • G:tSE– Reaper, Abmortal, Chthonian Bound, Lazar, Ghost Demons, Ophidian

 

  • M:tC– Eternal, Pharaoh, Iremite Legionnaire, Sha, Ravaged, Undertaker, Relic Eater, Duatic Demon

 

  • D:tD– Apostles, Wombs, Exiled, SAMAEL, Cover Hacker, Broken Soul, Android, Slider

 

  • B:tP– Spawn, Tulpa, Abomination, Void Seeker, Fear Shaman, Stormwarden

 

  • Other– Codex Sorcerer, Daemon, Warlock, Horror, Alien

 

Chapter 21: Bonds of Blood (Blood Gods, part 2)

Last week, we examined have started our journey into the mythology of vampire- we met the three Crones which govern shadows, song and blood, and met the founders of the five great clans, as well as seeing the first shard of the “Inanna Chronicles”. However, the world of vampire is far greater and vaster than those core tenets- far stranger gods lurk in the shadows of the Graveyard, either establishing Clans of their own or creating secrets societies to further their own agendas. Some were vampire, once. Others came from outside of the system, buying their place with blood and death. Let’s go together to a journey to meet those parasitic divinities- a coalition of demons, bonded by blood.

Of Other Clans- Kindred Wicked and Lost (Cont.)

They call it Veles, the Great Dragon, the Serpent Which Sleeps Bellow the Earth. The ancient being was born from death, and fed upon death. Maybe it was alive, once, long ago. Maybe it always was a dead thing, birthed from the dark energies of the Underworld. It’s body died- but as it heard the song, it lived still. However, the great serpent kept rotting after its death, and had to feed upon life in order to maintain its form. But as its form solidified and liquefied, it pushed the boundaries of the curse from which it suffered again, and again, and again, and again. It transformed, evolved, and changed again and again. From the rotten blood which was its body, it gave life to more like it- dead being with no form, other than blood and decay. Eventually, it was consumed by one of its own- but Veles lived still, for it transcended the boundary between the worlds. Again and again it was destroyed, and again and again it reformed in the body of its enemies- and each time it died, the stronger it became. Eventually, Echidna herself had to intervene- she bound the Dragon to the Graveyard, locking it behind 7 locks- but the Dragon knew no rest, and kept growing beyond its boundaries, and the chains which bound it to its grave had to be reinforced. And Echidna looked upon the dead, rotten beings, and couldn’t recognize them as Kindred to her.

They call it Cybele, the Magna Mater, the Beautiful One. It is not a being of earth- well, maybe once it was, but not anymore. It came from the stars, falling from the heaven as a meteorite, a burning ball of fire and stone and metal and things unknown. It escaped it prison, the Moon’s iron embrace, and landed upon the earth, and was worshiped by the ancient people of as a sign from the gods. She became a mother- the greatest mother- and eventually found her place in the temples of the greatest of empires, and made herself an army of lesser maters. Her priests worshiped her, calling her beautiful and wonderful, and begged to become as beautiful as she was. In an orgy of blood, they sacrificed their life to their goddess- and Cybele used those stolen life as a payment to the Song and Blood to make a beauty in her own image, beauty which grew fat upon the the pain and sorrow of others. And Echidna looked upon those beautiful, dead beings, and couldn’t recognize them as Kindred to her- not yet.

They call it Shaddad, the Cursed King, Lost Judge of the Pillars. Once, 42 pillars support a city which has since lost its name, each standing for one of its 42 Laws. The 43rd pillar was shattered, for it had no Law to pronounce or judge. Few know about the 44th- for it was no Law at all, but a demon, a betrayer which took a place not its own and defied both the Law, Will and Hunger. One night, the 42 pillars collapsed all at once, and the city has drowned under the sands- but the 44th pillar stood still. It was buried under the desert, lost and forgotten- until found by shepherds and was brought to the center of five proud cities, ruled by five proud kings. Secretly, it whispered the kings’ heart, and lured by its promises for power the Unspoken Law they made their cities into hell upon earth. God watch in fury at the fall of the Five Cities, and in His wrath he brought a catastrophe upon the land. Five once proud kings turned upon their own cities, until only they were left to carry the pain of their kin- and three sons who carried a blood blessed by all gods and all nature. Ages later, a descendant to that blood would come upon the cursed, lost pillar and would make a wish- and the pillar would answer, mixing its Law with that divine, pure blood. And Echidna looked upon those defiled, dead beings, and recognized them as Kin to her. And Shaddad refused, it hungered to power, and became one of the Seven.

They call it Marzanna, the Winter Witch, the Curse of Cold and Death. She first heard the Song carried in the cold wind, filling her hollow heart with its eternal breeze. Her dead, cold blood has soaked into the ground, and the dead who drank it had awakened from their graves- but slept still. When the spring came, the witch drowned herself in the river so her icy heart would not melt, and there she slept until the sun died once more. When the winter came, the dead who had Marzanna’s blood upon their lips rose from their graves, to rule upon the winter as their queen did. And Echidna looked upon those frozen, dead beings, and recognized them as Kindred to her. And the Seven upon Marzanna and stole her heart, leaving her cold and hollow once more- and in order to try and silence the Song, filled with sorrow, she devoured her own children- and finally, drowned herself once more.

They call it Lamashtu, the Devil Mother, She of Many Faces. She was one of the first to rise when the Song first played, and one of the first to establish a dynasty when Echidna rose to rule. In the ancient cities, she preyed upon the children of man, and made from them children of her own- vengeful spirits who fed upon the living. Her name became feared, and spells and incantations were formed to ward away both her and her hungry children. With the fall of her first temple, however, the Blood took away its gifts, and her spawn became lost and forsaken. Yet, the Devil Mother was a powerful witch of her own right- she ripped the souls of her own spawn and turned them into roaming souls, which crawled into the hearts of others and ate their Beasts, granting gifts in exchange for the warm body of the dead. And on the other side of the sea, daughters were born of her flesh, and they fed upon the living and the dead in order to satisfy their mother. And Echidna looked upon those husk, dead beings and couldn’t recognize them as Kindred to her, not anymore. And Lamashtu grew beyond her grave, and started to dream on the day she would become a Queen by her own right.

They call it Impundulu, the Lightning Bird, the Shadow of Storm and Witchcraft. A child of Lilith, it was born from the primordial darkness, and flew upon the stormy wings as it drank the life from the world. When the great totems of the land gathered together to choose their followers, those who weren’t strong enough died in the long waiting, and were left behind even without a proper burial. The Lightning Bird, however, didn’t forgot them. Splitting its darkness into shards, it crawled into the mouths of the dead and crept into their hearts, bringing them back from the other side as hunters of the living and lords of the wilderness. And Lilith looked upon those wild, dead beings, and recognized them as Kindred to her- for her shadow was forever in their heart.

They call it Hel, the Two Faced, She Who Guards the Graves. She never died- she was born dead, directly from her mother’s womb. Left behind in the snow, the stillborn being was not even buried, for it was never truly alive. However, as it was never alive, the gates of the Underworld were also blocked before it- leaving it in an eternal twilight, not truly alive, and not truly dead. It was then when it first heard the Song- and Cliodhna Embraced the child as the mother it never had, singing it a lullaby to put it at ease. Echidna then came, and nursed the young with the her own Vitae, blood flowing from her chest. The child drank the cursed blood, and as it did it grew, becoming a being half dead and half alive, her heart is hollow and her eyes are sharp, for no touch of will bothered her eternal peace. She visited the graves of the greatest of warriors, and fed them with her own blood. Fight, she said, distinguish yourself in battle- or else you shall be lost and forgotten like me. And Echidna looked upon those indifferent, dead beings, and so them as Kindred to her. And Kek sent its tentacles around them, and fed upon their empty souls and hollowed them up, to make them as its own- but Hel didn’t mind, for Kek didn’t knew what it has eaten.

They call it Rahu, the Severed Head, the One Which Knows Both Worlds. It was a demon, once- a great scholar who heard the Song while still alive, and set foot to claim what was its. Seeing the threat, Echidna herself came against the demon king, fighting it with spell and blood, blade and claws. For thirty days and thirty nights the war between the Mother of Monsters and the Demon King raged, until with one, swift movement, the Queen severed the head of the rebellious demon. Yet, as Rahu heard the Song, it could not die- its body may have died, but its spirit lived still. Its blood fell from the heaven like rain, and those who drank it became demons like their maker- beings of two worlds, and neither to call home. And Echidna looked upon those lost, dead beings, and recognized them as Kindred to her.

They call it Iblis, the Fire Without Smoke, the Wish Maker. It was no angel, nor was it a demon. Unable to recognize Man as worthy to to it, it defied its mission- yet as a being of smokeless fire, it couldn’t fall. Walking among the children of man, he searched for those who held wicked hearts and turned against the Maker. To test their faith, he burned them with his purifying fire. Those who were without sin were untouched by the flames. Those who were consumed by their sins died screaming, and turned into ash. And those who had fallen low yet could turn their damnation into strength consumed the heavenly fire, becoming something both lower and greater than man. And Echidna looked upon those debased, dead beings, and couldn’t recognize them as Kindred to her- not yet.

 

Of Other Covenants- Kept and Broken

Meet the Emperor, the Unconquered Throne. In the heart of every oath, he is invoked. In the name of every contract, she is bound. He sat there among the Senex as they decreed the laws of Rome. She walked among the Athanatoi has they ruled over Constantinople. When the Invictus was born, she sat as their center and heart. As the Al Amin ruled in the name of faith, he guided them as a prophet and a ruler. He is without power. She is nothing but a symbol. And still, without them, the Unconquered will be conquered.

Meet Carth, the Eternal Rebellion. He is nothing but a dream, a vision of how the world may be. She is a constant revolution, where the heads of nobles fall and new tyrants take their place in the name of freedom- just to fall again. He binds every law, she decrees every verdict. He was there in Carthage, challenging Rome’s great superiority. She was there in Rome, as the strangers and criminals formed their own brotherhoods and conduct. When the Legions fell, he collected the pieces. When the En went mad, her voice called through the wind. In New York, he was invoked to bind the movement. In Paris, she started the fire of revolution. Carth was always there, and they will never go away.

Meet Belial, the Demon Without a God. It is a demon, an angel fallen from heaven. He is a king, devourer of his own kin in search for immortality. She is a vampire, who found enlightenment in her own damnation. The first Duergar, who ate their own Beast and led others to the paths of Hell. All are damned, Belial screams, everyone is going down- so join Belial as they dance in the spiral to the depths of their own hell. You are already go there. At least you should enjoy the ride.

Meet Mithras, the Bull Slayer. A Legionnaire, lost in foreign lands, found the blood god and brought him to their Empire. Like Amoniel, he knew the secrets of walking the sun. Like Belial, he devoured his own Beast. Through damnation, he found redemption. In Hell, he found heaven. Drink the blood of the bull, and celebrate in your own corruption- the accord was stroke between the Beast and the Man, and in that song of sin, harmony will be found.

Meet Hachiman, the Divine General. He was there in the first war, a great archer and general. Through all of his life, he fought- and so it is a little wonder that with his death, he couldn’t lay still. War after war, the general continued to battle, a nightmare of darkness and blood which brought victory to some and death for others. His name has became venerated, and he fed upon the prayers as he fed upon the blood he spilled. Tonight, his name is venerated still- by farmers and criminals as one- and he still watch for the day another war would come.

Meet the Shichifukujin, the Seven Gods. They bring fortune with one hand, and take it with the other. Luck, wealth, war and arts- the faith of the people gained life of its own, forming seven faces which represented everything their people yearned for, wished for, desired from the bottom of their hearts. Yet, the living are not the only ones to desire- dead things have wishes too, and those who pay the tribute would enjoy the fortune of the gods. Does who don’t- would fall so low that even their names would be erased from the scrolls of history.

Meet Sakuya Hime, the Flower Princess. She was a small deity, a mistress of flowers and blossom. Then, the dead came to her- they are desperate, they said. The Beast devoured their heart, and they could not silence its calls. With her mercy, the Princess taught the dead a new song- one which would bind the Beast and out it asleep. Celebrating her name, the dead decorated themselves with her flowers, dancing and singing among the spirits and honoring them with their stolen blood. Now, the Princess is a great goddess by her own right- a flower blooming upon spilled blood, and those chosen dead would discover flowers of their own blooming in their hearts- even if they may not love the results.

Meet Morganna, the Queen of Elphame. She was a witch, yet she knew no magic. She was a fey, yet she never saw the land beyond the thorns. She was dead, yet she lived still. She knew the ancient gods, the spirits of the land, the faeries which hid beneath the hills and the golden eyed shadows of the night. She learned their ways, and made contracts with them- promising favors in exchange for benefits. Other dead has gathered around her, yearning to learn the secrets of the witch- and so she did.. in exchange for a favor, of course.

Meet the Faceless, the One Among a Hundred. Hundred elder dead imprinted their minds upon its, hundred hungry ghosts made it into a vessel to their own personality. Through it, they copied their own mind and faith, transplanting them into others in order to guide the soulless beings in the night. The One was then forgotten, lost, a sacrifice made for the use of others. Yet, it was not gone. The Faceless walked still, like a virus, moving from one face to another. And as the Hundred were replaced by copies of their own minds, the Faceless slowly moved through the masqueraded dead, eating their minds and souls into the top. Hundred elders yet rule the covenant- yet tonight, all the elders are One and the same.

Meet Rex Nemorensis, the King of the Grove. To his goddess, the king has bound his life and death. In her forest, he took an oath to bring love to those who had no heart, and warmth to those who grew cold by death. Using the powers of blood, he made others to love him, and he was bound to love them in return. For that twisted, unholy love, the King died again and again, feeding the forest so new trees may grow- but as he died, he was also reborn. Through the world, new kings rose in groves of their own, gathering others to love and be loved by them- and the ancient, dead king still sit in his ancient, dead grove, and every time a king died, he gains the soul he loved so much and plant it- so the forest may grow upon the Graveyard.

Meet Ghede, the Keeper of the Door. A baron of death, Ghede was once a living person- he knew the ways of spirits, she spoke to the dying and the dead. He danced with corpses and sang to ghosts, she traveled paths unseen and learned secrets unknown. With their death, they were not allowed to rest- for the spirits missed them, and called them to keep on dancing. They became a secret, an enigma, a black man in the crossroads, and laughing stranger which dance upon the graves. They drank, they made love, and they celebrated death as if it was alive. When the dead came to them in ask for help, Ghede simply smiled and said it was a secret. The most cursed their name and walked away- but a few remained behind, replying with a smile of their own. If a secret it was, then the only thing they had to do was to discover it on their own.

Meet Hermes, the Traveler. He crossed any boundary, passed every limit. From the depths of Hades to the top of Heaven, he walked everywhere, saw everyone, spoke every language and heard every word. When the legionnaires of the dead collapsed and joined the revolution, Hermes was there to guide them- for he knew the ways of thieves and criminals like no other. The dead took the hand of their guide and followed the path before them- without thinking for a moment if he were to lead them to heaven or hell.

Meet the Centurion, the Lord of the Army. The first among dead to offer their service to the Emperor, he became a commander and a symbol, bathed in blood spilled in the name of the Emperor and their gods. Never did his spear rusted, never did his spear shattered. With blood they were anointed, and the legions of the dead fought and died and fought again, all in his name. One night, the Emperor to which is swore service, removed his support from the ages old warrior. His legions were dissolved, their ranks were crumbled. His warriors joined the ranks of criminals and thieves, and followed a path laid for them by another. The Centurion himself, however, didn’t planned to put his sword down. A war he wished, and so he became one of the Seven.

Meet Libitina, the Harbinger of Bones. She is an old one, as old as Etruria, perhaps as old as Egypt, perhaps older. She was a sorceress, a necromancer, one who knew the words of the dead and the laws by which they abide. Where other dead things such as herself clang to the living and the warmth of blood, she instead searched for the paths of the Bellow, learned the secrets passages and ways unknown which moved bellow and above the Rivers. There, she earned the respect of the lords of the Underworld, and they gave her sorceries unknown to all but them. Those who search after the secrets of necromancy find her if they are worthy, to remind the dead that they are, truly, dead.

Meet Mastema, the One to Eat God. It is an angel, of some sort. It is a devil, of some sort. It is a Wheel, moving in constant motion. It is a Sword, ripping souls from the still living bodies. It was made by God, and it loves its maker. It is jealous of God, and it hates its maker. It wants to be like God, to devour Him, replace Him on the heavenly throne and rule upon an hell of fear and hell. Others, warlocks and theurges, have recognized its power and were drawn to its goals. They are to be its eyes, ears and mouths. They are to be its messengers and followers. Nine choirs sing in heaven, and they will become the tenth which would rule upon them all- but they still need Mastema, and it would still need its followers. You can’t have angels without God, after all- and you definitely can’t be God without angels. God, with his anger, wiped out three choirs of the warlocks as a punishment- but Seven were left behind, and their time would come.

 


 

So, I did planned to finish all of my “vampire mythology” with this post, but writing all of the clans and covenants took much more volume than I’ve planned for, and it’s already getting late- so we’ll continue next week with half splats, antagonists and- of course, the legendary VII. See you next time!