Chapter 34: Hell is Empty, All Devils Are Here (Strains of the Cursed Blood)

Some time ago, I worked on a project called Strains of the Cursed Blood. Inspired majorly by the presentation of the Otodo, the idea was introducing new demonic lines, each coming from both a different culture and connected to some other form of demonic entities inside the setting. Following the pattern of tying each such Strain into the diabolical entities of a certain gameline, we ended up having 11 new such bloodlines, each dedicated toward hunting the darkness while wielding the powers of the same darkness which spawned them.

But is it enough?

I mean, the CofD is a wide, wide world, containing all kinds of mysterious terrors and hidden monsters. Plus, if we were to include canon, five out of the 14 Strains are Infernal in origin- sure, we could define that the oni which birthed the Otodo may be Wounded spirits, while the Tartaruchi being connected to Larvae, the Lucifuge to some form of fallen angels while the L’Enfant Diabolique into a collective of all kinds of demon children (and of course, the Benei Topheth which are kinda in an awkward place considering their ties to Moloch), but in the end, all of those horrors come from the same Hell, unlike the abyssal nightmares of the Nemontemi or the silent winds of the al Rih al Asuad. Some other forms of demons still lurk, and not all of them have children of their own.

But they can have.

The first addition to the 11 lines came in the form of Yaldei HaLayla– a strain originated from the shadowy strix which can call upon the shadows in order to hunt the undead. Now, that’s a beginning- but there are many, many more options to explore, either from canon perspective or from an homebrew material. Anyway, while I’m yet to write any such a new line, here is what I have for so far-

Requiem– Currently, we have two Strains belonging to thsi line- one born from the Edimmu, and the other from the Owls. With the re-introduction of Belial’s Brood, I start to wonder if there could be any use for those “evolved draugr” as some sort of progenitors for one of the Strains. Perhaps a case where people who were scarred by the Claimed have a shard of their Beast embodied inside of them, and as such tainting them with Belial’s eternal darkness. And of course, we have the Boogeymen from Half Damned as an example for a purely vampiric line of hunters, which should fall under the concept of “cursed blood”.

Forsaken– with the idigam being attributed to the Hrt Isfet and the corrupted spirits of the Maeljin as possibility to the Otodo (unless we connect them into something inside of Changeling’s cosmology, as it is hinted in their writeup), it seems like the possible Strains for this line should come from the Uratha themselves, the Hosts and the Geryo. So that gives us 3-4 new Strains- one of “beast blooded”, which is wolf blooded who somehow corrupted/changed their blood in order to fight spirits and shifters, one which is born from the spirits of the wounds (even though I think that the Benei Topheth also covers that territory due to their… unique connection), one which is connected somehow to the Hosts (perhaps Shards which are transferred through bloodline or something?), and something about the Geryo, which we can’t really speculate about as we don’t know much yet about them other than their connection to both Father Wolf, the Contagion and the Dark Mother. Also, if we were to include my own homebrew, I believe that the Old Ones would be good candidates- perhaps a line which somehow preserves the memory of the long dead beings, or that has the Old Ones’s fossilized bones melded into theirs. Need to think about that. We could also investigate the concept of having a line born from a Pangaean, like the Uratha, only in some corrupted form or which does not give birth to shapeshifters but to an other form of power- even though that’s more or less what the Benei Topheth are all about. We’ll have to think about that.

Awakening– with the most obvious choice for “Mages demons” being the Abyss, I’ve already covered it in my original thread. However, as I still plan on writing down the Bound (I think I would publish them in the STV when Mage would join the party), another alternative would be a line which is connected to one such dreadful entity (maybe that python-based line which was suggested in the original thread). A corrupted Proximi line could also be interesting to use in here- perhaps one which is connected to Pandemonium with their symbols going Mad in the process, or maybe a Lucid line, or even one with connections to the Tremere and their soul-stealing magics. And of course, Mage has countless of small hells in its disposal, in the form of the Lower Depths- maybe a line from few of those dimensions, such as Annwn, or even a collective of those, could be interesting to explore.

Created– Promethean is a tough nut to crack. With Flux alread being used in my project, it is hard to think about what any other form of demonic power may exist inside the setting. My best concepts would use my own homebrew concepts, such as a jotun based line which is connected to my Awful Ice project, or maybe something about the Baalim or my “hidden choir” of qashmalim, which exist in the “blind spot of God”. The Zeka may have other possibilities as the suggested “modern lineage” which is connected to theosophical ideas and birthed by radiation. A stright forward lineage birthed by a qashmal could also have some potential, if done correctly.

Lost– while the original project has already used the Huntsmen as progenitors (which reminds me that I should update the conspiracy a bit considering the new edition), Changeling does have its fair share of antagonists. For example, we already have the cambions established in 1e- so perhaps a line born of corrupted dreams could be nice. Goblins and hedge monsters could also be interesting to explore in that context. And of course, 1e has already presented the children of Fetches as dark and dreadful beings- so why not use it in one way or another?

Vigil– another tough nut, but for other reason than Promethean. Hunter, after all, does not lack demons- it is simply that all of their demons already belong to some other line. In a way, infernal demons are the closest thing we have for “hunter demons” due to the Lucifuge. We could have some bloodline cursed with murder lust to become slashers, which tries to channel its dark urges toward beneficial uses. Maybe we could also do something which is connected to Cherion, like some project of their at creating a dark bloodline which develop random monster abilities or something like that.

Geist– another somewhat problematic gameline, I feel that I’ve already used most of what Geist has to offer in that respect. Chthonians were used for the ghost-hunting Strain, while the Tartaruchi are connected to the infernal Larvae. Perhaps a line which is somehow connected to Reapers, which has the ability to done Deathmasks for all kinds of powers (even though the mask imagery kind of overlap with the Nemontemi). Perhaps something about those who are born to a Kerberos or are otherwise connected to it, or perhaps even something about an abmortal line of ghost eaters. The options are there, but nothing which is well defined.

Curse– Unlike other gamelines, it seems that in the case of Mummy, we have barely started to scratch the tip of the iceberg. The current cursed bloodline, the Avici Sutra, are in fact a group of reborn which had their souls scarred by the terrors of Irem’s fall- you may say that they are the surviving souls which has somehow escaped the Rite’s terrible pull to Duat, but not without a price. That, however, is more or less an original idea- and we have so many demons inside of the game which we are yet to explore. Be them a bloodline birthed from an Amkhat spawning pit, one descended from the dark terrors of Duat, a family born under the eyes of star demons, a lineage which can track its origin to the inhuman beings born from wild Sekhem which lurked before humanity or even a family bound through a sorcerer’s ceremony or which carry in their hearts the celestial music and inspiration of the Temakh, we have so many options which are just waiting to be explored. Also maybe something connected to the “wine” of my Cabiri or the shattered immortality of the Cartaphili could also be interesting things to explore.

Descent– the thing about a game which revolves around demons is that there aren’t many of demons to play with beyond the main cast. The Usij are a line of stigmatics and demon blooded born from the God Machine’s experiments, which pretty much covers the concept of “demon born line”. Maybe something about a line born for malfunctioning of an Exiled/Silver, or something a bit more “angelic”. I could also use my concept for the Coraces as a form of bloodline or something. And of course, I could always use my own homebrew Grigori as progenitors for some ancient, bestial line. The Utnapishtim may also be an interesting concept to explore, but as they are traced through bloodline already I’m not sure how conceptually different a line born from them would be than the Utnapishtim themselves. Maybe they will be a slave race of some kind which were modified by the Utnapishtim, like the “soldiers of god” against the remnants of the dread race or something.

Primordial– now, Beast has some interesting concepts to explore in it. While we, more or less, examined the idea for a beast-like being born from the Dream for the project, we are yet to address two of the canon enemies of the game in that context- that is, heroes and insatiable. Now, a line born from the terror of the insatiable is kinda obvious- I kind of think about the line not being born directly from such a monster as much as it is born by the paralyzing fear they radiate (even though that yes, even a bloodline which is simply born from those dread beings, such as the eggs of the Blind Man, could have some interesting potential). As for an heroic line, I think we could play on the line of “what separates an hero from a demon”. I’m still not sure about the exact details, but maybe something about the memory of an ancient hero being reborn eternally in the dreams of the line, giving it some demonic outlook or something. Still needs to ponder about that one.

Renegades– yeah, I’m kind of blank on this one. I already wrote two conspiracies which have ties to this game before it is even out, I think I’ll wait for Deviant to actually get to a Kickstarter before deciding about its demons (other than a mutated line which belongs to some old project of an ancient conspiracy or something).

 

And that’s what I have for this week! Feel free to say which of those cursed lines you want to see and suggest ideas for how to adapt them, and see you next time!

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