Origin & Nature
Our tale has trickled through the minds and memories of those who recollect such events, told in whispers or around a traveller’s fire late in the evening. Generally, the tale is stretched and warped by the fears of the mind, giving it untruthful proportions as a result of hysteria. Yet, as with most all tales, there are grains of truth sprinkled within it, hidden between the lies and fearful statements. No account is entirely accurate, but the most truthful come from the surviving servants of the Loth manor, whose accounts tend to line up more than others.
The Loth line originated and persisted as a noble and wealthy household, the male line successfully taking the mantle each generation. Through wars and strife, the Loth household held strong even as other houses waxed and waned. Service to the crown, through a military tenure, was an expected duty and mantle for each new patriarch of the Loth line. Each patriarch consented to serving their time in the army of Oren, taught from a young age that their duty was sacred and an essential part of being a Loth. And, in this way, the line continued until some time in the early 1500’s. At this time, a new male patriarch was born, his father growing old and desperate for a son. Being the third of his name, Charles Loth III would soon grow to fill the boots of his predecessors.
The young Lord was raised much as any other Loth; of their duty to the crown and their elevated status as a member of the Loth lineage. Yet, soon after the boy had turned four, his father, Charles Loth II, suffered a mysterious cardiac death. Mere days later, the boy’s mother was found cold upon her bed, assumed to have poisoned herself out of grief. So, the young Loth was raised by the life long household servants, sworn to duty to the family. There was nothing particularly wrong with the boy, so to speak. However, the desperation of youth without proper parenting instilled a fervent desire to be a Loth in the young Lord spent his days in the training yard, furiously improving himself in combat while neglecting the urgings of the household scholars, begging him to attend his studies.
The youth soon reached the age of maturity, old enough to enlist himself into the Orenian military. Given his status as a Loth, he was given a position of minor command in several skirmishes, to test his worth. The boy, although negligent of most of his studies, did devote the late evening hours to painstakingly memorize battle plans and strategies. It paid off in the field. A harsh taskmaster to the soldiers under him, even those much older and veteran warriors, he scraped victory after victory. As the boy aged, further military honors were bestowed onto him, invigorating and validating him further. Even after the expected tenure, Charles continued to serve, largely leaving the household to rot away in his absence and his other duties such as producing an heir to wither away as he sought more and more glory through his service.
However, in the climax of the largest battle, Lord Loth sustained a substantial injury. The details are unclear, and even though the day was won, Charles would never again lead a battle. He, after his recovery, received high honors from the Emperor himself, and deemed to deserve a restful retirement, but the events left the Lord uneasy. Through his service, Charles had gained a deep seated, psychological sense of satisfaction. In essence, it was killing. The desire had always served him well, on the battlefield: high honors, glory, status. Yet, without that, there was no service to devote himself to. Soon the Lord began to spiral downwards, darkly, in action and in health.
The once peaceful Loth manor quickly became a much darker place. People, both servants and visitors, would disappear in the evening never to return. Occasionally, muffled noises like human screams would break through to the night air, never to be spoken of or mentioned despite most inhabitants being awoken by them. Servants were threatened into silence, or killed if they didn’t agree to be silent. Nobody outside of the manor heard of these phenomena, such was the strictness of Lord Loth’s iron fist. As more disappeared from the household, the manor itself began to grow decrepit, paint peeling on the walls and the stank of neglect filling the halls. Lord Loth himself began to grow old and sickly, never producing an heir.
Yet, the dangerous and sick tendencies of the man were offset by religious diligence. The Loth household had ingrained values in the Church and the idea of following the virtues set out by God. As such, Charles feared the retribution and punishment that awaited him in the afterlife. The already sickly, growing old man began to experience night terrors of this specifically, of retribution and eternal suffering in the Seven Skies. Loth would awake shouting and crying, his few remaining servants having to come running to tend to him and sooth his supernatural hysteria. Almost against his own wishes, the Lord began to peruse through the library and knowledge hoards of house Loth, left neglected by him until now. Whispers, tales of immortality hinting at the edge of his mind. Some path he could take, no matter how horrible, to save him from his fate.
It was likely this searching that drew the attention of an entity that called itself ‘the Merchant’. This entity appeared man enough, but the gold speckles in his eyes and the unnerving nature of his movements and voice scared the servants of the Loth household, as well as Charles Loth himself. The Merchant, as he called himself, manifested at the witching hour, the location where he seemed to appear singed slightly, the very air itself seemingly different. A crow perched on his shoulder, which he referred to as a ‘bloodraven’, seemed to terrify other avians and even larger animals, such as horses. Rumors spread through the base of servants, and those remaining begged Charles Loth to send him away, but the Merchant had hooked a finger through the desperation of the man.
It was unknown to all involved, but the Merchant truly was otherworldly. No god, by any means, but certainly from a different place of being. The Merchant was a Planeswalker, more aptly named a Shunter. From the far off realm of Sullen, the Merchant came, bringing his specific accursed condition with him to the Descendant realm for the first time. Either out of curiosity, some sick viewing pleasure, or other unknown reasons, the Merchant sought to spread his condition to a member of the Descendant realm.
In Charles Loth and his ill mind, the Merchant found a suitable target. With beguiling words and actions, the Merchant managed to convince the Lord to bring him into confidence. Soon, within a matter of days, both the Merchant and Lord Loth disappeared within the depths of the manor’s dungeons. For an elven day and night, unholy screams ripped through the walls and floors of the manor, in some dark ritual unknown to the servants. Most left that night, back to the capital or where they came from, oath to the Loth family be damned. Those who remained had nowhere else to go, or were too afraid to leave. All were loath to disturb the ritual, not willing to face whatever darkness was taking place.
What happened next is debated and largely unknown. The majority of the servants who remained were never seen again, the few who escaped all giving variations on the same tale. When Lord Loth emerged, he was changed. Younger, seemingly, cured of the ailments of age that had ravaged his body. Younger, he seemed, and happier, yet was all the more unnerving for it. Where before there was a terrified, god fearing man, here stood an entirely different beast. Of the so-called Merchant who brought this upon Lord Loth, there was no sign, maybe slipping out in the dark of night, or disappearing through otherworldly means. The servants who remained to see what had become of their lord, for the most part, disappeared in the coming night. Of what happened to them, no tales are told, beyond Loth himself and what remained of his household disappearing. A few corpses were said to have been found in what remained of the manor, but they were desecrated beyond recognition.
And so the tale is told, from one fire to the next, interchanged and interweaved with different variations. The exact details of the tale are unknown, and the details here are simply one collection of the tale, generally regarded as the most accurate, despite the fantastical occurences within it. The details of the Shunter are unknown to all, though perhaps one skilled in the art of Planeswalking and knowledgeable in the realm of Sullen would be able to figure it out once hearing the details of the tale. Different variations of the tale likely filter through the ears of those invested in other such fantastical tales, to most being no more than a simple tale horror, like many others. However, hidden deep within the tale, there are grains of truth of what truly happened to Lord Loth, and the nature of the Dreoric Merchant who visited him.
The Dreori, individually known as Dreor, are all individuals suffering from a specific curse, what many Dreor refer to as the Dreoric Condition. Acquiring the Dreoric Condition can only be done via a process known as the Damnation, most of which not even being made known to young Dreor; part of the Damnation includes going unconscious, so one doesn’t know what is done to them beyond that point. Of course, all Dreor are still individuals despite their Condition, and are varied in both body and mind. However, some traits unite all Dreor, being harkened back to their Condition.
The Dreori maintain the body they had before Damnation. However, some changes are wrought on their form, some immediately visible and others more hidden, more insidious, internal changes. Blood flows through a Dreor, much like a Descendant. Yet the blood of a Dreor is marginally, yet noticeably, darker than it was as a Descendant. Additionally, their blood runs cold through their veins, their bodies not producing a significant amount of heat naturally. Every Dreor gains a scar after the Damnation along their jugular. The scar will fully heal after an elven weeks time, imperceptible to touch and sight, though occasional phantom pains from the wound are frequent in times of duress.
Dreor are, in many ways, dead men walking. The Damnation largely eliminates the candelight that is a Descendant’s soul; An untouched Descendant’s soul is capable of much, while the Damnation neuters that potential and preventing a Dreor from pursuing anything that requires a Descendant soul. This does not, however, eliminate the weaknesses that come with having a soul; a Dreor still has soul essence that can be drained or manipulated by various magics, but they cannot utilize it for their own gain such as a mage might. This neutralization of the soul eliminates aging; a Dreor is frozen at the age they were during the Damnation. Additionally, the Damnation affects their physical form in a variety of ways. A Dreor tends to be on the colder side, their bodies producing much less heat than a normal Descendant’s might, though not to an unnatural level. They also tend to be pale and tired in appearance, their darkened veins more visible in open sunlight, leading to a tendency to cover it. Paler Dreori seem to also have an increased likelihood for sunburns, another reason why they may cloth themselves adequately, and avoid large gatherings in the sun. Additionally, after the Damnation, strange allergies and reactions to seemingly normal things may develop, which may or may not tie into their phobias. More information on their phobias and the mental state of the Dreori can be found in the Mental State section.
Additionally, all Dreor have gold speckled eyes. Their base eye color is as it was before the Damnation process, but small specks of golden pigment are permanent in each eye. The severity of this is up to the Dreor, and can be increased or decreased at will. At the very minimum, a Dreor must have faint little specks of gold in their eyes, viewable up close. At the very most, a Dreor can cause their eyes to flood and intensify with golden particles, creating an uncomfortable appearance and gaze. The intensity of this also increases inadvertently when a Dreor uses any of their Abilities, or when their Blood Thirst gets too extreme. A Fractured Dreor will have these golden eyes constantly, striking and haunting.
Strengths and Weaknesses
A Dreor does not need to subsist on normal food and drink. Normal food and drink could be consumed, but meals of vegetables would taste like ash, and neither food nor drink of any sort provide any nutritional value. A Dreor truly needs nothing, to subsist. However, a Dreor who does this will be weak, with a body like an anorexic with no true strength, requiring help like an elderly man. Dreor in this condition are known as Feeble. This can be satiated, however, with blood. Both animal and Descendant blood can be consumed, but animal blood is not very satisfying. Like sour water, one can persist from it, but no joy or pleasantness can be derived from it. In comparison, Descendant blood is the finest of wines, and once a Dreor has a taste, they will be compelled to find more.
To meet this end, they find both the smell and taste of Descendant blood to be the most divine, addicting, and alcoholic substance they have ever known. A Dreor is constantly fighting their own bodily desire to feed, and is only capable of doing so well in a well fed state. If a Dreor has not fed, then being put into a situation with much blood and many men may very well result in the Dreor becoming Fractured. A Dreor can alleviate this risk by keeping themselves well fed. The hunger never fully leaves them, though it does lessen considerably after an adequate meal. Their bodies are capable of consuming and tasting other liquids, true enough, but the Dreoric Condition has largely shut down many internal bodily functions. As such, alcohol, drugs, or poisons have no result on Dreor. This does include even useful substances, such as alchemical potions or other substances.
A Dreor’s body is granted several boons as a result of their Condition. A Dreor, for instance, maintains extremely good night vision. A Dreor can see on the darkest of nights as if it were dusk, though in turn the brightest of days will cause a Dreor to scowl, squint their eyes, or otherwise stay in the darkness until the sunlight is a bit more bearable. This has no mechanical bearing on effectiveness in combat, though of course, like anyone else, a bright flash of light would be blinding. Dreor who are well fed maintain athletic strength and speed for their race without any need for exercise, though this degrades if they do not feed adequately to the feebleness of an elderly man. The details of this and each different state a Dreor can be in will be found below, in the Blood Thirst section. Additionally, Dreor are capable of regenerating from most any wound that would kill a Descendant. As a rule of thumb, so long as a Dreor doesn’t die during an encounter, they will manage or recover from it. A Dreor recovering from what might be a mortal wound will take various amounts of time, the exact times depending on their state. A Dreor can even regenerate lost limbs, over the course of an entire elven week. This regeneration does not have any effect in combat; it’s fast, certainly, but not fast enough to have any significant effect in any sort of combat encounter. This does not apply to ‘Rapid Scarring’, which can be found in the Abilities section. This does not mean the Dreor is immune to pain, however. Cutting a gaping hole in the side of a Dreor will surely take it out of the fight as much as killing it might-- unless it Fractures. There are, however, a couple surefire ways to kill a Dreor. Decapitation will result in an instant and quick death, as will stabbing through the heart. Any other ‘method’ of death that results in the destruction of the heart or head, and or the separation of the head from the body, will result in death.
This sort of death is, however, impermanent. Over the course of one elven week, a Dreor’s soul will grow in strength after its death. This is done via a process of parasitically attaching itself to the souls of animals in the wilderness, draining the essence out of lifeform after lifeform until it’s strong enough to manifest itself a new host. This is done by emerging from the corpse of their most recent animal husk, bloodied and surrounded by ruptured organs. This new host, however, will be weak and underfed, unable to utilize their full potential again until they feed. There is, however, a more permanent way to kill a Dreor. Some part of the Dreor is intrinsically tied to the dark blood that flows through their body, and undergoing the proper process will result in an effective Perma-Kill. This can only be done by a fellow Dreor. More information under ‘Searing’ in Abilities.
As far as further weaknesses go, there are several. All Dreor maintain a weakness to aurum. Being within about a six inch range of the metal would make the skin of a Dreor crawl and tingle, as well as a feeling of coldness beginning to crawl up their hand. If making skin contact with the metal, a Dreor will feel their strength fade from them; they will feel cold, and they will feel and function as an Underfed Dreor. This stops as soon as the contact ceases. However, should weapons of aurum or aurum alloy break the skin of a Dreor, an agony unlike any other will fill them, feeling as if their very flesh were burning. These wounds take twice as long to regenerate passively, though this does not apply to Rapid Scarring. If these weapons are left in the Dreor they will result in an unending agony, as well as preventing the Dreor from regenerating whatsoever until it’s removed. Additionally, the metal known as ‘Lunarite’ achieves a similar effect to aurum, but to a much more intensified degree. Being within a one foot range of Lunarite will result in an intensified effect of what aurum achieves, with the closest part of them close to contact growing cold and tingly, as well as uncomfortably numb. Skin contact will result in a dramatic and instantaneous weakening, similar to that of aurum but more intensified. A Dreor forced to maintain contact with Lunarite will be unbearably cold, beginning to exhibit symptoms of allergy and illness. A Dreor in this state is functionally Feeble. This effect ends as soon as the contact with the metal ends. Should Lunarite break the skin of the Dreor, the flesh will begin to crackle and burn, sizzling and twisting rapidly as if under a severe acid burn. The pain from this is extreme, and unbearable to any Dreor, causing them to falter greatly. Weapons of Lunarite or Lunarite alloy left in the Dreor will result in any ability being unable to be used, except for ‘undoing’ current abilities. Ie, a Dreor with their claws out would be able to withdraw them while being pierced with Lunarite. Wounds from Lunarite take the same amount of time as aurum to heal, as in twice as long as normal. A further weakness is the plant known as ‘Bane’, the details of which can be found below. Bane can be utilized in the alchemical crafting of substance Amrita Veridae, the exact details of which and recipe of which being found below as well.
The conversion process from Descendant to Dreor is known as the Damnation. A heavy and scarring undertaking, the Damnation (if successful) will irrevocably convert the Descendant. It begins with locating a target. This target can be willing or unwilling, though OOC consent is required for the Damnation to take root. The Sire, the one who wishes to convert another into a Dreor, must cut open the jugular of the Descendant. The Descendant must be restrained for this process, but primarily for what’s to come. Then, immediately after blood begins to flow from the wound, the Sire must take some of their own blood, no small amount, and force it down the throat of the Descendant. This will cause the suffering and bleeding out Descendant to go unconscious, and to the uneducated eye, seemingly ‘die’.
The next steps must be taken immediately, before the Descendant is too far into the Damnation and their ‘corpse’ is still peaceful. Both wrists on the body must be slit, and more blood collected and set aside. As you draw the Descendent blood out, one must replace it by smearing the wounds with their own Dreoric blood. Next the ankles must be cut in the same fashion, more blood being collected. Then, periodically, but at least twice during the twenty four elven hour process of the Damnation, the Dreor must feed the Descendant a mixture of their own blood mixed with the Dreor’s blood.
Over the next twenty four elven hours (one IRL day), the Descendant will begin to undergo the Damnation. At first their breathing will slow and their skin will pale as they seem to bleed out and die. After a couple of hours, however, the corpse will begin to writhe and mumble, eyes moving beneath the eyelids. Mentally, the Descendant will be reliving all of the worst trauma of their lives, over and over again. Nightmares of their worst fears, the darkest and worst part of their minds, will be brought to the surface and have complete control over them. This mumbling and writhing will turn into screaming and flinching before the twenty-four hours is up, the body moving much like one undergoing a seizure would. They would not be conscious, however, their body moving in reaction to the mental suffering they're going through.
Intense pain will wrack their frame in the last hours of Damnation, as well as an always growing, intense, desperate thirst they do not know how to sate. Eventually, their suffering will end in the blink of an eye, though they have full memory of what they've just experienced, leaving them feeling hollow and tired. The thirst, which is the thirst to feed on blood, remains, though lessens considerably to a more bearable level. It will begin to increase, however, mere minutes after they wake. The Sire will traditionally offer blood for them to feed on as their first meal. The scar from where the jugular was cut will always remain, a pale and rough reminder of what they've undergone.
In the event the target is not consenting OOCly, then the Damnation fails and the target instead dies, respawning at the Cloud Temple.
Bane is a sort of parasitic vine, which latches onto coniferous trees, primarily spruces and pines. The stalk is long, thin, and a pale yellow, covered in painful, but harmless, needles. This stalk is largely useless, and frail, but large, dark blue flowers dot the length of the stalk. These flower out at the points where the stalk is thickest, leading to most being along the lower area of the trunk.
Bane is normally found in northern and forested environments, essentially the taiga. It will latch itself onto the bark of any coniferous tree, such as spruces and pines. Any one of these trees may have it, though it is more likely to be found higher up, on mountains. Given trees grow more and more scarce the higher you go, the best area to search for Bane would be about halfway up a mountain in a taiga, on any coniferous trees nearby.
Harvesting Bane isn’t a particularly difficult endeavour. The sharp needles along the stalk may be painful, but this can be circumvented by simple gloves or simply using shears. The only useful part of the Bane plant is the blue flower, which must be separated from the stalk. One can pluck the petals or take the entire flower, though the anomalous effects can only be found in the petals themselves. Farming Bane is possible, in theory. Should one have a fully grown coniferous tree, as well as a decent cut of a Bane plant from the base, it would be possible to plant it and have it take root against and into the tree. It is worth noting, however, that Bane will slowly weaken and, eventually, after years, kill its host tree.
The petals of the Bane plant have a peculiar, and unique, effect on the creatures known as Dreor. Physical skin contact will result in irritation and mild rash, which lasts a narrative day, on the Dreor. You can associate the effects to that of poison ivy, to someone not especially allergic. These effects aren’t too extreme by any means, simply a breakout in hives, itching, and a rash. Consumption by a Dreor would result in a feeling of mild queasiness, and a sense of being ill.
Fire symbol, poison x2
Air symbol, separation x1
Bane petals x3
Bring the aqua vitae to a persistent, low boil. A lid is suggested while not directly interacting with the process, to keep air impurities out. Once the aqua vitae is boiling, both of the poison reagents can be added. These should be done together. As soon as the reagents disintegrate and break apart in the aqua vitae, begin to stir clockwise for one to two minutes. The substance will begin to turn a bright red. As soon as it has, add your separation reagent. Immediately, the liquid will turn from a bright red to a pale red, almost pink. Stop stirring and close the lid. Let it sit, and after another five minutes, turn off the heat. Continue to let it sit for another hour or so, so the process can finalize.
Description & Effects
Amrita Veridae, colloquially known to some as ‘holy water’, is a pale red, almost pink, exhibiting properties exclusively in a liquid state. The substance is harmless to any Descendant, though the taste is bitter and almost like chlorine. However, this substance is a true menace to the creatures known as Dreor. Physical contact with the liquid will result in an instant, agonizing burning sensation from the point of contact. Like an acid, acrylic smoke will rise from the point of contact. Angry red welts will emerge from these points. A Dreor is capable of sensing and feeling ill within a foot of the substance, meaning tricking a Dreor into drinking the substance is not viable. However, if a Dreor did consume it for whatever reason, forced or not, they would find their insides wracked with the most agonizing pain possible, their very organs and flesh beginning to melt. A little bit wouldn’t kill them, perhaps a useful torture aid, but anything more than 15 mL would result in the Dreor dying a slow, agonizing death. Coating a weapon with this substance wouldn’t achieve any particular effect beyond making wounds on Dreor ache more. Open wounds that are splashed with or make contact with Amrita Veridae, however, would take twice as long to regenerate, aching all the while.
The Blood Thirst of a Dreor refers to their never ending, insatiable thirst for blood. This thirst will come and go in terms of how strong it is, of course, but it never truly leaves a Dreor. The intensity of one's Blood Thirst is a good indicator of the current physical state of the Dreor, and as such will serve as a guide to understand how often a Dreor must feed, the effects of not feeding, and how plausible it is for a Dreor to become Fractured.
An adequate feeding consists of draining enough blood from an adult, human sized Descendant to put them unconscious. Draining the entirety of their blood and killing them in the process would count as two feedings. A halfling sized creature, of course, would die from supplying even one feeding, while an orc creature could remain conscious throughout a single feeding, and would only fall unconscious from two full feedings. It is all relative. A Dreor can instantly recover from a lesser state by being satiated by a meal, or two meals accordingly.
A Dreor must, if they wish to maintain peak strength, feed at least twice in an elven month. A Dreor in this condition is considered ‘well fed’, and is a Dreor at the peak of their Condition. Their strength and endurance is peak athletic levels for their base race, and they have access to all of their abilities. A well fed Dreor is slightly, supernaturally fast. This manifests as marginally faster reflexes and movement. This makes no mechanical difference in combat. However, when it comes to movement per emote, a Dreor can move twelve blocks in an emote instead of the basic ten. This emote would have to reference the slight unnatural speed at which they move. This wouldn’t allow a well fed Dreor to catch an arrow, or anything of the sort. As far as appearance, a well fed Dreor appears relatively healthy, their dark veins lightened enough to appear at least somewhat normal. A well fed Dreor has access to all Dreoric abilities.
A Dreor who doesn’t meet the criteria to be ‘well fed’ is instead ‘underfed’. An underfed Dreor is one who only feeds once in an elven month, or utilizes Rapid Scarring, which instantly turns a well fed Dreor into an underfed one. An underfed Dreor has the strength of an emaciated man, their previously smooth skin growing wrinkled and dried like that of an elderly man. The less fed a Dreor is, the more corpselike, and old, they appear. This is more of a scale than a set thing, but these things are expected to be RP’d to a relevant degree. An underfed Dreor has the speed of a normal Descendant, and the scope of their abilities is limited. The appearance of an underfed Dreor is noticeably older and more drawn than that of a Descendant, or even other Dreor. Their dark veins grow more blackened, and headaches are common. The Blood Thirst in this state is stronger, blood always in their mind, taunting them. Any situation with a large amount of shed blood would result in an underfed most likely giving into their compulsion, or at least collapse, shaking and sobbing.
A Dreor who does not feed at all during an elven month, specifically the course of four elven weeks, becomes Feeble. A Feeble Dreor is a pitiful creature indeed, with the strength and speed of an elderly man or woman, likely needing a cane or other assistance to move around. Their breaths are shallow, and their appearance is hunched and monsterly. A Feeble Dreor could be easily overpowered by most. They appear almost as a Fractured Dreor, but in control of their faculties and personality, as well as a bit more ‘Descendant’ in appearance. Their skin is drawn, bags under the eyes are constant, their hair begins to fall out, and they appear sickly. Migraine headaches, flickering vision, and faint whispers in one’s ears are all effects of being Feeble for too long. A Feeble Dreor can persist in this state forever in theory, but the Blood Thirst grows in intensity until a Feeble Dreor feels as parched as a man dying in a desert, only able to be satiated with blood. Any situation with too much blood would result in them losing their mind, and possibly overfeeding.
A Dreor only needs to feed twice per elven month to maintain their strength, but should they give into their constant desire to feed, they can feed more. A Dreor who feeds four times in an elven month enters an ‘overfed’ state, where their Condition controls them more than they control it. Constantly lethargic, with the emaciated strength of an underfed Dreor, along with the same speed. Their abilities flee them, as their appearance grows strange and feverish as their Condition grows almost strong enough to overtake them. The Blood Thirst in this state is very, very strong, a constant gibber and compulsion in their mind, almost as if they were starving, even if they’ve just fed. This can be fought, but it’s difficult. A Dreor in this state may need to be restricted by others until they can control themselves. This is as close as a sophisticated Dreor can get to a Fractured state. Should a Dreor feed more beyond this, their Condition grows in strength beyond a certain threshold, and they enter the Fractured state.
A Dreor is constantly living a life feeling the pull of their Condition, prodding them to push themselves beyond a point of control and become Fractured. A Fractured Dreor is named such for what has befallen them; their Condition is stronger than ever, and their control of it is gone. Fragments of who they were remain, but their Condition has them now, and they have been reduced to simple, yet dangerous creatures. A Fractured Dreor is still humanoid in appearance, but everything about them has been twisted. Their hands are long, fingers twisting into permanent claws. Their heads grow large and bulbous, with all of their hair falling out through the transformation into their Fractured form. They walk hunched, like elderly men, yet move faster than they ever did as a normal Dreor. For reference, a Fractured Dreor can move fifteen blocks in an emote, though still not able to catch an arrow or anything of the sort. Their strength is that of an average orc, their hands constantly clawed and their teeth expanded out into long, sharpened points. Their eyes are pure gold, the golden flecks of a normal Dreor filling their eyes completely; the eyes of a Fractured Dreor glow golden, like those of a predator. Yet, these boons at a cost. These things are a result of their Condition growing to peak strength, overriding the personality that was there before. As such, the Fractured Dreor has been stripped of what reason and humanity remained in them, destined to be a feral, wandering creature, feasting on blood wherever it’s found without the ability to reason as they had in life. A Fractured Dreor maintains a very basic cunning; they won’t, for instance, throw themselves into a group of fifteen people, and they are capable of running should danger be there. Yet, beyond this, they are feral. Should easy blood be acquirable, they will do whatever they can to both feed and survive. A Fractured Dreor cannot use any of the abilities they had before, though in return their hands are constantly clawed and their teeth are constantly sharp.
A Fractured Dreor, when killed, is Perma-Killed. While it may seem beneficial to become Fractured in the middle of a combat situation by over feasting on blood, the process to becoming Fractured is permanent. A Dreor is dooming themselves to an eternity as a creature entirely unlike themselves, with no way to restore themselves. There is, however, a method to recovering a Fractured Dreor, only capable of being undertaken by other Dreor, and requiring the capturing and subduing of the Fractured one before it is hunted and killed. This process is known as ‘Convalescence’, and more information can be found in the Abilities section.
The Dreoric Mind
The Dreori are capable of diversity, as is every other group. However, certain mental states, effects, and disturbing conditions are prone amongst the Damned. Many of these can be harkened back to the Damnation, and how a bit of that terror remains with them the rest of their Damned existence.
Dreori maintain a great deal of the mindset they had as a Descendant. However, certain traits and beliefs are prone to change. There’s a certain amount of humanity that must be left behind when pursuing this path, willingly or not. When a Dreor embraces what they are and their Condition, a disconnect grows between their old selves and their current Damned one. They begin to view their time as a Descendant almost as a different person entirely, separate from the moral hardships that come with being a Dreor and having to subsist off of blood. As such, they think of their previous existence almost as that of a child, with them being the adult. Those that they Sire will be, in many ways, children they are bringing into adulthood.
For the rest of their Damned existence, all Dreori will be in varying degrees of mental anguish. Some part of Damnation and all of the horrible experiences it contained will always stay with them, creating genuine phobias and triggers where before there may have only been an uneasy and manageable fear. A Dreor who disliked spiders as a Descendant now has a horrible, incurable phobia that persists as long as they live. This is the case in every Dreor, and one is expected to RP such things.
Different Dreor will take their Condition differently. A Dreor who was given the Condition against their will may try, and fail, to fight against their new nature. Another may develop a sort of split personality, where they struggle to understand who and what they are. Another may revel in it, a psychopath given a blessing in the form of terror. However, a single thing unites all Dreori: blood. A necessity to maintain their strength, speed, and form, blood dominates the life of all Dreori. Beyond even the pragmatic uses, the Dreoric Condition urges and pressures all Dreori to partake in it. This results in blood being the most appetizing, intoxicating, and addictive substance to a Dreor. This only functions for creatures with genus, however, with Descendant blood being many times more appealing than animal blood. This functions as a constant compulsion, in the back of one’s mind, never quite leaving their psyche even directly after a feeding.
All Dreor have, at their disposal, a small arsenal of abilities. Most of these cater towards either their feeding, their ability to blend in with society, or assisting other Dreor.
The Dreori can twist, crack, and morph the digits on each hand. This process is somewhat painful for the Dreor, but as the creature ages, it grows used to the sensation. The result is long, extended, and sharp claws. They’re composed of keratin, similar to fingernails, but somewhat tougher, as well as very sharp. Each digit, including the thumb, is extended by about an inch in length. The last three inches of each finger are sharpened to a point, about the sharpness of an iron dagger. Yet, they’re much more fragile than metal may be. Cutting, smashing, or otherwise mangling the claws will result in long lasting damage, the equivalent carrying through even when they revert their fingers to normal.
This process takes two emotes, from start to finish. This process requires a decent amount of focus, and it’s somewhat painful. A Dreor could speak while doing this, but couldn’t do much else. A decent hit to a Dreor while they’re extending their claws would halt the process, in a largely useless halfway state that is neither dextrous or sharp. This can only be done if the Dreor in question is well fed or underfed. Feeble and overfed Dreor cannot muster the strength, while Fractured Dreor have claws exclusively.
Harold glances down, yanking the gloves off of his hands and stuffing them into his coat pocket. With a deep breath, he stares down at his fingers. They begin to twitch and curl inwards, soon beyond a natural point. The man’s breath catches in his throat as audible cracks echoe out from his hands. Harold grimaces, closing his eyes as he continues.
[!] His digits continue to curl and twist, now starting to extend outwards into twisted, claw-like points. The fingers finally stop growing out, the last three inches on each now a sharp, pointed edge, a similar material to that normally found as fingernails. As quickly as it began, the process ends, and the man lets out a slight breath of relief, stretching out his claws.
With an effort similar to that of Clawed Hands, a Dreor can distend their jaw several inches, bones cracking and twisting. This process is relatively painful, but as with their claws, it’s something one gets used to. Each and every tooth in a Dreor’s mouth grows by an inch, the reason for their jaw distending; their new, horrible maw must fit all these long teeth. Each tooth is also sharpened to a predatory point, ripe for ripping flesh. The Dreor’s entire mouth is turned into a sharp cavern, with some Dreor even growing several rows of these fangs.
Sharpening takes two emotes from start to finish, and although it’s painful, a Dreor can grow accustomed to the horrible, cracking sensation. This can only be done if the Dreor in question is well fed, underfed, or even overfed. These emotes have to be in Quiet chat, or louder. Each tooth, top and bottom, grows by an inch, and the bottom jaw distends visibly. Some may, if they wish, have multiple rows of teeth. These teeth are sharp as knives, though still have the strength of teeth. However, closing their mouth and talking are both out of reach in this state.
Harold glanced around the alleyway, making sure no others were around. Opening his mouth, the man closed his eyes tight, fingers flexing as he focused. When his eyes reopened, they were filled almost entirely with flecks of gold. A light crack emanates from his jaw, the bones in it visibly breaking and distending down. The man clenches both fists, breathing through his nose.
[!] Bones continue to crack and push out, widening the man’s mouth to an unnatural extent. The teeth within his mouth begin to grow out into sharp points, each and every one gaining an inch in length, with the sharpness of a flint knife. A light groan escapes the man as the growth comes to a halt, the man now hosting an unholy mess of a jaw, ripe for ripping flesh.
Dreor exhibit fantastic, passive regeneration. However, this passive regeneration is not fantastical enough to instantly heal them during any sort of combat encounter. As such, should a Dreor be seriously wounded in some fashion in a dangerous situation, they can undergo the process known as Rapid Scarring. Rapid Scarring is the process by which, by utilizing their Condition, a Dreor can rapidly seal a wound. This process is very tiring, and in many cases a sort of last resort. The functionality is almost exclusively to combat encounters, as passive regeneration out of combat could take care of most other wounds. Rapid Scarring, however, only allows for the Dreor to seal over a wound-- they cannot heal anything internally. Additionally, the scarring left from this process is rough and inflamed, an agitated weak spot on the Dreor until it has time to adequately heal.
This process takes five, uninterrupted emotes from start to finish. These emotes have to be in Quiet chat, or louder. The process is the most exhausting of any Dreoric ability. Using Rapid Scarring will instantly turn a well fed Dreor into an underfed Dreor. Additionally, Rapid Scarring can only be used by well fed Dreori. Overfed Dreor cannot muster the energy to do so, while underfed and Feeble Dreor are simply too weak. Fractured Dreor simply cannot, not being intelligent enough to do so.
Harold slouches against the alley wall, taking deep breaths as he slides down to the ground. A wound in his side bleeds heavily, dark Dreoric blood staining his clothing and the ground. He closes his eyes, breathing picking up slightly as the man grimaces.
[!] The man’s breath hitches, muscles clenching as a strange sensation runs down his body. A peculiar noise, the sound flesh beginning to rapidly and painfully knit, echoes out from the wound in his side.
[!] The man continues to clench, breathing growing irregular. The wound on his side begins to seal over, a rough and red scar tissue starting to form around the edges of the gaping wound.
[!] The scar tissue begins to grow forward to cover more of the wound, the amount of blood flowing from the wound beginning to slow to a trickle. A hideous and large red scar covers the area, rough and blistering, but satisfactory.
Harold collapses, face growing even more corpselike, his appearance as if the man had aged decades from the event, a small stream of blood still oozing from the now sore spot of where the wound was.
A Dreor lives a dangerous life, and given their Condition, they won’t be welcome in many places. While their appearance allows them to hide in plain sight, there is an alternative, should the Dreor be willing to do what it takes to use it. By killing another, and using a weapon to cut off the front of their face, a Dreor can take on their appearance. This is known as False Face, and a Dreor using it is considered Masked. This has to be done outside of combat, and has further limitations below.
Utilizing False Face requires a freshly killed corpse, of a Descendant around the same size as the Dreor in question. This does have to be a Descendant of some variety, and not one of the other creatures or people inhabiting the realm. This process takes three emotes after the face has been cut from the body, and can only be done out of combat. These emotes must be in Quiet or louder chat. After the process is complete, the Dreor is capable of masking themselves as the person as an extremely high quality mimicry of the real thing. One can Mask themselves for at max three OOC hours, after which the ability falters and the Dreor returns to normal. This can be undone sooner, if the Dreor wishes. One who is Masked maintains the strength and speed they did before Masking, and using any Dreoric ability will instantly cause the Mask to dissolve, reverting the Dreor to normal. This does not apply to Beguiling, the only ability that can be used in this state. After using a face for this, it dissolves and cannot be used again. After utilizing one’s face for this, the same person cannot be utilized again for one elven month. This can only be achieved by well fed Dreor. Underfed and Feeble Dreor are too weak to achieve the necessary strain needed to do so, while overfed and Fractured Dreor cannot push their Condition do so as they wish it to.
Harold knelt down next to the fallen man, corpse pale from where he had fed. Muttering a quick prayer that the guard should find rest in the Seven Skies, he begins to work at the man’s face, cutting at the flesh.
. . .
Harold stood up, now holding the flesh of the dead man with one hand, sliding his knife back into its sheath with the other. He takes a breath, before raising the cold and leathery flesh up, and pressing it against his face.
[!] The man’s breath hitches as the cold flesh makes contact with his face. After a moment, a peculiar sensation, like buzzing, on his flesh. After a few moments, the flesh of the face begins to melt and merge with his own, the features of the dead guard overtaking his own. The rest of his body follows suit, it’s appearance becoming aged and stooped, though he remains in the same fine clothing.
[!] As quickly as it began, it was complete. The Dreor stretches his shoulders, looking in a puddle of water to gauge his appearance. “... It will serve.”
A Dreor may find it useful to change the appearance of their age, particularly if they’re attempting to blend in with human society; one may notice that a knight or governor hasn’t aged a year in the last twenty, and this sort of suspicion is the last thing a Dreor would want. Luckily, a Dreor has this in their arsenal. Well fed, underfed, and overfed Dreor all can use this, their Condition able to manipulate and pull at their flesh to increase or decrease the appearance of oldness. This can also be used, strangely, to control hair growth; the older one goes, the more their hair falls out, while they can cause themselves to manifest facial and head hair, of their natural coloration, at the younger years.
This can be changed and manipulated passively, and if you do it in front of somebody, it takes one emote in Quiet chat or louder. However, there are some limitations on Dilation. For example, one cannot decrease or increase their height or bone structure, not able to appear as a child. The youngest a Dreor can appear is the age of maturity for their race, and the oldest they can appear is that of an old man, about that of a seventy or eighty years old human. The strength and speed of a Dreor are the same as they are normally, not affected by the mere appearance of aging.
Harold glanced into the mirror, scowling slightly. His appearance was aged, his hair having fallen out. For all intents and purposes, the Dreor appeared as a different man entirely. With a breath, he closed his eyes, focusing. Soon the flesh on his face began to grow taut, the weary look of his eyes decreasing. A fresh set of brown hair emerged from his head, growing uncomfortably quickly, as well as the beginnings of a beard. Opening his eyes, Harold let out a sigh, seeing his new, younger appearance. “Much better.”
Beguiling & the Beguiled
Beguiling is the ‘hooking’ of a Descendant by a physical addiction to Dreoric blood, either in an attempt to gain their servitude or seek out new possible targets for the Damnation and to see their capabilities. By slipping a target around 20 mL of Dreoric blood, periodically at least once every elven month, the target will slip into a state of being Beguiled. The target will constantly feel the desire to listen to, follow, and serve the Dreor. This doesn’t mean the target would be willing to put themselves into harm's way, but serving the Dreor without endangering themselves is a must for any Beguiled. The target may still put themselves into harm's way if they wish, but it isn’t enforced. Animals can be turned into Beguiled, whether that’s a bird, snake, or other creature. However, these Beguiled animals cannot be utilized in any sort of combat situation; they exist purely as background animal companions. A Beguiled animal will grow strangely; pale white eyes, whitened or blood red scales, black feathers turning dark red, growing in size, et cetera. The exact details are up to the player, but only one animal can be Beguiled per Dreor.
A Descendant who’s been Beguiled will find certain physical and mental changes taking place, whether they realize it or not. Skin growing slightly paler, veins growing slightly darker. To a degree, they look much as a Dreor might, but without any of the advantages to such. A slight aversion to bright sunlight, as well as a tendency to have trouble sleeping, will plague any Beguiled. Additionally, Bane will cause mild itching and Amrita Veridae will cause an intense queasy feeling if consumed. Aurum will cause a feeling of cold to extend from the point of contact, but no tangible weakness besides being unpleasant to the touch. It seems the consistent consumption of Dreor blood leads to many of the effects of the Dreoric Condition, but to a lesser degree. The blood of a Dreor seems to have some intrinsically addictive property to a Beguiled. This comes in a form of a thirst, somewhat similar to the deadly knife’s edge of the Dreor’s bloodthirst. This thirst is more mild than what a Dreor must deal with, however. Directly after being fed blood, the thirst seems to not exist tangibly. Over the course of an elven month, this thirst will grow in intensity. This will begin at the end of the first week, with a mild feeling of being parched, one no amount of water can satiate. By the end of the third week, this will increase until the Beguiled begins to hear whispers at the back of their mind when it’s quiet, and night terrors replacing the relative sleeplessness they experience anyways. This can be relieved at any time with a sip of no less than 20 mL of Dreoric blood from their master. If the Beguiled doesn’t acquire the blood they crave, the effects will worsen until one evening they suddenly break, at the end of one elven month.
A target must be fed at least 20 mL of Dreoric blood monthly, either aware they are doing such or mixed in with food and drink. A Dreor can only ever have three Beguiled at any time, the names & usernames of which are commented on their CA. Turning someone into a Beguiled requires their OOC permission, and a Beguiled will follow any request or command given by their Dreoric master; they desire to please. However, one is not forced into self harm or allowing themselves into any situation that may get them killed. You may do this if you wish, but it is not enforced. Beguiled animals cannot be used in combat and exist as background creatures, of which a Dreor can only have one.
Harold took a seat at the banquet table, several other Dreori dotted around on benches. Some talking, others brooding, others scheming. It was an average Sabbath for the Damned, though Harold felt something amiss in the air. He turned behind him, where his most trustworthy Beguiled was, having come with him to the Sabbath. The young man leaned down, Harold murmuring in his ear, “Keep an eye on that group near the window, though don’t be too obvious. Perhaps offer them some bloodwine. Come back after an hour or so and tell me what you overheard.” Without any response but a nod, the Beguiled stepped away, moving towards the kitchens to acquire some wine for his task.
Should a Dreor be killed by another Dreor, they can be permanently killed by a process known as Searing. This requires three Dreor total to undergo. Searing is the only way to permanently kill another Dreor, and first requires the subduing of the Dreor in question. The Dreor should then be bound, in whatever manner restricts movement. Then, the three Dreor can begin making wounds along the body, drawing blood. This must be done slowly, specifically the course of one elven hour, and the Dreor needs to be slowly drained of the majority of it’s blood. Once the majority of the blood that can be siphoned from these wounds has been siphoned elsewhere, each and every wound must be splashed in Amrita Veridae. As the Dreor lays in agony, burning and dying, the three Dreor must together consume it’s blood. After this blood has been consumed, and the Dreor lays there, half dead, the final step can be taken. By feeding the Dreor no less than 20 mL of Amrita Veridae, they will perish, and never return.
Searing can only be done out of combat. The Dreor must be restrained for this; no Dreor would be able to willingly go through the process, at least once it has started. As such, some sort of restraint is required. Then blood needs to be taken from the Dreor, from a variety of wounds made on its body. Each of these wounds must be doused in Amrita Veridae, and as the Dreor lays slowly dying, all of the drained blood must be consumed. After this, the Dreor must be forcefully fed no less than 20 mL of Amrita Veridae. This will result in the Dreor being permanently killed.
Harold glances around the darkened room, glancing at the other two Dreor as well as the one, chained to the wall, sputtering and dying. Aurum needles pierced each limb, forced all the way through into the wood behind the man. Wounds dot his flesh, each one blistering and smoking from where the Amrita Veridae made contact. Glancing back at the table, the two Dreor were hooded similarly to him. Chalices cover the table, each filled with the dark crimson blood of the chained Dreor. Wordlessly, they all three reached forward, grabbing a goblet, taking a breath, and draining it down. The process continued, the chained Dreor watching, whimpering, with corpse like eyes, until all the chalices were empty. A Beguiled youth came running up, then, with a chalice full of a pale, pink liquid. As he passed one of the Dreor at the table, the Dreor hissed. The Beguiled walked faster, until they were right next to the chained Dreor. Reaching forward with a shaking hand, they held open the Dreor’s mouth, forcing the liquid in the chalice down their throat. Even in their weakened state, the chained Dreor managed a moan of pain and a shudder. After a few moments, though, it was over. The light fled from their eyes, and they were gone.
A Fractured Dreor is a pitiful creature, and doomed to wander as a twisted, dangerous, and reasonless entity. However, a Fractured Dreor can be saved from this horrible fate by the interference of another Dreor. Should the Fractured Dreor be captured and subdued, and then suitably restricted to prevent movement. The creature will be constantly fighting it’s bonds, but if it’s held strong, then the Convalescence can begin. The Fractured Dreor must be fed a three part mixture: one part Amrita Veridae, one part Descendant blood, and one part Dreor blood. Acquiring the Amrita Veridae to do this is a pain for most Dreor, and the Fractured Dreor must drink this mixture at least once an elven day. It is absolute agony for the Fractured, but the process will slowly weaken the grip of the Condition. Over the course of one elven week, force feeding this liquid to the Fractured Dreor each day, the Dreor will slowly revert to normal. By the dawning of the last day, the Dreor regains sense of who they are, and enters the Feeble state by default. They must feed to regain their strength.
Convalescence is a week long project more than it is an ability. A Fractured Dreor must be captured, subdued, and restrained for it to take place. Then, it must be fed a mixture of Descendant blood, Dreor blood, and Amrita Veridae. Consuming this is agony to the Fractured Dreor, but it provides sustenance while also fighting off the extremely strong form of their Condition. Slowly, over a week of giving the creature this mixture daily, the Dreor can be reverted to normal. On the seventh day, the Dreor awakens, now aware of who they are once again. They are in a Feeble state, and require feeding to return them to strength.
Harold strides down into the dungeons, strapping on his hide gloves. Torches flicker, lighting the dingey staircase that leads into the bowels of the castle. He makes his way down easily, even beyond the point where the torches stop, through the darkness. Level after level he traverses, as the stone walls turn to compacted dirt, wooden supports keeping up the massive weight above them. Nitre coats the walls, as he finally arrives at his destination.
Faint growls and whimpers flitter through the air, inaudible to those higher above. Harold turns, opening a door of pure steel blocking the way into an enclosed room. Stepping through, a pitiful sight met his eyes; a fellow Dreor, strapped to a wooden platform with iron shackles. The creature has been weakened over several days, and is now too feeble to fight against its bonds. Harold let out a sigh, turning away from it and onto the table before him. On it sets a container, repulsive to him even through the gloves.
Harold picked up the container, a pitcher in truth, and began to slowly pour the red, viscous mixture into a goblet. Careful not to spill any, he fills it to the brim, setting the pitcher to the side. The man felt his fingers aching from close contact with the fluid, but he picked up the goblet just the same. Harold walked over to the chained Dreor, who sensed the liquid as well, beginning to fight against his bonds to no avail. “This is for your sake, brother.” Harold muttered, holding the chin of the Dreor, forcing it to drink from the goblet. A muffled, gargling scream fills the halls of the empty dungeon.
A Dreor may very well grow weary with the way of the world, or a Dreoric player may have to shelf the character or go inactive. This can be achieved IRP by a process known as Cocooning, where a Dreor can create a sealed container of timelessness. By entering a container and closing the lid, such as in a coffin, a Dreor can cease the flow of time within the confines of this box, and enter a deep sleep, almost hibernation.This can be interrupted whenever the Dreor wishes, and they can exit this stasis. However, should the box be opened at any time, then this is forcefully interrupted. A box closed and locked tight would essentially trap a Dreor in this state against their will, for a theoretically infinite span of time until opened or destroyed. A Dreor in a Cocoon does not need to feed, and will fall asleep within moments of the cover closing on them. They will only awaken when it is opened, or they themselves try and open it. A Dreor is free to wake up whenever they wish and try and open their Cocoon, but should it be sealed, they will only fall into hibernation again, limbs growing weak.
A Dreor in a Cocoon does not need to feed, and they can persist in this Cocoon so long as the lid remains closed. The opening of their Cocoon interrupts this, forcefully waking up the Dreor. This can also be used as a temporary, or permanent, prison for a Dreor by keeping the lid locked from the outside. A Dreor can exit themselves if they wish, but should the door be locked or otherwise held close, they won’t find themselves capable of such. This must be done in a sealed box, the proportions of which like a coffin for their specific race.
Harold opened his eyes. It was a significant thing, for it took him several moments to remember where he was. Then it came to him; trapped, locked up in this mausoleum, in a coffin like the many dead around. Chains wrapped around the outside, keeping him trapped. Almost instantly as he woke, he felt the pull of the sleep, the need to hibernate, begin to press down on him. Yet he fought it, hearing something; voices. The voices of his comrades, the Descendants he had previously converted to their cause. Hope, at last. Though his throat was dry, he raised it to a shout, shaking the confines of his coffin. A gasp of surprise and the touch of running feet on stone let him know his efforts were successful. Freedom, at last.
Dreor Red Lines
The Dreori serve as an antagonistic niche, for a specific kind of player who wishes to both cause conflict and deal with the consequences of said conflict. LotC in late has been lacking in dark creatures, and I thought I’d give my hand at creating something new, my own spin on existing tropes and concepts. I hope this is a satisfactory read to you all, and you see the same niche emerging from this as I do. People who aren’t afraid to play a character who can die, who are constantly running out of time and each taking the effects of their Condition differently.
Archipelego - Me, for writing this.
Assassinofawsome - Origin & a few other ideas.
Dunstan - Based and redpilled critiques.
ScreamingDingo - Tore apart my first & second draft, thankfully.
TheAlphaMoist - Ideas & Criticism.
Squakhawk - Ideas & Criticism.
Beordan - Ideas & Criticism.
Whiplash - Ideas & Criticism.