The Canker of Shadowrambling
The Eloquent Antiquity
The tapestry of time stretches on, with fibers of years woven into a fabric of eons. In such times, ancient blights are forgotten instead of healed, and antiquated destruction is built over instead of repaired. That which is truly ancient cannot always be easily washed away, however, not forever. Bubbles of what once was will emerge, bringing the taint of the past into modern nights. Ancient ideas, societies, and creatures cannot remain buried in the tapestry of time forever.
The Cimmerians, also known as the Shadowramblers, are an ancient creation, a foul and largely forgotten concoction crafted by the hand of Iblees during the great war. Terrors in the night, Cimmerians ransacked villages and took lives. Even as vast hordes of undead marched for Iblees, the Cimmerians both led and lagged, sowing misery and chaos wherever they went. Cimmerians are creatures of absolute darkness and self-serving malevolence, capable of the more delicate art of corruption and manipulation that the mighty undead was not.
Hosting some similarities in appearance and nature to the parasites of Rancor, Cimmerians were willfully created by Iblees as silent and malicious soldiers. Not quite people, yet not quite animal or undead, Cimmerians were created by the willful corruption of descendant bodies, creating a patchwork soul bound in darkness. This almost parasitic form of birth, this corruption of purity, inherently sets all Cimmerians against ideas of light, mortal morality, and duty.
Such corruption allowed a newborn Cimmerian to, of their own accord, instantly begin striking out against the pure descendants, and their world of light. However, Cimmerians are self-centered above all else, and would otherwise prove impossible to control. So, woven into the complex nature of the foul magic that makes up their Ibleesian being, Cimmerians are bound to their promises and to Iblees. Whenever a Cimmerian was birthed and granted their umbral form, they would be mentally assaulted by a fragment of Iblees, binding them, restraining them. It was through this bond to the Arch-Daemon that Iblees controlled the Cimmerians, granting them orders and ensuring that they proved a productive force during the war.
However, with the fall of Iblees came the fall of the Cimmerians. The number of new Cimmerians fell as Iblees’s influence waned and the Cimmerians began to fall into disordered individuality. Those who remained were struck down by a mixture of warriors of the light and unfortunate contact with sunlight or flame. The Cimmerians, once feared terrors in the dark of night, became creatures of myth and horror stories. Then, as centuries passed, even those myths and stories became lost, until the once infamous Cimmerians fell into grand obscurity.
Yet, nothing remains hidden forever. A few clever and capable Cimmerians hid away in the annals of history, following in the path of destruction left behind by descendants or moving to different places entirely. In these places, the handful of remaining Cimmerians simmered and waited in their immortal impatience. Only now, in these modern nights, do Cimmerians walk the nights with descendants once again. Unlike in antiquity, however, these Cimmerians are fractured. Individualists and self-centered, their bond to the distant and weakened Iblees has left them without his protection or power. These nights, Cimmerians operate in service of themselves and their own malevolent needs, without the unifying force of the Ibleesian army. Few even remember that time, save the few truly ancient entities that stalked those Aegisian nights.
A Dichotomy of Darkness
Shadowramblers are creatures of absolute darkness, created through the complex and corrupting arcanery of Iblees himself. As can best be described, this is done by taking the pure potential energy of a descendant soul and warping it, twisting it inwards into a consuming force. This creates a form of pure Ibleesian shadow, similar in many ways to pure abyssal darkness or the manifested shadow of Rancor. Cimmerians are made entirely of this Ibleesian shadow, usually in an ethereal and near-gaseous state of rising and flowing. Except when actively using an ability that causes them to gain a physical state, this ethereal darkness is the form taken by all Cimmerians.
Cimmerians are created from a descendant soul that is wholly corrupted, and as such Cimmerians exhibit a few traits found in descendants. It is because of this that Cimmerians can speak, and are capable of learning languages the same as any cognizant individual. Additionally, Cimmerians carry a generally humanoid form, with a defined head, as well as often a torso and arms, though the manifestation of legs is often negated in favor of a cloud of Ibleesian darkness. Beyond general structure, however, Shadowramblers do not gain any traits from the soul they are born from. For instance, whether the original soul was an elf, orc, dwarf, or halfling doesn’t matter.
All Cimmerians display the same general humanoid structure, the undefined appearance of the individual before it is split into elf, orc, or human. For simplicity's sake, the face of the Cimmerian most resembles an elf or human, though neither of these truly define the alien and incomplete nature of their shifting features. Additionally, Cimmerians do not display sex and are all naturally asexual and relatively androgynous creatures. Cimmerians may display certain surface-level characteristics of femininity or masculinity in their face and build should they choose, but these are just phenotypical traits on what is otherwise an asexual, agender, ethereal being. A Cimmerian that goes by the moniker “Jack of Shadows" may call himself he, and have a masculine face structure, but Jack would be as naturally sexless as any other Shadowrambler. Cimmerians cannot FTB.
Although often in an immaterial or mist-like form, this does not give Cimmerians the ability to break any server mechanics, fly, or phase through matter.
Shadowramblers do not have to eat or drink. They subsist off of the fear, agony, and misery around them, leading them to cause it to sustain themselves and bring themselves a feeling of strength and fullness. It is this innate hunger and drive for misery that makes all Cimmerians enemies of good virtue, and why they made such excellent soldiers to Iblees. This is not a feeding mechanic, however. A Cimmerian is not mechanically measured on the amount of suffering they cause, nor will they suffer a mechanical drawback for not causing agony in x amount of time. It is simply an inclination that IRP serves as the primary drive for all Cimmerians.
Cimmerians host a strange, metaphysical form of shadow and mist. In this way, while many things such as normal blades will simply phase through them, other things will not. For instance, Shadowramblers are capable of making physical contact with one another, often resulting in brawls or killings among one another. Additionally, Kani users are capable of making contact with the body of a Cimmerian similar to how they might a spectre.
Cimmerians do host a descendant soul, but one that has been corrupted and split to such an extent that it is no longer useful in the same way. Cimmerians cannot learn any magic, whether it’s deity, voidal, dark, or any other kind. Additionally, Cimmerians cannot learn alchemy or Kani. Functionally, Cimmerians should be treated as if they do not have magic slots at all as there is nothing they can learn. An exception can be made if a piece ever states that a Cimmerian can learn the magic the piece is about, so long as it gives valid reasoning for why an ethereal shadow being would be capable of learning and practicing it.
In the same vein, Cimmerians are immune to malflame, curses, corruption, or anything that would otherwise affect their body and soul. Malflame, Mystic hexes, or Witch Doctors cannot harm the soul of the Cimmerian, as it is so far corrupted as to be something virtually different entirely. The only magical sources that can harm a Cimmerian are from those with magic that can purify corruption, such as paladins and clerics. Cimmerians are very receptive and reactive to contact to any holy magic, and the Xan-imbued blade or arrow of a Paladin will tear through a Cimmerian as if they are butter.
The physiology of a Cimmerian is ethereal, but there are a few things that can cut into a Cimmerian as if they do physically exist. In this case, Cimmerians do have a “body,” and take damage like any other individual. Sources that can harm the bodies of Cimmerians include holy magics, direct contact with flame, and direct sunlight. A normal blade will cut through a Cimmerian as if they are mere essence, but a Xan-infused blade will cut through a Cimmerian as if they are made of flesh. Direct contact with flame will burn through them wherever contact is made, creating huge and devastating wounds in their shadowed being that take significant time to heal, but the fire won’t spread throughout them as they are but a shadow. Direct sunlight will similarly cut through a Cimmerian, but can in a matter of a second or less completely erase whatever part of the body is exposed. Entire body parts can be eviscerated by the sun, and should something vital such as the head or chest of the Cimmerian be put under the sunlight, they will rapidly melt to nothing.
All Cimmerians are made of black and grey shadow, but each also has a singular aura color that runs in thin streaks through their bodies and in their eyes. Such colors are varied but must be dark or otherwise sickly, i.e. purple, dark red, pale yellow, pale green, etc. Usually, these colors are only a few thin streaks throughout their bodies and in their eyespots. However, when casting or using an active ability, this color flares up in their eyes and bodies to a visible extent, existing less as light and more as colored darkness. This operates as a form of aura and a form of tell.
The body of the Shadowrambler has a normal height range between 4'5" and 6'0". When not making use of Waxing, this is the normal height of the Cimmerian. In all ways, the Cimmerian appears as a fully grown but otherwise indistinct adult individual in their ethereal and shifting features. The strength of every Cimmerian is that of a typical human knight; strong, but well within the realm of mortal possibility.
Shadowramblers can and will regenerate from any wound, including missing limbs and body parts. To kill a Cimmerian, they must be decapitated or otherwise eviscerated entirely by a force that can do so. They won’t bleed out, but they will spill Ibleesian shadow like liquid from wounds taken. Missing limbs and huge gaping wounds will recover over the course of an OOC week, moderate wounds or missing fingers will recover over three OOC days, and minor wounds or scrapes will recover over one OOC day. Should a Cimmerian die, they are in a state of a soft-PK and must be revived by other Shadowramblers or risk what is essentially a permanent death. More can be found on this in the relevant section on abilities.
Acumen & Turn of Mind
Shadowramblers are creatures that exist outside the purview of the world of light, and as such host dark, alien minds. They exude distaste and hatred for things that are nominally considered good, holy, warm, and light. Mortal life is contrary to their very being, yet they are birthed from it and require the misery of mortals to subsist. This dependency on that which they hate often causes much hidden self-loathing or outlasting anger from many Shadowramblers, simultaneously viewing themselves as both a superior being and a massacred, ruined soul. This dichotomy is present in virtually all Cimmerians, even the oldest who walked in the darkness of Aegis.
Cimmerians, although often aggressive, hateful, and malevolent, are also incredibly crafty and manipulative. Each hosts descendant-level intelligence, with a tendency towards understanding motives, beliefs, and ways of discussing. In this way, virtually all Cimmerians are silver-tongued, and their ability to lie, gaslight, and manipulate is one of their greatest strengths. They will gladly suck up to, “befriend,” or otherwise assist a mortal should it mean achieving some sort of personal gain or objective. This is often done as a means of entering a bond and achieving their full strength, only to turn on the once-bonded mortal as soon as the task is complete.
Having to feast upon the fear, misery, and agony of mortals as a sort of metaphysical sustenance leads to a superiority complex in many Shadowramblers. Additionally, many Cimmerians personally delight in the fear and rage they cause among mortals. Many will take names for themselves, such as “Jack of Shadows,” or “Penumbra Mary" primarily to garner a reputation of fear and renown to their name. This is often unwise, as descendants are more than capable of killing a Cimmerian. However, the superiority complex of a Shadowrambler often causes them to underestimate mortals, and above all else, they cherish gained reputation, infamy, and the ability to further strike fear.
Cimmerians are selfish individualists through and through, prioritizing their varied desires over any sense of unity among one another. However, this does not mean that the Shadowramblers are incapable of working together. Should it be for joint benefit, most would gladly assist a fellow Cimmerian. Should the benefits not be shared, however, very few if any Cimmerians would ever participate in such a selfless deed. Such behavior is leftover from the time of Iblees, the unruly nature of the Cimmerians bond to Iblees’s iron will and bond. In the nights since the fracturing of the bond, Cimmerians have rarely if ever operated as a united front.
Of Blood and Bond
In modern nights, Cimmerians have had a part ripped from themselves by the weakening of Iblees’s bond. This leaves them weak and in a lesser state without his power and direction, requiring a Cimmerian to seek the bond of another if they are gain even a modicum of the power they have lost. In this way, Cimmerians will often seek to make pacts, known as bonds, with mortals. By doing so, Cimmerians are granted the full scope of the power that remains to them, though even that is nowhere near what ancient Cimmerians had once been capable of under the bond of Iblees. But the might of a mortal is enough, granting them strength and abilities they are unable to make use of by themselves.
Bonds are created through the Cimmerian ability known as Accord, a simple ritual of shaking hands and verbal agreement. Upon the completion of the Accord, a bond is created and must be carried out. More details on the process of Accord can be found in the below section on abilities.
However, this comes with the notion of a two-way bond. Cimmerians are incapable of breaking their bond or their wording of the bond, a failsafe created originally by Iblees to ensure loyalty. Once a bond has been agreed to by both parties, the Cimmerian must fulfill their end of the bargain. Until that time, the Shadowrambler is incapable of directly harming the mortal they are bonded to and are bound to the mortal in several key ways. This is a vulnerability, meaning that many bonds are often temporary arrangements in times of crisis for the continued survival of both mortal and Cimmerian. Additionally, the mortal can call the Cimmerian from anywhere, dragging them, possibly kicking and screaming to the mortal’s location.
“Permanent” or long-term bonds are discouraged, as few Cimmerian would ever be willing to take such a blatant vulnerability. Bonds that become impossible to fulfill are possible and create a problem for any Cimmerian. Should it become impossible to fulfill a bond, then the Cimmerian is functionally permanently bound to the mortal until the mortal dies or the bond becomes possible once again. In this way, Shadowramblers must be careful of entering such impossible bonds.
Given that a Cimmerian is incapable of harming a mortal they are bonded to, permanent bonds are problematic. Should the mortal wish, they could easily drag the Cimmerian to a holy mage to be destroyed. As such, any Cimmerian trapped in a permanent bond will likely work at all active moments to either find a way to make the bond possible or kill the mortal they are bonded to. Only by fulfilling the bond or by the death of the mortal will the bond be erased and will grant the Cimmerian freedom. Any death by a mortal, even one that is not a PK, is a valid reason to terminate a bond. Though incapable of directly harming the mortal they are bonded to, a Cimmerian could manipulate another into killing them, figure out a way to trap and crush the mortal in a cave, or any other roundabout manner of circumventing their nature.
After the termination of a bond, a Cimmerian has one OOC day during which they retain their higher being and increased abilities. Once 24 hours are up exactly, however, the abilities of the Cimmerian once again weaken, a feeling of deflation and weakness in any Cimmerian.
Might of the Umbra
Shadowramblers are host to many abilities, thanks to their nature of shadow and darkness. These are a mix of inherent or passive traits as well as more active abilities akin to spells. These are also split into Lesser and Greater abilities. Lesser abilities can be used at any time by a Cimmerian, but Greater abilities can only be used when bonded or for 24 hours after the end of a bond.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Beckoning, a leftover of Iblees's ability to call his Cimmerian soldiers is an ability granted to a mortal that a Cimmerian bonds to, allowing them to call the Cimmerian from anywhere so long as they are alive and somewhere on the same plane of existence. This is as a result of the thin soul link between the bonded Shadowrambler and the mortal. Both parties can always feel the link so long as the bond remains, like a thin strand or fiber stretching out of their being. The mortal is capable of pulling upon this strand, inexorably drawing the Cimmerian to them despite what the Cimmerian wants.
To resist the Beckoning once called for is impossible. The Cimmerian will be forced to run, drag themselves, or otherwise bring themselves to the location of the mortal they are bonded to. Upon entering direct eyesight or equivalent sense of the mortal in question, the pulling force of the Beckoning stops, and the Cimmerian can relax. The Beckoning does not allow a Cimmerian to know where the mortal is, and vice versa. It in no way tells the Cimmerian where the mortal is, but instead is just a summoning, that the presence of the Cimmerian is required.
Lesser | Passive | Noncombative
Shadowramblers host no true eyes, yet are capable of sight as a result of the two streaks of colored shadow that represent eyes upon their twisted visage. These pinpricks allow for Cimmerians to have functionally normal descendant sight, with the distinction of additional night vision. Cimmerians can see in any and all darkness, including magical ones, capable of distinguishing all details within as if they were in clear daylight.
Given the Cimmerian weakness of light, flashes of bright lights can and will burn the vision of a Cimmerian, stripping them of their ability to see for a full emote round as their vision recovers. Direct sunlight does not count as a source of flashing bright light, and this weakness is intended to reflect upon sudden events as a sudden burst of flame or some other blast of holy light.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative
The artistically named ‘Shadow Dancing’ is more aptly considered the act of shadow manipulation. It is a simple art but has near-infinite depth and complexity for a Cimmerian who takes the time to delve into learning the art in a very precise manner.
The art relies upon some sort of shadow or darkness. The darker a place may be, the more effective and widespread Shadow Dancing can be. To a Shadowrambler, it is the same as moving an arm, or batting an eyelid; it is a metaphysical muscle to be flexed, tied to the dark, Ibleesian nature of their soul. The Cimmerian can manipulate the shadows within a ten-block radius of their person.
The shapes, forms, and figures made manifest through Shadow Dancing are immaterial, figments. By nature, the shadow does not exist physically. As such, any shadow manipulated by a Cimmerian is also intangible, simply a dark visual. This manifest shadow can range from the classic ‘shadow’ being cast against a surface to summoned black mists, to what visually looks like flowing, black oil. All are immaterial, however, existing only as a figment, a visual. Lighting such up would cause it to retreat to the remaining shadow, before dissipating altogether.
It is worth noting that shadow can invade into that which is lit up, such as the edges of a campfire, or between the lit-up streets of a town. Particularly bright light, however, can resist encroaching shadows. Additionally, this shadow can’t be within one meter of a light source. The closer such a shadow is to a light source, the weaker and less visible it is before dissipating entirely to the point of no longer being there. The creeping darkness will spread around that which is bright, but it cannot invade close enough to override the light itself.
All manner of intricate visuals can be made with this art. Cast shadows of animals or faces, silent and immaterial, flowing dark, oily liquid across the ground, a rising black mist that does not substantially affect vision, and pretty much anything else under the sun. It is the freeform manipulation of shadow.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Waxing is the augmentation of the self, allowing Cimmerians to alter their height and posture relative to what the environment allows. A Cimmerian in a vast space of darkness and shadow could stretch up to seven feet in height, gaining the appearance of muscles and might to match. Or the Cimmerian in a relatively small shadow could shrink themselves into a more childlike yet still ethereal form, at three feet tall to fit within the small shadow. The Cimmerian is limited, however, by the availability of darkness and shadow. This size adjustment can only be done in a place with darkness to accommodate it. A well-lit room leaves little space for Waxing.
Waxing is a noncombative ability and can be done for effect, to intimidate, to socially disarm, or otherwise manipulate others. This can also be done to shrink into remaining shadow, to prevent loss of limb or life from an encroaching light source. However, this will be immediately reverted upon contact with a force capable of harming a Cimmerian, such as a holy weapon, fire, or sunlight. Additionally, the strength of the Cimmerian does not increase or decrease, remaining that of the typical human knight.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative
The only individuals capable of creating Cimmerians are Iblees himself and other Shadowramblers. The process begins by acquiring several descendant body parts. Two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. These can be from the same player character or different characters. This body can be real or fabricated to create a Shadowrambler. Should a player character be used, then the character should be killed and an FTB should be used if dismembering the body to avoid extreme unpleasantry. If a player character is used, then it is recommended that you give that player the option to play the new Cimmerian. Accepting such an offer functionally makes the process a PK death for the character in question, and as such the Fouling requires OOC consent.
Once the descendant parts are acquired and consent (if necessary) has been gained, the Fouling can begin. This can be done by one Cimmerian, though more can participate for ritual and cultural effect, so long as there is a defined leader. The leader of the Fouling must have been a Cimmerian for at least three months, and have an accepted Cimmerian CA as well as a TA in Shadowrambling. A TA can be created after being a Cimmerian for three months. Additionally, this can only be done once per month per leading Cimmerian.
The Fouling begins by the Cimmerian(s) involved summoning darkness through Shadow Dancing, surrounding and consuming the body in a dense, opaque blackness. The shadows then worm their way through the ears, nose, and eyes of the individual, tearing their mortal matter asunder and dismantling the remnant soul energy within the corpse. This continues for some minutes until the body has been completely consumed with shadow and no physical mortal matter remains. Then, from the metaphysical embers of soul energy and Ibleesian darkness, a man-sized, grown Cimmerian emerges, with a developed mind yet with little knowledge beyond hatred.
At this point, a CA for the new Cimmerian should be created. Should a new Cimmerian be successfully created and the CA accepted, the leading Cimmerian is responsible (unless otherwise stated on the application) for teaching the new Cimmerian player all of the abilities and otherwise how to interact with the server as a Shadowrambler. Failure to do so is failure to teach properly.
Lesser & Greater | Active | Noncombative
Once a Cimmerian suffers a death, they are in a state of soft-PK. They are stuck in this semi-death until resurrected by their fellow Cimmerians. Given the individualistic nature of the Shadowramblers, this is often done to accrue debts and favors from one another. Cimmerians are capable of discovering that one of their own is dead when attempting to Inveigle with them, and finding that the resonating connection falls on deaf ears. Such a blankness is reason enough to commit Resurrection.
Resurrection can be done either by two unbonded, lesser Cimmerians or by one bonded, greater Cimmerian. Additionally, Resurrection can only be done outside of combat. The individual both doing the Resurrection and the one being resurrected must be Cimmerians. The Cimmerians doing the Resurrection must know that their peer is dead, but this can be easily gleaned by attempting and failing Inveigling. This process is not supervised by ST, but all standards and redlines must be followed in good faith. If they are not, it is simple enough to figure out that these extra death rules are not being followed. Additionally, all normal mechanical player death rules apply to Cimmerians on top of these.
The process of Resurrection is relatively simple. The two unbonded Cimmerians, or the one bonded Cimmerian depending on the circumstances, manifest the might of their Shadow Dancing. In an area of great darkness and out of combat, they focus on the dead Cimmerian they wish to resurrect. Then they manifest an inanimate figure of pure blackness, of mist, flowing blackness, or pure dark. After many long moments of this silent manifestation, the summoned dark figure will suddenly come to life with the awareness and features of the once-dead Shadowrambler. From this point, the Cimmerian can be considered fully revived and active in the world once again.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative
The act of forging a bond with a mortal is an essential component of the skillset of the Shadowramblers. In doing so, they gain the full breadth of their abilities and potential. However, in doing so, they are pacted to the mortal in question and more vulnerable than ever. More details on bonds can be found above in its own section. The act of making a bond is known as Accord.
Accord is like the signing of a verbal agreement. It begins with a Cimmerian manifesting with Shadow Dancing a dense, dark hand of intense Ibleesian shadow. Then, the Cimmerian or mortal must out loud state the full terms of the bond, and offer the hand to shake. The Cimmerian or mortal must verbally agree and consent to the bond in an explicit fashion, and shake the other’s hand. For the purpose of the Accord, the Cimmerian's hand temporarily becomes physical, with the feel of cold glass instead of flesh.
As soon as the shake is done, the bond is sealed and the Cimmerian enters their Greater state. Additionally, the mortal gains the ability to use Beckoning, and will constantly feel the slightly invasive presence of the Shadowrambler in their mind through Inveigle.
The Ibleesian Umbra
Lesser | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Given the metaphysical and immaterial nature of the Shadowramblers, a Cimmerian will often be in need of the ability to manipulate physical objects. Cimmerians have the ability to condense and harden the shadows they are manipulating into temporary physical objects. These shadows are always cold and metallic to the touch, a uniformly smooth and cold texture like glass, with a pure black construction that absorbs the light around it. This ability has much versatility, both in noncombative roleplay situations and in combative ones. Noncombative Ibleesian Umbra and Combative Ibleesian Umbra are treated under two different sets of rules, elaborated upon below.
Noncombative Ibleesian Umbra cannot be used in combat, or for summoning combative items such as weapons. Noncombative Ibleesian Umbra is intended for summoning small and noncombative items, such as lockpicks, walking canes, hats, and virtually all manner of harmless items. However, if the item is intended for or is being used to harm, it cannot be manifested with Noncombative Ibleesian Umbra. Additionally, these objects must be “simple” day-to-day objects, with no fancy machinery, delicate parts, keys, or any other “specific” items able to be manifested.
This version of Ibleesian Umbra takes two emotes. The first emote has black essence collecting in the air around the palms of the Cimmerian. The second emote has this black essence converging inward into shadow that condenses into the shape of a simple object. The Cimmerian can only have three Noncombative Ibleesian Umbra manifestations at a time, and they disintegrate after exiting a five-block range around the Shadowrambler. Should any combat begin or should the Cimmerian take damage, all manifested objects will instantly demanifest.
Combative Ibleesian Umbra can be used in combat for the intended purpose of summoning weapons. The limitations of this are hard metallic weapons, such as swords or spears. Nothing pliable such as a bo staff, bow, or any other wood-based weapon can be summoned. Assuming the weapon exists in some real form, and fits within or nearly within the vague dimensions of a longsword, it can be summoned using Combative Ibleesian Umbra.
This version of Ibleesian Umbra takes three emotes. The first emote has black essence collecting in the air around the palms of the Cimmerian. The second emote has this black essence forming into shadow around the Cimmerian. The third emote has these shadows then converge into the finalized shape of the weapon that the Shadowrambler wishes to mimic. The Cimmerian can only have one Combative Ibleesian Umbra manifestation at a time, and it disintegrates after exiting a five-block range around the Cimmerian. A Cimmerian cannot use both combative and noncombative Ibleesian Umbra simultaneously.
Lesser | Active | Nocombative & Combative
Though weak to the might of flame and light, Shadowramblers are also capable of striking back against weaker bastions of warmth. With a flourish and a visible tell, small light sources can be extinguished by the will of a Cimmerian. This includes candles and lanterns, as well as torches. Larger light sources such as campfires or bonfires, cannot be extinguished. Additionally, arcane or holy light cannot be affected by Benight, only mundane sources of light.
Utilizing Benight takes two emotes. The first emote is the activation of the aura and tell of the Cimmerian. Then, the second emote is a flux of semi-transparent shadow, in a wave or stream, that exudes from them and makes contact with whatever candle, lantern, or torch that they are targeting. Then, assuming it makes contact, the light source goes out and should be temporarily mechanically taken down if at all possible to fulfill a sense of darkness. If interrupted between the first and second emote, or should there be a significant light source such as a campfire in the way, then the flux of shadow will be halted in its tracks and the Benighting will fail.
Lesser | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Manipulation is one of the key arts of the Cimmerians, and more than that, communication is often a requirement for their continued existence. To this means exists the ability to Inveigle, or otherwise transfer minute thoughts and whispers. This can be done with other Cimmerians as a form of simple long-distance communication, as well as with a mortal that a Cimmerian may be bonded to. Mechanically, this operates only as an alternative to birding. Aesthetically, however, it is quite different, and a necessity, given how little Cimmerians can interact with the material plane.
Inveigling is a three emote process, and begins with an aura & tell emote. The second emote involves the manifestation of a sphere of absolute blackness, whether that comes in the form of condensed mist, a mimicry of black flame, or serene black oil. The Cimmerian should then focus on exactly what they want the message to say. The message should be simple, and no more than three sentences. The third emote involves the dispersion, bursting, or otherwise fading of the manifested shadow, disappearing into the air or earth. Then, assuming the target is online and on the same dimensional plane as the original Cimmerian, the message can be delivered.
The target, whether it is another Cimmerian or a mortal that a Cimmerian is bonded to, receives the message a few minutes later. It rises into their brain like a whisper, growing in strength into a complete, invasive thought that almost leaves an afterimage in their mind. For about a second as the message is received, a mortal’s irises will turn black, and a Cimmerian will suddenly flare with a brief increase in shadow as they receive the thought.
Lesser & Greater | Active | Noncombative
Sovereign is the ability for a Cimmerian to create their small domain of darkness, a patch of absolute clinging shadow that is metaphysically connected to the Cimmerian in question. This is to serve the purpose of a layer or nest, and a Cimmerian player can merge into the shadows and disappear into the cold nothing when logging off. However, otherwise, the location serves simply as a kind of nest, respite from a world of life. Traditionally, these domains are created in dark places such as abandoned buildings or caves.
Domains created by a Cimmerian cannot be interacted with, other than aesthetically, except when logging on or off. Additionally, they cannot be interacted with unless the Cimmerian in question is online and able to roleplay the interaction. Should one interact with a domain and try to destroy it (through sunlight, fire, or holy weaponry), the domain would rapidly disappear and collapse inwards. Domains are 5x5 patches of shadow, but a bonded, Greater Cimmerian can create a domain up to 7x7. It is recommended to represent these areas through dark blocks such as wool or concrete.
Greater | Passive | Nocombative & Combative
One of the greatest banes of the Shadowramblers is sunlight. It burns them through in a moment, splitting their Ibleesian miasma as if it were nothing. It is only through gaining a bond and a greater status that a Cimmerian can circumvent this grand weakness. This comes with its caveats but is a great boon for any Shadowrambler that enters a bond.
Upon gaining the greater abilities available to those Cimmerians who are bonded, a Shadowrambler gains the ability to tentatively move through direct sunlight. It is uncomfortable, hard to focus, and weakens them significantly. However, it can be done, and without accruing physical damage. When a Cimmerian uses Daystalk, which is used whenever they walk into sunlight, they are functionally reverted to their lesser state and can make use of no other greater abilities. Additionally, they will find a building sense of fatigue and panic that longer they spend in the sun. This means that while travel is certainly viable, prolonged time spent in the sun is still far from ideal.
Greater | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Cimmerians belong to the darkness, to the shadows. In this way, they can melt back into places of dark and shadow, skipping between them in a fashion akin to the idea of teleportation. This ability can only be done if there is an accompanying patch of a shadow nearby for the Cimmerian to “teleport” to, within a ten-block range. Should there not be a second shadow receptacle, Troth cannot be used.
When used noncombatively, Troth can be used somewhat freely as a means of getting around and interacting with the world. However, in a combative scenario, Troth can only be used once per encounter by a Shadowrambler.
This process takes three emotes. The first emote, the entire body of the Cimmerian begins to be surrounded by a dense black essence, the form of the Shadowrambler sinking away into the darkness behind them and seemingly disappearing.
The second emote, the Cimmerian can move unseen to the second patch of shadow, within a ten-block range.
The third emote the Cimmerian reforms, reversing the process as it steps out of the shadow, shaking off the black essence surrounding it. In this third emote, nothing else can be done by the Shadowrambler.
Greater | Active | Noncombative & Combative
Cimmerians are often stuck in an immaterial form, vapor and mist of sickly darkness. However, their greatest ability, a leftover from the glorious days of Iblees’s reign, allows them to physically walk the realm as the embodiment of Iblees’s will. This ability Might Manifest, is a temporary and exhausting action that condenses the metaphysical body of the Cimmerian into a physical, hard thing. They gain substantial weight approximate to their height and gain an inexpressive body of hard, smooth black akin to glass.
The skin of the Cimmerian while they are in this state chips easily, but takes much force to break, akin to some strong glass. A strong hit with a sword could chip off half of a forearm, the missing piece rapidly falling off and dispersing into black mist. A huge war hammer could very well remove an entire limb at once, or a heavy shield bash fractures a chest or head. Ultimately, the body of the Cimmerian is relatively easy to dismantle. The Cimmerian can be more easily killed in this form, as destroying their chest or head is possible with traditional physical weapons in this state.
However, a Cimmerian is also capable of making full use of their physical strength in this state, hence the trade-off of might. Should the Cimmerian survive and end the transformation, whatever parts they lost will be lost as well when they return to their immaterial lesser form, requiring the usual amount of time to regenerate those lost wounds. Cimmerians do not experience physical exhaustion nor do they have to worry about stamina, but while using Might Manifest they will move slower and clunkier, their fastest run akin to a light jog and their swings slower than most mortals.
Might Manifest can only be used once per three OOC days, and those three days are spent in a dreary state of sluggish exhaustion should the Cimmerian survive the attempt. Might Manifest lasts for one combat encounter, or otherwise for ten narrative minutes.
LotC is often in need of fresh ideas, taking content from old and outdated concepts and applying them to something new. That is what I’ve done here, taking inspiration from certain media I’ve been enjoying and applying it to a wholly new piece intended for LotC. Cimmerians are intended to serve a directly antagonistic, yet manipulative and coercing player force that doesn’t serve so much as a physically imposing threat but a subversive one.
Given how easy it is to die as a Cimmerian, and the semi-permanent nature of their death, Cimmerian players are intended to roll with the punches and acknowledge that their character is intended for the enjoyment of the server. This perspective that holds back no punches and allows for dynamic, community-played creature villains is something very crucial, I believe.
Written by Archipelego
Second Citadel Shadowshifters
Real life fae concepts