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Boruto

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  1. pretty sure I’ve heard this elsewhere.. but please desist the bland and recurrent trope of “dracula” skyrim vampires, it only brings pain unto my eyes. the lore (mostly excerpted from the original) isn’t bad per-se, but it doesn’t fix what strigae were shelved for.
  2. man I enjoy sailing in a ship comprised in half of boulders and steel (an exemplar by-product of dwarven engineering which is not at all defiant of physics, mind you; otherwise bees also defy aviation laws) where I also unironically exchange passports with my close confidents. so quirky x3

    1. _Twi

      _Twi

      idk what you mean dude, its all good and legit

  3. An old man refers the proclaimed harlot to a divine rendition of law, in which written in detail is the iniquity of baring one’s flesh to the temptation of men.
  4. Edits were made to (hopefully) satisfactory compromise as requested.
  5. imagine crying because loopholes were patched and you can’t abuse your way to glory anymore :^)

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Sonnenrad
    3. howard

      howard

      imagine using void magic lmao

    4. Boruto

      Boruto

      imagine using anything that constitutes or pertains to magic outside the occult at all in the first place

  6. Update A band of mercenaries, on scouring the land from the Monk Temples into the Orenian capital, relate that the site from which these incidents are rumored to originate lies in a village south of provinicial Haense and Rubern, not far from their crossways in a field of meadows and heath. The alderman is old of age and appears to be among only few inhabitants. Cases of disappearances and the like do not yet appear to worsen, but they are of unpredictable nature and so caution must always be exercised.
  7. “How do you find the country, Count? Have you acquainted yourself with your new province?” The wind howled ominously among the great Vrakaian keeps. At the highest chamber of a black tower, poising always defiant in the face of fell conflict and strife, stood cousin of the erstwhile prince Vladrick, Cato II, who gandered quietly at the rain drenched hills beyond. Beneath the aging black towers was an old village grown bleak of life and men, its former populace having unscrupulously dispersed after word spread of a nearing war. A war that had already been on course for nigh-on a decade. The home of the Black Reiters has had its share of grievances and bloodshed, and so no one thought to lodge by any longer to weather out the storm. No one thought to wait until fate itself arrived and laid merciless slaughter to the armless kinsmen. The Count was therefore left to his lonesome, consorted by the gloam with which he had already grown a strong acquaintance. “No, your royal highness. I’m afraid not. The place is barren and dark. My people, what was left of them that hadn’t already waned to war, had deserted the land. And with nary a word, at that.” The Royal Prince of Rubern stood from his seat, uncrossed his hands. Stiboricz was a figure of noble eloquence, being a prince in reign, and had risen to such eminence by merit of the education he had attained growing up; the highest at that time. But he was quiet of speech – what folks would relate in an hour’s worth, he surmised in but a short-lived discourse. “If your reign grieves you so, Count, then come. I shall show you to my province - blessed by God and eulogized by men.” And in answering the duty bestowed upon him did Cato return to provincial Rubern, abandoning the waste that had become of the renowned keep.
  8. I’d sooner walk the streets of Wuhan bare-skinned Never acquainted myself with one of theirs, but the Kurd is an enemy of Byzantium’s usurpers. You know how goes the adage – the enemy of my enemy... in the end, Kōnstantinoupolis delenda est.
  9. We’re getting there. Well, this is a tough one. I’m afraid I cannot give you a definitive answer as I don’t have a precise “methodology” by which to run my emotes and the actions of a character, but I generally try to avoid ****-tier memery (shitposting is, after all, the scourge of all good rpers) and actually put effort into rightly conveying the persona. A lot of it stems from OCD tbh, and if I’m not in the mood to write, I’d unsurprisingly avoid lotc like the plague. This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but read more books of an author that you prefer – don’t skim the lines for a rough grasp on the narrative, but analyze the lines at length and in depth. You’ll gradually find yourself incorporating a lot of the style into your plays. It’s ironic that I don’t read as much in sheer volume as likely everyone else here, but I savor that which I do and if the writing is good, spend a lot of my free-time on end studying its flow. It pays off. It helps that I’ve immensely (and sadly) lost interest in a lot of video-games too, as I now have all the more time to spend on gym, school and writing. As for your last question, there’s something that I’ve noticed terribly plaguing the server now more than ever in regards to character creation. A lot of players base their characters on their real life whims and wonts – what they want to achieve in lord of the craft, what they want to wield in magick and artefacts. While this is not a bad thing in theory, (People make these characters to “enjoy” themselves after all) it is in truth the root of all the imbecility that is self-insertion. If you make a character that aspires for the very thing that you as an individual seek, it is only natural that your character will come to follow in suit both your own desires and characteristics. I instead urge folks to tease their characters from a variant (and never only one) of different and well-written fantasy characters – not to serve as an IRP passage to some overlord’s dark magic clique, but to flesh it out intriguingly in such a way that does not scream “knock-off” or cheap mimic. It’s like concocting a broth – draw from different sources to make something unique but enjoyable. Disgusting. Do not fell my ears with such vile rot. None were “absurd” in their own rights, they’re all the same idiotic weebs who’d sell their souls to play in their favourite naruto server with the name “Boruto” to enable them the right of bragging superiority over others. The offers began upwards of 500, and 300 I therefore considered low-balling (when you’re constantly offered a minimum of $20,000 for a car, it’s easy to shrug off an offer of $5,000). Before conclusions arise that I’m latching onto the name because I’m also a lifeless weeb, I’m not a ******* animugoon. But it’s because there often isn’t any mutual trust and I end up being offered a grand or so under the condition that I also give my email. Now I’d bend in and do it if I really needed the money, but it’s not hard to see that it’s not at all worth the effort of putting aside an email I’d owned for 13 years over a month’s worth of cash. It’s a hassle and if I wasn’t careful enough, unsafe. I’ve grown a penchant for ingenious political roleplay. It’s really arbitrary; If you’d asked me a year ago I’d have answered “merc” or something of the like, but this is what I’m digging as of late. My tenure in the server is short-lived in comparison to most and I therefore couldn’t apprise that wide a selection of groups that I enjoyed the most, but of the several that I did partake, I think the Black Reiters come first. After which stands the Jackal Sect. The werewolf is a subject of much contempt, and certainly not one any joe could pick up and expect to nail – but I thought given the interests Jentos and I had in common, and the themes in which we both indulged, that it would suffice for us both to deliver it justice. It wasn’t this idea we simply thought up on the run that would grant us boons and elevate us in the lotc ladder of fame, then, that was the primary drive. It would’ve turned out weak and short-lived if so. But it was a theme that we both thought we’d enjoy and perfect in a carefully written narrative, even torn from all the temporal desires of combat. It is as hooked as that of a turken youngster’s if you were to glaringly gander at the side – albeit straighter in virtue of the Greek progeny that runs in me. One can only expect diversity to flourish upon a mix-blooded mutt alike myself.
  10. I never thought I’d partake in these gay threads for insecure people, but here it goes. ask me anything (lore, life, opinions) also check out this furry lore, I’m just fishing for upvotes. my terrible tenure in the CT ruined my ******* ratio, **** them
  11. An old collective of woods and frayed timbers across the colonized settlements strewn beneath the Arcasian mountain-range appear, as of late, a breeding ground to many a strange occurence, for the far-by villages have allegedly lost several children over the year’s passing in spread, but evidently related chains of kidnappings, the patterns and quantification of which may ring most familar to experts in this pertinent line of work among both huntsmen and the now-extinct preceptors of the witch-hunting trade. The Disappearings of 1754 “Safe and without issues, the roads hither were. But deep in the undergrowth of this here province, a foul thing festers, feeding on our already withering crops – a child-eating beast, no doubt, who indulges villy upon the blood of the weak! A hatchling fiend, or one’uv’em terrible mutants – kikimore, was it?” – Hem, the newly-appointed alderman of a mountain settlement to an imperial inquisition – the erstwhile elder having died to unknown forces the week past More knowledge on the matter could undoubtedly be gathered of the precise roots from which these kidnappings might have originated, however none thus far among the entrants had emerged, and none again could therefore apprise so much as a trace over the nature of these happenings. For what lurked in these grim depths, if a thing, was of sentient – indeed, humanoid – bearing, and had adeptly and wisely appropriated his senses to ensure that no left-over trails such as the routine torn limb or scattered entrails would be left of his deed, or at all lead the hunters as to whither it hangs, indicating that it might very well be of an intelligence far greater than that of the common elf. These crimes weren’t of accustomed nature as it were with the occasional sewer alp or the wretched gnome of the outskirts – who are also as equally afeared, if not more-so than the alps, for the tales that nannies tell their children in scaring them into sleep – but it is a strange matter of terrible proportion and graver consequence. Inquisitors of any sort had better take care that they arrive rightly armed and armored lest they too fall victim into the conniving trappings of whatever it is that preys therein. Blood, blood galore shall stain the earth. The casualties and consquences of negligence for this event may grow in gravity the longer it is left without attendance, and the threat level, rather than be spoonfed here, shall be left to the evaluation of scout parties or player(s). Message me on finding the event site (not going to give ‘hints’ so save yourselves the trouble) Callisto#6280
  12. How very vacuous – indeed, even bold of you to assume that such intent is not the basis on which Jentos and I wrote this lore. The furries shall run rabid like wolves unto sheep, thrusting this server into great damnation and invoking a second-coming of the lore-games, thereby condemning this pissoir into fiery havoc and eventually flame and brimstone. A hell for the sinful and inane.
  13. A good elf is a dead elf

    1. lev

      lev

      2013 wants it’s mood back

    2. Boruto

      Boruto

      2011 wants it’s jokes back

  14. ((This post is a resubmission for the same iteration of Werbeasts, altered in formatting for better readability. The ET Creature segment lies separately in the previous post as an excerpt, and the canon, to which one may refer, exists only within this piece regardless of its verdict What follows beneath is a concept written by Jentos and I to entirely dispel the stain left by a half-baked twilight cliche that was the “feral”, which drove without true purpose. The lykan of old folktales is a subject of great intrigue (as those who might’ve spent time delving thereon would know), and we thought the classical renditions of this beast a niche fit to be delivered justice. In a barren world where magickers, paladins and druids thrived, the local baker or peasant with an incurable affliction serves as an icebreaker; a different, grim taste to the darker world of low-fantasy. It adds to the folkloric ambience enduring still in many facets, and to dynamic roleplay, inspiring suspicion, dread, and allowing for different manners of mythological narratives to prosper. Unlike past iterations, this piece accents more on the eerie setting of smaller folk-villages, inciting mediums akin to those of the Witcher, a game with exceptionally fine world-building and lorecraft, and less as much on the lifeless orientations of Combat-RP many past write attempts had pursued. In precis, we do not seek for this piece to serve as a means of power-mongering and combat-based villainy at all. Rather, by its depth and difficult nature, we aim for it to be something the average player would steer clear of. If the lore-team or any concerned players bear qualms with this rendition as it presently stands, I urge you to get in touch with us in time so we can reach better compromise. We’re always willing to take half-measures to ensure common appeal and greater compatibility within the playerbase. Callisto#6280)) Many inspirations were drawn from variant Mediterranean, Athenian, French and other European folklore, as well as the CDPR video-game itself. Dedicated to GERHARD ZIMMERMANN, a victim of the great lycan epidemic: “In a treatise by Friedrich (Felsen, 1536) we learn, on the jurisdiction of Jürgen and Manfred, that a certain Fischer Schmidt in Laria was wont to tyrannize over and despoil his folk in the most guileful of fashions. One midnight when he was absent from home, his whole drove of live cattle, procured by coercion, perished. On his recoming he was told of the incident, and the devious man burst out into the most dreadful of heresies, hollering, ‘Let him who has butchered, dine; if God wills, let him feast on me as well.‘ As he exclaimed, shots of gore plunged to the earth, and the nobleman, moulded into a wild hound, sped upon his dead stock, ripped and shredded their cadavers and began to gnaw on their remains; mayhap he may be gorging on them still. His spouse, then near her parturition, died of terror. Of these incidents were not only ear, but also eyewitnesses.” – Johan Sterling-Vonst On Accounts of Were-Wolves Johannesburg, 1643 THE WERBEAST Accursed Were-wulfs, Vargs, Volkas and Krekavae “In petty he endeavoured to utter; from that very moment His jaws were besmircht with froth, and only he hungered For flesh, as he rushed amongst rabbles and throbbed for carnage. His vestment was grown into hair, his legs became crooked; A werehound,--he holds yet deep marks of his former impression, Grey he is as afore, his facials bigoted, His eyes glare viciously still, the pageant of wrath.” ‒ The Berceuse of Agony The Wolf of Feversham, c. 1557 “Why, little girl, cease these redundant lies! Dyrze herthe, beast’s heart! For such a gift I grant… Look upon the sky, why, even the stars, they are jealous! Yes my dear, yes, you still are beautiful...” ‒ The Wretch of Laria “Foul things that prowl the night… vicious beasts, lusting for the moon -- degenerates that bathe with elves and devils! Men in the fell of WOLVES!” ‒ Ser Uthred af Vanderfell, Knight “They deflower children… Dancing in the woods at night, like some crazed, blood-drunken fiends! GOD hear me! See! See! The saints deep in their graves cry for their ends...” ‒ The Archbishop of Metz “Kill them. Hunt them down to the last, but you must bleed them, da-da? They’re just large wolves though, am they not? Right, Sighard?” ‒ Feremyr af Highcliffe, Marked Man “They’re ******* twelve-foot tall demons, you drunken bastard.” ‒ Sighard an’Halstaig, Marked Man “I hear they’re just some fat lone men that fornicate in caves while howling like rabid dogs.” ‒ Gérard du Ruisseau, Brewer Prologue “If you, with your own discretion, strike off the limbs of both your children, douse them in the ground ash of their mother and bathe under their running lifeblood, I shall relieve you of this eternal agony.” ‒ Viedrick, the Fiend to a victim of the odious curse, 1673 IN Aeldin, certain folk were said to be carne una; not of a singular skin, a notion which had its seeds in paganism. The whole structure of this strange belief was that folks could take upon themselves other shapes, and the depraved natures of those beasts whose forms they usurped. The other seized form was termed the same as the initial body, volka, and the idiom made use of to indicate the passage from one mould to another, was at skipta, or at svikin; whilst the excursion made in the other shape, was the heilagur peltur. Amongst the men of Aeldin, as well as among many different folk, there lived a traditional belief that a child born feet foremost or with teeth will become a Varg - a werwulf in its blighted meat. A researcher of evil life among the raevir, Vladislav of Krajia, entered an unusual case in the slaughter of a minor lykanthropist, He pens: ‘Mr. van Strick recounts how ages past, in his teen-years, a rumour circulated of a birthed child in infancy, still feeding off his mother’s breast, exhibiting the dreaded marks of a waerwulf. Instantly a clergyman was convoked, a keen acacia stake was made erect, and the scouring of the tomb in which the breathing child was buried minutes ago, begun. The reverend, reciting from the Opus of Extermination said: "Rouse and fly, O’ cursed soul, I cast you to the gates of Hell. I anathematise you two thousand and fourty times; drop, O’ damned fiend, to the endless pits of Hell." The mound was dredged out, a flame set round it, and the burnt carcass of the de-ceased transpierced with tapered rods, while aides swung branches beyond the ignition to thwart the devil, who had ensnared himself in the youthful body, from tearing away and enduring. When all this was accomplished, the grave was sealed with soil, and the lykanthropist was no more – or so it was thought.’ Other charms exercised by the Waldenians to prevent folk becoming werebeasts was to anoint the body in set sectors with the tallow of a hog slain on a day of eclipse. And in other parts of the Empire, to converge the limbs of the dead, or to inearth the disputed remains at the joint of two cross-roads, or to berth a crucifix or stake upon the tomb, was, in some regions, considered an effective deterrent of lykanthropy. If a cursed beast should make its debut, it could be barred from ever nearing again by pressing it to speak a vow; precisely, if the words “By my burial shroud” were consolidated in the vow. Without delving further on the subject of affliction, one may observe how simple the passage is from one mythicism to the other; for since the early ages of man the wolf, partly as being the greater enemy of cattle and partly, no doubt, from his ominous wants and craves, came to be thought as an indicative of wrath and ill-being. The older generations were in so much fear of this nightly beast, in-fact, that they would shrink at the mere pronunciation of its name. Such believes amounted to little more than bogus folktales – yet, as all phantasies go, a grain of truth can always be drawn. In reality, this twisted affliction of therianthropic wolfism is but a spiteful curse, cast upon the weakest of men, and those who would so foolishly delve into the depths of vile sorceries and witchcrafts unbeknownst to man — truly, it consists in a form of aberration and insanity, such as may be found in most asylums and mental institutions. Among the olden folk this kind of lunacy went by the epithets of lykanthropy, bestial mutation, or skinshifting, because those harrowed by its chains are moulded into wolves - and in certain convictions, hounds, or calves, both of which were subjects of pure myth. Village (and never city) folk are affected by this frenzy mostly in the head of the year, when the afflicted lykan grow most raving; retreating for the nights to lonesome boneyards after prosperous hunts, where they behave precisely in the manner of wolves and canines. This affliction of ancient datings is said to be terribly prevalent in the southern reaches of Aeldin today, a horrid legacy of a madman long dead. ORIGINS; THE WRETCH OF LARIA “Bastard born, inbred and mad. What else, an eunuch?” - Anonymous Savoyard Watchman, 1499 Dyrze-Herthe, c. 1397 Unbeknownst to most is a mad fabled lunatic of the late fifteenth century hailing from the savage lands of Vailor. The concepts and subjects of which he had come into possession remain amongst the most abstruse of their kind, even to this day, where they thrive in the dark basement of a depraved windmill, borne in the form of books and forgotten black formulae; proses and hideous hieroglyphics. He would later be known as the Warlock, or the Wretch of Laria, a man inbred and bastard-born. Old whispers suggest that he was fond of harassing folks of either gender, especially the younger residents of the duchy. Some, indeed, even went as far as to claim of the man’s certain fondness for the delicacy of children’s raw marrow, so much so that he would grind their bones in that lone mill before baking warm bread with their reapt bonemeal. Sightings of his person weren’t common by any measure, yet have been reported upon one particular hill on select nights, dancing in the nude and screaming while he lit great pyres in some blasphemous exercise. His reputation had become so tainted that the small-folk of the region dared not approach the land he frequented, and the hill he rollicked upon was thought to be cursed, reviled, a place where witching hags and carrion crows met to barter otherworldly secrets. To the pleasure of its neighbouring lands, the quarrelsome and seldom sane man would not linger for long and soon vanish. For six years, the “Wretch of Laria” left the lands and the Imperium for the neighbouring continent; Aeldin. For six long years the people of Istria were rid of his perversions, and his return would be loathed like no other. When the Wretch came again, he did not do so unbid, for he brought back following the pilgrimage a forgotten relic of ages bygone many passed as a mere mummer’s joke; A Grimoire, an Ode to the Stars. This was his prize, along with countless other volumes and oddities he had recovered from that perilous journey, among which some recounted a curious handharp of strange provenance. His temper was changed, he was deathly silent, remaining for long periods of time locked up in his impoverished household. And of the extended trip was brought back not only matter, but folk; in their blighted flesh and meat. It is unclear how a man so frail was able to subjugate these people, for they surely never left on their own accord; though if the legends and whispers were presumed true, there were tales of his involvement in the exercise of dark and primeval arts, yet nor do we know what charms were used to bind such pious men. The first of his subjects was some wayward scholar of the northern reaches, and the second a stressful, elven alchemist hiding in the eastern marches of Aeldin — their third was an old, blind and half deaf sorcerer abstracted out the court of Redmarch, and they were Eymil af Hachland, Zimaer aep Lind and Tyrr of Redmarch. Of the entourage, only Tyrr survived the trip home. This did not mean in any way that those dead would not be of any use, for the Wretch, sly and cunning, contrived a use for their heads, such that he would later mount on the low-shelves of his basement as witnesses to his ghastly deeds. The madman oft did scream and parlay with the dormant skulls of the two unfortunate fellows. Tyrr, brought alive, was indubitably the most fortuneless of the three, as he suffered what was likely the longest month of his short life-time. No doubt because the Wretch of Laria was illiterate, unable to read and write, but he burdened the victim also with preposterous tasks and strains. Not only did he leech out every secret, every turn of the near-blind Tyrr through fell tortures, but so too did he force the poor fellow into speaking the number of tomes he had in possession. Soon enough, the third man’s crown joined the flock, and his headless corpse could be seen to this day, nailed to a seat of chestnut outside his abode. “If he can consort with hunchback vampyr and dine with dead men, surely some flock of witches can attend my court.” —Xavier de Sola, 1516, a few years prior to the dreaded Massacre of Wett. The Wretch would later come into possession of other nicknames, among which were the Rabid, or the Headless Baron, for his display of the headless corpse of an Aeldenic sorcerer nailed to the seat. And yet when the birds came soon to feast and fester upon that flesh, he ensured that the head would be riddled with grains of silver, and to set it on fire proved solemnly to shun the carrion crows, who winged fast away in fear of such blasphemy. One of the Istrian lords, Vitalius de Capua, upon hearing word of some madman and heretic soothsayer, rode out with his brigade to the hills and woods of the surrounding lands. For a long week of recreancy and unease, the feared Count of Istria carried hunts to scour down the witch-man’s domain. His inquest proved unsuccessful, he could not find a trace wherever he went. And thus, the ill-born lord set fire to his own woods in a desperate attempt to smoke out the blasted man-fiend. He was never able to extract justice, he knew, but merely driving the degenerate to skulk away into some other far-land was, at the slightest, plenteous enough to grant him a fine night’s sleep. Vitalius was also reported to have cried out towards the burnt remains of his lordly woods; “The devil shits, and you wipe!” Because what this man wished for was nothing short of ascension. He wished to overcome his humanity. He wished to revel, he wished to be holy, why, he wished for another age of aenguls and miracles. He wished for a primal thing that he could never achieve. And that was to bear a child. The Wretch would spend days upon days consorting with the rotting remainders of those whom he had abducted, looking about old texts with the crude education he had recently obtained. In no time, the man had grown an endless lust, and a single wife no longer appeased his yearn. But five, to the lecherous man, were sure to gratify. And thereon, over a period not exceeding that of a month, did he wed himself to the virgin brides, all of whom would become subjects to his scourge and experimentations. It was indisputable fact that he could never bring himself to marry in the name of God, for not only were the women locked about in some graceless wine-cellar, caked in mud and fear, but the devil’s accomplice also knew that no man of a righteous clergy would ever wish to unite his single self to an astounding five. And much like himself, his children were born bastards. God knows what he did to the poor hags. God looked away. God laughed. THE BASTARDS OF THE WRETCH “What the F*CK.” —Ser Claudes, moments before his ultimate demise to what reportedly was a great group of wolves “The ancient and clever, master of all guile, the sly, the scholar, and profound; thou who bringest victory or vestige, and makest folk to be well or unwell - I beseech thee, O’ father of all creation, by thy vast charity and thy lavish prize, to do for me what I ask.” A line of ash, fashioned to the likes of some rune of yore. The skulls of his forefathers were lined about to watch. Five bleeding brides, seated upon a throne of nails. A rite like no other, a construction of ancient times, the feat of a lonesome raver, mayhaps even borrowed. How he was even able to achieve the creation of an abomination through his work, in solitude, remains a matter of question; even to the profoundest of scholars, and perhaps attained only through precipitous luck. Through the devil’s song and a blasphemous miracle, his five wives wailed. It is said that even the dead sang along in their graves, crying out for the death of the Wretch. Whatever it was that lived within the heart of the foreign warlock was a beast. An abhorrent shadow, the likes of which you’d suffer in the worst of nightmares, earnt through some sorceries and conjurations of datings unperceived. For he delved low within the horrors of mankind, burrowing into the blood through rites deserted by those that bent the blood. It is said that he outstretched his left arm into the very essence of things that composed humanity, aiming to replicate its intricacies through unprecedented knowledge. Some seed of his own wretched invention, fashioned by his own hand. Five brides, five times. Chanting and weaving a song of his own, one for each of his children, for each of the Wretch’s Bastards, he cried. He cried out into the night, spitting and coughing matter and blood in a mad ecstasy, dancing around the inscribed circus of flesh in the pelt of a butchered elk. He called out to the Daemons, he called out to the Betrayer, he called out to God. And called out to worse... For was his cause not holy? To beget children so free of the sins of man, of lust and gluttony, of worldly pleasures? And so his goal was bolstered by the blood of many, stolen children lay in goresome heaps along the ground, their heads ripped off and set in terrifying order. Ground ashen bones powdered his flesh. Runes and symbols overlaid the soil, and from a tome unexisting his song came to be born. The brides howled. They screamed and shifted within their seats as the blood of beasts trickled out their eyelids, they pleaded and cried as their stomachs were thereon made swollen. And from their bottoms, rancid devils slid. Animals all around the Duchy wailed and shrieked, flailing about on that dreadful night of the full moon. A most woeful song filled the abandoned millstead of the warlock. A mixture of some dead man’s speech, and the choir of weeping women as blood gushed from their frames, disgorged into the woods. Thus, they would bear youth. From the first emerged an arm, the second bore some disgusting torso with another arm, the third a leg, the fourth the other. And the fifth bore the head. In a truly strange sacrament, every piece of the unspeakable creation slowly dragged themselves together. Imperiously, each piece slowly met the other, converged by the brutish song of The Wretch. And this would go on five times, for five children, each more ugly than the other. And to nobody’s surprise, their mothers had passed. And as is the case for any freshborn, these thirsted, and their mothers had none but rotten blood to offer their offspring. And thence did starvation have the five fall upon the dying flesh of their birthmothers, tearing with their teeth all that they saw, leaving little a remainder of the maidens but bone and several pieces of scalp, much like wolves. They were horrors, to the worst conceivable degrees; the products of a flawed recreation of humanity ‒ failed, hateful and simply spiteful things ‒ yet to their unmistakable father, more worth living than any other blood. For unlike any other, they were not born of lust, and the sinful union between man and woman, but of virgins, pure and pious. The Wretch fell in a great, joyous frenzy at the sight of the devil’s spawns, skipping about like some thrilled child to the exciting revelation within a blood-bath. The Bastards of the Wretch were yet small, but they would quickly grow, as would their appetite; one that saw no clear boundaries. And never did they lay a claw upon the old man, their father, for he was spared of their monstrous appetite, a man of the same, tainted blood. Truly making one wonder; what it is that lurks deep within the hearts of men? Those were his relics, horrid beast-men that would soon set loose upon the world with no mind for pity, and no hearts for remorse. And so the story went, from the faraway land of Aeldin, some turbulent madman had been able to cast upon the world some beastly anomalies, and such had brought arise numerous accounts of the were-wolves, loups-garous and wargs of the steppes. Though there were only five, stories of theirs spread like wildfire, and it was not long before the household knights and woodsmen were sent out to cull what population of large timber wolves and canine devils threatened their peace. The woods of Istria and the surrounding lands, such as Drusco, were still filled with game, the current hunter’s league of the Roswell lord having been closed down some years ago. Then woods of Istria, c. unknown Because of this, the five children were able to feast with great ease on the stags and other woodland creatures that lurked about. This generous surplus would only make them hungrier, as their stomachs were never truly fulfilled. As a wave of hunger and great drought took ahold of the beasts, the Savoy knights that chased after them were dealt with in a swift manner. The woodsmen and hunters of the late Arthur Roswell stood no chance either, ill-equipped and with no real knowledge of the threat they faced. All would vanish, and so would the five Bastards, dispersing throughout the realms. The Children of the Wretch were undoubtedly terrible creations, born of malice and accidented knowledge to savage the lands in the form of heavily mutated, inhuman ogres. Wayward and wild, they devoured to no end, and time would have them become larger, more ferocious, their wolven strength and bulk far surpassing that of any mundane man, with their largest going up to nine feet if they were to stand on hind-legs. Their transcended form was often alikened to that of a raging orc’s ‒ yet, as everything else unnatural, left them borne to the bane of gold and silver. Though they preferred lurking by cover of night, the Children of the Wretch did not hesitate to stalk their prey beneath staggering sunlight should their thirst arise. And while they do possess a thick hide of fur, the lykan bears no other such defense, and any arrow or axe could easily cleave into their flesh. They are, however, endowed with a great speed and agility, a cunning sense of smell, and it should be mentioned that under most conditions, the complete destruction of these anomalies remains a difficult task, as is written further on. Of these five miscreants, disfigured and broken, birth-marked peculiarities have been sometimes braved. Their precise appearances varied greatly from one witness to another, yet they were the first of accursed monstrosities to be set upon the earth at the warlock's behest, and the denizens of man would soon come to deplore their ungodly scourge. The First A portrait of Karzełek, first of his kin First of the accursed children, a hideous, pale thing and by far the smallest of his kin, measuring a little beneath eight feet. A truly defaced sore to the sights, haggard and gaunt, like the cursed breed of a most disrelished nightmare. The first favored populated hamlets to prowl by, easily lurking within cliffs and high-hills, or residing in abandoned caves or ruint buildings. Yet of all these locations, wells were no doubt its favorite, as it would wait down amidst boundless depths for the early morning rays to send wives collecting water - whereupon it yanked the firstmost chance to spring, and wrench their flailing forms down into the pit, where they often met their untimely ends. The predicament commonly resulted in the poisoning of the villages’ water systems. This creature is, owing to its size and anatomical shape, the quickest of all its brethren, with speed matching that of a war-horse, thus and so making it the quickest to tire. It is however extremely fragile to blunt forces, and, not unlike any other child, harbors a great fear of fire. The claws of the beast are unnaturally sharp, sturdy, and, partly due to its long limbs, of ample strength to tear through most armaments given the effort. Its mental state is a thing most unheard of, and while the beast is certainly mad and of a great thirst for the blood of men, its shrieks are known to resonate high and low within the night sky, conspicuously when the moon is great and high, with no clouds to shelter it - an occurrence to which many a wives’ tale owe their origin. The Second Rübezahl, as described by a witness prior to their sudden death to illness (see; apoplexy, auvergne pox, winter fever) The second, taller of his kin, measures a towering nine feet in height. Often associated with thick, dark woods, this creature cares little for the time of day to appear, as its domain provides the necessary shade their kind is accustomed to. Rübezahl is often seen as the most patient of the three, being able to wait out in some dormant state within his woods for hunters or straying villagers to step into his den. His cries were well-nigh unheard, reserved only for the after-feast, whereupon carrion crows and ravens flocked eagerly to pick at the gruesome remains of his supper. Some folks even went as far as to suggest that the birds themselves held a sacred bond, consorting in the quiet with the woodland lord in exchange for what might remain of his meals. Like all beasts halved in nature, he lacks basic intelligence, and is yet thought to be the most powerful of his kin – being able to charge not unlike a massive bull on all fours across timbres in pursuit of ripe flesh. A pair of twisting horns cover his scalp, and another of hooves, that he may trod hard-ground. Hunting techniques exhibited in various accounts of the beast often tell of a far more primitive approach, suggesting he tends to charge down his adversaries by surprise; demonstrating, otherwise, an entirely reckless nature. The Fourth A lost portrait, depicting The Błudnik By all means the most twisted and secretive of his kind. The Fourth is a patchwork mess of a beast, bloated and warped, with elongated limbs and shortened claws, a hunched back and a height one nose past eight feet. He lives within steppes and hills, swamps and woodlands far from the traces of civilization, preying prominently on solitary villages, where he would writhe up at night in adept silence to hook and gut people, leaving but traces of their remains as he returns to his lair. The beast tends to approach with far more cunning than his simpler kith, calculating rudimentary schemes and tricks to attract the unwary, luring them expertly into his hunt. He is also able to mimic the sound of stray children and stranded men, feigning their cries as to attract the friendlier folk; whereupon he lurches swiftly to tear them apart. Whilst his counterparts favor the taste of youthlings, this one has a particular fondness for the elderly. As one might indulge in a fancy bottle of wine, one sips. And so too does the Błudnik, flavouring his prey, piece by piece, to later leave their bones hanging beneath a low branch and garnishing his territory. His long legs enable him to outrun most prey on even ground, and as such, jagged surfaces prove the profaned beast a tedious challenge. Under many circumstances, the lowland monstrosity may take to behaving in such strange manners that to attempt and predict him with any air of precision can be most difficult and contrary to reason. * The third and fifth of children, to no man’s surprise, could not survive far beyond birth. The third perished first - while it was a mighty thing, of at least twelve feet in height, it lacked the basic instinct of survival of its other compatriots (or was it simply perhaps because it was a she?) She was cut down in the outskirts of Felsen, the brave city-watch driving all manner of lances and bolts into its body, before cutting her up in pieces with the intent of serving her in a pie, knowing with mad certainty that feasting upon the thing, much like it feasted upon men, would be the only sole way to destroy it, for even chopped up it quivered and shook. All those that partook in the strangely savory meal died a long, painful death, the contents of the pie never leaving their guts, rendering them constipated and sick, some aberrant leprosies taking ahold of them. They would later be mourned as martyrs; selfless heroes of the Empire. The fifth was reportedly killed during the Axios tragedy, taking refuge amongst the gods-cursed, beastly city of Mordskov where it thrived on the surviving inhabitants, lurking insidiously amongst the unsightly horrors which would come to populate the region. The thing’s head was since brought back by a pair of supposed hexers riding from the Pale City of Mordskov with some other, unknown, individual of blonde hair. The whole ordeal was documented by one of the Courlandic refugees that had worked in the Cockatrice league, a fine group aimed at culling the Mordskovian scourge. The instance of its death and the exact details remain unknown, even to this day. One of the later Bastards, feasting on a bloodied corpse. The bloodhound’s howl rent through the timbers of a lifeless wood, striking terror into the night vermin who croaked and fled in fright. Haemar, a known Marked of the Fox, glanced briefly at the strange lump of wood that laid beneath a cruciform, and, gathering his nerves, stepped over to investigate. The stench of dry blood hung about the air, and the Marked soon identified its source upon a shredded corpse, hideously torn and covered in piss. The veteran groaned, whispered a silent prayer, then rolled the poor sod over. It was undoubtedly a gruesome slaughter that had taken place there, and not more than a night ago at that. The ill-fated poacher must’ve clearly been rushed upon by some feral beast he did not expect, for there were marks of great gnarly bites upon the throat, and the jugular vein was nearly ripped out. The victim’s gut had been torn open, evidently by a set of strong, razor claws, and there was a deep-set orifice upon the left flank, around which the blood was made a thick, clotted blotch. The only carnivores to be seen in the region capable of such injuries were the grizzly and the wolf, and the inquest as to the nature of the assailant was easily resolved by another glimpse at the soils, which told the tracks of a beast so entirely different from a bear’s; yet still unlike that of an ordinary canine – in that it appeared to prowl on its hind-legs. WERWULVES “. . . And woe to anyone who would boldly seize a grip of the mutant, for he held the brawn of a dozen men.” – Albert van Esten, an exaggerating witness, 1589 “It was a daunting sight to the bare eye... that baker boy suddenly turned into a hideous freak, with claws, fangs, and... cleaved those men to jots with the veracity of a feral demon!” – Excerpt of a folktale heard in the Mother’s Breast inn A widespread (yet atrocious) conception, is that which feeds upon the belief of lykan being simple men, degenerated as a result of an addiction to cannibalism of one’s kin and likening them, in that fashion, to the over-indulgent, lesser ilk of Strigae. Though it is commonly conjectured that an infliction is the result of a curse, the matter is in fact much more problematic and has never been thoroughly explained. In thus, they are without a pertinent natural niche, and killing them, as opposed to the belief of some ill-learnt scholars, does not threaten the balance of nature, nor does it in any way upset the course of wild-life. The legend of the lykan, not unlike that of the vampyr, is universal - yet few fables tell of its true concept. Verily, most of the traits commonly ascribed to these beasts are an absurdity, nothing but the confabulations of erroneous farmers. Some say these vicious, flesh-thirsting borns of dark witchcrafts are but a pack of unpropitious tools to the devil, eager to gorge upon the flesh of man and elf-kind alike to satiate their unquenchable wants - as to them, it is of greatest importance that their curse’s biddings are seen to, lest they rot eternally in their depraved fells, crawling, and howling out till their throats bled entirely dry. Even then, they lived and agonised through it all; one might even say that death is a far more welcome fate, and it is. Their affliction, as if necessitated by dark, perverse demons, endure through what would be ‘death’, for their curse can never be lifted, never be cured, ever plaguing their tormented existences till the day all matter ceased to be. As such, the common act of driving a stake through their bodies does not always yield the desired effect, despite the prevalence of such fallacies. An exceptionally old varg in monstrous form In tales of Aeldin, folks spoke of these men known as vargs who may transform into growlers, wolves, when overwhelmed by their sense of hunger. In doing so, they lose all self-awareness and are urged by a bloodlust which they must gratify in order to return to their manly forms. Few and far between believe these blood-curdling stories, however, not even in Aeldin, where the residents usually regard even the least feasible legends with utmost consequence. This indicated either that the vargs were in fact mere forgeries of ale-sodden imaginations, or else that they have perfected hiding their evil from the rest of the inhabitants. Contrary to popular belief, these men of affliction are not all alike. Some cope with the curse by living out their deceivingly normal lives within cities and villages, partaking in mundane crafts, and sometimes even gaining the respect and admiration of their community. And others took to the shadows of deep woods, feeding on the flesh of the stranded, lying unseen while the dread of their unpreventable attack overwhelms their victim. In most cases, both appear nearly identical to humans, lest the fell of the wolf consume them. “Var Dietrich, in his book of Warding the Devil, published at Johannesburg in 1629, tells of a peasant in the hetmanate of Krajia who made numerous appearances after his crucifixions - and accused many other folk, who failed to die within eight days, of such allegations. The shepherds and farmers of Krajia dug up his remains and affixed it to the land by means of a thin paling hammered through the ribs; narrowly missing the heart. The madman, in such a position, told them that they would be very welcome to impart him a stick so that he may fend for himself against the mutts which barked, and startled him. Later that night, as the man cried in agony, an ignorant stranger saw it fit to lend aid - whence relieved of binds, the madman, presumably out of revenge, choked out more sleeping children in that one incident than he’d ever done before - yet those who survived had observed his health being greatly impaired, as even in walking, he limped barely. It was mutually conjectured that his body was to be handed over to the Empire’s executioner, who was ordered to see that the remains were scorched outside the village. When the Imperial Ser and his aides attempted to work to that end, it bawled like a psychopath and beat its limbs as though it weren’t dead. They then drove the guts through with spikes, but he again called out brash screams and a great stream of dark, grim blood flowed from him. The reducement to mere ashes, however, seemed to put an end to the haunting of the werwulf.” —Horst von Gutschmid Indexium Lupus Ponce, 1633 It is told, and it is true, that the accursed beast felt through the entire ordeal, and even in ashes, he lived, grieving the worst fate that could ever be inflicted upon man. Indeed, the scourge had damned him into utter continuity. Morphology “Verily, there is not a living thing so treacherous unto man as the blighted beast that is the werwulf; for he so foully defies all that is human and natural, as unholy seed of black witchery and devilscraft. He prowls the wheatfields beneath fiery sunlight ‒ lacking all manner of virtue and scruple ‒ and devours the very poor childs in their sleep! I tell you, such vile lowborns belong only upon an Imperial stake. Yet heed me, o’ good men, gather a cordon of vicious hounds in gleaming goldware, a ward of silver crosses, and these beasts will cower back to their hollow graves come morn, never to return.” ‒ Warding off the Lykan, unknown (c. 1490-1496, retrieved from a scoured tomb) In appearance, cursed folk can look exactly like normal men, effectively indistinguishable from their true-born brethren. Only minute anatomical details – such as their lavish hair, state of health and poor hygiene – mark their kind. However, in their bestial hides, they are a malformed abomination, perhaps best likened to that of the wolf itself, from whence lengthy claws will grow from all their limbs to be appropriated as deadly instruments. Claws that are indeed the size of daggers, and that, if wielded with masterful strength and precision, could easily cut through the bone of unarmoured folk. The only hint of peace such an accursed individual may ever feel lies within their human form, however not even then is the werbeast without hardship. An accursed man in human appearance Of the werbeast, the abnormal growth of hair was always prevalent, and can be crucial in telling apart beast from man. However, in adapting to the simple habits of common folk, the beasts since times of old had taken on wonts for rough grooming and constant shaving, learning as such to adeptly blend themselves better amongst humans. Few however could hide and resist these temptations for long, as men fallen to the beastly scourge would eventually bare their grotesque nature, incurred forth by the eldritch wrath of hunger devised by the father bastard himself. As their latent form apparates into flesh, they shall moan at the dark of night, begging for an end to their bestial starve, and even threatening with vile perfidy that otherwise, the monstrosity shall claw a way out. Such cases were mostly reported within grounds of carnage and rife bloodshed – as would be a battlefield – whereupon the werbeast molds shortly thereafter into a beast athirst; with no mind for virtue, and not a heart for remorse. The reality that the lykanthrope is, in practical terms, undetectable from the rest of us – with the exemptions aforesaid – preys upon another primal fear of man and elf-kind. The realization that a beast so preposterous is hidden in our cities, speaking our tongue and walking amongst our men can often be more petrifying than another, clearly discernible monster who prowls somewhere far out in the deep of night. The gruesome metamorphosis of a new-blood (at skipta; svikin) As beastly blood continues to fester within their bodies, the bones of those afflicted grow as hard as old relics. The flesh thins taut to the bone, the skin near-entirely perishes and rots, the chests grow barren of blood, and arms’ joints are terribly shred by strung-out bone. The twisted chemical matter and ignoble sorceries thriving in the rotting corpse of a werwulf conserves them indefinitely, barring time and earthen soil from reaping what it rightly owns. The elimination of an accursed would result in a temporary PK, wherein the character is unplayable until it has been fed to recovery by itself (if feasible) or another. In the case of severe destruction (beyond incapacitation), a select ritual is crucial for revival. Likewise, a forsaken werwulf that was never revived will remain unplayable, effectively PKed. From the perspective of the roleplayer, the cursed one would be suffering all pain in their impermanent “death”, an even greater bane than being alive to those pitiful enough to fall prey. In other words, they never truly die, but suffer an eternity of endless pain, in which they’re unable to be played. Although the proper suicide of a werbeast is an immediate and an irrevertible PK, those afflicted may face greater difficulty in ending their own lives, as they find themselves slitting at their own throats to end their agonies without avail; with their wounds slowly but surely regenerating. Were a suicide to be properly enacted by means that we will not describe, the werbeast may never completely rematerialize, remaining alive only in the form of ash (or whatever the nature of their death may be) as they curse the root of their existence ‒ effectively PKed. The beastly thing then begins to grow into something more akin to carnal beast than man. Their facial structure becomes hollow as a corpse, their eyes take on a sickly complexion, their nails elongate into hardened claws the size and potency of which is comparative to jagged daggers, and the nose is deformed into a hideous snout more akin to that of a wolf’s. All the more, he is a foot greater in height, and is endowed with canines and back-end teeth far more durable and bestial than those of the common man, albeit greatly impaired, whereas the beast is rendered incapable of orderly speech. Sturdy warriors and wild-men who had survived their attacks claim these heinous instruments to be apt for tearing into flesh and gore apart the bare bone, but such talk is to be held with a great deal of scepticism and, at times, blatant disregard. The Definite Physiology of a Werbeast; The appearance of a werbeast in the human form only very minimally (if at all) differs from theirs prior to the transformation, but a hunter with a keen eye who had previously encountered and identified the distinctive characteristics of a werbeast through prior experience may adeptly spot the werwulf from amongst the flocks by extensively observing their habits over the course of a week or several. This of course depends on the time a werbeast spends among people (and may never be meta-gamed without the proper RP to acquire this knowledge in-game). These minute anatomical details may distinctify the beast firstly by their lavish growth of hair (on the face, beard and scalp) and nails, which can be overcome by abiding every other day to a devout habit of self-grooming, and secondly through the difficult degradation of hygiene (which, again, may be overcome by intensive sanitation habits). Thirdly, and this is the only significatory distinction of a werbeast, is the chronic degeneration and ill-being of their health, which may actualize upon a pale (although not deathly) complexion and the variant symptoms of a common fever. This, like any of the other telltales, does not exclusively appertain to the werbeast, and may as easily be dismissed for another illness without greater evidence to support it. It should again be noted that these assertive telltales aren’t widespread or at all universal across the land, and any knowledge of them has to be personally acquired through prior in-game experience and encounters that lead to the formulation of these beliefs. Anyone found to be prepensely neglecting this ground-rule will be subject to severe punishment for meta-gaming. A fresh-born varg on first hunt In bestial form however, these grotesqueries and hideous features take on a more dreadful appearance to life. As the curse apparates either by will, or in being forcibly wrought upon the Varg through extreme emotion or fits, the bones again begin to reform and snap, baring an entirely different physique to the monster. Though apparently humanoid and bipedal in nature, the Varg is visibly and distinctly inhuman, and may in-fact more closely resemble an enormous wolf than a man. This is mostly apparent on their eyes, which glaze at the irises and malform entirely as if those of a canine or predator, the ears which become high-set and grow significantly in size and sensitivity, and finally the nose which takes on a distinctly snout-like shape as if truly that of a wolf. The skin, again, worsens in complexion and roughens to the touch, becoming dry and coarse like hopsacking, and hard, like skin taut against bone. Contrary to old depictions, the body isn’t entirely covered in hair but only partially at areas like the scruff, forearms and lower legs, more incomplete and in patches than it is utilitarian hide. Their teeth elongate, harden and become pointed to better fit their patterns of hunting, their jaws stiffen, becoming hard like vice (though this has little effect on plate-mail in actuality, unless constant pressure was somehow applied), and their claws curve and protract like Baselian daggers, albeit weaker in potency, to be employed in combat or clambering rough surfaces. Behaviour They relied heavily on sight, and yet the older werwulf may smoke out prey up to twenty feet across, and twenty afar solely by clue of their stench. Their mannerisms are prominently governed by instinct, and they often leaned towards easier meals; targeting the elderly, sick, and very young in that order. Those afflicted tend to loathe conflict and single out only the easiest of prey. They stomach to bloodless, passive professions in which to fit, and only set out hunting when they have, beyond a shadow of doubt, secured an easy mark. As such, no cases have ever been reported of man-wolves who took up arms in war or any such murderous craft. In case of unfortunate predicaments, a lykan, compelled, is sure to retort with violence. Cursed Ones preaching the canonist faith in hope of attaining reprieve “This is an old transcription of the first cross. To wear it may afford one protection against the spreading scourge. One day, God shall hear your piteous cries.” ‒ Ghamallach to Viedrick, his lowly acolyte, moments before being devoured Although mankind had learnt to temper their behaviours and hearken to the voice of reason, these fiends who prowl the nights underneath moonlight do not, deceitful as they may be beneath their devilish guise. For these beasts thirst, and from their eternal draught, the curse ingrained upon their black and rotten hearts, grows the vicious seed of the wolf to which they easily succumb, offering little in the way of resistance. Indeed, this vile brood of accursed Man has grown to bear a foul progeny within them, and even in the present times do walk amongst lesser folk to slash, tear and cannibalize their flesh in the scarcest and most brutal of manners. None, after all, would wish to be caught and transfixed against a pale stake to rot for centuries before the woods deteriorate and their wounds regenerate, none again would wish themselves victims of such a gruelling wheel of fate. Hence, the werwulf may never truly embrace the curse and deem it a gift as the “feral” aberration once did, but is instead always wont to lash out in pleas of hope and godly prayers (it is this blest contrition of guilt that drives the common werwulf to pursue faith and guidance). They may engage in traditional habits that are said to alleviate them of pain and purge all their woes; their curse, the cries of victims resonant in their ears, and the dry blood carven beneath their fingernails. For no man desires to be known a mark of hatred, or an omen that nuns recite unto their children as to bid them to sleep. But in the end, it is all trivial effort, and their desperate pursuits no more than a reaching grasp for heavens. A preposterous demand. Abilities Transformation (Non-combative / short-range) [Prerequisite to the following abilities] On enduring the transformation process without intrusion, the beast is initially endowed with the strength and vigor to rival that of an orc’s (whereas faced with an uruk, they prove no more than equal foes). In this latent form they retain no excessive stamina, and are typically more agile than the average human (although their agility is not beyond that of a heavier, weighty canine), but more likely to tire out and cannot chase for longer times. Given their composition of largely bone, they are able to resiliently withstand the strikes of steel and sharp-edged weaponry, however an arsenal of blunt-force, aurum and silver is capable of aptly ending a werbeast if appropriated wisely. The transformation preceding this state is long and arduous, lasting four entire minutes (during which the werbeast is practically defenceless), and the aftermath should leave the accursed even weaker. This process goes on for a span of four minutes without the use of a specialized technique (as described below). Two for preparation, wherein the werbeast may pray, frolic and whisper pleas (the natures of which are left to the discretion of the player within reason), and the other two minutes comprising great jolts of pain as one finalizes into the form of the werbeast; whereon flesh begins to turn, the frame twists, and bones terribly snap. He is utterly weakened at this point, and can do little to defend himself. To detransform in the traditional manner without the use of certain techniques may initially take four minutes. As is transformation is painful, reversion is thought to be equally so, and yet ever more scarring. After having achieved their natural form back, the accursed being is left pained and wounded, most of their clothing torn and tattered. It is not unheard of for these unfortunate souls to be taken by bouts of dementia on having regained their human forms, as well as depravity, insomnia and a great sense of hatred and regret for what they had become. For in such frenzy, one may unknowingly slaughter even the dearest of kin, and that is wont to be conveyed with guilt. A werbeast may, at times, rush their transformation, halving the length in which they usually deform. In such wretched appearance, the sickly accursed may have strength merely akin to that of a bare-skinned, mundane man, although much more appalling and lighter in form. The time during which a beast may stay in his bestial form is indefinite, and although one may incapacitate or end the beast, it is not possible to force their forms’ back without their will. One may only transform once in the span of an hour, as per the Saints’ calendar. A minute construes a singular emote. Heightened skills (Combative / short-range) The Werbeasts of old, should chance and ill-fortune impel them mould into beasts, are no trivial foes. Though their strength in human form is negligible and may be compared to that of a man in their late seventies, their ferocity in strength within bestial form is more comparative to lesser beasts (or orcs) of equal size. And though unable to as easily pierce steel, they are still as capably apt to catch opponents off guard in ambush and secretive onslaughts. Tales are not uncommon of such stray wolves who travel from one land to another in the trench of night-time, boasting an endurance greater than that of the average folk. This, however, comes not without its physical deterrents, for it is generally known that the more one strains themselves in bestial hide, the greater the weakness and pain they shall incur on returning to their “natural” forms, leaving them vulnerable. Their claws are three inches long, coarse, thick and relatively sharp, and their jaws are identical in potence. If a claw is cut, it will grow back on the passing of an entire seed-month. Silver, as well as gold cultivate strange properties when used against the creatures. In human form, the touch of both alloys on their skin may bring them to ache and rabidly scratch themselves (some may allege this sensation to be an allergy for certain alloys, and therefore cannot be used as a definite sign of a werbeast), however this knowledge is typically not known to the common man. Though striking the flesh of one in human form with gold or silver may cause intense pain, it does not sever the flesh with any more ease than steel (the pain that it causes is nonetheless much greater). A transformed werbeast on the other hand might very well flinch on spotting gold or silver, and such blades may more swiftly carve into the flesh of these dark-bred creatures. Most notable of silver’s side-effects is also the enragement brought on by it’s touch, for it appears that some great mental urge grows within the beast’s slavering mind, driving him into a great hatred for those who possess it, but also pain and vulnerability. During transformation the werbeast, again, remains prone to all manner of attacks, as his very flesh is welded into something else. It is only in the third or fourth minute of the transformation that the true melding of flesh begins, and man molds entirely into wolf. Tracking (Inherently non-combative, median range) As canine creatures are aptly competent in tracking foes and rooting prey, the werbeast is similarly able to a lesser degree. Their eyes are well adapted to the dark, enabling them to adeptly spot fresh tracks in joint with their sight, and relative stench (blood, sweat, exposed flesh) are liable to detection within a span of twenty meters. These same abilities can also be used by the werbeast in human form, however at a much reduced length. When using this ability, the werbeast in question should contact their target(s) so as to make arrangements for a suitable agreement, avoiding OOC conflict and heightening the sense of enjoyment for both parties. In this respect, the OOC consent of a victim is necessary when tracking. These senses are practically inept for one in human form, functioning only so far as to enable one distinguish another werbeast or accursed creature from the rest of the cattle. Regeneration (Inherently combative / short-range) A most crucial element construed within the distorted physicality of a werbeast is this strange, occultic regeneration that takes ahold of their bodies over time. This is a slow, tiresome regeneration, in which minor (and never crucial) wounds may seal up in a matter of minutes or hours, although never to the point of completion, it being practically an insignificant impediment to bar the werbeast from taking his own life. Substantial wounds, however, may take weeks or months in time, and lost limbs many years to completely grow out. The complete extermination of a werbeast (cremation, dicing into chunks) may not be recovered from independently however, (in actuality such wounds may regenerate over such time as five-hundred years that it is practically ruled incurable within one’s lifetime) without the aid of risky rituals that may end in grave failure and final destruction of the werbeast (in reality, again, there is no death for the werbeast, but an eternal existence of agony). Wretch’s Sigil (Non-combative / short-range) Of the techniques passed down from the Wretch unto his beastly heirs was the black sigil, a brand that he had forged in a second pact with the preternatural in order to shackle the beasts; his own kith who had so frightened the man as to drive him into greater fear and disparity than he had already possessed. Indeed, the father was so afeared of his own seed that he couldn’t entrust them his own life, and so concocted this sigil, that he may bridle those marked among beasts into unbroken thraldom. The sigil may be carved in over the course of six minutes not only on beasts, but also common folk, against which they may begin to exhibit signs of the cold, anaemia, dementia among other symptoms, taking on certain spiritual and sacred habits. Those etched by this symbol are plagued by typically unheard voices to fulfil the Wretch’s bidding, and may begin finding penchants for matters of the occult, committing sacrificial rites on both lamb and man. This feat is described in greater detail further below in the Wretch’s Sigil section. Compendium CA Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths These strengths apply only to the transformed werbeast Transformation: The arbitrary (or controlled, under the right circumstances) tendency through which one may shift from man unto beast, or vice-versa. The nature of this morphosis is greater than to be described in the redlines, and as thus has been further clarified under the Transformation segment aforewritten. One may refer to it for details. The skeletal strength of the werwulf, in their transformed, beastly nature, is greater than that of any normal man ‒ yet by no means does it surpass the feats of strength that some angered, blood-crazed orc could manage, merely comparable to that of a lesser one. The defence of leather against a werbeast may fend off most harm to one’s bone, but the flesh remains prone to moderate injury. The equipage of plate, however, will ward off most direct wounds at the cost of its heavy burden. (Indentation remains possible by the force of momentum, and the capable werwulf may still grapple onto exposed flesh.) A werbeast bears no more muscle than his mortal counterpart, yet the terrifying outbursts of speed from leaps and quadrupedal running can take even the most trained warrior off guard. A werbeast is capable of regenerating most wounds over time (though never in the midst of combat) and to slower effect on gold or silver inflictions, however they may not heal or regenerate any other way, as all magick and monks only worsen the effect. As time passes a werwulf may feel his bones grow increasingly hard. This progressive mutation comes with great discomfort and never strengthens the accursed, merely enhancing his resistance. Blunt forces, however, maintain their effect against the beastly skeleton regardless of age, shattering bone with greater ease and vigor. The bones of the lykan may survive greater stress and damage, yet in no way are they impervious. A transformed werwulf may survive a fall or the strikes of regular steel, but they remain highly vulnerable to gold, silver and heavy blunt damage, and may be effectively felled by such. Weaknesses Physical weakness: In human form, the werbeast is always sick and continually starved. This does not mean that they are weak to the point of a dilapidated voidal mage, but may face great difficulty in gaining and retaining muscle mass as compared to other individuals (unless, that is, constant training and satisfaction of their hunger is somehow sustained, a nearly impossible feat given their rapid deterioration). The werbeast is constantly weary and distraught. For unlike more perfected creatures as the Strigae, they are the defective subjects of fallible Man and his trifling in erroneous, untold witchcrafts. A werbeast is highly prone to illnesses and carnal disease, found commonly to be coughing strange blood and grit. They are also highly liable to common bouts of hysteria and hallucination. A werbeast who had not fed for over a saint-month’s time may find difficulty in carrying out the simplest of menial tasks in their human form, with their strength being reduced to that of an elderly male’s. Although their bones are more resistant to breakage in comparison to other individuals, they cannot garner enough strength to properly fight back, and as thus are even easier prey in human form. A werbeast in human form may take up to four minutes (four emotes) to completely assume their beastly forms, a time in which they are left practically defenceless. As such, a beast may never shift in the spur of a moment, nor in the midst of combat, and his hunts must be carefully designed far from eyesight. It is to this fact that beastfolk often skulk within some far-flung caverns at certain days of the month, in fear of this prone and vulnerable state. The apparent elimination of a werbeast is no difficult task if they were caught pre-morphosis (Metagaming or blatant reaching in that regard is severely punishable). A werbeast that is clad in any vestment of iron, in either human or bestial form, shall find himself effectively strangling. The plate will burst into scraps beneath the growing pressure (verily, a treacherous predicament to be in) and the curse, undoubtedly of a massive influence, prevails to shed the tortured man and bare the rabid wolf. As a result, he will be severely weakened until the stress wears off. Four emotes are necessary for the werwulf to complete transformation within armour; however, they would be severely weakened to the point of immobility. Two extra emotes are then necessary for regulation. It is therefore highly impractical for an accursed to wear armour, regardless of form, that to wear one not only sheds it, but so too does it greatly imperish the wearer. The werbeast may find it highly difficult (if not impossible) to transform within the presence of a pyre or great body of flame, and are severely weakened by it. Flames of aengulic origin and holy sorcery maintain the same effect, barring the transformation. This does not affect the werbeast in human form. A werbeast may never make use of external and sorcerous healing, nor utilize the Cloud Temple to heal their wounds, and are merely limited to their slow regeneration. A werbeast may never dabble in any manner of sorcery or magick, nor can they engage in any feat regardless of origin. A werbeast may find it highly difficult to bridle themselves in the vicinity of flesh and blood, and the less level-headed of their kind may easily regress into their latent, more bestial form. An unwise werbeast eliminated by proper means may remain crippled to the point of death (but never entirely to death given their suffering nature) and therefore unplayable unless ritualistically revived, this “unplayable” state being enacted in the form of a PK Clause. “If the beast were only a natural critter, why then, you see—” A common peasant turned to the alderman, smiling, “It wouldn’t be such a big bother! But, Messr le Vant, it is a devil. But even worse, a man in the devil’s guise. But worse... A cursed man-devil in the flesh of a wolf!” “Then what am I to do?” asked the village’s elder in a hesitant tone, looking over to each of his men. “Never mind,” retorted a stranger in the quiet, unruffled by the rumours of some thickets’ beast. He casually adjusted the hilt of his blade, then raised his tone, so as to be heard. “Never mind, I say. I will see to it that the path leading here is cleared. If I do happen to come upon said beast, I shall crop its ears and snout - even tail, and send it to the here Aldermann with my kindest regards.” A sigh of ease from the mob, as they knew themselves clear of the trouble. When, after all, had these honourable knights ever fail the village when it came to matters of the like? “Deliver its head, Ser Uldrich. Then, and only then will we have us a deal.” spoke back the alderman, nodding his head doubtlessly; as though he meant that a knight of such order might handle the issue with impunity. On Transformation Clarification on an ability “Do you hear the lyre of old? My fingers crawl upon its strings of long dried vocal chords; those of a thing begone, an emissary of the heavens. Do you hear the choir that sings from its rotting frame? Now dance! Dance men of curses! For this night, the dead shall arise!” —Dance Of The Blood Drunk, unknown Yes, dear reader. The monster must shed its skin to reveal its true naturel; for that is the act the werwulf must enact to commune with the beast. An agonizing process, transformation is something no man or woman would ever want to endure, but it can be forceful, and it is most long and painful. Bones and skin become one- elongated facial structures and ligaments tear out to eventually reveal the sick and starved beast. It is generally considered that a lykan is able to transform at will in seclusion, though a number of determinants may aid, or revitalise its hell-bent flesh to grow from man to monstrosity. The process is often compared to that of a dance; whereat the fiends and wolves gather and bind, speaking in broken, forgotten tongues, murmuring to each other hungrily in mirth for the moments to come. As their gods-forsaken bodies turn, they rumble and shift ‘round and about, folding and twisting as if in some crude folly, breaking in screams and howls as ribs shatter and construct, tendons elongate, eyes burn, sizzle, and blood is shed. They thus become more. More than human. They turn into the mad work of a man who bartered his soul. A heretic not even fit to live. “Behold, my art! My work! The seeds born of a purified virgin!” —An excerpt of the Wretch’s cries, post-ritual Crafted forth from centuries past in an unknown, beastly rite, they mature, growing in search of blood. They become halved men, acquiring the hereditary characteristics of the beast; the foul appetites and all that comes with. While all transformations are painful and harbour great risk, there exists a number of ways to hinder the pain or aid in the sacrament, providing a form of brief relieve. Often, when in groups, the werwulfs chant among one another in the midst of wailings, claiming for such ceremonies to be of aid. They may not speak while transformed, for their mouths are erratic things, their tongues botched, they are wolves. And for that, their minds become lesser when they take on the form of the wolf, turnt corrupt and wrought with animalistic thought. They certainly retain a level of humanistic intelligence, never indeed as wild as when one goes berzerkir; an uncommon phenom that takes place under grave circumstances further described below. Transformation Techniques Blood and Hide; A most curious technique learnt from decades past, said to be taught by the Larian Wretch himself and passed down by the elders, is one of blood and hide. A fresh medley of their own blood, that of a wolf, and the abraded bones of another man must be garnered to fill a bowl. The intended lykan must then sport upon his person the culled hide of a wolven creature, slather the concoction upon their human selves, and drink it to its last. This would set loose a great frenzy, for they shall shed skin, their bones crack and their flesh twists as is the custom, but the wolven pelt they draped goes to mould unto their entrails, birthing from within the adulteration of man and beast. Such a trial is commonly put to practice by groups. After the preparations are done, the transformation takes place normally, in a total of six emotes. They are relieved of much pain, and cannot go berzerkir. This method must be taught and demonstrated in order to be utilized. The Sacrifice; Before the process begins, a gift must be given up. A mammal of meddling size such as a deer, a large calf, a goat, or anything bigger, slit at the throat and laid flat. Each of the accursed must hold onto the creature as they will forth their transformation, lashing out hungrily at the offered animal, screaming and chanting as per tradition. Little will be left as the beasts take their fill on its blood and flesh so that they may better hunt others. And alas, they are not relieved of pain, but therefore cannot go berzerkir. The Moon; At the coming of the dreaded full-moon, a werwulf may find his skin shivering and abnormally pale (even for their kind), their bones rattle within the daunted flesh, and their guts are maltwisted unto a most gruesome botch of disarray; it would not be a sight for sane men to behold, yet it compels those afflicted to seek solitude as they cope with such a state of immeasurable agony. Their hair and fur would rise upon the coming minutes, as if they had suffered a piercing cold. None of that, however, would compare to their greatest fear; the vulnerability to a prolonged state of visible, weak mutation, in which they are easy to tell but can hardly settle a brawl. The factors that previously mannered their odds of transformation would be heightened, their misfate doubled. The Lyre of Laria; By far one of the most complex and bizarre rites, stemming from a heretical relic of the Wretch. It allows one in its possession enhance the strength of those who would transform, requiring however a minimum of four participants, three of which that would transform, and a fourth commonly known as the ‘bard’. A narcotic must be concocted from quartz-powder, crow’s brain, and their own blood, that of the bard’s, making them schizophrenic and strangely lucid for the duration of the ritual . The ‘dancers’, those that are to transform, are to wear unusual vestments, covered in either guts or other organs belonging to wolves. A line of ash must be drawn upon their scalps, and the ‘bard’ must then utilize the lyre. As blood-caked, crazed fingers begin to play at the accursed instrument, the man will find himself commanded by strange whims, singing in incoherent verses (left to the freedom of the player). This will cause all that sport the wolven organs and ash to fall in deep pain. This, indeed, is among the most torturous of all rituals. So painful that it is known to affect one mentally, heightening the chances of one to turn insane in the years to come. After a stretch of time, the ‘dancers’ turn in a most disgusting show. They — quite literally — shed apart, sending blood in all directions as the higher monstrosity emerges from within. Until they de-transform, the werwulf’s senses and physical abilities are heightened to the point of some blood-crazed orc, and in rare instances not unheard of, even greater. Being able to tear through most armour, and flinging the unwary in utter anger, they are in this state berzerkir until they will themselves to revert. A minimum of four turns must be used for the preparation, along with another four for the physical transformation, amounting an eight in total. On the common legend and superstition On many varying accounts, certain scholars held in marked esteem have devoted innumerous pages of books and compositions detailing some of the most monstrous beasts in prevalent myth. Of such legends, diversities in their out-ward forms and shapes seldom resembled the other, but they all coincided in the common fell of a wolf, its hide and mischief. It should be noted that these beasts, of both the lesser vargs and vukodlak, are unlike their cursed counterparts, being an entirely different species of beastfolk and not originally human. Thus, they differ from their more sentient human counterparts in that they cannot shift, but wander in one hide. Lesser Vargs; Indexium Lupus, vol i, on the extermination of the beast, M. Horst writes; “In Aeldin, among the village-folk of Emyth and Maeyr were preserved plenitudes of old and erroneous traditions on the subject of mythology and beasts of the legend, and not seldom did they speak of dead souls who after death are convicted to straggle hither and thither over the continent to be rid of their curse, or who live an impertinent life in their passing in the crypts as lesser vargs, or lesser lykanthropists. The folks’ beast, as witnesses maintained, slept in the grave with wide staring eyes; his nails grown into excessive lengths, in that they are almost talons, and his hair burst into thick sprouts of mane. When the aberrant is alleged to have fled his place of sepulture thus, the remains are earnestly unearthed; if it be in a juncture of adulteration or decline for the clergyman to drench it in blest water; if it be pure and pale-complexioned it is subject to purification, whereupon a sharp stake is thrust through and through its ribs lest it thrash forth and provoke bloodshed. In other smaller parts of the continent, lead was to be riddled upon the head of a carcass and then burnt entire, firmly believing that in doing so will shun the crows of decay, who then wing hurried away in awe of the profaned flesh.” Vukodlak; Akin both to the above superstition and the common werbeast is another held in Waldanian belief to be the Vukodlak, both terrible in strength and most hideously deformed among the many lesser variants. Indeed, he may be a gargantuan, a mere imp or of the height of man, yet none match this beast’s grotesquely appearance, in spite of which he is gaunt, with a great gaping maw and many fervent dribbling tongues set within which were crooked pale fangs, often garnished with tails high and scales peculiar only to their fearsome species. Common-folk differ as to their precise classification, for a portion of the populace assort them among demons base and rank, whilst others believe them to be men condemned and who, at certain days of the year, are stricken with a delirium in which they wander to and fro, devouring with their teeth all whom they meet, man be it or beast. Krekavae “Rest, you faceless sow. Sink into a bottomless pit of vengeful spirits.” A most dangerous phenomenon is the tragic tale of the Krekavae; offsprings of curse. It is commonly believed that the Krekavac (flexio; adhuc infantem) comes to be when an inflicted man and a maiden (regardless of her well-being) fall into the lure of lovemaking, or when a woman, near childbirth, sets ear upon the ritualistic chantings of curse-laying. Previously thought to be mere irrationality or child’s fiction, these inbred terrors stand as a rarity among the myriad of superstition; a terrible, and dangerous truth. And one, moreover, which is by no means confined to stillbirth, but also to the feticide of unnamed children who were buried in improper conditions. “The mother’s corpse, what was left of it, was completely torn and mangled. An eye socket was hacked off, and all that remained of her nose was a pocket thick in gore.” —An anonymous city guardsman’s report, 1584 A Krekava, in truth, is the living corpse of a stillborn child, resembling a poorly defaced fetus, disproportionate and spotted in blotches of fur — not much unlike a dog’s — who preys upon those pregnant, accursed or unaffectionate towards their brood. It is a fact that any and all cursed beast-folk may never find pleasure in coupling, but are drawn into the false delusion of such. They concoct a horror like no other, a cripple that makes one question whether it is testament to the curse’s blight, or a deliberate forgery of the Wretch. The union of beasts is one blasphemous and sodden in treachery. As the years pass, and if the Krekava is left without bridles, it will grow at rates far exceeding that of a normal child, often to the size of a grown man. If it is successful in ending the life of its mother, it is then that the stillborn is granted respite, usually and in most reported instances by means of suicide as they spring out cliffs or steep heights to break themselves apart. The Creation Ritual As the bastards were born of rituals most dark and certain rites of great heresy, so too were their pupils. The infliction of the lykanthropic curse, naturally, is done through the accurate implementation of such ‒ the reinaction of the warlock’s ways in meddling through black, goetic arts and hideous bedevilment, to root the dire curse unto a victim. However it should be known that merely dabbling or experimenting in such ways almost certainly exacts a grave toll from it’s practitioner, through either minor bodily mutations or mental scars that cannot be mended ‒ a testimony of the warlock’s pact with preternatural Higher Beings. “Let their flames be doused, let their blood be seethed. Let their hearts be ceased, let the maggots dine upon their bone. They shall nourish the fallen lord. Let his remains forge the womb of their rebirth.” The seventh and eight bastards had initiated their bane, the fresh carrion of a dozen men, chained, lay lined in a grievous circle before them. Some writhed in their place, others cursed under their gags. Their limbs were torn and doled in circles; wreathing the site of the cave where the blooded dialect of an eldritch helm was etched upon creviced stone. Their father’s eye occupied the centrum, pulsing wildly, and the victim, Henryk, was nailed through shoulders to a high stone monolith upon which were engraved canticles of a time immemorial; exalting the devourer himself. A metal cauldron hinged the circle’s third row of ritual slaughters, drenched with the mollified solvents of stillborn bowels, widows’ blood and the broth of some corpse exhumed at a moonless midnight; a truly twisted antithesis to the largely revered philosopher’s stone, fit for the prescription of the creation of lesser life. As all was methodized, rehearsed, and put to rights, the brothers began to see to their unseemly troth. Each at an opposite side, they lit the underlying bed of dead stalk and moss on fire, so that such a consecrated sacrifice may wither, decay and descend beyond hell. Hjalmger, the seventh, cried forbidden profanities, and his kindred soon hymned along. At first the vestment afire bartered gently, but the men wailed and beseeched in godless fanaticism; they split at their pale, anaemic flesh with tarnished knives and called out for the unspoken - for the fires of hell and for the daemon with whom they bargained souls and livestock - to answer. A grim, black fluid wetted the cold stones, feasting the earth, then all there was fell eerily silent. The pair held their rites, and in reckoning, a bare spark of flame blew fierce in a tall wash of twisting shapes, spitting ash and cinder, scolding flesh and pealing madly, where even the firm stonen pyre weaved under its occultic prowess. The drowned screams of the unliving begged to be heard, and a crest of rampaging fire exploded into the bleak darkness. The mist prevailed, black as death, the storm and its flame croaked to perishment, and the remaining signs arose in rapid succession. The underworld had barely opened its gates, yet the tide of terrible, quivering, wrenching screams tore the night, shook the chamber’s old walls, gritting at the pair whose souls were bereaved of life and breath. The slew of runes and spells scribbled in advance did little to deaden the impact, for their eyes bled dry and their ghoulish skins were expeditiously marked in some hieroglyphic hexeries; but they foresaw it, they knew. They made a pact, and the devil only branded what was his. Their world grew dark, the two fell limp, the spirits danced, and the dead man rose. A newly born werbeast in great rage The woken berzerkir was subject to the vilest of torment as his bone ruptured and broke, his flesh, under the influence of the curse, reborn unto a wild and savage varmint, howling, foaming at the mouth, ravening for blood and slaughter, ready to commit any act of atrocity, and as irresponsible for his actions as the witch-men themselves, he thereupon retired to the depths of a forest, falling upon a flock of lamb and feeding off their entrails. As for Hjalmger and the brother, they were procured sterility and abortion, and their very souls were left marked by an irremediable gash ‒ a mere token to their heinous affairs. Many corpses were to be drawn and sullied at the sights of devils and dead men, and a good deal of methodical bloodshed and proportionate exaction to be duly carried; for such a gruelling curse cannot be wrought from nothing, but at the cost of violent immolation - such, after all, is the price of dabbling in black devilry. Those who orchestrate this woeful deed of creation betray their fertility and rectitude, be they victims of the curse themselves or mere conjurers to do the bidding of their predecessors; they become plagued, driven mad in manners tantamount to the werwulves themselves, and furthermore, they’re forced into irretrievable perdition at the devil’s behest, lowly servants to his will. For they are the heathen sorcerers who forged pacts with the betrayer; defilers of sacred law and earthly binds, traitors to the realm of man-kind and the canon. Pain, a vile thing stretching through the blemished corpse of the unruly victim, but around life would wicked blood thrive. For after each curse is placed, all trees of chestnut, in a radius of a hundred-three meters, call out to an unsaintly omen. They exhibit strange irregularities, swaying to no wind, perched upon by no crow nor fowl, for the fruits they bear would be, by all means, a vile delicacy for starved men. In prior to the ritual of creation, the victim might be encouraged to write down an old hymn of their sacrament, so that it may be recited by the spellcaster’s flock. This merely inspirits flavour to the RP, as well as making their rite unique. The rite of creation is a process of damnation, whereon ancient forces are called upon; and so a number of supernatural occurrences may occasionally take place within the act’s site. Only an older werwulf (that is, an accursed who had endured six months of the curse) may enact such a ritual, and only with the aid of one or more of his acolyte(s); cursed be they or not. The Ritual may only be carried by those who were afforded its hidden secrets or are in possession of the Wretch’s eye, the former requiring a roll of 15+ for success and the latter a guaranteed success. If one of the acolytes participant in the ritual was not accursed, a mark shall be graven upon their skin, branding them under the Wretch’s sigil (the details of which are listed further below). The Revival Ritual “Immortal? To what extent?” ‒ Aldrik of Old Kaed to a victim of the lykan onslaught, 1718 Among the vilest of practices in which sorcerers dabble and exercise, are those that pride on the means of rebirth ‒ a breed of witcheries some would even claim far surpasses the depravity of a median creation ritual. For the dead, are dead, bound to the divine grasps of god and his judgement, and to contribute in such larceny is to abscond the creator of his own rightful appanages. It is said that a time transpired when the second of the bastards’ kin, their greatest, fell to the trappings of men specialized in hunting. In no time, the father of beasts was summoned, and the dead one’s ashes were spilt upon a stone altar. The Larian had candered to his scurrilous children, and at the hest of his meticulous instructions, a stillborn child was slain, its raw entrails commingled with the appetizing mess, that they may then serve to their begetter; most cruel and blood-starved. At the end of the third day, their fallen kin was reborn, and there remains no ascertained truth as to how that revelation came to be. Certain godly provosts alleged it to be by cause of the unborn’s extant soul relegating unto the felled beast. Other, more sceptical scholars indicted abstract forces to have fed in on the muddled reparations, and betokened the ashen beast with life as a manifestation of their gratitude. Later propagations of the lykan, when attempting to reinact the ritual, sought the aid of strangers with expertise in the convolutions of the occult. In evil preside they slew a boy and wed his glands with the lamb offered upon the chantry as has been done before, saying then, “Let the father behold!”, whereupon seething flames fell upon them from the skies. To resurrect the dead outrages every law human and divine, and it is only right that the emulation of it hence sanctions the angst of God. It is not known how true to word these reports profess to be, nor is it known if the tales designated were prone to exaggeration or modification, nor indeed from what source they may have procured it from, or under what make. If one were to transact a revival ritual, a roll of 10+ must be achieved; wherein any number below of 10 results in the victim’s inevitable extermination. Using the Wretch’s eye ensures survival. The means through which a death is carried out, be it through sudden combustion or an immediate lethal sickness, is left to the creativity of participants, and one may never be revived following complete extermination. Only an older werbeast (that is, an accursed one who had endured six months of the curse) or the Wretch himself may enact such a ritual, and only with the aid of one or more of his acolyte(s); cursed be they or not. The Wretch’s Sigil The Wretch soon realized the failures that had become of his unblooded progeny. And, afeared of a betrayal brought on by his own bestial kin, divined in his old laboratorium back in Laria a sigil to bind his monsters, to dismantle them into no more than obedient playthings, entirely subservient at his behest. Once again, he buried his pale hands into unseen devilry, the basal blood of sacrifice, and unearthed what would later be known throughout the land as the Wretch’s mark. Not all his acolytes came to bear his sign (he is, after all, merely a madman who would attain great wisdom, and thus could not brand or conjure them all at once as could the court of vampiric Unseen). But those who did found themselves even more incapable of breaching the old man’s sacred mandate, or defying his will. The Wretch knew, however, throughout his tenure in higher alchemy, of the greater law of equivalent exchange. And so in merging his knowledge of forgotten alchemy and imperious black sorcery did the Warlock design a means to enslave his people, and as he later discovered, even the common man. After repeated experiments in bending the will of Man, the Wretch’s sigil was discovered A forbidden rune, those branded by its form are victims of foul nightmares, taking on a sickly bearing That came at the grave cost of his left-eye, now an instrument for the rituals, and the blood of those he had marked (enough of it not to make his victims anaemic, but close). And in their unbecoming fate, those addled by this sigil henceforth found themselves hearing voices of the dead, and overcome with the wont to commit all manner of folks as sacrificial lamb in a solemn duty to appease the Wretch. Children are most favoured to the one-eyed prophet, and are thereby placed alive upon a sacrificial stone altar to be made Krekavae. They may also grow highly fond of religion and canonical (or Horenic) faith, covering themselves in crosses and periodically breaching falsified words of God. The many voices of the Wretch may, at times, ring thick against their skulls, in a calling for them to fulfill his bidding. The sickness that comes with the gashing mark may apparete in countless forms, and in ways that are appropriate to each individual. They range broadly from vomiting, tearless cries, grave cases of madness and diseases previously thought to be gone (akin to the Dancing Plague), or in even graver cases, leprosy and other such fatal ailments. The sigil may indeed be cured by another, but the rites are closely guarded and of such convolution that to identify them can be difficult. Such methods include, among other things, carving out the heinous symbol (but never only) and deceiving the victim into feasting on his own flesh (done often on the premise that the flesh being eaten is another’s). On the other hand, those etched with the symbol are seemingly (and never truly) disburdened of age, with an apparent life-span stretching twice that of their own. However as soon as the sigil wears out, one may instantly feel the burden of their lost age weighing them down thricefold, and those who had managed to outlive their elderhood may be so aweared and in shock as to die shortly thereafter (similarly, one who has worn the sigil for decades may appear young and unaging for long, only to be reduced into the energy and health of their actual age upon its removal.) The previously weak may grow to be exceptionally healthier than their average racial counterparts, but only so much as to be capable of performing average labor strength (and never strengthened in immunity). Such vigor only serves to enable the crippled and weak into performing the most average of labor tasks, and very minimally if at all does it affect the already capable. The Sigil’s branded are afflicted by no such hunger or anguish as that which so grimly ails the werbeast, but other effects do convey upon their ranks that materialize in the form of mental imperception and fraught pursuit for medicaments that may lessen their migraines. This the werbeast shall provide in short-term, and it is said that from such mutual accord between the two ilk came the first of the occultic covenants whence both the branded and accursed conspired to rise above their temporal demands. For what those branded sought in medication was readily posed in beastblood, and the werbeasts who tendered such blood asked in turn for a medium through which to make contact with God and the false prophet that was the Wretch. It was the branded then who constituted that medium - capable as they were in drawing whispers from another realm - and so in the foundation of such unison between beast and man did the first brood of the Wretch’s children come to originate, thriving to this day in great secrecy. This notion of a human medium, of course, had no basis in truth, but it was the disillusioned nature of all beastkin that would lead them into this blind belief and hunt for hope. Throughout the ages, progenies of the Wretch had taken to consecrate and scrawl earnestly their father’s word in grand volumes of text. The survivant notes of such scripts are like compounds of brass, into which many crude ores have been fused, or it is a profuse current drawn from richly varying wells, in that every rendition, every differing accretion is of unique deformity and travesty in its own right. It is by these greatly differing gospels that all breed of beast and branded came to be bound, and it was in the honour of these scriptures that they took to converge upon different times of the year in covenants to indulge their otherworldly pleasures by rites teased from the Warlock’s grimoires. It is said that many strange anomalies attribute to these dreadful nights’ sacrilege, when the hunters and the beasts of prey become the hunted and the preyed. The wicked among men deign to etch such a mark on the sinful or those they assort worthy, and the pains incurred are rumoured to be borne from the accumulated sin of its original bearers, who often constitute the Werbestial brood. Hence, those branded may commonly be exiled to expedition in which to cleanse themselves through rites of purification or by pursuit of holy sites as pilgrims. Sacrifices, self-mutilation, and joining the ranks of the Canonist Church are, too, all methods that aren’t unheard of. How strange it is, that men seek piety not to serve God, but to starve out their own inevitable damnation. The mark itself seems to have attained a variant of “sentience”, but in spite of great efforts, none know of its true nature. It appears to respect acts of piety and heavenly devotion as of those depicted above, but nonetheless rends these acts atrociously difficult, sickening a man greatly in his attempts of pilgrimage, or aggravating every cut, every lash on one’s body to twice the effect. To visit some church or temple may silence the anguish of a Sigil, in proclaimed bleak testimony to the ever so watchful Finger of God, or so one would think. One who abides by such holy acts will find that the hollow voices and strange cants that litter their minds only grow in intensity and measure, a favorable thing for the bestial men, who believe those voices to be most prophetic indeed. The scent of burning sage appears also to ward off the Sigil and its bearer, in such a way that the site of body upon which this mark is cast grows colder, more painful. This in small quantities brewed in water or ingested takes an altogether perverse effect that actualizes in brief relieve, perchance leading to an addiction to the thing. "Praise to thee, unwicked sage, Flourishing on earth, Across God's land First wast thine birth, On foreign land Thou art fine for our woes, And mendeth many a woe; In the name of St. Ghamallach! I wrest thee from earth." - An old nursery poem, the iteration of which contributes wondrously to the concoction of drugs, balsams or elixirs The process of removal is one most thoughtful and arduous, demanding lengthy oversight and a pair of watchful eyes. This perverse Sigil of Istrian origin must typically be driven into wilting from the flesh of its bearer like a putrid flower, leaving an everlasting scar. A number of chants (to the creativity and decision of the player-host) must first be composed, and the hymn assimilates in the form of poetry to either spite or beckon with glee the Heavens above. This had to be later followed with the hanging of a painting, where it must depict in colour the individual attempting to expel the Sigil. It shall then be smeared with the blood of not only its host, but another werbeast (of the higher or lesser breed), or even of the three Bastards. A large bag of dried sage leaves may lastly and firmly aid in this rite. The ceremony must then go as follows; The individual bearing the Sigil ought to be kneeling in a sanctified area, whether it be some chapel or a temple possessing its respective clergy, preferably devoted to God. There the painting must be poised before its depicted host, and the sign’s bearer must stare upon said painting during the entire process, lest it all end in failure. As the sage is lit, and its smoke wafts unto both host and Sigil, the host must thus begin the incantation, chanting his vile hymn, concentrating his mind unto the painting before him. If the hymn is satisfactory to the presence of the Sigil, which is then also in pain due to the burning incense, it shall slowly begin to seek the painting. A horrid shriek will pierce the air, followed by the sounds of a black choir as all the voices within that mark flee like baneful ghosts, spilling and dancing forth like some macabre of shadows unto the portrait, leaving midnight marks of scorch and ink where the blood once was. The Sigil disapparates, sitting thereafter as the new ruler of the painting, from which murmurs begin to ominously sound. If the painting is burned, or its host killed before it could be removed, the Sigil vanishes with a similar shriek into the Heavens. The Sigil may only be carved in by a werbeast in human form, and undone by either the same afflicted or another individual (not necessarily a werbeast) who had unearthed the knowledge and methodology. The Rite of Inscription must be performed on an unconscious body, and may never be so rushed or poorly made as to be done on a waking body (with it invoking great pain and anguish, and thus likely to disconcert the process and draw attention). One who has had the sigil removed must play out the effects of fatigue they had culminated over the past years in which they held it (if it was for long). The Sigil never empowers one beyond their average capabilities, only mending the weak and incapable into mundane strength. Players going through the process of removing the Sigil are encouraged to post in the forum of their personalized hymn and the roleplay that went along with it. The chant of remedy must be looked over by the lore-holder (or an approved lore member) for approval. Redlines Creation and Revival Redlines In prior to the ritual of creation, the victim might be encouraged to write down an old hymn of their sacrament, so that it may be recited by the spellcaster’s flock. This merely inspirits flavour to the RP, as well as making their rite unique. The rite of creation is a process of damnation, whereon ancient forces are called upon; and so a number of supernatural occurrences may occasionally take place within the act’s site. Only an older werbeast (that is, an accursed one who had endured six months of the curse) or the Wretch himself may enact such a ritual, and only with the aid of one or more of his acolyte(s); cursed be they or not. The Ritual may only be carried by those who were afforded its hidden secrets or are in possession of the Wretch’s eye, the former requiring a roll of 15+ for success and the latter ensuring it. If one of the acolytes participant in the ritual was not accursed, a mark shall be graven upon their skin, branding them under the Wretch’s sigil (the details of which are listed above). If one were to transact a revival ritual, a roll of 10+ must be achieved; wherein any number below of 10 results in the victim’s inevitable extermination. Using the Wretch’s eye ensures survival. The means through which a death is carried out, be it through sudden combustion or an immediate lethal sickness, is left to the creativity of participants. One may never be revived following complete extermination. OOC Redlines If a werbeast in human form were to bed another descendant, it may not be done without informing the loreholders or the ST, so that the hunt of the Krekavae may initiate. Withholding such information is grounds for severe punishment. Needless to say (and I hate to have to say to this, given the rabid nature of some players) that one may not FTB whilst in beast form, and that to do so will yield even graver consequence. This is not to say victims of the lykan curse share mutual sentiments, but if a player were to be found blatantly ignoring the vaguely broken mentality of an accursed, their eligibility will be brought into question and, ultimately, their application revoked. How this mentality substantiates can differ from an individual to another, but tread with caution and a reasonable mind. Mandatory PK Clause The elimination of an accursed would result in a temporary PK, wherein the character is unplayable until it has been fed to recovery by itself (if feasible) or another. In the case of severe destruction (beyond incapacitation), a select ritual is crucial for revival. Likewise, a forsaken werwulf that was never revived will remain unplayable, effectively PKed. From the perspective of the roleplayer, the cursed one would be suffering all pain in their impermanent “death”, an even greater bane than being alive for those pitiful enough to fall prey. In other words, they never truly die, but suffer an eternity of endless pain, in which they’re unable to be played. Although the proper suicide of a werbeast is an immediate and an irrevertible PK, those afflicted may face greater difficulty in ending their own lives, as they often find themselves slitting at their own throats to end their agonies without avail, with their wounds slowly but surely regenerating. Were a suicide to be properly enacted by means that we will not list, the werbeast may never completely rematerialize, remaining alive only in the form of ash as they curse the root of their existence, and thus PKed. Purpose Theology of the Beast Frivolous princes, black tunes and forgotten cants; the Werbeasts present a severe change of atmosphere into the universe of LOTC. There will be no place for pleasure. Characters selected will be deeply observed so that it can be determined if the roleplay they provide is suitable for the Werbeast and the arc as a whole. To incarnate one is to let their characters delve into the bleakest pits of a twisted psychology of a twisted monster that has simply forgotten and ever so desires to die. Their purpose in large to achieve the failed and wretched desires of the Wretch, desires that can only ever so be glimpsed… These are not, for example, the simple existence and devouring such as ghouls of previous lores. Nor are they of the protection of certain areas or guilds, as it was for the ferals. For the Werbeasts are each touched and built, engineered with a divine spark, and deep religious sense that goes beyond simple religious doctrine but that is destined to go beyond logic as a whole. It is to delve into metaphysics, philosophy, and esotericism. Many of the magics are, at their core, simply bland, with no true “magic” to it, no mystery, and little drawbacks and no greater sense to it… But after all, the Werbeast, the Werbeast is a curse. Both me (Jentos) and Callisto have both taken the task at hand to create debate sessions as well as those of creation; hymns, poetry and debate with those characters cursed with the same blight as ours, an attempt at creating a realistic depiction of unfortunate folk, so blessed with a seed of primeval beast-hood, and futile attempts at describing their nature, their flesh, their very essence. This can be carried so far, there are so many ideas, deep theories that fester in both our minds which we seek so to explore with other players, so much more than the simple murder of other players (which will be done, sparsely, and with group efforts). The creature, terrifying and grotesque piece of art that it is, is no less afraid of what it is, and the bleak future and damnation that strikes its very mane, for the eyes of the beast never really get used to the darkness of their hearts. They are not evil, by any means, and we fully expect for some characters to outright kill themselves, faced with the horrid things they had become… Forced to devour the flesh of man so not to starve, so not to be rent mad by the lecherous whispers in the well of their throat. From cults to the Wretch, and a wretchedly bloodied devotion to God, our desires are to craft an intriguing story filled with lies and deceit, bloodlet desires, vile hatred of the self and deep, undying depressions… And a haunting, unforgiving relentlessness to serve what is Divine.
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