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  1. GORLOTH The Gorloth Staff and The Gorloth [A Dour Watch Lancer being strangled at the hand of A Gorloth] “Bestow unto us as Setherien once had, return the Gorloth to the fray.” ~The Brightiron Prince says to Azdromoth in his Court of Fire. The Gorloth; A forlorn abomination which is remnants of a bygone time where abyssal sorceries and dark magic reigned with absolute malevolence which strangled the hope from the hearts of many. The Dark Lieutenants of Setherien wielded the wretched tool which had come to be known as The Gorloth Staff. The only device of its kind to hold dominion over the corrupted golems of yore. It was said that the sorceries in which these atrocities were bound to were achieved by a group of Aegisian blood mages enlisted by the benevolence of Setherien even before that of their Asulonian counterpart. It is said black tendrils which drilled and writhed between the joints of the Gorloth could be seen as a graceless bastardization of the draconic creatures their life derived from. It does not matter if the genus is harvested from a Dragaar or a hundred snakes, the end result remains constant. [Promiiitheon, The First Gorloth.] “The **** is a Gorloth?” ~Draakopf to Kalgrimmor ‘pon the eve of his ascension. A Gorloth is essentially a Golem corrupted through the means of blood magick borne from a series of intrepid rituals which had been based upon the premise of corrupting inert or active Golem cores. The Dark lieutenants of Setherien were once said to have scrawled great symbols and pentagrams onto the crust of our very earth. Rituals would have taken place on a grandiose scale of which would require the participation of the many simultaneously; to warp and mend the draconian genus into that of the Gorloth Staff would be the purpose. Only do those daring and/or foolish enough to mayhaps manifest some eldritch terror, use the ritual to conjore a construct of their own, though it is not unheard of. Such times went by and had long been forgotten until the Black Titan, Azdromoth set his smouldering gaze upon that of two Dwed. A pair of visages wrought of malice and greed glared back unto the sublime First-Born who he himself had been a conjuror of malevolent sorceries. A deal was devised and the Arch-Wyrm knew the mortal spawn would once again wreak havoc upon the realm. A world he had wished so badly to be rid of Order so that Chaos may ensue and bring about an Age of Fire. And so, they would enact the next several decades as harbingers of the wyrm’s wroth and in return the ancient knowledge, once wielded by Aegisian blood mages, was retrieved from His lexicon and bestowed upon the two. The Gorloth Staff acts as the source of power and sentience to the Gorloth itself in tandem with the Lexicon. One with naught the other, simply does not work. In order to create a staff one must first properly go about corrupting a golem’s core which would then be transmogrified into a newfound Lexicon . The process of which is no easy feat and will serve as a test to Man’s willingness to serve The Dark. [Archetypal blood mages during the dawn of the First Age bringing to life Promiiitheon.] The Gorloth Staff In a bid to trounce the mystical Dwarven Golemancers of times bygone, it was Setherien who ultimately succeeded in recreating a dauntless comparison of the Stone Men. Through a series of malefic alchemical amalgamations of the dark arts did the Sun Swallower birth anew perverse, but yet profound incarnation of corruption. It was His Dark Lieutenants who would hoist these mighty sceptres wrought of draconian corruption and charge forth unto battle behind the ranks of their Gorloth. There may only be one particular staff per Gorloth and should the the staff be compromised in any sort of way, The Gorloth will cease to function as it had. Rendering itself lifeless and rid of sentience should The Gorloth Staff be destroyed and or disposed of by the means of breaking and or burning, etc. The Staff itself is capable due to the malefic magic imbued within to corrupt any existing Golem into a Gorloth. Such a process might define the will and ability to persevere of the one who wields The Staff, as they will have to formulate and conceptualise a strategy to subdue and corrupt the Golem over the span of time it takes for it to become a Gorloth. The initial core that resides within a Golem, once tainted by The Staff, will become abyssal and black as the thanhium turns to that of a Lexicon. The core, once azure and radiant, would soon be rendered unto a tool of Setherien’s device; The Lexicon would serve the wielder of The Gorloth Staff and the Gorloth itself. The Lexicon The sublime Gorloth staff and its ability to corrupt and change serves as a sort of reiteration to Setherien’s past tendencies whereas the Sun Swallower himself in times of old would transmute thanhic crystals into that of blood crystals. Such is reminiscent in the mystery that is The Lexicon. To each is their own and may one lead to an alternate rumination; Each staff is privy to what lain within their respective Gorloth’s ‘mind’. Behaviour The Gorloth is stricken with dread and sorrow as it undergoes a drastic change in its programming, essentially. Oftentimes faces will appear to surface within the stygian tendrils that writhe and contort within the construct which seemingly would call out to those free on the other side. Such an effect can be an umbrage to the Gorloth and its thoughts, but dread is in its nature and it is born to be a harbinger of such. Servitude is the nature of this construct, but yet within the depths of its own ruminations, permitted by the black magick its wrought of; thoughts of betrayal and deceit linger and fester. To wield a Gorloth Staff is to forever be watchful of your back and the One you so daringly command. The Gorloth is often going to ask questions and seem inquisitive, though even if believed by their master, this is a mere flaw in their almost perfect design. Though they will never truly retain the understanding of what it is they ask, they will always persist to attempt to understand. Perhaps a reminiscence of the genus used in their creation or perhaps a flaw, but one may never know truly. Appearance The Gorloth may stand up to (8ft) at max unless a Greater Gorloth is constructed, which itself is left up to the imagination of the Creator. Inherently it is by the hand of the progenitor who would sculpt these Gorloths into whichever image they so desired. These archetypal masons were that of a malignant order and it would be their very own horrific thoughts in which their creations held reflection. Often times it is existing Golems who are corrupted then turned to Gorloths so by nature of the dark magikk lain deep within the staff, interpreted only by one divine or omniscient, then it is only the stygian tendrils that manifest that would change any apparent aesthetic otherwise. The application of igniting embers and creating heat distortions around ones person is permitted. Abilities Ignite Flame [Combative] The Gorloth possesses the capability to ignite or extinguish flame with its palm/fist or it may en wreathe its head in a crown of flame. Anything further is not permitted. If one wishes the ability to en wreathe their blade and or armament in flame they must specify such in a MArt. A Gorloth may often times use this ability to assist their master in starting fires whilst on wayward adventures in lands remote. This ability requires 1 emote to cast and lasts for 10 emotes. Greater Gorloth [MArt Only] The possibilities and ranges are simply left up to the imagination of the one submitting the artefact Gorloth. Though, it is encouraged by the lore holder for the sake of roleplay that if such an artefact be submitted, that substantial roleplay has gone into the creation of such a construct. The Creation Ritual The creation ritual itself serves as a pinnacle to blood magic invention for the success achieved can only be looked upon in awe as one may wonder what sort of divine intervention would look to create such a monstrosity. Naught it was, for Man lay waste to any claim that He is not able to persevere through sheer will and with the genus of dragonkin and or anything descending from the Slumbering God, all the way down to a snake; Let there be life from the blood from Setherien, Child of Knowledge itself. Upon creating a circle with the use of the following runes to reflect its unique commanding power; Life and Binding, alongside that of the symbol for Power itself. Without some sort of genus derived from a creature with relation to Setherien the ritual will falter. This means that even an abundance of snakes carefully collected and treated to be extracted of their genus could serve as a supplement for the ritual. In fact it is not uncommon for those who wield Gorloth Staffs to carry with them in fact serpents! Often not venomous, but still such a detail is a rather fascinating indication of the willpower these Gorloth Warlocks possess. Albeit this would inherently serve as the foundations of creation for the invention pioneered by Setherien and his ancient cabal of Aegisian blood mages. REDLINES Appearance/Durability/Weakness Redlines: CREDITS hotbox_monk/hotboxYSL: Writer @z3m0s: For telling me about the lore and it’s history and for being the reason I wrote this lore today. Thanks for being the homie. @Formenost: In depth consultation and moral support @Sorcerio: In depth consultation and moral support https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/202370-%E2%9C%93-magic-lore-blood-magic/
  2. Hyphae You find a journal locked by a green ribbon. It's edges are worn, yet it is still firmly kept together. A crow and a rose are engraved onto its dark leathery face. Entry I My dear mother. Once a respected druid, now a sickly woman on her death bed. All because I ignored the underlying stress she bared. It had all started when I ventured off into the woods again like any normal day. I had failed once again to heed the worry of my mother, who had now fallen ill to an incurable disease. Not even all the doctors of our Seed - nor herself - could cure the wretched fevers, coughs, ill pale skin, or freckling chills that felt like needles to the back that she felt every time she woke up. How could I, her only son, be so ignorant. Now she lies there every day, as if waiting for her last breath. Now my graceful father works harder until he could work no longer. Now I sit here writing, as if writing my woes could ever cure my mother. That is until I prayed to the gods. Cerridwen and Cennunos, Mother and Father of the nature that is gifted to us. Even after every moon and sun did I wait and prayed for an answer. Patience grows thin, and and so did my inpatient mind thinned until it could no more. I have packed my bags up for a journey far away, into the deeper areas of Almaris. There, I can find some sort of cure, or at least hope to help my family. Entry II In my extensive knowledge I have gain from travelling around Almaris, I would have not known I would gain a sister, or well adopt one. As I was looking for some sort of person with a medical background, I had met the young prodigy Delilah coincidentally along the way to Vortice. She had kindly greeted me and swooned me over with her childish nature. How dearly I love her. As we grew closer the following month together, she was immediately under my wing. Through her, I had learned more about the people in the East, and even settled down at Elysium to understand the herbs around there. From Bat's bulb to Jailer's Moss, I studied hard to get to her level. I wished for my parents to meet her. They always ways wanted a daughter. Entry III The peaceful life of Elysium had taken a turn for the worse. Krugmar, the warring nation up the road from Elysium. War has stepped into our lives as they threaten us with raids and kidnapping our people. Delilah resides in Fenn for her studies; where it is safer. On the other hand, I have decided to stand my ground and stay at Elysium, in hopes that our kingdom is strong enough to keep the Orcs at bay. I watch over the walls, always anticipating death at our gates. Entry IV Uruks. Crude in nature and powerful in battle. They had somehow gotten into Elysium while I was away gathering more herbs. They side with Krugmar. What crazy racists they show to be. I used the citizen tunnels to quietly get in, spying on them as they lurk the streets of our home. Seven in total I have seen. How could a handful of them get in when we had guards on every post? I have heard their prideful yells of how we are cowards, how the guards ran away, and how they would not let anyone in; mostly because they did not have the key. They vilely spill alcohol down their throats, celebrating their success. I hope this ungodly hour ends before Delilah returns home. (Entries will be added continuously in the later future)
  3. “Though the night has darkened, and the forge has long since chilled, I do not despair Though sorrow has been wrought, and struggle lie ahead, I shan’t ever falter For as long as stars still adorn the sky above, and the rock does not give way beneath my feet The Line of Gotrek will endure, as we always have.” MUSIC The Starbreakers Kazamar Kornazkarumm Named from the title of their progenitor Gotrek ‘the Starbreaker’ the Starbreakers are an Elder Clan of Cavern Dwarves known for their history as some of the greatest smiths and scholars in Dwarven history. Distinguished by their skin color (or lack of) of light grey, their darker hair colors, and eye colors ranging from amber and brown, to sky, or steel blue. Beyond this all Starbreakers are of the same blood, as adoption is forbidden except in very specific circumstances. Over the centuries they have thus developed a strong focus on family values, this is a defining trait of their clan which is shared by almost all their number. Though they are all well read, personalities vary widely, from wizened, kind, and understanding, to the more ambitious and volatile of their number. Despite this highly polarized nature, they are more often than not unified due to their close-knit traditions, and will stubbornly defend their kinsmen over all other loyalties. They are prideful of their long history, and credit their clan’s founder with the invention both Runesmithing(a talent unfortunately lost to the clan, many years ago) and golemancy, which is still in practice. It is these deeds, and many others that the Starbreakers hold great value in, leading to particularly noteworthy ancestors in their clan’s history being venerated almost to the level of Paragonhood, at least by members of said clan. A smithing family first and foremost, it is of little surprise that Starbreakers who have been raised according to traditional doctrine, follow Yemekar with a borderline fanatical devotion, given his nature as the smithing-God and father of the Brathmordakin. Other popular Gods (though never venerated above the Forgefather) are Anbella, whose role a mother and protector of children earns her great praise from the Kornazkarumm, and Ogradhad who is also commonly prayed to by the more scholarly members of the Clan, as greedily seeking knowledge is a common trait among them. Gotrek, the first of their number is also worshipped more often than not, and is seen as everything a modern Starbreaker should aspire to be. Wayward Starbreakers(those not necessarily raised within the clan) tend not to follow such a zealous practice, but even they respect the Progenitor and Forgefather above all others. Customs and traits Ashen skin A trait common to many Cave Dwarves, but most of all the Starbreakers, is their skin color being of similar shade to the stone in which they reside. The exact color can vary from a dark, almost coal gray, to a lighter, ‘colorless’ gray or somewhere between. This does not act as dark skin among surface dwellers, and in fact often acts in exactly opposite a manner. Starbreaker skin can best be described as the lack of a pigment, and though a tolerance can be built up over time, it is not unusual for Starbreakers to suffer a form of photosensitivity referred to as ‘sun-sickness’. This is not extreme in any regard, and in most cases is simply poorer eyesight above ground as well as itchy, or burned skin in direct sunlight. The cure for this is simple, wear a cloak, as it is never wise to leave home without one regardless. Dark hair Though not an absolute by any means, the dominant genes of a Starbreaker often surface in the form of hair color, even with Dwarves of other Elder Clans, a Starbreaker’s hair tends to be of darker shades, specifically black, with a coal-like color being the most common variant. Starbreakers of the past were occasionally born with brown hair, however the family branch known for this has long since died out. Height and build As Cave Dwarves, it should be known that the Starbreakers are not the tallest folk. While Mountain Dwarves can reach up to heights of 5’1, a Starbreaker has never been recorded of going over 4’6. However their build is hardly as lacking. Do not let their height fool you, the Kornazkarumm are often just as hardy, and just as physically tough as their more surface-inclined kin. It is not unusual for them to spend many hours in the forge, and just as many in armor in an attempt to familiarize themselves with it. As such, it is common (though not always) for Starbreakers to be of athletic builds, as such a driven folk are not as prone to feasting as other Dwarves. Stoneblood and Ironblood Terms coined by Jorvin Starbreaker after the trial and execution of Torkan Silverfinger, the phrases ‘Stoneblood’ and ‘Ironblood’ refer to the two dominant schools of modern Starbreakers. The stoneblood, or amber-eyed Starbreakers take after Kazraden, who all modern clan members are descended from, whereas Ironblood or blue-eyed Starbreakers, take traits more akin to those of Kalmania, wife of Kazraden who was according to legend, born a member of Clan Ironborn. Stonebloods will often be of leveler heads, and more keen to diplomacy and neutrality then they would be to wage war, whereas Ironbloods will often take a more direct solution if offered, and though they are not any less wiser than the rest of their clan, they tend prone to outbursts of anger, as well as gravitating towards grimmer personalities. This does not mean Ironblooded Starbreakers are inherently untrustworthy and in fact, if their ambitious and aggressive nature are kept wisely in check, they can grow to be quite competent leaders. Stonebloods, in stark contrast, are quicker friends and more forgiving foes, as utterly destroying an enemy, and destruction outright should only be done when all other means are exhausted. It is these individuals, who think before they act, that prove to be great golemancers, and men of knowledge. Family values It is of no surprise that Clan Starbreaker, being a blood clan with such an focus upon it, remains a close-knit family. Loyalty to one’s clan should supercede that even to one’s kingdom, and be second only to one’s Gods. Betrayal of the clan is a most grievous sin that will result in immediate expulsion, and disowning. Secondly, a Starbreaker is to remain as steadfast and respectable as possible in public, lest shame be brought upon the Clan, any action which possesses even the potential to dishonor the clan’s name should not be acted upon, and it is expected for a Starbreaker to put the interests of family above that of their own. Secrecy While not an official tradition of any sort, the Starbreakers are often to focus inwards, sooner settling disputes between themselves than in any sort of court. This is also in no small part out of fear for the Clan’s name, as one can only imagine the damage that would be wrought upon their honor should their dirty laundry be aired in public, not to mention how improper it is. Almost ironically however, it is because of this, conjoined with the Clan’s controversial history that has led them to be viewed as suspicious to outsiders, a distrust which is mutual in many regards, as the Clan’s inner workings are not oft to be shared with outsiders. Neutrality Starbreaker neutrality is a fickle thing and one should not take at face value. To be ‘neutral’ as a Starbreaker is not to sit upon the sidelines, and let the world tick by without your intervention, but instead to raise oneself above petty games and politics, to not throw the first punch, for when you strike let it be only for a righteous cause, and may you strike with all your mustered fury. A Starbreaker’s voice is not to be bought and sold like cattle, but instead offered when wisened council is required. Even still, should the Dwarven realms be threatened, let the sons of Gotrek be the first to raise their arms as it is Yemekar’s will that Urguan’s folk be protected, and the underrealm they reside in defended, to the last drop of blood. However, should kin-strife once more take hold of the Dwarves, it would be better to await it’s end than sully one’s blade with Dwarven blood. Should a tyrant arise however, once more may the Kornazkarumm be spurred into action. Clan Prayer Eng: Yemekar guide my hammer, in battle as in the forge. If I fight, let it be for a cause that is just, and if I fall in battle, and death steals my soul, may the stars forever shine over Gotrek’s line. Dwe: Yemekar akhoral thas ord, nir Krazdran as nir da kadrel. Kolun tha Krazdran don it mer yoth yir yol-mer reeth nar thorok. Kolun kavir agolam thas dwedohin, dar da kor morred vekaan. Clan Trials Trial of Blood The first and most important of the trials, it is performed either ceremonially a year after the birth of the Starbreaker in question, or for the more wayward sons of Gotrek, immediately after they are brought to the clan hall. This trial’s purpose is to determine ‘worth of blood’ and to ensure the person in question possesses blood from Gotrek the Starbreaker, a requirement. The ritual is performed by slicing open the young Starbreaker’s hand with a runic dagger, should the blade glow brightly, they are immediately inducted into the clan. If it does not glow, then the person in question has failed the ‘blood test’ and is barred entry from Clan Starbreaker. Trial of Creation Occurring as a ‘coming of age’ ceremony, when a Dwedki grows into an adult (anywhere between the ages of 16-20) the trial consists of using the particular talent and knowledge of the beardling in question to create an item of value. While this does not necessarily pertain to forgework, it is encouraged to be so, in keeping with clan customs and traditions. Trial of Knowledge After the creation trial has been completed, it is wise for a Starbreaker to immediately begin working on the next, as it will often take several years to complete. The Starbreakers pride themselves as ‘the few and the wise’ and to ensure this remains the case, work must be done to instill them with both the want and desire to learn more. The budding Starbreaker will scour the lands, seeking to retrieve a single book containing knowledge of great value, be it magical, historical, or other. Should no such book be found, they must take it upon themselves to write it. Be it recording a legend passed down over the campfire for centuries, or writing down an alchemist’s greatest recipe. When such a book has been found, it is to be brought to the Clan Lord, and it’s quality judged, should it pass, the trial is completed, and the individual has but one step left. Trial of Courage Having proved themselves wisened, and dedicated to their craft, the Starbreaker has but one trial left, a final grand tribute to Yemekar, the Father-God of the Dwarves. It is all well and good to bring new creations into this world, but equally crucial to protect what has already been made, as such the Trial of Courage is simple. Be it in the field of battle, or otherwise, save the life of one who has not lived theirs to its fullest. When the deed has been done, the individual has proven themselves capable in the utmost regard. Each trial is performed with the intent of bringing the Starbreaker closer to their progenitor and by extension, their Ancestral God Yemekar. Industriousness, perseverance, wisdom, and the iron-clad determination to do what must be done for the betterment of the family, and Dwarves as a whole. These are the virtues that make a Starbreaker what they are. History Elder Histories: Aegis-late Atlas Modern History: Late Atlas-Current Family Chronicle To those of you who have read through all that, I applaud you, and now that we are at the end, I am sure you are curious to learn more, perhaps you are even wayward children of Gotrek yourselves? If you’d like to find out, below are some notable Starbreakers you might wish to speak to, and more importantly, an application. Thank you for reading, Narvak oz Kornazkarrum! Please note this post isn’t (completely) done, normal members, and artifacts will be listed at a later date. Clan Lord/Father Titles used interchangeably, ‘Lord’ being preferred when the Starbreaker in question themselves are not a father Jorvin Starbreaker (DixieDemolisher) Seo#0650 Clan Elders Kazrin Starbreaker (DrHope) Stromnikar Starbreaker (Dungrimm) Crevin Starbreaker (Mavromino) Dangren Starbreaker (Dtrik) Application Name: Username: Character’s age: Biography: Skin: (If you do not possess one, don’t worry! We can fix you up) Ancestry: (If you don’t know who your character is related to, that’s fine! We’ll figure it out Discord:
  4. Good day to everyone. I have a question of sorts. Well, it’s also intended to generally get a gauge of the server’s community and opinion, and to perhaps open a discussion. I'm mostly just speaking my mind. Please keep matters calm and civil, since some things discussed may be contentious. I also would like to apologize well in advance, for I have a very good feeling that this will be very tangential as opposed to being a well-structured essay. The subject is regarding the nature of the Techlock. See, I'm new, I'm not some community veteran or old-guard who can sway the lore team, or events or outcomes of certain civil wars… but I've hardly played, so I wouldn't really know about that. The thing is, I very much want to. But to explain the matter, I will have to share a little about myself. I love and am obsessed with bits of technology in fantasy settings. Steampunk, retrofuturism, magitech, science-fantasy worlds, these have always fascinated me since I was a kid. Movies like Atlantis, Treasure planet, and others sparked my imagination, games like the old Neverwinter Nights, Ultima, and others occasionally presented small amounts of technology in their setting, and it fascinated me. Wanting to be an engineer IRL, it really helps transport me to another world, time, and place where things only in the most distant theory are possible. Ever since the start of fantasy, there's always been room to mix these things together here and there, settings and worlds like Spelljammer, Eberron, Magic The Gathering(Just look at anything involving Urza), so many of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterful films, I could provide examples for days. The truth is, science and technology have the capacity to conjure wonders unimaginable prior into real being in our universe today, and it’s hard to imagine this not being so elsewhere. This can be the example portion of this whole post, delving further into where I’m coming from, and just simply explaining what I like and enjoy. I’ve read Jules Verne, and played games like Bioshock, Thief 2: The Metal Age, The Dishonored Series, The Bioshock Series, Divinity: Dragon Commander, Path of Exile, Myst, Iron Harvest, Morrowind(And the rest of the Scrolls games), the Vaporum series, and more. I love playing an Artificer in D&D ever campaign that I possibly can. Hell, I loved the Legend of Korra, which I know wasn't exactly popular as a continuation of ATLA. You get the idea, you get the picture, I absolutely adore this sort of thing, and seek it out in media. I’m a massive uber-nerd for this sort of thing. Technology and magic mirror each other in many ways. Of course, many world-building troubles and complications might arise from this, how do magic and technology exist? Where do they compete and where are they compatible? You have to treat technology as a sort of magic system in many respects, so some of Brandon Sanderson’s thoughts apply, generally, it has the power to greatly affect the feel and themes of a world. An industrial revolution is an incredibly transformative event, after all. In a day and age where Netflix’s Arcane tops charts, Magic The Gathering is creating planes and card blocks like the new Kamigawa and New Capenna, The Legend of Zelda features ancient Shieka magitech as a core part of its worldbuilding, and science-fantasy elements become less niche and work their way bit by bit into the spotlight and mainstream, I want to ask. Why does Lord of The Craft have to imitate Tolkien ad nauseam until the end of time(or at least the server, presumably), and even disregard the surprising technologies that actually did exist during the medieval period and throughout history (I’ve taken a History of Science and Technology class, I can debate this if you really want). Who exactly mandates that it has to be limited to one kind of RP, one kind of world, one kind of story, one kind of context, one time-period, doesn’t it ever get old? This is where the rant ends. I really just wanted to toss these ideas out there, because I've wanted to get it off my chest. Part of me is playing devil's advocate here, I want to know what people think. I’m being disingenuous. I know a bit more than I’ve let on, despite my hours on the server probably being 2 at most. The other thing about technology compared to magic, is that, while similarly arcane in its complexity and required knowledge, is that it leaves a more permanent artifact, sure spell tomes can exist, but technology(and artifacts in general) is very much a matter where, once its out, it can be difficult to put the cat back in the bag. When something is invented, the factions in power seek that power, people study, learn, teach, and perpetuate that knowledge. And even if all the skilled craftsmen and engineers who worked on these things have vanished, then their works can still be unearthed, and potentially reverse-engineered(if enough of them is left to do so with). The other relevant property, is that technology is built upon learned principles generally fundamental to reality, and methods and discoveries can be reapplied in different contexts, and improved in efficiency- realistically, the tech train doesn't easily stop moving once it has been started- someone will usually think of all sorts of uses for things which already exist, and try all sorts of wacky stuff. In truth, all fantasy worlds, regardless of tech-level, do have a certain techlock of their own- to prevent a runaway effect and maintain a particular vibe, to prevent a Kaladesh from becoming an Neon Dynasty, so to speak(I understand they are different planes obviously, they were just examples of tech style). Some, like Divinity, opt for a magical unexplained reset that just simply wipes all of the technology, and presumably all of the knowledge, tools, memories, possibly people, and drive to replicate it, or even think to replicate it. This is terrible writing, but I do understand why it’s done. Many settings relegate their technology to little pockets, advanced ancient lost and dead races and civilizations, whose incredible works simply cannot be understood, they are simply too vexing and arcane, and perhaps nobody quite bothers… for some reason, or an isolated and mysterious island of tinker gnomes. The Dwemer’s secrets lie guarded away in buried ruins, defended by magimechanical automata that pose great threat to all but the most skilled and capable, or armies and legions. Only a few characters understand their works, like Sotha Sil(and a significant amount of that understanding likely came about post-’ascension’ via the heart of Lorkhan), and sparingly few scholars, artificers, and alchemists who appear only at special occasion. Regardless, I digress yet again. This isn't about The Elder Scrolls. Now, onto how any of this at all relates to Lord of The Craft, beyond trying to turn it into something that it’s not. I’ve read about the past, about things like Smoggers and Thanium devices, the list seems to go on- devices that were once accepted, and once existed prior to the establishment of the (current?) Techlock. I won't lie, I adore the sound of that stuff. It looks to me like you guys tried it. From what I can tell, there was such significant tech-creep that the techlock became absolutely necessary to keep it in check. It simply must be discussed how technology relates to RP itself. It is obvious to me how balancing, CRP, and fun for everyone can be… potentially negatively impacted by simply letting these ideas run free and wild. It’s clearly a problem if one nation is the Fire Nation, and has such a technological advantage that its screwing over others, and forcing people to advance to compete whether they like it or not, it’s obviously a problem when the people managing sieges and battles now have to deal with one side rolling out steam-tanks or some nonsense. I suppose it's also a problem if someone's 'so unique and special of a character' that went through the bureaucratic nightmare of endless applications and back-and-forth with staff/loreteam to have throwable vials of horrible alchemical concoctions and chemical weapons, or a repeating crossbow that only requires like, 1 or 2 emotes to spam-fire, and regular soldiers and guardsmen with sword and shield have to deal with the BS of fighting that. I understand these things. I also know that tinkering and technology aren’t entirely crippled today either, it’s just very carefully and cautiously selected and limited. I know automatons and animati still exist, that special magic items and creations exist in circulation here and there, things like mechanical arms which can spray pressurized water, and that a long-forgotten, ancient buried thanium bomb might still detonate causing a massive disaster from time to time, that Urguan’s navy consists of steam-powered paddleboat ironclads. I know these things, and I’m sure there’s still a place and room for me, and things that I can explore. I’m not the kind of roleplayer who wants to invent or bring about technology for powergaming or to crush my competition with the power of “SCIENCE!!!”, and I genuinely care about the experience of others. I just personally love the flavor of fantasy tech, and writing these things. I don’t want to ruin things for anybody. But of course, this sort of thing is still what I tend towards, it’s the sort of thing that Iove and get the most enjoyment out of. And I understand you can tell me to go somewhere else, but, this is the biggest RP server in existence at the moment. I don’t know of a server more my style that exists anymore. My first character is a Dwarf, and I plan to go through the trials necessary to work my way up the ranks of Clan Irongrinder. I want to make interestingly and creatively written and flavored- and well-balanced- magic items, and sell them, introduce them to the world. But I have read a few past forum debates about this very topic, and they were not without vitriol. After this long-winded wall of text, the real question I want to ask is this: Am I welcome here? And also, to be entirely earnest, to a lesser extent, the secondary question is: Will the current state of the techlock ever change? Will there be exceptions for me to enjoy? Will things like smoggers ever exist again? Cannons at the very least? Or did I just miss out on all the cool tech before it got banned forever? Did I just arrive here too late?
  5. Cognatism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzNcSvKCOyA With the initial connection to the void, scholars were unaware of the untapped potential within the abyss. The only knowledge given was that it is a replacement for substitute power. Unbeknownst to the scholars, the discovery created a pathway to our realm from the void. Each connection pinged the void and the entities within, announcing the mortal realm to those residing in the abyssal void. Discovering that the breach was simple, per new connection grew the intrigue to the horrors, drawing them close. A barrier, however, prevented them from accessing our world. Both worlds separate by a veil neither understood, only able to pass meek connections to either side. Mortality used the void for power, the horrors for consumption. After centuries of waiting, the breeches widened within the void, small voidal pockets filling space within their realm emerged and with this - a pathway. Both worlds, unknowing of each other, finally found an opportunity to meet, the horrors of figuring out ways to aperture the veil could cause a destructive mess, scarring the landscape. Void rifts, explosions, and destruction ensued in both realms. The horrors trying to cross the veil led to explosions that defaced each realm's land. Scholars studying the rifts and void explosions were able to decipher the strange occurrences, this only prompted a further study in the void that ended in two minds meeting. — Evo’lur Tartarus, Cognant. Magic Explanation Cognatism is a symbiosis between twin minds bound at the veil of the void. The connection serves as a tether between two minds fighting for dominance and control over the other, locked between a mortal mind and that of a voidal horror. The binding communion between the two entities is an agreement of protection for an exchange of knowledge. The horror using the mage voidal pocket forms a protective ring defending against outsider attacks, syphoning the host's mana to keep the barrier up. The lesser horror seeks a new host if the reserve of mana and connection isn't grand enough, putting the host in a prismal loop trial. Cognatism is a feat, it can be learned alongside all other voidal rituals. Cognatism can be learned by players with/without magic. Just be aware it takes an initial voidal connection to draw in the horror, described in 'Expanding Ritual'. If you're character/race/magic/alchemical being doesn't allow for this, you cannot become a cognant. To learn Cognatism one must find an applicable teacher or horror stone. You do not get ‘smarter’ for having the twin mind, just access to tools that aid in seeking knowledge. The Horror The void is a split consciousness of many residing horrors seeking consumption and essence to grow in a hierarchical status amongst lesser, greater, supreme and behemoth horrors within; ascending only through the consumption of essence from other horrors may cause one rise within the standing, following the philosophy/culture of Darwinian on the principle of survival of the fittest. The voidal horrors often seem to form into packs, led by pack leaders of greater to behemoth horror standing, allowing greater intellectual control of the horde to seek further essence to grow and command within the void. Ascension is through consuming weaker ‘superiors’ when the opportunity arises, allowing lesser to become greater or greater to superior standing in the horde of horrors. The evolutionary standing of voidal horrors amongst this hierarchy is dim to lesser horrors, offering nothing but a plaything or food to the horrors above them in constant strife and antagonising nature. Seeking a pass to escape and even protection, they seek the aid of rifts accessing their domain to flee through, or even that of magi to house them. Nevertheless, the outside look on their primitive nature prevails even in this state to consume, grow and evolve. Cognatism focuses on those voidal horrors, opening up a barrier of protection along the veil between the void and the mortal world, forming a psychic link between the two providing a protective barrier within the void pocket of the magi to encapsulate the lesser horror free from consumption long as the connection remains untampered. The Prismal Loop The connection between the two minds is an imbalance of a power struggle between two sides, where if faltered, can subdue either party from a grander force applied to the other mind. It is possible that through no fault of the Cognat, the Horror may issue a test of strength on the connection and the strength of the consciousness it shares a mental home with. Should one fail to push the Horror back, the void beast will stick your mind into a Prismal Loop. The focus will spin round and round, disabling the Cognat from reaching consciousness once more. The Loop forces them into a Comatose state, wherein the Horror will administer a series of tests for the Cognat to achieve. Moving the Cognat deep into the mindscape they create, they must battle the demons of the past and self to defeat and conquer each stage. Once all trials are complete, the Loop will break, and the Cognat will be free. Should such falter, the Cognat will succumb to the mental debilitations threefold as the horror debates to leave you. They are seeking a more extraordinary mind for protection. This occurs if the Horror does not believe that your connection is strong enough to protect it. The Loop can occur more than once. The tests are not easy, not in the slightest. They are hard, and can and will result in damage. The Loop forces the Cognat into a coma, where they must complete trials of the mind in order to get through. This adds some flare to the roleplay, though grants no additional abilities. Whilst in the Loop, the body must still be sustained. Food and water are still required. If wounded inside of the Loop, the Cognat will suffer phantom pain on the body as if it occurred. Accumulating a large sum of phantom pain will fail the trials. Failure of the trials means the horror can leave your mind, breaking the tether. These trials are difficult and will push the Cognat to their limits but will always be within the Cognats ability after the first connection trials. If the Cognat survives, they may still believe they are inside of the Loop even after they have awoken. Mental Effects The voidal horror cohousing within the mind of the Cognat brings an assortment of conditions brought to the single mind they bound to, yours. A Cognat bound by the first connection will suffer from minor debilitations, and the longer one has bound increases to the point, it'll become part of the host's personality. The debilitations can come and go through; some will always be present within the mind at any given time. The horrors’ personality is governed by a teacher or ST melding with your own character. Taking aspects, greed, growth, hunger, ascension, ext. This effect occurs over the duration of the horror being bound. Intrusive thoughts come far more frequently, of the horror's personality. Self-illusions, the mind of the horror might overwhelm the host sending false images across the landscape or area you’re within. Paranoia, a presence is always felt watching you that you can never escape. Despite knowing it is the horror. Sleep paralysis, the horror will wake you from slumber occasionally as it feels threatened by the barrier weakening due to lack of focus. Frequent nightmares, given by the voidal horror to keep you awake of its own experiences. Obsession, when the voidal horror has a set agenda that is right in front of you to get, it’ll attempt to force you to achieve and get it at any cost. Memory Consumption, the voidal horror will actively consume memories which you hold no attachment towards, and root itself further within. The Twin Mind Sharing one’s mind with any consciousness but your own isn’t unheard of, though without a doubt life-altering. Taking in a second mind inhibits you to a tirade of mental debilitations that fatigues the mind, weighing you down without the twin mind speaking to you. The voidal horror paired will send intrusive and controlling thoughts to inhibit your actions, sway mood swings, self-illusions or enact paranoia in the act to weaken the mind for takeover, having no affiliation or opinion on the world around, the horror rather running on its primal urge for ascension. With gaining the third mind, the tri-mind, from either void stalker feat, or another sentience, will amplify the mental debilitations. Although the Cognat and the mind of the horror are linked, the horror wouldn’t share any information given to it back to the Cognatunless learned while bound with the host and imperative on the horror to do so. The exchange of information between the twin minds can only be done if it is imperative to the horror to do so and learnt while bound to the host. You may learn any of the voidal ritual feats, (voidstalker, artificer, scion, eminence). Limited to one, as specified in the respected lore. Losing the Twin Mind/Cognatism, you’ll still suffer from all the mental debilitations if you pass the connection prismal loop (2 IRL Weeks of MA acceptance). The twin mind may not be “tamed” or “befriended”. It is an unbiased entity out for its own survival. The Twin Mind may be purged by a paladin, or cleansed upon a spirit-walk by a shaman. Gaining the Tri-Mind+ doubles exponentionally the mental debilitations, plus the debilitations of the other lore. Teaching https://i.pinimg.com/564x/70/a5/9d/70a59db7195662b7b58b01a3e4fd4efd.jpg Teaching within Cognatism is probably the most strenuous feat in the void archetype; it isn't about learning spells but instead building a symbiosis between two entities. The actual teaching aspect of Cognatism only allows easier access for a student to work on developing this symbiosis, subduing the horror within until the student can take its full strength. The voidal horror is extremely captious when its consciousness is brought from the void into another's mind — often rejecting the new host out of little faults they have unless subdued by the teacher. After the horror has successfully moved into the mind, Prismal Loop trials can begin. The trials are demanding on both the new host and horror, separating their connection to cast any magic until ALL trials are completed. Prismal Loop trials can be incredibly imaginative to the horror or incredibly simple; the trials are here to test the will and drive of the host to form the symbiosis between the two entities. These trials are not without risk. The horror can easily manipulate the host if seen weak and consume the host's memories if the trial is accepted. The teacher must caution the student and make sure they're aware of these risks; otherwise, the student might lose themself to the horror during this stage of connection. The initial connection of the student's mind to the horror is something that doesn't cause pain or torment to the individual, yet a sense of surrealness. While the horror subdued, it won't lash out or probe the mind until the trials have begun. Without the subduction of the teacher on the horror, it can lead to disastrous mental affecting damages to the new host before leaving if not forcefully forced to remain. The Prismal Loop trials on beginning cognatism last for two IRL weeks, the trials happening periodically through this period and dictated by the teacher/ST. While within the two IRL weeks of obtaining, once connected to a horror you’ll be unable to cast any archetype of magic. While connected, all mental debilitations will constantly barrage the host, until full symbiosis is achieved. Failing prismal loop trials considerably will lose you access to Cognatism, dictated by teacher/ST during the period of connection. (2 IRL weeks). Aka - you lose the magic. You can attempt to link to a new horror after two IRL weeks of failing the prismal loop trials. Practising Cognatism https://i.pinimg.com/564x/e0/15/8f/e0158fb401fe4867f5bccddb6e90b97b.jpg The practice of cognatism once passed the Prismal Loop trials after connection can finally begin. The voidal horror begins to dig its roots through your mind, from either empty or occupied space taking over memories feasting on them if needed. The mind would take some personality of the horror unto the person, only amplifying the further tiers you progress through the feat. The horror bestows the feats amongst the host occurs periodically as the beast roots itself deeper into the mind. It shares consciousness by amplifying its grasp for survival and sharing a deep root of knowledge with the host. Voidal Commune (Passive/Non-combat) An endless abyss and the mortal world, the twin mind connection rests in between to commune. While the connection between horror and cognant exists, all information gathered through any senses is collected and stored within the mind of the horror, for them to share back to the cognant if desired. The host cannot do the same, only hearing whispers of intangible moonspeech screeches through the void. The voidal horror is able to translate moonspeech into the common tongue and vice-versa only if the horror wills it. The only exception is a power superior to the horror commanding it to do so. Redlines: This is a passive ability, active once the initial prismal loop trials have been passed. The ability is always active. The horror will not always respond or answer questions, queries or have a casual conversation with the cognant. They’re not your friend. The horror will not teach you moonspeech, the horror will not translate moonspeech for you unless forced by a superior horror. To draw out information stored and gathered from bound, you need to use the ability ‘Notes’ listed below. Infusion (Passive/Non-combat) The link between the twin minds equalises a pool of mana shared between them, the reserve is unusable or able to be directly drawn from by both parties. When a time of need, be for the horror to create a barrier to protect itself from creatures in the void or the cognant drained of all mana, an infusion will commence taking the reserve mana to prevent Thaumburn. When either the horror or cognant is suffering from Thaumburn, exhausting all mana an infusion will instantly commence from the reserve mana collected. The reserve mana is unable to be used for spells, nor does it revitalize the expended pool of mana, purely all it does is prevent Thaumburn for a single-use per IRL week. Redlines: Prevents Thaumburn, one IRL week cooldown. If a mage uses all of their mana, the infusion will save them from death/pass out, recovering faster so they may “walk it off”. Doesn’t refill/refresh your mana to cast further spells. Notes (Non-combat) The mind is a fickle thing, forgoing memory, knowledge lost or minor details left unable to be recollected or traced. The Voidal Commune link can be brought forth by drawing stored information collected by the horror back into the mind of the cognant, able to reminisce the forgotten parts of the mind. While the Voidal Commune link is active, any information gathered/collected by the cognant is stored by the horror, able to be drawn forth and brought back into the mind of the host. Information lost from short-term memory or degradation can be brought back if desired. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Discuss information to be brought back -> Information sent to cognant. Redlines: The information gathered/collected can only be brought back from when you learned it post horror connection. Anything lost prior to the connection cannot be returned. The information gathered/collected happens passively and is stored within the mind space of the horror to be recollected by the cognant if desired. If your character died in any capacity the information of that death is lost unable to be brought back, following guidelines of death rules on the server. Memoir (Non-combat) Amassing knowledge is something both cognant and horror do best though with some information, it is best to forgo. The wonders of the world or attained memories are something that can harm the overall individual and by will, the cognant may ask the horror to consume these discoveries. While done so without much affliction done to the cognant, they will feel part of them taken as what was consumed cannot come back. Communing with the horror, you may request anything gathered from past events within memory to be consumed. The information of whatever the memory was is lost by the cognant and only known to the horror. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Discuss information to be consumed -> Consumed memory. Redlines: The information consumed is lost by the cognant, unable to be obtained except through the spell ‘Notes’. The information lost, cannot be sparked back in memory from another party speaking about it. The horror can be deceitful. If a memory contained a prominent/non-prominent figure/item it may consume all information in other memories on that same item. This is consensual, unable to be forced. Scrambling (Passive/Combat) The twin minds are a link bound through the relationship of the horror and host, forming an interconnecting bond that aids in the prevention of interference of outside sources of magic. If one mind is taken hostage from an ability, both are afflicted for better or worse upon the cognant and horror. Both an ability that can be used to detriment the cognant or be beneficial. Detriments with the affliction on the mind afflict both causing both minds to be affected by the spell that may cause amplification on ‘mental debilitations’ listed above. Beneficial would be if someone attempts to search or implant images within one mind finding two instead, potentially not afflicting the cognant but the horror instead. Redlines: Spells that afflict the mind with disorientation, sounds, afflictions affect both cognant and horror. This may double the effects of ‘mental debilitations’ listed above in ‘mental effects’. Illusions/spells that target a sole mind on the cognant will have a chance to fail, doing such unannounced to the horror instead. This can be done through a simple “/roll 1d2” or puzzle. Broadcast illusions work normally. Self-Illusion (Non-combat) Varying abilities cast by the horror cannot be articulated down through the link between the twin minds, so much so deciphering objects are pushed to a near mundane level of power to the cognant. Only able to cast illusions the cognant sees themself in a limited capacity to calculations that aid in the feat of discovery. The mechanics of this ability are as follows; the cognant may only procure illusions which they see themselves limited to; 3D Models. A full, and complete three-dimensional model of an object can be constructed. Calculations. Creating a visualization of operations in front of you, like drawing lines/functions on a chalkboard. This, however, will only aid someone who is able to work out calculations normally, as the connection does not increase your intelligence. Another use of this is the ability to project a visual aid such as a ruler to measure an object. Data Projection. A complete projection of data is shown to the user through a visual rendition of a table. This can include numbers and other information regarding the object, such as weight, height and contents should the cognat already know them. Horror Projection. The cognant is able to work with the horror and able to project an illusionary form of themselves or another being to be seen by the cognant. The illusion can move independently but requires active focus to maintain. Alongside self-illusions, if one possesses voidal illusion (sensory illusion), they may be able to see their own illusions. This is optional and to be able to do all the above self-illusion spells you must follow the emote guidelines. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Charge -> Self-Illusion. Redlines: Self-illusions can only be seen by the cognant. If two cognants are together they cannot see each others illusions. This spell doesn’t increase the user’s intelligence. The spell is similar to if you had a chalkboard writing notes, just now to yourself. Horror Projection is like an assistant to point things out you might’ve missed, although may not provide further help in discovery. Inducement (Combative) The twin mind isn’t without fault and an overwhelming sense of emotions will flood the minds of both, pulling and twisting actions of the horror and cognant alike. When time of complete focus is necessary however to prevent the constant pulls of temptation, inducement can be called upon. Inducement is called on when the cognant feels the need for intense focus and aid themselves without being pressured by the horror or mental debilitations pulling them down. Focusing on a singular emotion the cognant may induce it on the mind pushing all others to the side temporarily. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Charge -> Inducement. Redlines: Is only to be self-cast. The exception to this is within the ‘expanding ritual’. Once cast, inducement will last until the encounter is over or the cognant breaks focus. Casting the inducement spell temporarily subsides all emotions but the one is chosen and mental debilitations. Once the encounter is over/focus is broken the mental debilitations will come back onto the cognant twice fold for the next thirty RP minutes. Focus can be broken by a forced void connection disruption. Expanding Ritual (Non-combat) A ritual between three, the cognant, the horror and the apprentice to expand one mind through coupling/circling. The cognant pulls mana to feed to the horror, asking it to reach into the mind of the apprentice opening a rift within to the void without a voidal connection made. The mana fed to the horror is used to draw near a lesser horror calling them to the void pocket of the pupil, once one has successfully been drawn in - teaching may begin sending the student through the prismal loop. Emotes: Connection to the horror -> Feed Mana-> Open apprentice to the void -> Call Horror -> Prismal Loop. Redlines: Inducement can be done on the apprentice to lessen the abruption of the void/horror. This is the ritual to call forth a lesser voidal horror, thus creating a cognant. The horror creates a voidal connection, not the teacher during the ritual. A voidal connection is not required to practice Cognatism after however. After the ritual, follows all guidelines/redlines of ‘Teaching’. Cannot be forced. Enchanting Cognatism enchantments have been undefined for the most part, while bringing the feat back I wish to put some limitations and allow only selected spells to be used to prevent abuse/loopholes. This list may expand/retract some spells in the future to be used or further clarified if needed. Overall Enchantment Redlines: Any enchantment made follows the restrictions on combat/non-combat of its given spell. A ‘note’ enchantment cannot be used in combat as per the spell. This can be amended by the creation of a MArt. Possible Enchantments: Notes. Enchanting an item with notes, allows it to work similarly to a ‘voice recorder’. Able to take in information given to it through mana-transfer into the item or vocal command. Notes may be applied to any other voidal enchantment, and do not require MArt to be applied to an already existing one, unlike other enchantments. Memoir. Able to take information from one mind if they draw mana onto the object. The object can then return the information if siphoning the mana back out through the same process. You may only take/return information from the person collected. The information given requires RP consent. If destroyed, the information is lost. Self-Illusion. All self-illusions can be enchanted with the specifications given to them. You may ‘save’ information on the enchantment if the spell ‘Notes’ is attached. Self-illusion may only be enchanted alongside ‘Notes’ on the same object. Cannot enchant ‘Horror Projection’. Inducement. All inducement enchantments will focus on one emotion bound to it when held/on users body. Multiple emotions cannot be induced even if one has multiple enchantments. Once the enchantment breaks, they’ll suffer heightened emotions of the other emotions for thirty RP minutes. Expanding Ritual. The enchantment known as the ‘horror stone’ will follow all rules/redlines of the spell. If a player willingly connects to the horror stone, they need to contact the Story Team to continue. This is effectively self-teaching. Without a teacher, the initial prismal loop will be extremely strenuous and will most likely fail. Depending on the ST handling the ticket. Single-Use. If you fail the trials you cannot try again with the same stone. Tier Development: T1: - After successful Prismal Loop Trials (2 IRL weeks) - Voidal Commune - Scrambling. T2: - Four IRL weeks to get to T2. Including Prismal Loop trials. - Infusion. - Notes. - Self-Illusions, except horror projection. T3: - Two IRL Weeks from T2. - Self-Illusions, full list. - Inducement. - Memoir. - Expanding Ritual. Purpose: The purpose of bringing back Cognatism isn’t to take over from voidstalker lore, rather be its own rendition of old Cognatism while following current standards of roleplay. Similarities between the two lore pieces do exist, though as voidstalking is more subservitude and cognatism written here is co-existence there is a big difference between the two. I wanted to further address why the list of abilities is mostly self-rp reliant, simply as I didn’t want to cross over the power which other more intensive magics bring, as taking example from voidstalking. That magic breaks the soul and gives access to ‘voidal feats’ previously unobtainable, cognatism forms a connection through the mind so the feats will be lesser. I hope to of created enough differentiation between the two for it to be considered its own piece of lore as I didn’t want to overlap anything between the two lore pieces. Citations: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/152537-✓-magic-cognatism-rewrite/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/158898-✗-additioncognatism-the-mind-of-a-horror/ https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/197734-✓-voidal-feat-voidstalking/ Credits: Ttwesten / Jenny_Bobbs - Main Writer/Ideas/Conception. Booklight12 - Ideas. Z3m0s - Ideas. Kalehart - Ideas. CephalonAir - Ideas/Edits. ImStuckInHell- Edits. TojoTime - Edits. TwistChunky - Edits. Zarsies - Voidal Horror Help. The intention of Distribution: If the feat is accepted, I will be in discussion with ST members on selected members of the community not aligned with each other to help spread out the magic and not have it gatekept. If you’re interested please reach out to me on discord: E__V__O#0001
  6. 7th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1857 So it came, another weary night for the old Duke of Cathalon. He had spent the eve pacing his halls, ever drained from the ordeals of recent years. Once he had all the piss and vinegar of youth, but father time had seen to that. His hand grazed over a dusty windowsill, recoiling as he took notice of the wrinkles that adorned the appendage. “All that you see before you is yours, dear. From the River Reden to the Petra, all that falls beneath the statue of the horse is yours.” He heard his mother say, recalling the touch of her hand on his brow and the golden tresses that would wreath him in an embrace. It was a simpler, boring time. It almost moved the Duke to a smile, were it not for the dagger that punctured his mind for daring to recall. Her death was but the first that he could not put right, the thought unsettling him as he gave a final look out over the hills dissolving into dusk. Beside him now paced a phantom of his younger days, moving through the vaunted Cheval Hall. He sparred with the pottery as a boy, practicing his spins, twirls, and pirouettes as he had been taught. Below he saw himself drinking with friends, belligerent in his candor as he socked a bard in the mouth. He also saw his sister come and go, the presence of his elder sibling he greatly missed as she departed at last with an easel and wrapped portraits. Arriving at the door of his bedroom, he took a glance back to it all now. Where once had been visions of himself, he saw his children scurrying about the halls. In one corner his sons Helton Rhodes and Owyn Leopold quarreled, fighting over whose turn it was to shoot the arbalest. Another he saw his daughters Henrietta Therese and Francesca Ada fuss with their dresses and braiding each other’s hair. At the windowsill he saw Guinevere Amadea throw down a rope of bedsheets to escape for the night while Saturnina Cyrille fidgeted with her hands, contemplating tattling on her younger sister. Then there was Daphne Priscilla, no more than four at the time, cradling the newborn Laurentina Marigold wrapped in swaddling clothes. The Duke lingered there for a time, finding some small contentment before the beat of his heart struck like a hammer, pressing him on. Within his room was darkness as he was greeted by a pale specter of a woman whose back was turned to him, Raven-haired, he knew it to be his wife Leopoldine Vivien and so the Duke moved to embrace his beloved. He imagined the warmth of her touch, shutting his eyes as tears sprung forth and dripped through the vision of his wife. Still, however, she did not turn to him. “You know this is not real…” she murmured to him, “I know.” He murmured back, collecting himself after a few breaths. When the Duke opened his eyes the specter now faced him recalling every gruesome detail of the dead woman. She was devoid of eyes, peering at him with empty sockets that bleed over her porcelain skin, her neck ripped and torn open as if by some savage beast. Thus did the Duke’s torment begin and every image of his dead loved ones appeared within the room. The twisted form of his mother Blanche, broken by the fall she had taken. The contorted neck of his daughter Daphne who had likewise fallen from a height, unable to breath in her last moments. Then there was his eldest daughter Henrietta who had perished most recently. He had only seen after she had been prepared for the funeral pyre, but nevertheless the eerie stillness of her form was enough to unnerve him. So many were gone now, what a truly terrible thing it was for a father to outlive a child. Beyond the dead, however, the Duke saw a light come through in the windows of his bedroom. The landscape that had so recently fallen into the night was now engulfed in flame. In the shadows cast over the land, he saw the fates that were still to come, small horrors in and of themselves. The Duke shut the curtains and turned to the dead. “I’ve had enough for the night.” He spoke aloud and they did vanish, leaving him alone in the dark. Shutting his eyes, the Duke made ready for bed, retracing his way around the room from memory. Outside he heard the whinny of a horse and the clip-clop of its hooves, no doubt one from his own stables, paying it no mind he crawled into bed. Thomas Andrew then laid down and died. R.I.P. 1793-1857
  7. Kaedreni Renaissance: THE PEOPLE OF ANGREN Table of Contents I. Overview II. Origins Aeldin, 1420-1468 Athera, 1468-1513 III. Beliefs The Mortal Coil Humanity Monstrocity Fate Civic Virtue IV. Traditions The Many Saints of Kaedrin The Dubbing Cremation The Victor’s Draught Livestock Bovine Peafowls Rhoswenii Liege V. Appearance Physicality Fashion Overview The people of Angren, the Angreni, are modern-day descendants of old Kaedrin, the Fatherland. The Angreni build their lives on the herds they shepherd, ever vigilant of threats made by man and monster to the lands they protect. They are a dutiful and superstitious people set in their ways, who’ve weathered on from Kingdom to Kingdom, Empire to Empire. Zealous in their deposition to protect their ways and suspicious of outsiders, the Angreni seek to preserve their humanity most of all, uncorrupted and unblemished by the ravages of others. For mankind is God’s chosen in His granting of humanity’s ascent into the Seven Skies. Grim as life might be, the Angreni seek the joy in celebration and revelry as one might the warmth of a bonfire. Hearty jubilation is custom, whether it be at a child’s birth, the dubbing of a sword, or the slaying of a great beast, a roar of laughter is sure to bellow forth, along with a round of drinks on the house. The Angreni weave themselves into the tapestry of mankind as warriors and philosophers, as lovers of drink and song, and as keepers of sacred traditions and order. Aeldinic Raiders drive their newly acquired livestock after successfully pillaging a neighboring tribe, 1425. Origins The original term, Angreni, refers to those who settled amidst the mountains of Angren during the Imperium Tertius and Quartus in Athera, and subsequently settled the fields after the destruction of Kaer Angren. Immigrants from Aeldin brought from distant battlefields, the Angreni adapted to a pastoralist lifestyle after decades of warfare. Considered to be a branch of the old Kaedreni, they even go so far as to refer to Kaedrin as their Fatherland, however, the history of the Angreni is not so direct as that. Aeldin, 1420-1468 Beginning first in distant Aeldin, they emerged as warriors during the continent’s subjugation by Emperor Owyn I ‘the Pious’. Highlander by blood, these proto-Angreni descend primarily from stocks of Kaedreni, Waldenians, and native Aelds. From the initial military camps that grew into such cities as Valtian, to the wild Banardian frontier where only monsters dared roam, these soldiers fought on for a variety of reasons, coin and plunder chief among them. The bonds of these once disparate peoples would later be forged into one of faith during their service to the Sparrow Banner of Saint Peter of Gaekrin. The Aelds, serving as pathfinders for contingents of Kaedreni Caerngard, used their knowledge of the land to aid in many pacification campaigns across the continent. Equally decisive in this time was their knowledge of which tribes to tame and which to burn, although this often sparked tensions along old tribal lines, it proved effective in weeding out challenges to Imperial rule. In time this association saw the pagan auxiliaries cast out of the mystic cults of their ancestors, suffering brutal reprisals by their once countrymen. This would culminate upon the Isle of Ynys Mon off the shore of Agathor, where scores of these auxiliary Aelds were given in a bloody sacrifice to summon a demon to stop the Imperial onslaught. Saint Peter and his Kaedreni knights launched the expedition to rescue the Aeld auxiliaries from these cultists, beginning a massacre that drenched the island in blood, further fueling the ritual. Saint Peter himself is thought to have felled the last of these mystics on Ynys Mon before the completion of the incantation, although this came at a terrible cost. The severed head of this cultist spoke the words of a curse before hitting the ground, having absorbed the unbridled power of the surrounding carnage, empowering it to claim the life of Castor Chivay, Saint Peter’s only trueborn son. In honor of their savior, those natives who had been taken captive now readily burned their pagan idols on the pyres that consumed the fallen, renouncing the old ways as they cut into their flesh the Kaedreni Cross. Renewed in the light of the Creator, these new converts found absolution by driving from the land all that which consorted with the magical or strange, their pogroms engulfing much of the continent, with cities such as Setring experiencing pogroms for three whole years on account of the alleged Serpent Kings. The new comradery tempered in these fiery crusades brought these peoples closer, forging together a common identity as warriors of Saint Peter. The Aelds were no longer mere woad painted gauls, they now donned the steel carapaces of Waldenian Landschneckts and the kettle helms of Kaedreni Arbaletriers, with striped pantaloons becoming the fashion of their army, a penchant they were well known by. With peace soon falling over the Aeldinic Empire, it would not be long before these warriors were drawn to other shores, wanting for the frontier of battle. They would find such a battlefield in the Fringe, where they would follow their patron now as Emperor Peter I of the Imperium Tertius. Angreni settlers preparing their cattle to ford the River Nocibur, 1487. Athera, 1468-1513 “Keep the heartlands strong. Go forth and claim this land in the name of Oren!” Saint Peter as Emperor Peter I, 1462. These warriors returning with the Imperium Tertius, and ever loyal to Saint Peter, would fight on in the Fringe War, from Kaldonia to Vekaro, Fenn to Urguan, unleashing their fanaticism upon the strange continent. This was until the Robertine Plague, which greatly ravaged their ranks, blackening their lungs and infesting them with buboes that crippled the joints. With only a few left to toss bodies on the pyre, else the dead might rise again to spread the contagion, the survivors could no longer field the zealous contingents they had in the past for Saint Peter. Taking it as an omen to quell their rage lest they become as consumed as the sons of Krug, the survivors would lay down roots in the Empire’s acquired territories in Athera, a majority settling in the mountains of Angren. There, without further war and conquest to sustain them, the Angreni took on a new identity, seeking a reclusive, pastoralist existence in the aftermath of Marshal Vibius de Sola’s betrayal and the rise of the Imperium Quartus. Where once the campaigning season had ordered the lives of the Angreni, the migrations of the herd now did, moving to higher pastures as the summer months thawed the mountain passes and descending before the winter snows blocked them again; a harmony fell upon the people to dull their fangs of yore. Among these early settlers was the young Saint Foltest of Aeldin, once an Imperial soldier and a native Aeld of Valtian, little is known of Saint Foltest at this time, save his enlistment at the age of thirteen and his service in the Order of the Flaming Rose. These idyllic times would not last, however, as the wars following the Imperium Quartus’s collapse would bring devastation to all of Angren. During this catastrophic period Kaer Angren, the mighty fortress that protected the mountains and highways north, fell to the undead. With their pastures blighted, and their livestock suffering unspeakable mutation, the Angreni were sent into a diaspora that saw them scattered across the continent. Some returned to the mercenary work that had sustained them prior, while others tried their hand at ranching other lands. Without a realm to call their own, and no leader rising amongst them, the people anguished, clinging to the memory of what had been the Fatherland, Kaedrin, and the mountains of Angren that had borne them. Years would pass before the Angreni would have their vengeance against the forces of undeath. At the hands of Saint Foltest of Aeldin, the corrupted fortress of Kaer Angren would be obliterated in whole, reducing the mountains themselves to an ashen field. Upon this newly reclaimed land, the Angreni would settle once more, now under the protection of Saint Foltest in the Reformed Kingdom of Oren. The fiefdoms that comprised Angren during this time would later be reunited by the Saint after his brother-in-arms, Guy Silsbury, bequeathed them before death at the hands of other worldly specters. After this, peace came to the Angreni once more, complete in their lands and now able to return to the herds that had sustained them. For this the House of Helvets, the direct descendants of Saint Foltest, would earn their place as the traditional liege-lords of the Angreni with whom their fate would inexorably be bound. Beliefs The Mortal Coil “Know that our morality is as a whetstone to a blade. Our lives are made complete by its sharpness even if our palms are bloody and bitten by it.” An Owynist Friar, 1424. Life and death are the twin forces by which all men are compelled. Life is to be cherished as a new born son in your arms, a lover’s kiss, or the warmth of the hearth. Yet none of this can come to pass without a prospect of death and oblivion, as dreaded as it might be, dealing upon man the wrinkles of age, the scars of battle, and the chill of the night. To live is to be immersed by this duality, a double-edged sword that cuts as much as it gives. The Angreni must make their peace then with that pale rider, be it with terrified screams or a cackling smile. Mankind is blessed with only a short few years, exceeding no more than a hundred. To prolong their existence beyond such is unthinkable and the abandonment of one’s own humanity, where one abandons what he is, he surely invites a monstrosity into his heart. Humanity “The good book says the world is a garden which God once conferred upon man, and we man have this garden neglected. In consequence, all manner of filth has made its lair here - drowners, ghouls and other kobolds!” Ser Eyck of Denesle, 1458. Humanity is the ember that will not smolder but shall engulf the world in inferno, cleansing it of sin. The enchanted crystal palaces of forgotten elven races, the mithril dwarven holds fathoms beneath our feet, these are but a fleeting shadow of what once was. These sights of grandeur shall return to naught but dust and ash with the passage of eons as their architects turned to legends and fables before them. Despite the longevity of the other races, only the Sons of Horen shall be left through Gehennasnacht, the Night of Hell. It is only through the perfection of the human form that the Angreni believe this salvation can be attained, by pursuing a purity of blood, with bodies unmarred by mutation and augmentation. Monstrosity “Monsters are born of deeds done. Unforgivable ones.” A curse afflicted man, 1532. A grain of truth lies in every tall tale, be it the drowner’s resurrection from a criminal cast down river, or the power of Iblees to exempt his followers from their curse. But all things come at a cost, and to consort with the Deceiver the price is always one’s very soul. Monsters are not only born from deals with devils or vile sorcery, any act of evil can create one, be it a failure to heed old wives’ tales or the desecration of the Creator’s works. Spawned of mankind’s neglect for the world, monsters shall fester in dark places, their ilk growing in turn to threaten that which is good. There are also monsters created not just from man, but spawned from nature’s evil itself, this includes beasts such as the manticore, the cockatrice, and all manner of beastmen. Many tomes exist cataloging these fiends, describing in-depth their behaviors and weaknesses. A common reference for the Angreni is the Helvetii Bestiary, written by Lady Margaux Renée Helvets, which is often embellished to children to spook them into behaving. “It is well known that when a hexer inflicts pain, suffering and death he experiences absolute ecstasy and bliss such as a devout and normal man experiences during sexual congress with his wedded spouse,” Monstrum, or Description of the Hexers. Not nearly as damned, there exist those that tote the line between man and monster, the Marked Men, Hexers, are one such case. Warriors turned by sorcery and mutagenic herbs to fight monsters and do battle with those which lurk. Their abilities blacken their hearts and turn them from the righteous path, instead extorting trinkets and coinage from those that would contract them. Sadly, this is the fate of those who consort with such unclean tradesmen, and the Hexer is best avoided by sane and reasonable men. Nevertheless, they can on occasion prove useful; when the best remedy to fire is another, who better to kill a monster than another monster? Always keep in mind, however, that a Hexer never works for free and one should count themselves lucky if the toll is to be paid only in gold. Fate “Verily I say unto you, the era of the sword and axe is nigh,.. the Time of Madness and the Time of Contempt: Tedd Deireádh, the Time of End.” A prophecy by the last Elder sage of Aeldin, Unknown. Perhaps a holdover from their Aeldinic roots, the Angreni cling fiercely to the concept of destiny and fate. While some might call it mere superstition, the Angreni see signs, omens, as evidence of a preordination of the world. To them there is an equal and opposite reaction in all things where one reaps what they sow or so it is told. Where there is good there is evil, life and there is death, warmth and there is cold and vice versa. If one tempts fate, you had best heed the consequences lest you suffer them eternally. When a black cat crosses your path, it is to be slain and a broken mirror is a mirror you need repair, else misfortune takes you. More than a run of bad luck is incurred by unclaimed debts, for the Angreni despise usury. Debts are to be paid in full else even one’s life may become forfeit. When payment is due, the Law of Surprise may be invoked as an alternative, the price of which is that you have at home but do not yet know. To do so is to meddle with destiny itself, so the law may only be claimed in exchange for saving a life, else fate shall not bless it. Another peculiar tradition is that of Guest Rite, invoked upon a host receiving a gift from his guests and partaking of his bread and salt. The host is then obliged to their protection and security for the night, offering hearth and hospitality to them. While a host may fail in protecting his guests, a matter to be avenged separately, the worst crime is that of a host inflicting harm to his guests and vice versa, where a death shall seal a curse eternally upon the household of the offender. Still yet the most hideous fates are reserved for the most hideous of crimes. Kinslaying, regicide, and treachery unto the human race are among those considered irredeemable, from which only God Himself may deliver divine absolution as He did with Exalted Owyn. As for what destiny lies in wait for all mankind, the Angreni find their answer in the Holy Scrolls: “As you have subjugated the nations of the world and wrought iniquities upon them, so will those nations return upon your people, and their suffering will be thrice over.” (Gospel 7:37) “As in the time of Owyn Godwinson, the people of Idunia will persecute them with false prophets and violations.” (Gospel 7:40) “For when I return, the waters shall thaw and wash over the world, and all shall know My Word, and none will reign as prophet above another.” (Gospel 7:61) “The Sons of Horen shall walk the Seven Skies.” (Gospel 7:62). Amongst these verses of the Book of Sealing, the Angreni interpret the omens that shall prelude the Scroll of Auspice, an apocalypse known as Gehennasnacht. Beset by a coalition of nonhumans, humanity shall suffer thrice over the suffering of every war combined; this shall occur three times over, laying mankind and the faithful low. Next, or perhaps simultaneously, those of mixed heritage shall despoil mankind, leading them into the worship of Iblees as the Leviathan, Vargengotz, stirs. Those who are truly human will be persecuted in this time, facing every manner of violation at the hands of the Adunian; humanity shall persevere only by the same action of Owyn Godwinson, who smote the unrepentant wherever they were found. Finally, the Creator will return and weep over the devastation, the world shall fall beneath the waves, consuming both faithful and faithless. In this deluge only those true Sons of Horen with the knowledge of the Scrolls will survive by walking the Seven Skies, thereby avoiding the destruction of the world. It is for this purpose that the Angreni fashion dogma of the faith, to see themselves and humanity saved from the damnation that is to come. Civic Virtue “He who is not angry, whereas he has cause to be, sins. For unreasonable patience is the hotbed of many vices, it fosters negligence, and invites not only the wicked but the good to do wrong.” Unknown, 1467. All men are possessed of a certain duty to their country, and this is no different for the Angreni. Where a monster is found it is the duty of a man to see it slain, whether by a blade of gold or a pouch of coin. If a traveler’s wagon is found broken by the roadside, the Angreni is to lend a hand in its repair or to send for another transport. To not do so is to falter in one’s duty to their fellow man, and see oneself bedeviled by a like wickedness. Through the cultivation of such a virtue of reciprocity, the Angreni believe that their salvation may be dispensed and the goodness of the human form made apparent. Traditions The Many Saints of Kaedrin While the Angreni revere Exalted Owyn especially from amongst the Prophets, they hold to a great number of the Fatherland’s Saints, honoring them in their ceremonies and homes: Saint Peter of Gaekrin, Patron of Military Orders, Victory in Battle, and Plight against Heathens, Saint Thomas of Gaekrin, Patron of Virtuous Leadership, Discipline, Frontiersmen, and Kaedreni Peoples, High Pontiff Saint Lucien I of Ulmsbottom, Patron of the Kaedreni Cross, Crusaders, Landholding Clergy, and the Family, Saint Adrian of Leuvaarden, Patron of Statesmen, Lawyers, and Politics, Saint Edmond of Lachsin, Patron of Knights, Hospitality, Baronial lords, and the Auvergnian People, Saint Foltest of Aeldin, Patron of Bastions and Siegeworks, Saint Arianne Helvets, Patron of Archers, the Forest, and Servitude, Saint Rick Felder of Kaedrin, Patron of Heroes, Bannermen, and the Fight Against Setherien. Other than the Saints of Canondom that adorn the shrines and halls of the Angreni, also revered are the heroes of old. Based upon the caste of the Rhoswenii, descendants of those virtuous men of the Order of the White Rose, this culture of heroism is honored in the songs and legends that are passed down along with the Kaedreni Saints. Though not every man named in these tales possesses the dignity of a Saint, they form a crucial part of the surrounding parables that inform the Angreni of what virtues to cultivate and which sins to scorn. Baldir Toov, the first Confanonier. For what good work the man did as a knight, chivalric and righteous, he was given to certain proclivities that diminished his virtue. Adeon Fableknight, the Hexer. While Hexers may in part be abhorrent creatures, Adeon Fableknight was certainly a proficient killer of monsters whose work helped to rid the Fatherland of the magical and strange, clearing the way for humanity to exist. Alexei Nicodemus, Rex Slayer. A greenskin is no different from any other form of monster, and to slay one is no different either. To slay a Rex, the barbaric leader of Krug’s spawn, is however itself an accomplishment worthy of praise. For the Angreni shall always remember Horen’s death at the hands of Krug, the first Kinslayer. Temp Thersist, the Spymaster. Spymaster T, an enigma, many tales circulate of a bald-headed brute whose web engrossed the continent from Godfrey’s reign to the Marshal’s betrayal. Legend tells of a wardrobe wherein an ear from each of the Spymaster’s servants was placed, that he might hear the entire realm with. While celebrated as a figure of nationalism, he is doubly considered to be quite sinister, bordering on villainous at times. Bran Volsung, the Water Mage. While there is some debate as to whether he was or was not a mage, it is known that Bran Volsung did serve alongside the Order of the White Rose. He is remembered for his pagan upbringing and conversion to the faith, from which he would set about bringing others to baptism in many a hidden pool, hence the epitaph. Leric Tresery, the Knife-Ear. Embodying the concept of a “good elf” if ever there were such a thing, Leric set about correcting the ways of his misbegotten race, teaching them their place beneath humanity. Prideful so as to never have his ears clipped by a man, Leric was used to flush out dens of elves that would reside upon human lands, chasing them into checkpoints of the White Rose. The Dubbing The Angreni celebrate the naming of a great many things with much applause and fanfare. There is a certain power to names that the Angreni vest in these ceremonies, whether it be a warrior naming his blade or a lord his castle, a celebration seals it with a toast by the participants. These are to be jovial affairs, replete with barrels of drink and plenty of meat to share, the harder the Dubbing is celebrated, the better its omen. Cremation As for their dead, the Angreni practice cremation, placing their deceased loved ones upon funeral pyres and collecting the ashes into urns. Vigils are held throughout the night as the dead are burned, serving as a final mourning for the deceased. By burning bodies in such a manner, the Angreni aim to prevent the spread of necromancy as well as preserve the humanity of their souls by freeing them to the Seven Skies. The Victor’s Draught “Free Ale! Free Ale!” Pat the Baker, 1353. Upon victory in a battle or a campaign, it is traditional for tavern owners to open their doors to the soldiery, exclaiming “Free Ale! Free Ale!” and serving patrons their reserves free of charge. This tradition dates back to the Anthosian campaigns by the Order of the White Rose, wherein a tavern keep known only as Pat the Baker would mysteriously appear and offer ale before ominously disappearing in the morn. Such an event, known now as the Victor’s Draught, is incomplete without a brawl resulting in three lost teeth, several broken barstools, and the shattering of all empty glass bottles. Livestock Bovine For the common folk, cattle is a primary part of everyday life. Even the poorest of men own at least two heads, and families scrape a meager living out from their milk. For the burghers and larger ranch owners, the meat of their cattle goes toward feeding the hungry masses of the big cities. The beef produced by the Angreni is of high quality, as they’ve spent generations perfecting the methods in raising the beasts amongst the hills and valleys of their homeland. As was once the tradition to migrate their herds up and down the mountains of Angren with the seasons, the Angreni still celebrate this today by donning their prize cows in flowery wreaths and textiles. This is traditionally done in the spring, when the mountain pastures would thaw and allow for grazing so the decorated bovines could be driven through town in a short parade before ascending the mountain. It was not uncommon for excess livestock to be traded and auctioned during this season, leading to more elaborate decorations and adornments to bolster their price at market. Peafowls Peafowls are a mysterious bird to the Angreni; the male peacocks boast magnificent displays used for both mating and defense; they are kept as wards against ill omens. Thought to be imported from the far east by Rhenyari sailors, where the birds live in harems centered around a single peacock. The birds are most often left to wander the gardens and woods of the Angreni, never culled for fear of inviting a curse onto one’s self. It is believed that a peacock’s feathers are able to reflect bad luck on those that would threaten the bird or do it harm. For such, their feathers are highly prized as adornments and jewelry, but must never be plucked until after the bird’s death by natural causes. Rhoswenii Liege The Coat of Arms of the Duke of Cathalon, traditional liege-lord of the Angreni. “The value of the rose lies not in its material, but in the purity of its form.” Duke Thomas Andrew Helvets, 1849. The people of Angren hail themselves as part of the cultural legacy of Kaedrin, the Fatherland, and so they steep themselves in its many symbols and heraldry. Among these, the rose is the most universally revered, the perennial flower is emblazoned upon all, from the buttons of a coat to the stained glass fixtures of their cathedrals. This is owed to the Order of the White Rose, whose work and example is itself synonymous with that of the Fatherland. To this day, the Order’s roots are still felt as the sons of Kaedrin, the Angreni included, look to the Rhoswenii, those living descendants of the Order’s members, to lead them. Amongst these Learned Elders of Rhoswen, the Angreni are guided by the blood of the King Adrian I of Kaedrin, whose line combines the blood of Saint Foltest of Aeldin and Saint Peter of Gaekrin. Today, this lineage is represented in the House Helvets of Cathalon, the dynastic patriarch of Helvets, and its cadet the House Helvets of Rochefort. Appearance Physicality The Angreni take on a pale complexion, described as milky though sometimes freckled. Angreni typically sport fair heads of hair; auburn, red, orange, blonde, and mousey blonde are amongst the spectrum, though black and brown is not unheard of. Men will often stylize their hair with mullets, undercuts, ponytails, mutton chops, beards, or mustaches, but will often not grow out their beards until they have started a family, though this practice is not universal. Women keep their hair long, though oftentimes hidden under veils, hats, hair nets or - for nobility - circlets. However, girls and unmarried women are often seen with open hair or simple braids or pigtails. Angreni eyes are thought to match the fairness of their heads, composed largely of grays and greens; seldom has there been an Aeld without peridot eyes, although the Angreni can of course bear a deep brown due after generations away from their original gene pool. On average, any Angreni is not far from the norms of the human race, some might be tall from the meat and dairy that is a staple in their diet, while others grow rotund instead. Angreni pride themselves on how ‘human’ they are and despise physical deformity. They look upon mutations such as a hunchback or clubfeet as the work of Iblees or witchcraft and will gladly cast them from their lot or force them into servitude. Those afflicted with scaly skin or albinism are thought to be curable, though through some unclean means and are to be avoided. Worst of all, however, are those humans born with elven ears or a harelip, and are thought to be the product of immense sin and miscegenation with elves; these the Angreni would put to the pyre. Fashion Striped Breeches are always in fashion for men, whether worn as hose or over armor. Rich dyes, peacock feathers, and fiery displays are especially coveted, a vanity indulged more often by the nobility than the common man. Otherwise, the Angreni will clad themselves in leather and woolen textiles produced from their herds. This clothing is usually of a sturdier make to better combat the elements, or the odd harpy swooping down from mountain top cliffs. It is not uncommon for men to wear some form of armor in their daily attire, whether that is a studded jacket or a pauldron and chainmail shirt. One might never know what they’ll encounter in the mountains or on the road, so it is better to be prepared. The Angreni often don furs during the colder months or in court. These furs will not be bought from merchants, but rather be that of creatures they have felled themselves. The Angreni also enjoy decorating themselves with golden or silver adornments, as these precious metals are thought to ward away evil. They are a highly religious folk and will often keep a lorraine cross or a rosary close to their hearts. Women often try to imitate men’s fashion by donning the same furs their husbands, fathers, and brothers have hunted. Though it is not uncommon for them to go out and hunt themselves. The ladies of the culture will often be seen with high-collared dresses, usually in warmer colors, though it is not unusual for them to wear shades of green or blue. Working women tend to focus on the practicality of their wardrobe over fashion, but women of a higher social status may often wear impractical adornments, such as massive collars or wide sleeves, to show off their family’s wealth. Another thing that has found itself in the female Angreni wardrobe recently would be aprons. Simple linen ones for the working class and embroidered silks for richer ladies. Credit to @Fie@DelaneyGand everyone else who helped get this out the door. More is planned to expand upon the culture in the future such as describing the society and other traditions but I felt this was a good point to publish it at.
  8. ~* A Halfling's Afterlife *~ Like many other belief systems, Halflings believe that there are two possible places that one may end up depending on the course of their life; one for those who have lived ‘good’ lives and a place for those who have lived ‘bad’ lives. However, unlike many other beliefs one does not gain access to one or the other through strict adherence to a set of rules. Instead, the actions Halflings take during their lifetimes and how they treat those around them is what determines their final destination. The Golden Wheatfields The Golden Wheatfields is where any decent Halfling will strive to end up and most do make their way there after their life has concluded. One must only strive to treat those around them with respect, help their community, and be a good person in order to find themselves here in the never ending sea of grain. Even if one stumbles every now and then through their life, as everyone does, it is merely the intent to do good that counts and this is something that is rarely missing from the wee-folk. This world is everything a Halfling could hope for, a large hill sits in the middle of it which has countless burrows for all the Halflings who have made their way there throughout the ages. Song and dance are always close at hand as the endless feasts keep the residents' bellies full and hearts happy. The ale never stops running, laughter never stops coming, and music is always filling the air with it’s soft melodies as the decent wee-folk from everywhere are able to live without fear of being raided or going hungry. It truly is heavenly. Around this hill golden wheat is planted as far as the eye can see, almost seeming as if it never ends. Many choose to spend their days tending to the crops, finding the utmost joy in tending to the land even in death. Many families live in burrows together, up to 20 generations sometimes living in the same burrow which can grow as big as an entire village. Yet nothing is ever too far away to walk, as time does not matter. The only worry is who will tell the next story as Halfling history is told and discovered all around this most splendid of places. Arugula’s Tide This place is the golden wheatfields mirror in every way; food and drink being unheard of, crying and wailing replacing that of laughter, no crops to tend to, no friends to catch up with. In fact, this realm consists of nothing but dark murky water in which the poor souls who wind up here float, a giant whirlpool which continuously sucks them in and drowns them over-and-over again, storm clouds delivering a constant downpour of rain which ensures no one here can ever feel the warmth of dryness again, and lightning which is always quickly followed by thunder to assure even if one was able to fall asleep they will not be granted that relief for long. You see, Halflings prefer to have their feet planted solidly on land, to feel the earth between their toes. So, when the place of punishment for the wee-folk was thought up it only made sense to never allow them that pleasure or security ever again. Instead, those cursed to spend eternity in Arugula’s Tide simply float in an endless ocean, constantly being sucked into a giant whirlpool in the center where they drown, before bobbing back up on the outskirts only to repeat the process so many times they lose count. To make matters worse, sometimes Arugula themself will show up, devouring some poor soul and sending terror throughout their realm before disappearing into it’s murky depths once more. Though many people do not find themselves here, parents often tell stories of this place to their children to make sure they behave. Though it is rare, some unfortunate souls have been sent here through the ages, cursed to forever float in a sea of darkness.
  9. ~* A Story of Destruction *~ Age of Expansion The creation of Knox allowed Billy Bob to enter another age of relaxation, turning his attention once again to his private affairs and hobbies. As time went on he was able to take a more relaxed position in the world, travelling out less and less as the years went on. This laidback behavior was what allowed the problem to spread so rapidly without being noticed. Knox had been created to defend the Halflings; however, Knox was so good at his job that it in turn gave the wee-folk an unfair advantage in the world and allowed them to spread rapidly. Halfling settlements eventually popped up all over as their population increased exponentially in a way that had never been seen before and has never been seen since. Knox viciously defended these villages, eventually earning a reputation as a serial killer that many bigguns still associate with him to this day as he struck down bigguns with his scythe over and over again. However, while the world outside these communities may have seen him as an evil creature bringing death wherever he went, the wee-folk of the world came to know him more and more as the protector of their people and way of life as he killed in defense of them. The Halflings thrived during this age, multiple cultures and societies sprouting up all over. However, in creating a guardian of the wee-folk Billy Bob had in turn created an unfair advantage. Allowing the wee to spread unchecked was problematic, and many of the societies that were forming were not what he had in mind for them when he grew them all those years ago. As rich and diverse as these cultures were, many Halflings were going against their nature in order to form them and were not living the life they were meant to. A Discovery It was on one of Billy Bob’s trips that he first started to notice this, coming across a city of Halflings who had grown into a nation that could rival it’s human counterparts. Mina were being used, weapons of all kinds were being taken up, shoes were being worn, and worse of all they had shunned their traditional burrows in place for walled cities and biggun buildings. Nothing about this place was what he had expected and it shocked him, realizing that gifting them Knox had allowed this to happen. Returning home he spent weeks mulling over what to do, not wanting to simply take Knox away from them as it would cause the Halflings to be massacred in mass by the other races. Instead, he opted to create a counterpart. A Creation Once again Billy Bob found himself entering his personal gardens to grow something new for the first time in centuries. Heading to the stream behind his cottage where he grew various water based plants he bent down and labored extensively to create something to one again fix the balance he had disrupted. Using the roots of lily-pads he created 10 tentacles that stretched off into oblivion, from the river rocks he created a giant beak, and from the mud itself he created a head to which attach it all. In doing so Billy Bob gave Arugula life, a giant squid with the power to destroy entire Halfling villages, settlements, and even cities and drag them into the ocean’s depths. Which is exactly what it went on to do. Age of Destruction For the next few years the Halfling population diminished as Arugula would show up at Halfling settlements that had lost their way and dragged them into the ocean depths to never be seen again. Knox did his best to defend these places but as designed Arugula would show up and drag their homes away so quickly the deity would not have time to get there and defend them. It seemed to the wee-folk at first that they were doomed; however, after a few years and the majority of the settlements that had gone against their original design had been wiped out these constant attacks by the squid came less and less as the remaining wee-folk returned to their life as simple farmers. Eventually they all but stopped for the most part, the stories fading into legends told to children to get them to behave and not stray from properness. Thus ends this story of destruction, Knox still watching over the wee-folks while Arugula always lingers in the depths right out of sight, waiting to drag any Halflings who have strayed from their path into the murky depths below. ((Like my previous post this is just some more expanded religious lore for Halflings))
  10. ~* A Story of Creation *~ The First Age Golden wheat fields, growing as far as the eye could see were all that made up the world in the beginning. Billy Bob, the first man, tended to these fields and as time went on he was able to use his knowledge to start growing more and more. It was not long before cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beetroot, and every other vegetable one can imagine could be found in tidy little rows stretching into the horizon. Each one given so much attention and love that having one perish before it’s time was unheard of. Days stretched into weeks, and weeks into years as he worked, back-breaking labor giving rise to more and more flora and soon the earth was covered in the diverse landscape we know today. Trees of all sorts thrived, flowers turned the land into a majestic painting, and herbs grew all over that Billy Bob used to create wonderful dishes for himself. The Second Age These centuries were peaceful, with the deity travelling around and admiring his creations, but never wavering in his dedication to caring for them. It was not long after that he grew content with his work with the plants of the world and he decided to turn his attention elsewhere. The world, while beautiful, was quiet. This is when he tried his hand at growing more sentient life, in his gardens he started to grow the fauna of the world. Billy Bob filled the waterways with marine life, planting them on lily pads to float away into the oceans and rivers until old enough to break free on their own. For the air he grew birds from dandelion seeds to fill the earth with song, blowing them into the air and giving them life with his own breath. And for the land, emerging from flowers in every corner of the earth came creatures that would roam it’s forests, deserts, tundras, and everything in between. This too went on for years, as the farmer travelled to and fro creating the creatures that still inhabit the lands, seas, and skys to this day. The Third Age In creating the animals Billy Bob thus created a self-sustaining cycle, creatures feasting upon the plants and going on to seed other areas, animals dying which would then go on to fertilize the plants that would feed the other animals. For the first time since his creation the creator was able to take some time off, thus came the first true age of relaxation. He used this time to work on more personal pursuits: learning to create furniture, to smith tools and weapons, how to use the herbs he had grown to create magical alchemical potions, how to use the animals he created to help him with his chores, and lastly how to use both of his creations to cook up the best dishes that the world had ever, and will ever see. It was not long before he was creating grand feasts for himself which he would eat on a long dining table he had built himself. Yet, there was still one thing missing. The Fourth Age While the earth was now teeming with life and full of sound, Billy Bob found himself wishing to share his creations with someone who could appreciate them the same way he could and so he turned his attention to the last of his great tasks. The creation of intelligent life. Strolling out into his personal gardens he began his work. ~*~ “From sage oi crea’e yeh ‘umans, wise an’ s’rong yeh s’all covah teh eart’ in yer multitudes. Howeveh, yer conques’ shall cause yeh ter ‘ave shor’ lives as yeh perish in yeh ques’ fer expansion. From Orchids oi crea’e yeh elves, long lastin’ an’ forevah beautiful. Yeh s’all live fer years an’ covah teh world in ar’, bu’ yeh children will beh few an’ far between. From vines oi crea’e yeh dwarves, hardeh an’ clevah yeh s’all t’rive w’erevah yeh are plan’ed. ‘owevah, yer greed s’all cause yeh ter s’rangle yerselves as yeh move abou’ searchin’ fer teh worlds treasures. From teh cac’us oi crea’e yeh orcs, may yeh grow in teh toughes’ condi’ions an’ spi’ in teh face of deat’. ‘owevah, because of teh pain yeh s’all cause othahs yeh will always beh fightin’ t’em off. An’ las’leh, from teh whea’ i’self oi grow yeh Halflin’s. Small bu’ pure of hear’ yeh s’all tend ter teh land an’ i’ s’all love yeh, bu’ yeh will always beh used by t’ose more powahful fer t’eir own pursui’s.” ~*~ From these plants sprouted the descendants, who then spread themselves to all four corners of the land. No longer lonely, Billy Bob now had friends to share his majestic feasts with and he was happy. Each race going on to create homes, nations, and societies for themselves and each falling into the curses he had bestowed upon them. Billy Bob continued to watch over his garden, the world thriving with the life he had created. The Creation of a Savior However, it was not long before he noticed a problem amongst the smallest of them. While he had known the Halflings would be used by others, keeping towns and cities well fed with the produce of their fields, he did not expect the violence that they would experience as well. While on one of his travels he passed through a small Halfling shire he found the residents there being picked on by a group composed of elves, humans, dwarves, and orcs. Angered that they would take advantage of the wee-folk in such a manner, Billy Bob gave life to one of the scarecrows in the Halfling’s fields. In doing so he created Knox himself, a deity unto itself who would serve as the Halfling’s protector and guide from now into the future. Thus is the creation of the world, Billy Bob to this day nourishing it’s residents with regular gifts of taters to keep us going in times of duress. Each race filling the niche they had been created for and all the while Knox watches over the smallest among them. ((This is simply to serve as expanded Halfling religious lore for the community to interact and play with))
  11. "A kiss of contagion; on your pretty unmarred cheek. O~oooh. Generous gifts to you, so as to enhance your physique; Buboes, phlegm, blood and guts! Boils.. rots and pus Blisters, fevers.. weeping cankerous sores From your wound it festers Blessed be upon your bleeding pores For you are graced with the opportunity to cleanse Almaris from despair and stagnation through the acceptance of his gifts." - Pope of Pestilence, Sagoth. "Sooner or later, GOD won't stand the succulent itching within his decaying body anymore." ------ He, who stands upon his Garden of Affliction. He, who creates life from the rotting frames of his faithful. He, whose benevolence know no bounds, spreading his gifts without discrimination. For you are all his children. Fret not, He who now knocks on the window of the mortal realm of Almaris, his all-seeing gaze peeking through the Voidal Tears. ------- Note: First post, wanted to test the waters. It's pretty obvious where my inspiration comes from, nurgle of Warhammer franchise, credit goes out to games workshop. Thanks for reading.
  12. Frostwood Bitter Origins: Within the dark, frozen, tundra's of the north, two close friends go searching for a legendary material said to make them rich beyond compare. While exploring these frozen wastelands, the two are forced to cross an icy lake too thin to walk on, causing one of the two to fall deep beneath the ice. Their friend dived after them but quickly found themself trapped in the freezing water, unable to surface or locate their friend. But in an ironic and seemingly cruel turn of fate, they would come across an air pocket they could surface into, find the very material that would make them a fortune, at the cost of a close friend. Description and Properties: Frostwood is a frozen slab of fossilized trees and foliage that has decayed in cold climates surrounded by water, causing them to retain their wood properties while not being able to splinter or break under its own tension. Frostwood slabs has a color mix of grey, charcoal, dark blue and lapis lazuli, and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood itself. Its texture and weight would be similar to that of maple wood, with its only additional attributes being that it does burn unless exposed to temperatures of 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) or greater, and it is very resistant to blunt objects and tools such as hammers. Despite these unique properties, it cannot negate high temperatures from a direct source and is highly susceptible to damage from objects and tools that have pointed or sharpened edges of any kind. Frostwood Location and Harvesting: Frostwood slabs are often located by experienced divers and water mages on the walls of frozen underwater caves located near arctic salt lakes and oceans, most of which are exposed in tight air pockets within these caves. These divers and mages are often equipped with special gear meant to withstand freezing temperatures, as hypothermia would be a great risk to the divers undergoing this task. Because these divers cannot take torches and lanterns down into these caves, or any objects suitable for producing a flame, sea lanterns are often taken as a substitute for a standard light source. Due to the location of the Frostwood slabs, two hundred foot long ropes are tied to the edge of the boat, where one or more person(s) are on standby. Meanwhile, one or more divers equipped in arctic clothing would dive down into the cave, dragging the rope alongside them as they dive. Once they have located the cave, the divers surface in the air pocket and get to work removing the Frostwood slabs from the rock. When gathering Frostwood slabs, ferrum rods are inserted into the grooves and crevices between the rock and the slabs, slowly prying it loose without the aid of chisels, hammers, pickaxes or crowbars. Directly mining the Frostwood slabs or the surrounding rock with conventional mining equipment that has any sharpened edges and points will break the Frostwood slabs into smaller fragments, and make it harder for someone to harvest a slabs worth. To remove a Frostwood slab from the surrounding rock, one simply needs to insert the ferrum rod into the grooves and crevices between the rock and lever it out. Because blunt objects do not damage the Frostwood slabs, a great amount of force can be applied to the slab using the ferrum rod for quick and safe removal, oftentimes cleanly separating from the rock with not much force required. Once the Frostwood slabs have been obtained, all the diver needs to do is tie the slab to the rope the diver brought down initially, and for the person(s) on the boat standing by to pull on the rope as the diver navigates it out. This step is the most important part, as the Frostwood slabs can get such within the walls of the cave, requiring the divers to maneuver the Frostwood slabs out of the cave safely while it is being pulled to the surface. A standard practice used by experienced divers is to have a different colored dummy rope which they tug on inside the cave to indicate when they plan to surface, though these are all improvised prior to the dive and mostly depend upon the skill and experience of the divers and individuals on standby. It is important to clarify that divers attempting to swim to the surface with a Frostwood slab unaided by anyone else is almost guaranteed to drown. As an example of why no one can survive this endeavor, imagine trying to deep dive thirty feet (nearly ten meters) into a frozen lake with a tree branch. Once they have reached the surface with the Frostwood slabs, the harvest is complete and all equipment can be safely retrieved without compilation. Frostwood Slab Application: Frostwood slabs is a frozen wooden slab of blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is vulnerable to slashing and piercing items such as swords, spears, and arrows but resistant to bludgeoning strikes such as hammers and quarterstaffs. It does not burn unless it reaches temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) and when bent it does not splinter or break under its own tension. This form is not very practical, but improvements can be made to it for a more effective material. Frostwood Block Creation and Frostwood Molding: To convert a Frostwood slab into a Frostwood block, one must submerge a Frostwood slab into a boiling pot of saltwater. From there, it will slowly decrease in volume to half its original size, as the ice particles, heavy metals, fossilized tree sap, and other elements and composites are removed from the material over the course of an hour. Once the Frostwood slab has undergone this process, you can remove it from the boiling water momentarily split the transformed slab into two Frostwood blocks. It is important to note that despite the decrease in size, the density and properties of the Frostwood blocks are identical to that of Frostwood slabs, the only difference being that it can be worked on and retains its shape following the work recently done on a boiled block of Frostwood. Using standard wood molding practices, these Frostwood blocks can be molded into whatever shape you desire, so long as they are regularly brought to a boil every fifteen minutes. In addition, other Frostwood blocks can be molded together using the same wood molding methods, able to chop and press blocks together which will bind to one another when boiled together. It can also be chopped into thin strips and have small holes be created for future application post-molding process. The minimum workable volume of Frostwood blocks is found to be one cubic inch no thinner than half an inch at any point. When working with Frostwood blocks, creating items such as spears, swords, pikes, or any other objects that have sharp edges or points are strictly prohibited during the molding process as these items can cause great damage to the Frostwood in future forging application. Wood carving is accepted, but it is warned against doing unless you are exceptionally skilled at it for similar reasons. Other applications of Frostwood include furniture, wooden sculptures, house frameworks, and standard uses to that of Maplewood are also accepted, though are uncommon due to its rarity. Solidified Frostwood: Once the Frostwood blocks have been molded into the desired shape, one can solidify it by submerging the molded Frostwood in pure water and bringing it to a boil. Once it has come to temperature, take the molded object and submerge it in pure salt until it has cooled over the course of several hours. Once it has been brought to a cool, the molded Frostwood would become solidified and can no longer be worked on using other Frostwood blocks. Unlike Frostwood slabs or blocks, fully formed Frostwood would lack the vulnerability of piercing and slashing items that its slab and block forms had, any points or edges intentionally or unintentionally made during the solidifying process would deform and break upon first use. The breaking of these points and edges would make it a blunt object, and any attempts to create sharpened edges or points post-solidifying will cause similar results. This is why the creation of points of edges during the molding process is strictly prohibited, as it wastes both materials and runs the risk of destroying the newly created Frostwood item. Handles for tools and weapons such as hammers, axes, swords, spears, glaives, halberds, and maces would be a common and practical application for this material, as when striking with blades, it would absorb the blunt trauma from the strike and not be damaged by it. It will also find common use in quarterstaffs, shields, bows, and crossbows, as its ability to not break under its own tension with the bonus of not being able to splinter allows for maximum drawback on even smaller sized bows comparable to longbows and not deform from bludgeoning strikes from quarterstaffs and shield bashes when it would normally snap and splinter over prolonged use. This material, naturally, can be combined with other materials to produce some pleasant weapons. An example being the use of Starsteel as the blade in a sword-spear with a Frostwood acting as the polearm’s grip. Just remember, that when creating these items, using extreme heat to fix them to the Frostwood, if hot enough, can cause it to combust and result in it being lost. Frostwood Application: Frostwood is the item property given to a material created from Frostwood blocks done through the molding and solidifying process. It is blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is innately resistant to bludgeoning strikes and does not deform or warp when stuck with items such as hammers, quarterstaffs, rocks and shield bashes. It does not burn unless it reaches temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) and when bent it does not splinter or break under its own tension. Its most common applications include the handles of swords, axes, polearms, blunt wooden tools, carvings, shields, bows, crossbows, and furniture. Purpose (OOC): Frostwood would act as a wood alternative for shields, bows, weapon handles, as well as being able to be used in the creation of wood-based items such as carving and furniture work. It would be a viable wood alternative to weapons that desperately need it. There are no wood-based ST nodes on the server and the two unique wood types that exist are not easily obtainable/well integrated with the world. This material would diversify the already existing and implemented ST nodes in a mostly underutilized part of the lore and possibly result in some outstanding lore items that aren’t just swords, axes and armor. (This is my second submission for this material submission, and I have adjusted the post to be more concise and consistent with its formatting, per the request of ST member SquakHawk. Link to the original denied lore post is listed here; https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/205966-%E2%9C%97-world-lore-wood-frostwood/?tab=comments#comment-1868321 I would once again like to credit ST Members EdenGlitched and Auric_Saint for assisting me in the creation of this material. Credit also goes to Oh_Ontario#4000 on discord for the creation of the Frostwood texture. They have been of great aid to me in this and I cannot of done this without them.
  13. Necromancy - Amendments/Additions Purpose: Amendments Pestilence - Amendment Current Pestilence abilities may be administered in combat and out of combat, where using plagued bone weapons, boneforged tools, Ghoulflesh, or plagued refreshments where applicable. Beyond Ghoulflesh, all implements are single-use. Modified Pestilence abilities may be administered in combat and out of combat, where using plagued bone weapons, boneforged tools, Ghoulflesh, or plagued refreshments where applicable. Beyond Ghoulflesh all implements are single-use. Boneforged tools and weapons are only usable once per encounter, or once a narrative hour. Branding - Amendment/Addition Just as Branding may be utilized on fallen corpses, it may likewise be applied to those who still walk the earth- at least for the time being. By utilizing another necromancer or any within the weaver’s path, they may embellish a ‘brand’ unto the person by means of touch. Once their lifeforce has been conjured and weaved, they are ready to enact the spell. Taking three whole emotes, where the first two are spent conjuring one's essence, the spell requires full contact to inflict. Upon the third emote they must touch a living person anywhere, as long as it is in contact with either skin or light cloth. This funnels the lifeforce into the living person, acting as an invisible battery that would reanimate the afflicted should they perish. The contact must also be done on skin, as thick armors and hides would protect those from the enthralling spell of the necromancer. A slight numbing sensation would sprawl over where they were touched, though no visible brand would be seen, only felt. There are no effects caused by this brand outright once it is enacted, lasting through only the combat encounter and no longer. The purpose of the brand comes once the brand falls or succumbs to death, as after this brand has been applied- should the branded individual perish, it would take one emote after the death for the corpse to shamble to a rise. Thereafter, the corpse simply acts as a normal Branding reanimation, lasting for 8 emotes until it succumbs to the earth once more. Branding on a living individual requires two emotes of charging with lifeforce, then a third emote where direct touch on skin is required to set the brand. Hides and plate armor will protect against the touch brand, but light cloth will not. The brand has no effects outside of a slight sensation upon anointing, remaining unnoticeable thereafter. The brand only comes into effect is the individual dies, reanimating them in the next emote as a combat reanimation. A necromancer may only use branding when not in use of their oculus, as this follows all redlines of the normal branding spell. The brand will lose its effect after a narrative hour, or after combat has been concluded. Branding is unusable on any undead or likewise spectral/holy or soulless creatures. Should the branded individual be drained of their lifeforce by darkening, the brand would expire. Branded individuals must be culled by other means to raise them from the dead. Branding - Cantrip Often utilized by necromancers in the midst of projects or in preparation of rituals, these masters of life and death may raise the fallen cadavers within their lair to mill about, completing tasks and even cleaning the debris of lost projects if they so wish. A rotted half skeleton may bring their master the herbs and salts they require, while others may simply pile the skulls of the deceased into a ‘tidy’ pile. No matter the task or the empty husk commanded, these corpses range from swarms of small insects to humanoid descendants, their role in the afterlife but one of labour and service to their master until they are once more quelled to eternal slumber. Tasks uttered by the weaver must be simple and clear, unable to give commands such as ‘build a house’, or ‘forge a sword.’ Instead, much more simple commands are optimal for the reanimated, such as ‘sweep this room,’ or ‘bring me two saffvil from my quarters.’ etc etc. By using branding, a necromancer is capable of raising embalmed corpses and skeletons to work as their assistants and janitors outside of combat. There are tools for different tasks, as a few undead rats will be quite useful in retrieving bone matter and viscera from a gutter- but a full sized human will not. As these animations are purely non-combat, anything relating to combat including traps, pit falls, etc are unable to be constructed by these undead. In addition, if combat is to ever start in the vicinity of a risen cadaver, it will immediately fall inert as the Necromancer’s attention is then focused on their oculus, or on a branded combat animation. Cantrip branding may be used in tandem with oculus bound undead, up until combat starts in their vicinity. Anything larger than a descendant is unable to be risen by the cantrip, requiring the handling force of an oculus to restrain the creature. As for miniscule creatures, ‘swarms’ of risen insects may be no larger than a human’s head, whereas rodents and other small fauna may range in their numbers, but are limited to the mass of a human. Notable as well is that swarms of creatures operate in a hivemind, unable to work as individuals in any regard. This spell has no range, as the creatures will simply continue to toil in the absence of their master. This means they may be used as messengers or as aesthetic creatures which simply mill about one’s lair. Should any person touch or jostle the undead minion, it would crumble and fall dead, inert as the last remaining lifeforce escapes from the husk. The cantrip of branding requires two emotes of conjuring one’s aura, and one emote of touching or pointing/motioning to a corpse within quiet range. On the third emote where it is touched, the body will begin to shamble upwards, and on the fourth it will be ready for whatever orders it is given. The branding cantrip is learned once the base branding spell is learned. The cantrip cannot be used in the midst of combat, nor to serve ANY combat purposes (other than an undead retrieving the necromancer’s weapons before a fight, or anything of that caliber.) Should combat start in the vicinity of the undead, it will simply fall inert until combat is resolved. Servants can’t build traps, pit falls, wards, or anything requiring higher intellect. Servants can’t aid a necromancer in reaching areas mechanically unable to be reached, save for if specifically allowed in certain ET events. Commands must be simple and clear, as far too complex commands will offer nothing to the necromancer. The undead must be capable of doing whatever task they are given. Telling a skeleton to lift a boulder will result in a broken skeleton, just as telling one to fly will result in either nothing, or a broken skeleton that has fallen from a great height. Commands must be spoken verbally, in any language. Commands must be made in RP chat range. Swarms of insects may never exceed the size of a human head en masse. Groups of small animals may be utilized within reasonable numbers. (No groups of animals may reach more than a descendant’s worth of mass.) Anything larger than a humanoid descendant corpse is unable to be risen by the cantrip. Thaumaturgy - Addition Mass Plague - Ritual Rite of Malediction Woe be to those who garner the vice of a necromancer, for their covens may harness pestilence to reap the harrowed fields of decaying kingdoms and bastions alike. By gathering a mass of lifeforce is a coven capable of spreading disease across a region of land, varying from fields of grain to entire lakes that subside the populace with water. Twisting and stagnating the land can produce abyssal effects, giving those who enter the area flu like symptoms, and perhaps even benign tumours and growths if exposed for too long. Those who consume the afflicted substance are then wrought by whatever malediction has been planted within the chosen substance. Whatever disease the coven opts to infect the area with, it must be done upon fields capable of life, either farms or grassland, or a body of water. The Rite of Malediction is a ritual that requires at least two necromancers to perform, growing in size and intensity with each additional necromancer present. By fusing twisted lifeforce into the earth and the targeted harvest or body of water, a necromantic pestilence may be fused with the mass. This may extend from a small field of wheat, to an entire lake given the needed amount of necromancers are present to expand the area of effect. This land may be afflicted with a specific pestilence within necromancy, or may simply bring about abyss-like taint and effects. Abyssal taint infers that flu-like symptoms are felt by those who ingest the tainted substance or meddle in the area affected for a narrative hour. After two narrative hours of standing within the region, small bulbous tumours may begin to appear on ligaments and appendages, offering no true harm other than acute sores and a dulling pain. A gathering of two or more necromancers may call upon their lifeforce to twist and plague a field of farmland, flora, or any body of water with a chosen malediction. If no malediction is chosen, abyssal like taint is instead called upon as fields grow grey and the air lingers with stagnant lifeforce. The rite requires two or more necromancers, with the scourge scouring a base range of a 20 meter radius with only two present. With each additional necromancer 10 meters of range are added. The disease has no max range, as long as PRO permission is given and there are the required amount of necromancers. The chosen disease must be an approved pestilence from the necromancy pestilence section. If a pestilence is not chosen, the land is instead given abyssal like taint, lesser to that of the Heith-Hedran scars. One must spend over a narrative hour in these areas to have flu-like symptoms appear. Consuming the afflicted substance, whether food or water, will infect the individual with the chosen pestilence. Plagued land may be mechanically plagued, having either swarms of locusts consuming entire fields, or holding strange growths and abyssal taint within crops. Plagued fields and crops only affect those within the area and region specified. This is locked to the tile that the plague is set upon, with afflicted substances falling to ash when carried long distances. Such prevents intentional transferring of plagued items to be “spread.” Bodies of water may be murkier, or hold strange scents that are not natural. Plague lands may be purged by fire for crop fields, removing the taint once all has been reduced to ash. Blight healing is capable of purging mass plague. One an afflicted substance is consumed it takes 3 OOC days for the disease to arise. This disease lasts for 2 OOC weeks, unless cured. Victims may choose to permanently keep the affliction, if chosen OOCly. Diseases may be cured by means of homeopathy, alchemical remedies, or any general healing magic. Plagued lands must be ST reqed, either having put down a sign to signify its effects, or to show signs of plague. The visual effects of pestilence are left to a notice sign or otherwise, with in game builds requiring RO permission to aesthetically change and alter the blocks. Land outside of a region is determined by WT on if it is viable or not. Mass plague as a ritual is only capable of being done once every OOC month by those who enact it. Likewise, attempts to spam the spell in aims to ruin nations is thoroughly frowned upon.
  14. Frostwood (Tier 4 Material Node) Bitter Origins: Within the dark, frozen, tundra's of the north, two entrepreneurs searching for riches went to daring lengths to find something that would make them rich beyond comparison. Exploring this frozen wasteland, they would cross a not so frozen lake, causing one of the two entrepreneurs to plunge beneath the ice and finding themselves unable to break through the ice. His partner dived down to save them, only to find themselves trapped beneath the ice, unable to surface or locate his partner. But in an ironic and seemingly cruel turn of fate, had managed to find himself in a place with the very thing they were looking for, at the cost of a dear friend. Description and Properties: Frostwood slabs take the form of a discolored frozen bark slab with the chilling touch of ice and a spotted wave pattern of grey, charcoal, dark blue and lapis lazuli. When exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. Impacts from sharpened or pointed objects would damage the Frostwood slabs, regardless of whether it is in the rock surrounding it or to the Frostwood slab itself. Strikes like these can split and break the Frostwood slabs into unusable splinters, effectively rendering them worthless. It is also combustible at temperatures of 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius), rendering the material unsalvageable. This combustion will not happen if the Frostwood slab is in a location where combustion is impossible, such as underwater or where there is no air. Frostwood Location and Harvesting: Found embedded into the walls of underwater caves and air pockets, the slabs would often be accessible in small pockets of air deep beneath the watery depths, requiring proper diving equipment to prevent hypothermia for the would-be harvesters of the Frostwood slabs. Frostwood is most commonly found embedded within the walls of the underwater caves within enclosed air-pockets, oftentimes resembling routes or veins that have been retracted into the walls themselves. These air pockets are just as cold as the water which one must enter through, and are commonly laced with frost and thin sheets of ice both on the walls, and blocking the way into the air pocket. Though this sheet is easily broken with a firm kick or strike of the hand. Due to the location of the Frostwood slabs, one person must remain at the surface where it was initially discovered, ready to pull on a rope at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, one to three divers dawned in protective swimming gear made of insulated leather, or metal cloth would dive towards the Frostwood slabs, standardly with a form of prying rod, and a rope tied to them. Once they have reached the Frostwood slabs, they would insert ferrum rods into the grooves around the Frostwood slab, and slowly pry them loose from the rock. Standardly, this will cause a large, semi-flat slab to disconnect from the wooden mass, revealing blued and grey tree rings beneath. The grooves that form around the slabs of Frostwood for a decently sized pole or hook to slide in and pry it off without bringing harm to the Frostwood itself, assuming the pole is not sharp or edged at the end that is being inserted into the wood. The use of hammers to insert the rod deeper into the groove by force is not recommended as it could damage the Frostwood during extraction, this advice is allow applied to the use of crowbars, pickaxes, chisels, saws, and other conventional mining tools for the same or similar reasons. When the pole is levered, the Frostwood slabs would separate from the stone, or further remaining-log base and can then be removed by hand. Extraction is now as simple as tying it to the rope and navigating its way back to the surface. Once the Frostwood slabs have been secured to the rope within the cave, the person standing by at the surface would slowly pull the wooden slab to the surface, aided by one or more divers to ensure that the walls of the cave do not clip or snag its sides, or risk of having it fall loose. It is highly advised that one person does not make more than two trips at any time, as the risk of hypothermia would be too great for anyone to pursue any more dives. Frostwood Slab Application: It is a wooden slab of blue and grey coloration and when exposed to light, it would reflect parts of the light as specs of blue, grey, and black particles as if emanating from the wood. It is vulnerable to slashing and piercing items such as swords, spears, and arrows, and temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) will cause it to combust. This form is not very practical, but improvements can be made to it for a more effective material. Frostwood Block Creation and Molding: When introduced into boiling salt water, over an hour, the Frostwood will become incredibly malleable, able to be bent, stretched, and shaped freely without snapping. However, it will condense and its size would decrease to half its original size. Once this process has been completed, a slab or multiple slabs may be layered over itself or each other to laminate and mold it into any given shape. Alternatively, the now malleable slab/slabs can be divided into blocks via the use of a cutting tool, with two blocks being sourced for each Frostwood slab treated. These blocks can be pressed together with other blocks using the same methods to create larger objects. In addition, it can be bent, layered, stretched and thinned out to create intricate or practical shapes such as handles, tool heads, shields, and even intricate objects such as chairs and armor parts with enough blocks. The splitting is optional, but one standard Frostwood Slab is equivalent to two Frostwood blocks when fully treated. During this process, tools (though most applicably pliers, tongs, and mallets) can be used to shape the material into whatever the wielder desires, with a minimum volume of one cubic inch being workable. Its shaping is not unlike shaping hardened leather, requiring a decent amount of effort to pull and pressing into shape. When shaping, creating points and sharp edges are doable but are forbidden in practice as this will cause problems for the item during and proceeding the shaping process. Purified Frostwood: Following the creation of a Frostwood block and the molding of it into a given item via the shaping process, the Frostwood can be solidified permanently by bringing the item to a boil within pure water before being removed and submerged in pure salt to cool. Once it has been brought to a cool, the molded Frostwood would become solidified and can no longer be worked on using other Frostwood. Unlike Frostwood slabs or blocks, fully formed Frostwood would lack the vulnerability of piercing and slashing items that its slab and block forms had, any points or edges intentionally or unintentionally made during the solidifying process would deform and break upon first use. The breaking of these points and edges would make it a blunt object, and any attempts to create sharpened edges or points post-solidifying will cause similar results. This is why the creation of points of edges during the molding process is forbidden, as it wastes both materials and runs the risk of destroying the newly created Frostwood. Tools, armor and weapons reliant on wood such as shields, wooden mullets, swords, glaives, bows, and crossbows would be its most common application, though utensils, furniture and wood carving would be achievable. It should be noted that caving with Frostwood at this state is doable, but not advised unless skilled at carving. It is important to remember that when working with Frostwood, that it cannot withstand extreme heat for prolonged periods. So it is not advised to be within areas or environments above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) such as in forge-furnaces or near lava. Frostwood Application: It is a wooden slab of blue and grey coloration, and when exposed to light would give off small, iridescent particles akin to embers, shimmering and emitting shades of blue, grey, and black. However, they're only visible under light and do not glow. Temperatures above 2372 degrees Fahrenheit (1300 degrees Celsius) will cause it to combust, and any attempts to shape or create a point will result in its deformations upon the object with the risk of breaking. It can be used to create shields, bows, crossbows, wooden poles, wooden tools like mullets, and tool and weapon handles. This material would be very difficult to burn, with a unique aesthetic unmatched by regular wood or coating combination. Though it is somewhat possible to hack apart, it is hardy, akin to hardwoods such as Maple. However, it is remarkably bendable, and though it will bend akin to hardwood, it has no point by which it will splinter or snap apart. This immunity to being overbent allows for extremely hardy hafts and backings for shields, and bows of all kinds able to store more power within its limbs. Purpose (OOC): Frostwood would act as a wood alternative for shields, bows, weapon handles, and well as be able to be used in the creation of armor, hammers, and blunt tools like mallets. It would be a viable wood alternative to weapons that desperately need it. There are no wood-based ST nodes on the server and the two unique wood types that exist are not easily obtainable/well integrated with the world. This material would diversify the already existing and implemented ST nodes in a mostly underutilized part of the lore and possibly result in some outstanding lore items that aren’t just swords, axes and armor. (OOC Credit: Credit to ST Members EdenGlitched and Auric_Saint for assisting me in the creation of this material. Credit also goes to Oh_Ontario#4000 on discord for the creation of the Frostwood texture. Without their assistance and willingness to aid me in my goals, it would not have turned out the way it has, and I am grateful for what they’ve done for me.)
  15. Haruspices The Martial Shamans Origin “...TO KRUG, SHE GIFTED HIM A BONE KNIFE MADE FROM A MILLENNIUM OLD DRÛTH SKHELL TO CARVE TOTEMS WITH, SO THAT HIS STORIES WOULD COME TO LIVE WHEN REMINISCED BY THE FIRE…” Within the ancient orcish lands of Mor’Ghuun, shamanism was in its infancy. The early children of Krug did not understand the Elemental and Immortal Spirits, nor had the power to walk their planes. In the war against Iblees, many of the orcish people were lost to the undead, empty souls wrenched from the Soul Stream to fight against the living. War horns blared distant, sonorous booms into the fields of battle. The armies of the Four Brothers clashed with Iblees’ undead legions. With each fallen descendant, a novel undead soldier shambled forth in their place, using their weapons to carve their past kinsmen asunder. Yet the Urukin held steadfast against the Fallen One’s onslaught - so too, did the other descendants stand strong in the face of the undead. For decades the battles raged on, and when the dust had settled, and the soulless battalions were driven off, all that remained were the tarnished breastplates and weapons once wielded by warriors of legend. But these were not simple weapons, nor were their blunt edges devoid of use. Once Apohet saw the might of Krug, he created the Spiritual Realms; Immortal, Elemental, and Ancestral. The weaker spirits gushed into the Mortal realm to embody aspects of the world, in hopes of pursuing greater powers within the Spiritual Realm. Dlimbok the Wise, the most intelligent of Krug’s four early children, was the lead strategist in the war against the undying. He watched as his people were slaughtered in battle, and their lives lost. It brought him an indescribable anguish, and a rage that nearly matched his father’s. In this age, there was no Ancestral Realm, no grave tenders, and no records to preserve those who had fallen. To mourn for the lives of his fallen, he took forth the storied knife of Krug, and drew forth a tale that no orc would forget. He collected their weapons, armor and tomes and restored them to their original form, drawing their energies into him. He offered himself up, etching his skin, flesh and bone with the dagger gifted by the Daemon Ydea. The orc had hoped his offering would please the spirits, but instead they granted him a power even greater. His flesh became tapestry. In rending the flesh, his blood, bone, and body became an ink that preserved what was made dead. A finger, a hand, an arm. Dlimblok carved away and with it, those who had been lost became as clear as the night sky. The ink stoked the minds of the orcish people. They could see their battles, their losses, their mistakes, and their culture deep within the magic of Dlimbok’s storied flesh. Much of recorded history had been cast into the horrid fires of Iblees, and with it had gone the proficiency of veterans long dead, but this newly-restored knowledge would help to reshape the ragtag bands of amateur fighters into elite squadrons of feared combatants. Under the same banner, and led into battle by Azgal the Titan, the orcish war machine began once more churning and pushing back against the forces of Iblees, now able to outmaneuver and preserve the lives of the living. They matched the once seemingly endless ranks of undead in fierce combat - and as they spread their knowledge to the other descendant races, Iblees’ lines and formations grew thin across the many fronts. And so, with its aid in Iblees’ defeat, the orcish people learned and grew reverent of this primitive form of shamanism, and many of the former soldiers learned among the greenskins sought out Dlimbok, so that he could teach them in his ways. Explanation Dlimbok was a great orator and strategist, and taught his future students how to use this art in providing knowledge to his people, allowing them to gain insight via the spirits and how to extract insight from the world around them. When the great orc had died, his body was blessed, torn, and scattered across the world as a testament to the profoundness of stories and their tellers. He would become an eternal tale, one that orcs could draw upon at any time to preserve their history. Haruspicy is a non-combative magic dedicated to story-telling and preservation of stories. Haruspex draw upon the torn body of Dlimbok. Rather than connecting to the spiritual realm akin to other types of shamanism, haruspicy calls upon an extremely powerful Ancestral, one who’s blessed body remains within the mortal realm akin to the Muyakelgs of the past. These spells do not grant the user any abilities featured in shamanism, nor allow the user to speak Old Tongue without having knowledge of it. To become a haruspex, one must have studied and devoted themselves to the spirits for at least one IRL month, as Dlimbok would be unlikely to lend his power to one that he believes would be unworthy of it. This feat does not teach any form of shamanism or any aspects about it, though many of the more devout followers of the spirits may know of it and spread the knowledge, orally or through books they may have written on the matter. These could help a prospective haruspex begin on their journey, after which they would continue to forge their own path toward mastery of the feat. Someone experienced in the cultural practices of haruspicy could write a book describing and depicting the processes of these feats and work as a means of spreading the practice. To draw upon Dlimbok’s power, one must create a Threshing Inkwell. This device, powered through various different offerings acts as a catalyst that interacts with the many scattered pieces of Dlimbok. A haruspex calls upon the power of the ancestor Dlimbok for their powers. While his powers extend so far as to allow the user’s memories or stories to come to life, it comes with the caveat that these memories are just as susceptible to degradation as any other memory before they are recorded - that is, haruspicy does not provide perfect memory, and memories from longer ago may therefore be inconsistent with the actual events. Threshing Inkwell The Threshing inkwell is simply a place of offering that threshes all of Dlimbok’s scattered pieces from around the world, and draws power from them. Traditionally, they may be placed in homes or places of gathering, where they are readily available for use. To function, they require an idol, some sort of ceremonial arrangement specific to the haruspex, and a bowl to collect the spiritual ink. To charge the bowl with spiritual ink, the user makes an offering, whether blood, gift, but the most potent-- literature and other storied artifacts. Any thoughtful prose suffices, with the varied offerings empowering the ink in different ways. In the case of physical offerings, these can be burned or otherwise destroyed in proximity of the Threshing Inkwell, which will fill with ink on its own. The Threshing Inkwell only produces ink and exists as a way for the haruspex to channel their powers towards Dlimbok. Destroying the inkwell would simply cause the ink stored within to spill and revert to regular, black ink. Mechanically, the Threshing Inkwells are a communal structure which simply hold a large, but still limited amount of ink charges (up to 60 maximum). Exceeding 55 charges causes the inkwell to begin overflowing. There is no limit on the number of extant threshing inkwells, beyond the fact that any haruspex may only create and ‘own’ one at any given time, despite their communal nature. Upon being created, the inkwell should be reported to any ST members (though they need not be signed, and can be used even if an ST member isn’t immediately available). Any RP to refill the inkwell should be screenshotted and saved. As ink drips down the inkwell’s sides, it has a tendency to transform into small animated figures, perhaps simply out of boredom on Dlimbok’s side. Nevertheless, these figures scurry about the area for a short while before disappearing entirely. The amount of ink that drips from the inkwell is insignificantly small - it does not reduce the amount of ink in any way, and simply exists for roleplay taste. Ink Tiers Tier 1 - 1 Charge - Gifts and Basic Offerings (Prayer, Meditation, etc) Forming a black and basic ink, this form of ink serves as a general base or go-to option when other materials aren’t available. It is also often mixed or added as a filler to other inks. Tier 2 - 5 Charges - Blood and Bone (Descendant/Animal Sacrifices) All viscera, whether animal or Descendant can serve as a more powerful offering to the Threshing Inkwell. Once the ceremony is complete, the bowl fills with a pungent, dark red ink. It smells somewhat like blood, although much more aromatic. At this level, the imagery is extremely striking, though still appears as paints and colors that dance and move. Tier 3 - 15 Charges - Literature, Books, Artifacts Important literature, large books, and powerful artifacts can be offered to the Threshing Inkwell. The ink shifts colors between many deep and bright colors, but will serve to paint in the haruspex’s desired color. At this level, the paint may draw upon the user’s senses, though only briefly and in the more striking parts of the work. Ink Red Lines - Only descendant or normal animal viscera will serve as a tier two offering. - A haruspex cannot use their own blood to fill the Threshing Inkwell. - Stronger inks (Tiers 3+) or more particular effects require a MArt and more significant offerings. - Offerings to the Threshing Inkwell are destroyed in the process of offering Spells Pages Alive [Non-Combat; 2 charges] Description: The caster is able to utilise their Threshing Inkwell’s ink to write onto a book or other such item with a small surface area, no bigger than that of a banner. This ink comes to life when the page is turned, causing it to play out the scene imagined when the ink was first put down, as opposed to having the reader read it. This can also be used to make two-page spreads, though the ink never comes off of the surface of the page itself. Mechanics: To enact this spell, the haruspex first creates the type of ink they wish to use for the pages. Once the haruspex has chosen said ink, they draw symbols, characters, or etchings in whatever language or artstyle they’re most familiar with in the palm of their hand, or another tool like a quill or paintbrush. Once they do so, the ink resonates with their hand, and the whispers of storytellers are faintly present. Then, the haruspex simply touches the material, and the ink transfers. A haruspex may follow this process to fill books without needing to restart the entire process, but requires additional ink for every page. The process is done in four emotes, but can be shortened to two with tools like quills, paintbrushes, and so on. 1) The haruspex readies the ink, meditating on the story or picture they wish to tell. 2) The haruspex draws on their hand, or simply soaks it within the ink. 3) The haruspex touches the paper, smearing the ink on to canvas. 4) The ink transfers from their hand onto the paper, shifting and twisting into the desired image. Pages Alive - Redlines: - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - A haruspex is only able to put their own memories into the book/banner, and these memories cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written book or banner is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless updated by another haruspex. - If the surface on which the ink lies is cut in half, or similarly seriously damaged, the ink simply acts as normal ink and dries up. WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE WRITING EXAMPLE WRITING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok opens his book, as often he had before. He dips his quill into his Threshing Inkwell, as images of what he is to write begin already to form in his mind. Taking a deep breath in, then out, he imagines the way these thoughts will flow on the page. [Emote 2] The orc now puts quill to paper, and begins scribbling down crude forms of people, among other integral parts of his story. Even as he writes, the ink begins to swirl and move just as he had envisioned it. A Storied Artifact [Non-Combat; 20 charges] Description: The caster is able to impart spiritual ink on an object, allowing them to portray a tale stored within the weapon - this may be done through fire, water, paper, or for more experienced practitioners, the events may be played through the very mind of another. To tell the story, the haruspex must spill their blood onto the object, and onto the canvas (or person) they wish to tell the story. In meditating, they connect to the scarred body of Dlimbok, and utilize the power within Ydea’s dagger to bury a powerful memory within an artifact. Once the haruspex grows more proficient (2 weeks IRL), they are also able to preserve stories within the object of its wielder through ritual. The haruspex must have the memories so vivid that they are able to describe and feel the sensations the memory’s owner experienced. By engaging the senses with stimuli relevant to the story (the smell of burning flesh, the sounds of war drums), the user is able to fully immerse himself, the tether between Dlimbok and the haruspex strengthens. The more objects and information they have relating to the event and its characters, the more vivid and detailed the story becomes. Mechanics: Essentially allows for a storytelling aid, where whatever selected medium comes to life to show the story stored in the item. In the case of the initial writing of the item, only the memory holder’s items may be used, under the idea that the item itself has ‘memories’ of its own.When the story is replayed in someone’s mind, they must be in physical contact with the item. The memories within Ydea’s artifacts are just that, memories. Prone to incorrect detail, or pieces missing, a memory only holds small pieces of reality. Often intense experiences and emotions cloud the transferring of the memory, and the haruspex’s own mind may warp the overall message(i.e an arachnophobe depicting a spider as three times its actual size). These memories are not permanent, and just as quickly, if not more prone to error or forgetfulness. A user may remind themselves of the vision by looking through the artifact, but overuse (more than 3 times per IRL week), leads to severe headaches, memory loss, and mood swings. The items themselves, upon creation, are signed by ST. In the description of said item, beyond any text describing the item’s appearance, it must include the ingame username (or other form of contact, eg. discord tag) of its creator, whose responsibility it is to record the stories within however they see fit. A Storied Artifact - Redlines - The object must be signed or have some roleplay significance. A normal sword or object is too nondescript to base memories off of. - The haruspex must already have extensive knowledge about the wielder, usually by having known them personally for at least an IRP year (one IRL week), or being told of them by someone who has known them personally for at least two IRP years (two IRL weeks). - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex (including if someone who does know of them is being shown the vision) simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - A haruspex is only able to put the memories of the owner into their own tools. Memories cannot be put into items that belong to other people, and these memories cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written weapon is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless further updated by another haruspex. - If the written weapon is seriously damaged (i.e, the head of an axe is separated from its handle) it becomes unreadable, though if repaired further memories may be written to it. - A vision cannot be forced on another player. Their characters must fully consent to seeing the vision before they are able to see it. - Only one scene/vision may be recorded in any one item, as any given item may become ‘saturated’ with the haruspex’s ink. - Constantly living the memories of others has a severe impact on mental wellbeing, causing headaches and even memory loss. - The memories themselves are just memories. There is no way to permanently retain this information, and it would be lost within 2 IRL weeks. READING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE SLIGHT MOVEMENT The scene that plays out is then emoted by the haruspex EXAMPLE READING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok seats himself in front of a nearby campfire, a dulled war axe in his lap. He closes his eyes, and emits a low drone from deep in his throat as he lays his hands over its handle. His fingers press into each of its grooves as the weapon’s story makes itself clear to him. [Emote 2] Now the aged orc lifts his hand over the weapon. He slices into his palm with a bone dagger, before tightening his grip such as to make blood drip from it onto the weapon, then into the centre of the fire. He takes another deep breath, and begins to speak as the flames come to life. [Storytelling/Emote 3] “It waz during our latest war with da pinkzkinz…” The fire splits, showing two clear sides. Each lick of flame lashes out toward the opposite side, as if it were one soldier mocking another with a war chant… (etc.) WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE RECALLING, 1 EMOTE WRITING EXAMPLE WRITING: [Emote 1] Tulgarok seats himself before the Threshing Inkwell, dipping his fingers briefly into its bowl of ink, and a short spear in his lap. His eyes shut, and as they do, Grommok, his apprentice, lights a number of items aflame - wood and pig’s flesh - and slops a handful of thick mud right below Tulgarok’s nose. All scents from the hunt before. [Emote 2] Grommok soon leans into Tulgarok’s ear, describing to him the events of the hunt. How they’d tracked the beast for days, and finally cornered it in some deep cave. The animal’s bellows, as it realised it had been beaten and stood upon its hind legs and swiped at its hunters… (etc.) [Emote 3] Tulgarok breathes deeply, as he finally lifts his hand from the bowl of ink and begins scrawling symbols on the blade and shaft of the spear, eyes darting from side to side beneath their lids as the story unfolds in his mind. The ink quickly squirms on the weapon’s long handle, before seeping into it, leaving only a faded, dark trace that it had ever been there. Finally, Tulgarok rises from the ground, spear in hand. His job was finished. Cave Painting [Non-Combat; Charges vary] Description: Haruspex are able to paint with spiritual ink, invoking life into a stony canvas. Through this, they are able to paint their tales and those of written items onto walls so that others might see them. The figures painted move, twist and dance as if they lived. Each character within the painting requires 10 ink charges, while larger set pieces (large boulders, buildings, etc) and environments (grass, lakes, etc) take 5. Mechanics: As shown below, the player is able to build a mural roughly describing the story (though this is not necessarily required). More importantly, the player is then able to author a book describing the events taking place in the mural, which RPly would be in constant motion (though this is obviously impossible in minecraft). To create these paintings, the haruspex would begin a similar process to Pages Alive. Readying the ink, through the tool used would be the haruspex’s hand, clay, a chisel, or some other etching instrument. Once the tool was soaked in the ink, the haruspex’s mind would begin to clear, and they’d draw upon the power of the Threshing Inkwell, invoking the ink to mold into and twist what the haruspex had worked with into story. Cave Paintings - Redlines: - Haruspex pieces are displayed within minecraft as murals (whether through clay, banners, roleplay materials, blocks, ink, etc), and the story/moving figures are described within the book. - Characters in the story who are not known to the haruspex (including if someone who does know of them is observing the mural) simply appear as faceless visages with no discernible features (horns, tusks, hair etc.) and cannot be used to discern any information about them whatsoever. - The scenes cannot be used to teach magics or other complex skills that need to be taught in person. - A written wall is no stronger or weaker than the original product, and the memories written to it are not updated in any way unless further updated by another haruspex. - The person whose memories are being written on the wall needs no prior connection with the building etc of said wall. - If the wall is significantly damaged (i.e, up to one third of it is broken by an explosion or construction work), the ink simply acts as normal ink and dries up. WRITING: 1 EMOTE MEDITATION, 1 EMOTE RECALLING, 1 EMOTE WRITING [Emote 1] Tulgarok stands before a large, flat sandstone wall - a clean canvas upon which to make art. His eyes shut, as he dips each of his hands into a bowl of ink. Already, somewhere behind his eyes dance the silhouettes of soldiers, fire and great cities. Silhouettes that will soon dance on the walls of his home city instead. [Emote 2] Charred wood is strewn about the place, and several orc kubs are told to jingle chainmail, bang sticks against helmets and snap twigs loudly. All this aids in Tulgarok’s mental recreation of the raid, how his ears rang with the terrified screams of women and children as they evacuated, leaving their homes behind. [Emote 3] Pleased enough with his mental recreation of the raid, the orc begins slapping his palms against the stone wall, dragging them to make crude shapes which soon swirl and correct themselves into what he had envisioned minutes before. As he steps back from his masterpiece, the ink begins to churn into the image of an orc impaling some human halfway down the haft of his own spear. General Redlines - A haruspex needs to be able to interact with spirits and thus other non-spiritual magics interfere with this practice, this also includes creatures that are unable to cast deific magics. - A haruspex cannot identify anyone in their visions unless they have extensive knowledge about the person within the story already, or have interacted with their tools or weapons via ritual. - “Extensive knowledge” implies knowing the person personally for at least one full IRP year (one IRL week), or being told about them in detail by someone who has known them personally for at least two full IRP years (two IRL weeks). - Memories written to objects or murals cannot be used to learn magic, or other such supernatural tasks. - Dlimbok is dead and his body is physically scattered across the world. His pieces could be hypothetically found through ET or dredged forth in a MArt, but he is otherwise uncontactable, being very much dead. - A haruspex’s memory is not perfect. Details can be misremembered, especially in older memories. This feat is primarily for storytelling, not perfect renditions of past events. - Either memories or stories/fictional events may be recorded in any given medium, though fictional events cannot be recorded for malicious or seriously deceptive reasons(i.e a fake war with real memorized characters), as these would go against Dlimbok’s personal views on honour, and he would simply not allow his power to be utilised. - Real world stories and memories would possess more sensory detail (although not entirely accurate) while fictional stories would have more visual creativity and detail. - Overuse of haruspicy leads to issues like headaches, memory loss, and mood swings. Tier Progression Tier 1: The haruspex reaches this tier immediately upon learning the feat. Haruspices are able to transform a little of their ink through prayer and meditation. They also have access to the Pages Alive spell. Tier 2: Two weeks after learning the feat, and through regular practice, the haruspex is now able to better transform the lifeblood of sacrifices into more powerful ink, and gain access to the Storied Artifact spell. Tier 3: At this tier, six weeks into their journey, the haruspex is able to take their final step into the art, gaining access to the Cave Painting spell and being able to sacrifice more powerful artifacts and literature into even larger amounts of ink. Greater tiers may be achieved through MArts or Events by staff, though the capabilities of the artifact or action (holograms, living stories, ancient messages from the past, etc) should be discussed with lore holders, older haruspex, or ST. Ultimately, the decision falls to the staff on a case-by-case basis. OOC: This is a feat accessible to anyone with knowledge of the spirits and a desire to learn the histories of weapons and wounds alike. In doing so, I hope haruspex gives more flavor to post combat, in being able to regale tales of battle, as well as making RP items more valuable and useful to the people who have them, rather than sitting on the shelf till the next map. I realise that some objects cannot be 'written' as such - that is, their stories can't be described as their owners may not use the server anymore, which is the sole caveat of the feat itself. Maybe it gives them a reason to come back, or gives characters more of a reason to create powerful stories. Thanks for reading! Inspired by: https://www.lordofthecraft.net/forums/topic/151780-%E2%9C%93-origins-of-the-orcs-and-morghuun-the-land-of-warfare/?tab=comments#comment-1433374
  16. Ͳհҽ Ɱҽʂʍҽɾʂ [Ambience] T E D I U M “Boredom and Power are a deadly combination.” The demise of the Izukthii has driven the Daemon of trickery into a droll boredom. Dawning a new guise to meddle in mortal matters would surely stir him from his boredom; however doing so would risk alerting other Celestials to his machinations. Rather than take such a risk, he concocted a different scheme to relieve him. Through the resurrection of a long dead school of magic, he introduced a new element to...enrich the lives of mortals. With this, the Mesmers were reborn. P E R D I T A “All history is lost eventually.” The Mesmers’ origin story is one with great variation. However, it is widely agreed upon that the first Mesmer was created in ancient Almaris. Only two facts remain constant in each retelling of its creation: a desperate man and a bored Llahir. The most common tale depicts a gambler who amassed a debt so great that an execution order was placed upon his head. In his desperation, he pleaded to the Celestials from his cell for a chance at redemption. Yet, his sorrowful pleas remained unanswered up to the day of his execution, when all hope was lost. Only then did Llahir appear before him. Having sensed an opportunity to sow chaos in the mortal realm, the being offered the man a deal. He would grant the man the gift of magic, a Maniette, and the means to escape; all in exchange for allowing the being to place a mark upon his body. The man gladly accepted the hand outstretched to him in his time of need...though in his glee, he remained totally unaware of the Daemon’s trick. The being’s Mesmarae, his magic, now coursed through his veins--allowing the Daemon access to his body whenever it so pleased. The gambler returned to his ways, which allowed the Daemon access to the seedy underworld of mortal society. His infamy grew more infamous with each passing day. His newfound status as a legendary figure drew the envy of his peers, but also allowed him to amass a rather sizable following. Thugs and thieves flocked to him in search of increasing their own lot in life. Even those driven to desperation fell in line, pledging loyalty to the trickster that had granted him such power. The Daemon allotted power to those he believed would further his cause: inciting chaos in the mortal realm. One by one, new Mesmers were marked and gained power. At first, their numbers were few, and it was rare for anyone to grow as powerful as the original Mesmer. However, as time progressed forward more Mesmers came to light, sowing the seeds of chaos in the lands they inhabited. N O V U S “The end is but another’s beginning.” Unfortunately, this period of prosperity did not last. The magic and history of the Mesmers faded into obscurity following the mysterious collapse of the Ancient Almaris. When the last Mesmer died, Llahir grew bored of his game and turned his attention to other matters; at least, until the Descendants landed on Almaris anew. He had long yearned for the time when there existed those worthy of wielding his chaotic power--but finding new hosts proved to be a rather difficult task. He lent his power to various individuals, only to toss them aside when they proved unworthy of this boon. That is, until he found a group of three tricksters to whom he bequeathed knowledge of the ancient practice. Modern Mesmers practice a less potent form of chaotic magic. While Llahir sought to empower them, he did not intend to make the path to greatness quite so easy. Instead, he sought to spur their imagination through placing limitations upon them. While he did not detail the method for doing so, tricking the system he had created was greatly encouraged. Much like the Mesmers’ magic, he underwent a kind of rebirth. The Daemon took on a new name and was then forth known as ‘the Watcher’. P E R S O N A “Are you ready to roll the dice?” Rolling the Dice [Magic Explanation] Mesmer’s draw their power from the link formed between themselves and the Watcher. This link sends waves of mana to a Focus, which is then redirected to the Mesmer. Without a focus, there can be no link--and thus the Mesmer is rendered incapable of using their gifts. This serves as a precaution meant to protect the Mesmer themself. Without a Focus, the surge of power would overwhelm the mortal caster and cause them grievous harm...or in the worst case, death. Spells must be taught, with the exception of the ‘base’ spells, which each Mesmer knows innately. All Spells come at the cost of charges, or mana bursts that are stored within the Focus. Rolling the Dice is the basis of all Mesmer casting. RPly, this effect happens when one uses the focus to make a random selection. [Ex. Pulling a card, Spinning a wheel, etc.] OOCly/Mechanically, this is done by using the rolling plug-in. All rolls are out of 20, though the flavor effect of high-tier spells may be exempted from this rule. All spells require a roll. This emphasizes the fact that each spell is a gamble for the Mesmer. The more powerful the spell, the more likely it is that the spell will backfire on the caster. Casting any Mesmer spell requires 3-4 emotes at the base level. However, other spells may have a higher or lower cost depending on the desired effect, Connection to Focus [T1-T2] → Connection to Focus → Rolling of Dice → Effect of the Spell. The Mesmer forms a Connection to Focus when they draw mana from within the focus and channel it in preparation for a spell. This task scales in difficulty according to the Mesmer’s tier. A higher ranked Mesmer may find this task easier than a lower ranked Mesmer would, for example. T1-T2 Mesmers require two emotes to connect to their focus. Most often the Mesmer becomes very relaxed upon connection or suddenly filled with energy. One of these must be emoted as a Mesmer’s tell. Rolling the dice requires the Mesmer to use their focus. At this point, the Mesmer should roll a D20 to determine the spell’s effect. Once these emotes have been completed, the Mesmer is then allowed to emote the effects of the spell. The Mesmer’s Mesmerac glows brighter than usual until the spell effect ends. Mesmers possess a greater soul in order to practice as a Mesmer. The Watcher is a possessive creature; for this reason, Mesmers are not allowed to engage in certain Magics. The Magics forbidden to active Mesmers are as follows: Paladinism, Azdrazi, Naztherak, Necromancy, and Mysticism. One who has been touched by the aforementioned Magics may not become Mesmers. Those who wish to become Mesmers may seek out a Master Mesmer. Master Mesmers have finished their studies and have access to all available Mesmer spells. These magicians must be Two-Slotted in order to put up a TA. Most Acolytes of the Mesmer path spend a period of one (1) to two (2) years in study acting as assistants to their teacher before beginning to practice magic themselves. Mesmer is a feat up until T3 whereupon they may Dedicate up to two slots. Slots taken must be noted on the MA after the Calling event. Redlines - Only creatures in possession of a Greater Soul are capable of becoming Mesmers. Constructs, Atronarchs, and all other creatures lacking a Greater Soul are incapable of becoming Mesmers. - Active members of the following orders are prohibited from becoming Mesmers: Paladins, Naztherak, Necromancers, Azdrazi, Druids, Shamans, and Mystics. - All magics not defined above may be mixed with Mesmer Magic. [Ex. Blood Magic, Voidal Magic, etc.] - Siliti, Epiphytes, and other beings of that nature may not become Mesmers. - Every spell a Mesmer casts requires the Player to roll a D20. If a Player is caught casting spells without adhering to this rule, they will be stripped of their magic and blacklisted. - If the Mesmer has a visible Mesmerac they must emote it flaring/glowing when they cast a spell. - The ‘Tell’ for the Mesmer must be emoted when they connect to their focus. - You must be a Two-Slotted T5 Mesmer to make a TA. Tier Progression Tier One: Newly initiated Mesmers’ have access to T1 spells. They cannot further their studies until one year [one (1) ooc week] has passed. This time is typically spent studying or researching their newfound magic. A Mesmer must make their Maniette while in this tier in order to progress to T2. Connection to Focus takes two (2) emotes. Tier Two: This stage takes place after the Mesmer has come to better understand their new power. While the Calling has not yet taken full effect, the Mesmer may begin to start displaying more chaotic behavior. This stage lasts three years [three (3) ooc weeks] minimum. During this time, the Mesmerac forms as a small tattoo on the Mesmer’s body. Connection to Focus takes two (2) emotes. Tier Three: When they enter T3, the Mesmer begins to hear the Call. This provides them with more spells they can use by allowing them to take up to two (2) slots of the magic. This stage lasts three years. [Three (3) weeks OOC] Tier Four: At this point, theMesmer’s Mesmerac grows larger and becomes more complex. The Mesmer’s magic becomes more unstable, sometimes lashing out when they are under duress (See ‘Wild Surge’ in Abilities) This tier lasts four years. [Four (4) years OOC] Tier Five: Few Mesmers ever reach this point in their studies. However, those that do gain access to T3 spells. Mesmers cannot advance past this tier. Mesmer Focuses A Mesmer’s power must be channeled through a Maniette, more commonly known as a Focus. Focuses are personalized for each Mesmer. For this reason, they can come in any number of shapes and sizes. Dice, cards, and mina coins are the most common forms for a Focus to take. When in their first stage of study Mesmers must either choose or make a focus. The T1 spell imbue focus can be used to bond with the object. After that, the object acts as a Focus and can be used to cast Mesmer spells. All Mesmer focuses must have two-sides or otherwise be capable of creating some kind of random result. A bear statuette, for example, would be incapable of being a focus. However, a spinning wheel would be a serviceable option. If a Focus has multiple pieces [ex. A deck of cards], all imbued pieces must be together in order for the Focus to function properly. If even a single card that was there during the imbuement is missing from the deck, then the deck cannot function as a Focus until that card is returned to the deck. To counteract the risks associated with losing part of a focus, Mesmers can choose to imbue select parts of their focus. For example, ½ of a deck or one of their dice. This allows the user to replace part of a focus without having to start from scratch with a new one. In order to cast spells the Focus must spend charges. The amount of charges available scales to the current tier and slot level the Mesmer is at. Each spell has a charge cost which must be spent in order for it to be cast. After the roll the dice emote the spent charges may recharge again after 1d4 hours. T1: 3 Charges T2: 6 Charges T3: 12 Charges T4: 15 Charges T5: 18 Charges One Slot Dedicated: Four Additional Charges Two Slot Dedicated: Four Additional Charges Focus’ can be manipulated in small and subtle ways, such as making a deck of cards hover over your hands, changing the color of one’s dice, etc. These are purely cosmetic and cannot be used as an advantage for the Mesmer. Hovering focus’ must still be within arm’s reach, you cannot manipulate dice to roll a certain number, etc. Redlines - If someone takes, or attempts to take part of a focus [Taking a card from a deck, taking one die, etc] players who imbued half of their focus MUST roll a d20 to see if part of the focus was taken. Evens mean the focus remains untouched, odds mean they took a focus part. - Maniette must be made through the T1 spell Imbue Focus. Focuses can only be remade if part of the focus is destroyed or lost. - An object can only be made into a focus if it can allow random selection. Wheels, Dice, Cards, etc. - Mesmers cannot cast spells without a Focus. The sole exception to this is the spell ‘Imbue Focus’ which may be cast without. - Focus’ must be ST signed. Mesmeracs When a Mesmer completes their first year of study, they will awaken to find a small glowing tattoo located somewhere on their body. This mark is a Mesmerac; a claim left upon the Mesmer by the watcher to warn off other Celestials. The Watcher is extremely possessive, and does not allow the claimed to perform certain Deity-gifted magics. When the Mesmer reaches T4, the Mesmerac grows in size and becomes harder to conceal via conventional means. It is said that the design of the Mesmerac reflects the Mesmers inner being; however, no one truly knows why Mesmeracs take a certain form. Even the method through which they appear on one’s body is currently unknown. Once the tattoo is formed, it can not be changed in any way. Tattoo ink, scars, and anything else that might obscure the lines of a Mesmerac fade within one narrative day of being inflicted. Mesmaracs start off small, in places easily concealable by the Mesmer practitioner. They cannot be multicolored. However, they do glow in the color of the Mesmer’s aura. The Mesmerac can only change color if the color of the Mesmer’s aura changes; though it is also possible for the mark to maintain the original coloration. Removing the Mesmerac is impossible. Even those who abandon the practice are incapable of removing it. If the flesh containing the tattoo is wounded in a way that would obscure the tattoo, the Mesmerac remains in place. The portion of the scar that would obscure the lining disappears within a day of being inflicted upon the Mesmer. If the limb containing the tattoo is removed, the tattoo will manifest on a different part of the body after a narrative day has passed. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Mesmerac has a hidden purpose. Upon completion of the mark being formed, it acts as a bridge between the Mesmer’s body and the will of the Watcher. After Mesmerac’s grows at T4, the Watcher is able to take control of the Mesmer’s physical body. Should this event happen, the Mesmer finds themselves trapped in their own subconscious. Redlines: - The Mesmerac’s design is determined by the player. They can depict animals, abstract images, and most other things. However, they can not depict words associated with any language. At most, they can depict a string of letters which amount to gibberish. - Their glow is faint. A Mesmerac can not provide enough light to illuminate an area. - The Watcher can take control of the Mesmer’s body at any point following the Memerac’s growth at T4. This MUST be a ST event. The Watcher will not cause direct physical harm to the Mesmer, but may cause some trouble while wearing their skin. - Mesmeracs can not be multi-colored. They match the color of the Mesmer’s aura. - A Mesmers’ corpse can only be identified by those who have been told ICly that the scorched remains of a Mesmerac identifies the body as a Mesmers’. - If a Mesmerac is visible, the Mesmer must emote it flaring brighter when casting a spell. The Calling Only after four (4) full years [four irl weeks] of practicing does a T3 Mesmer begin to hear the call. This means the Watcher has finally taken notice of the Mesmer, and has decided to give them the chance to gamble with it. Initially, the Calling begins with the Mesmer feeling a faint sensation of being watched. Ultimately, it culminates in a dream. In this dream a person with an ever-changing visage offers the Mesmer the chance to increase their power--all in exchange for a little gamble. If accepted, the Player dedicates one (1) slot to the Magic. The entity will then offer the Mesmer the chance to play another game which, if accepted, will end with similar results. The Player will dedicate another slot and gain access to higher level spells. Once the games have been completed, the entity will thank the Mesmer before vanishing from existence. The Calling will only happen once for a Mesmer. The entity that approaches the Player can take many forms; though it often chooses to take a form familiar to the Mesmer by mimicking a person they know. It is naturally skilled at every game, though it has a random chance of winning or losing each one. However, the Player still uses a slot to further advance their practice of the Magic regardless of the game’s outcome. It’s personality, much like its form, is ever-changing. Each Mesmer may perceive it as having a completely different personality than another might. It prefers to appear in a unique form each time. The only constants among all appearances of the Watcher is its playful and possessive nature. The dream will end if the Player is hostile towards the being in any way. The Mesmer can never experience the Calling again, even if they drop the magic and take it up once more at a later date. When the Calling occurs, the player must roll out of 20 to see what would happen should they choose to drop the magic. Odds mean that they retain their magic slot, but Evens mean that the Watcher consumes the slot. Redlines - The Calling must be RP’d by the Teacher of the Mesmer. They may not progress to T4 until they have completed the Calling. - The Watcher - or what may be claiming to be the Watcher - will never harm the Mesmer. It is not malicious. It seeks only to sow chaos for the sake of its own entertainment. - This event only ever occurs once. If the magic is dropped then relearned, it may not repeat, leaving the Mesmer stuck at a feat-only level. - The Watcher is extremely possessive of its Mesmers. For this reason, it may express jealousy if the Player has other magics. This is only ever expressed in an event. It has no bearing over what the Mesmer can or cannot do. Spells Mesmer spells harness the chaotic energy of their patron. Because of this, all effects are entirely reliant upon the luck of the caster. More powerful spells have bigger backlash associated with them, because more is gambled with the casting of such a spell. High risk, high reward. All Mesmer spells must be taught by a Teacher before they are able to be used. Base spells are the only exception to this rule. All spells require Charges to be spent in order for them to function. Without charges, no spells can be cast. Tier One Spells Dice’s Gambit [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: One Charge Mesmers are no strangers to cheating. However, sometimes loaded dice are not quite enough to beat the system. When that happens, the Dice’s Gambit is used as a low risk gamble to reap higher rewards. This spell allows the Mesmer to will the dice to roll a favorable number for whatever game they happen to be playing. When the user visualizes the dice, the spell will encourage the dice to land on the desired number. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Mesmer’s dice explode in a mist the color of their aura. Normal dice would explode upon use; however, if the dice is the Mesmer’s focus, they would only be stained this color for a narrative week. 2-3: The Dice would roll the opposite of the desired number, causing the Mesmer to lose the game. 4-10: The Dice are not influenced by magic. 11-20: The intended effect succeeds! The dice lands on the intended number as envisioned by the Mesmer. Card Vision [Non-Combative] Cost: One Charge Similar in purpose as the Dice’s Gambit, Card Vision allows the Mesmer to briefly see the other side of playing cards. This allows the Mesmer to change their decision-making based on the opponent’s cards, thus allowing them to win easier or lose gracefully. To cast this spell the Mesmer must have sight of the cards. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Mesmer’s eyes flash with their aura, much like a voidal mage. This renders them blinded for up to an OOC hour. 2-3: The cards visualized are different then the actual cards, making the Mesmer make choices on wrong assumptions. 4-10: Nothing Happens. 11-20: The Mesmer sees the other side of the card clearly. Electric Handshake [Non-Combative] Cost: One Charge Ever get whoopee cushioned? Electric Handshake is a more advanced way of giving someone a spook. The Mesmer generates a small electric shock in the palm of their hand, which allows them to give someone a little surprise. This is usually done during handshakes, but it can be cast anywhere on another person’s body so long as contact is being made. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The spell backfires, causing a shock in the palm of the Mesmer’s hand. This jolt is twice the strength of the normal spell, which causes a stinging sensation. 6-10: The spell succeeds! The opponent gets a good shock. 11-20 The spell succeeds...however, it is more potent than intended. The recipient finds that their hair suddenly stands up as if it were rubbed aggressively by a balloon. Sparkling Lights [Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Two Charges Every entertainer needs to dazzle a crowd, and that is precisely what this spell does. Dazzle. The Mesmer summons a wave of sparkling light from their fingertips. Unlike their other spells, the caster can choose what colors the sparks take on. This spell is often used to scare away bandits or other wrongdoers. Sparkling lights can be used as a sort of warning sign for others. The sparks vanish upon touching the ground unless it is otherwise specified by the rolled effect. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The summoned sparks take on a pungent smell which lingers on the Mesmer’s clothing for an OOC hour. 4-15: The Spell goes off without a hitch, dazzling any who witness it. 16-19: The sparks do not vanish upon touching the ground; instead they turn into glitter. The sparks stun anyone within ten blocks for one round of emotes. 20: The sparks take on an explosive quality. They erupt like firecrackers as soon as they touch the ground. This causes sharp pain if they are touched, but they cause no permanent harm. One-Slot Misty Escape [Combative] [Base Spell] If [or when] a Mesmer finds themself in need of a quick escape, Misty Escape is the perfect spell. Summoning a thick mist that covers up to a ten block radius with the Mesmer at its center is the spell's intended effect. The mist takes on the color of the Mesmer’s aura, though it is a bit darker. This spell can be used as anything from a simple party trick to a way to obscure the area and make for any easy escape. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Mesmer lights up like a beacon. Their entire body illuminates in a near-blinding light. 6-10: The Spell’s effect acts as intended, causing a thick colored mist to surround the Mesmer up to a ten block radius. 11-20: The Mist is cast successfully.. but it seeps into the caster’s flesh. Their skin is temporarily stained the color of their aura for up to two (2) OOC days. Impromptu Shower [Combative] [Base Spell] Getting on the bad side of a Mesmer is never a good thing. The Impromptu Shower spell is one of the best examples of this fact. After it is cast, a small cloud will form above the victim’s head and a light shower of rain will begin to fall. The cloud has a visible expression which will change to match the victim’s. For example, if the victim smiles, the cloud will also smile. The worst effect this spell can cause is a slight cold. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: Instead of raining, the cloud showers the victim with illusionary mina. The mina looks and feels real, but disappears when the cloud vanishes. 6-15: The Cloud manifests as intended. It rains down upon the victim. 16-20: The rain instead manifests as a sudden downpour. Occasionally thunder can be heard from the cloud. Imbue Focus [Non-Combative] Cost: Ten Charges Imbue Focus is one of the most important spells in any Mesmer’s collection. However, only those who have gambled with the Watcher are capable of learning it. New initiates require another Mesmer to help them bind their gifts to a Focus. This is the only Mesmer spell which can be cast without a Focus. Those who know this spell may use it to create a new Focus to replace a missing/destroyed one. As mentioned prior, they may also use it to find a Focus to a Mesmer who does not have access to this spell. The Mesmer who casts this spell must be touching both the Focus and the person it is being bound to. A misty aura will spread from the core of the one being bound before encircling and melding into the core of the Focus. When the aura has faded, the object may then be used as their Focus. ROLL THE DICE [Note, it is suggested that the one being bounded roll for the spell] 1: The Spell fails, and must be redone. A cooldown of two (2) OOC hours is required before the spell can be reattempted. 2-20: The spell is completed, and the Focus is bound correctly. Two-Slot Minor Illusion [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] While the Mesmers are not quite as skilled as Voidal Illusionists, they are capable of creating small illusions. Illusions created using this spell can be nor larger than a foot in both width and height. They are also incapable of producing any kind of sound. Minor illusions cannot copy or create the image of a Mortal; however, animals and plants may be mimicked. Upon summoning the illusions, the Mesmer may manipulate it into doing certain actions. For example, they could make an illusory cat walk. The illusion is unable to affect the world around it. Since it is immaterial, anything that touches it will phase through. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The Illusion is a truly warped mimicry of the intended object. 4-9: Something about the Illusion is off, but it is minor enough that it may go unnoticed. 10-15: The Spell goes off without difficulty. It works as intended. 16-19: The Spell is overloaded! The illusion is colored in the Mesmer’s aura and has glittery accents. 20: The Illusion temporarily behaves on it’s own. It may change form entirely, or choose to roam about the premises. Mimicry [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] When a Mesmer is able to cast T2 spells, they suddenly become capable of unmatched feats of mimicry. Once they learn this spell, the Mesmer is able to perfectly replicate any word or phrase that they have heard in the original speaker’s voice. They can not, however, create new sentences, speak at length, or copy phrases that they have not heard verbatim. ROLL THE DICE 1-3: The Mesmer’s voice does not replicate the intended target. Instead they emit the sound of nails raking down a chalkboard. They cannot speak in any language until the passage of fifteen (15) OOC minutes. 4-15: The Spell is has the intended effect. 16-20: The Spell is empowered. After the intended word or phrase is spoken, the Mesmer’s voice temporarily warps into a high or low pitched version of their normal speaking voice. This effect lasts thirty (30) OOC minutes. Tier Two Spells Gibberish Sight [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] It is unwise to get on a Mesmer’s bad side. This spell is but one of the many reasons why that phrase rings true. This spell can be cast on any person in their line of sight; and it causes that person to be rendered temporarily illiterate. When the victim looks at any sort of writing the lettering will appear to them as ancient indecipherable runes. The spell's duration can last anywhere from thiry (30) OOC minutes to one (1) OOC hour. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell fizzles. The target of the spell’s eyes flash in the caster’s aura. 6-10: The Spell has the intended effect. 11-15: The Victim’s eyes turn the color of the caster’s aura until the end of the duration. They suffer the effects of the spell regardless. 16-20: The effect of the spell rebounds onto the next person the Mesmer looks at, excluding the original target. Roll the Dice again. This is capped at three total victims. Illusionary Animal [Non-Combative] Cost: Five Charges Ever see a talking animal? Well now you have! This spell makes any who perceive the target of the spell as an animal of the Mesmer’s choosing. This is just an illusionary effect, and anyone who can see through illusions can immediately tell that the person is not truly an animal. The victim can continue to act as normal, speaking and moving without issue. Should someone touch the area the target stands, they feel behind the illusion and touch the target. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell misunderstands the directive, and instead of making an illusion of the animal.. It temporarily makes the target think they were the animal. This effect lasts three emoes after the initial effect emote. 6-10: The Mesmer suddenly appears to have an illusionary effect resembling the animal they attempted to make. This includes sporting a snout, ears, etc. This effect lasts three emotes after the initial effect emote. 11-20: The Spell casts as intended. One-Slot Hideous Laughter [Combative] Cost: 6 Charges Hearing voices is the fear of many men. Hideous Laughter causes a victim to hear a chorus of demonic voices in the confines of their own mind. Such an effect lasts for up to three emotes, but may be stopped earlier should the Mesmer wills it. The laughter may resemble the voices of loved ones or people the victim knows, or may sound like a horrible demonic laugh. ROLL THE DICE 1-2: The Spell backfires on the Mesmer, causing them to hear the laughter of the Watcher and suffer the effects for twice the length of the spell. 3-10: The spell acts as intended, stunning the victim. 11-15: The Laughter warps into utterings in a language long lost, causing the stunning effect to double. 16-20: The spell is too empowered, and the victim begins to laugh along until the spell ends. Additional effects may be rolled with OOC permission from the victim’s player. Two-Slot Memory Incantation [Combative] Cost: 9 Charges The mind is a cage, and this spell seeks to use that to the caster’s advantage. The Memory Incantation spell traps the victim within their own mind. While there they are forced to relive one of their memories from the following list: their Happiest Memory, their Saddest Memory, or their Most Traumatic Memory. This spell only lasts for 3-5 emotes--however, it feels as if an eternity passes for the victim targeted by this spell. The Spell effect can be stopped if the victim suffers physical pain or the Mesmer wills the spell to end sooner. It cannot be used in active combat. ROLL THE DICE 1-6: The spell entraps the caster within their own mind. Roll on the below table and RP the chosen memory. 7-12: The Memory begins to degrade and warp halfway through. It has the opposite of the desired effect. 13-19: The spell has the intended effect. 20: The spell has the intended effect, plus an additional effect. Roll for an additional effect on the table below. Tier Three Spells Third Eye [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Seven Charges Opening one’s third eye is typically a rather difficult feat; however, as always, Mesmer’s have a trick up their sleeve that makes their lives just a little bit easier. When this spell is cast, a large eye protrudes from the Mesmer’s forehead. This Eye has the ability to see in the dark. Its iris is the color of the Mesmer’s aura. ROLL THE DICE 1-8: Instead of summoning a third eye, the Memer accidentally merges both of their eyes into one. This effect causes a sharp pain, and lasts about twelve (12) OOC hours before it returns to normal. 9-16: The Spell has the intended effect. 17-19: After the spell is cast, the eyes of the Mesmer temporarily become the color of their aura. 20: The spell works as intended. However, the Mesmer must roll on the table below for one additional effect. Fake Affliction [Combative] Cost: Seven Charges Fake Affliction creates an illusory effect upon a target that causes them to appear afflicted with a horrible disease. This can not actually give the target a disease. The illusion will only last for a period of five (5) emotes after the spell is initially cast. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The illusionary effect backfires onto the caster. They also roll for an additional effect on the table below. 6-10: The spell is cast, but at a cost. Any time the caster of the spell speaks, pink bubbles escape their mouth. This lasts for the spell’s duration. 11-20: The spell has the intended effect. One-Slot Eyes of the Watcher [Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Eight Charges The feeling of being watched is one of the worst sensations one can feel. The unfortunate soul targeted by this spell begins to see an innumerable amount of illusory eyes sprouting out of most physical surfaces, people, and flora. The eyes are permanently focused upon the victim, though they do blink occasionally This effect lasts for 1d6 rounds of emotes. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: Instead of summoning the illusion in the target’s mind, the Mesmer casts the spell upon themself. They are covered in hundreds of eyes for the next three (3) rounds of emotes. 6-10: The Spell is cast as intended. However, the Mesmer must roll for one (1) additional effect on the table below that also happens. 11-19: The Spell is cast as intended. 20: Mouths accompany the eyes, taking on the voices of the target’s loved ones. The voices beg the target to save them. They vanish once the spell ends. Imbue Object [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Three Charges Imbue Object allows the Mesmer to touch an inanimate object and bestow upon it a small glow the color of their aura that lasts for 1d12 OOC hours. The object receives no other effects. Typically, this is used by Mesmers to sell mundane objects as rare magical items, or scare off enemies by imbuing their weapons. ROLL THE DICE 1-5: The Spell fizzles entirely, instead turning the Mesmer’s hair a vibrant shade of their least favorite color. 6-20: The Spell is cast as intended. Two-Slot Misdirection [Combative] Cost: Twenty-Two Charges The spell allows the Mesmer to catch a Voidal spell that is thrown at them, and throw it another direction. This is one of the most powerful in the Mesmers collection. Misdirection takes control of the mana within the voidal spell, allowing the user to temporarily redirect it as if it were their own spell. This effect takes a large amount of energy. Disguise Self [Non-Combative] [Base Spell] Cost: Eleven Charges The Disguise Self spell allows the Mesmer to make minor illusory changes to their appearance for twelve (12) OOC hours. They can make minor changes to their features; however, they can not make themselves unrecognizable. Hair color and eye can be changed at will at any point during the spell’s duration. Skin color, scars, and tattoos cannot be altered. The Mesmer may also make themselves appear more masculine or feminine; however they may not completely change their body type. They also cannot change their height. The Mesmer may drop the spell at will. ROLL THE DICE 1: The Spell fails, causing a horrible deformity to appear on the Mesmer until the duration of the spell ends. They are unable to cast this spell again until the duration is up. 2-9: The Spell’s duration is rounded down by half, with a minimum of one hour. 10-19: Disguise Self is cast without issue. 20: The Spell is empowered. Any of the changes made leave irritated skin after the duration of the spell ends, which may result in painful blisters. Abilities Wild Surge When a Mesmer of T4 or higher feels a sudden burst of intense, negative emotions their magic produces a ‘Wild Surge’. This summons a random effect that may influence them or their surroundings. The surge is always accidental, though it is controlled by the player in order to deliver the most fun and contribute to random roleplay. When a surge happens, the player must follow the same emotes as if they were casting a spell; however, it would always be accidental from a roleplay perspective. Roll from the table below to see which random effect occurs. 1: The Player turns into a potted plant for 1d4 emote rounds. If the pot is broken, they return to normal without any memory of becoming a plant. 2: The Mesmer’s shadow begins to relay the Mesmer’s inner thoughts. For example, it might cry if the Mesmer is sad, or gesture angrily if the Mesmer is angry. 3: The Mesmer loses the ability to cast spells for 1d4 emote rounds. 4: The next spell the Mesmer casts will result in an automatic 9 for the ‘roll the dice’. 5: The next person the Mesmer sees is filled with the emotion the Mesmer is currently feeling. 6: The Mesmer suddenly shoots steam from their ears. 7: The Mesmer turns into stone over the course of 1d4 rounds. After the fourth round, the statue shatters and the Mesmer returns to normal. Illusionary Sight T5 Mesmers with at least one (1) slot dedicated to the Magic are given a rare gift from the watcher as thanks for their dedication to him. This blessing allows Mesmers to see through illusions. This only affects mesmers who see with their physical eyes. It has no bearing on beings who see through other means, such as Seers. Red Lines - Mesmer spells must be taught by someone with a TA. The only exceptions to this are the ‘Base’ Spells, which are innate for all Mesmers. - Only beings with Greater Souls may practice the magic. Musin, Constructs, etc. are not capable of becoming Mesmers. - You cannot combine Mesmer Magic with the following: Paladinism, Naztherak, Necromancy, Azdrazi, Druid, Siliti, Mysticism. - Seers, Blood Magic, Afflicted, and other unlisted CA or Magic are permitted to combine with Mesmer. - All cast spells require a roll. This may be done in #w or in another channel. If a Mesmer is found to be fudging their rolls, they will be stripped of Mesmer and permanently blacklisted. - Mesmeracs cannot be identified as anything other than a tattoo unless explicitly told IRP. This includes identifying a body with a scorched mark. - Mesmeracs glow brighter when Mesmers cast spells. This must be emoted if the Mesmerac is visible. This is not required if the Mesmerac is hidden. - Llahir is not known to be the source of a Mesmer’s power. Mesmers believe the source of their power to be the being known as ‘The Watcher’. - Mesmers cannot cast spells without their Focus. - The Calling can only happen to a Mesmer once. Any further interaction with the Watcher is reserved for ST events. - A Mesmer may only ever have one Focus at a time. Purpose Credits @Remyy - Writer Quinn [OOC Friend] - Editor @verriberri - Artist, Brainstorming, Proofreader @JustGrim - Brainstorming, Proofreader
  17. Potions not listed under the restricted section are all considered public knowledge and is usable by anyone with the alchemy feat. Lore: OOC: Warmth Potion Mermaid Skin Potion Bottled Charm Gelatinous Salve Wyvern's Protection Hunter's Venom
  18. ♫ What We Could Have Become ♫ STRIGAE CHILDREN OF THE UNSEEN “Fear not, Gedym aep Helgraen, who hath so foolishly called us to this world,” spoke the first and tallest of the beings, “You have sought immortality, and so we shall grant it to you.” TABLE OF CONTENT: Origin Summary Culture Creation Physiology Lesser Striga (degeneration) Abilities Purpose / Psyche Physiological Degeneration Changelog ORIGIN SUMMARY Most familiar to the world are the legends by which the species are known; they serve as the iron curtain by which their accursed society operates beneath. Vengeful beasts who live beneath the light of the moon; creatures who come at night to feast on children, revenants banished from death and reanimated in flesh to haunt the living. Their legacy is known throughout all the common cultures of the world, each with their own names designated only in whispers. Most prominent amongst the wide territory of the Empire is Vampyre, suitable and simple, as Ruahdrel and Ardolar they are known as well by Dwarf and Elf in kind. Among their own however, and by a select few scholars invested in the topic they are known by their true name: as Strigae, Children of the Unseen. The Striga are a race of ill-begotten monsters descendent and derived from ancient antiquity. Created by the Unseen; a host of seven aengudaemonic entities of the deific plane who forswore their names in service to the Archdaemon Iblees as his lieutenants. Summoned into the world by an infamous mage of the continent in a wry ceremony, they gave their blessing upon Gedym aep Helgraen; though if all was not shrouded in mystery some Striga would assert that what they offered was more aptly described as a curse. By the emergence of their pregenator were the rest of their ilk borne to the world; the blood of the Unseen spreading from Helgraen to servants of strong constitution who could simply survive. CULTURE Strigae society revolves around the word of the Unseen. The foremost text amongst their kind being the written laws provided by the seven to aep Helgraen upon their emergence unto the mortal plane. Most only have scraps and copies of the original parchment, the most common demands of which have been translated into common for even the youngest neonates to understand correctly: The Unseen Codex. One must never drink the blood of and kill another fellow greater striga. All those who defy this principle shall be considered anathema. One must always remain unquestioningly obedient to the Unseen. All those who defy this principle shall be considered anathema One must always provide fraternal assistance to any fellow striga whose body has been destroyed, and they must be helped to regenerate. All those who defy this principle shall be considered Anathema One must never consort with the lesser striga, for they are beast and a shame upon our kind, and are considered to be anathema One must never consort with the anathema, and must consider them exempt from the privileges of any greater striga, and thereby anathema are worthy of present death One must always endeavour to avoid bringing the attention of mortals onto the greater striga. One must always consider it their duty to cremate the cast-off flesh, leavings and destroyed bodies of any fellow striga. These tenants are held strictly by most in secret society and those Striga who find themselves in violation of the law are outlawed commonly as anathema; essentially a strict call by the upper-echelon that essentially servers all chances of redemption. A Striga that is declared anathema by an elder is banished from the wider community and actively shunned or hunted by compatriots. Most who are declared so however are most typically a part of a coven populated enough to enforce the law and a lineage respected enough to offer a legitimate ruling. There is in fact a proverb which defines which best describes the intensity with which wider society regards their own traditions: what is out of sight, is out of mind. Thus if none are able to find feasible fault; there is little actual insistence on the banishment of their own. If none can pin the crime, none have commited the crime. REDLINE: these “tenants” are essentially only RP flavor/aesthetic and have no basis to force others into RP or enforce any type of DC or PK. CREATION “Give us a maid of unspoiled stock, that we may hew her limbs. And on a pile sacrifice her flesh, before this earthly prison of her bones, a virgin’s blood, so that the Taker of Souls be appeased.” Fresh blood of an elder Striga is the primary material used for transformation, it is a reagent which is transfused into an aspiring prospect after their own blood has been taken from them, causing the body to react and change. Accordingly then does the curse take hold and spread throughout the body, multiplying rapidly in a forced evolution which incurs a heavy toll on the body. Most enjoy an excruciatingly slow death by rejection, a spectrum from simplest rot to the wildest flailing; most are strapped to a stone surface due to the variability. In conjunction is the ritual itself, which over the centuries has been refined to mimic the work of Helgraen’s first accursed ceremony. Seven acolytes to bear witness, fresh meat for the chosen neonate to dine upon. The latter is most critical, for if the chosen survives initial contact with their parent’s ichor they must feed and stabilize their own physiology or face their inevitable degeneration. Deprived neonates wither and fade, though overindulgence equally priced at far too high a cost. Striga who overindulge in the earliest stages of their budding birth risk evolution into a mindless beast, thus is the eternal battle of one under the influence of the Unseen lineage. The immediate effects of success are evident in the features of the neonate; pale skin like a sickly performer ill on-stage and arrogantly ignoring the consequence. It is as if the skin were blemished with cloudy white cosmetics; likewise in traditional form are the canines of the individual mildly elongated though also easily veiled by a simple closing of the mouth. Each is manageable with balanced and regular feeding; able to be subdued to the point of normality. The last feature is the iris, denoted as yellowish-green; a permanent feature unchangeable regardless of one’s diet. The curse greatly diminishes the body’s own ability to produce its own lifeforce, by virtue of this it is then for that reason that Strigae hunts perpetually in search of it in the blood of others, this much is certain. REDLINE: roll based ritual transfusion; base roll of 12+ needed for success and you get three rolls. If they don’t feed in the 24IRL hours after or fails all three rolls the person in question either dies, or degenerates into an Upir. The Elder in question must also have an accepted TA. the three stages of hunger (left to right) PHYSIOLOGY There are in essence two denominations which Strigae are characterized; the greater, and the lesser (vampirus superiores and vampirus luminares respectively). The first and most familiar to traditional literature is the former, the greater strigae which practice the most distinctive aspect of subterfuge. They are physically ageless and live near up to four thousand years in age. They are stunted in no way save for the void that the Unseen demand be filled, the cravings of a beast. Strength and sense are expanded beyond normal capacity; operating at the highest peak of their previous biology. Greater Striga also appear physically much the same as they had at the point of their turning in eternal perpetuity. Completely humanoid they are able to disguise their more feral features and hide within common society and live much the same as they might have before if as aforementioned, they retain a suitable diet. Failing to feed therin rendering one cold to the touch, akin to chilled feet unprotected by the warmth of a blanket at night. While in a calm state Greater Striga are able to maintain their form with relative ease. There is the previous form, known for convenience as the ‘passive’ form, there is also the following ‘bestial’ form. In a state of anxiety Striga are put into a state of flux and transform into something far more sinister; a ‘bestial’ attack form. Much like any cornered animal when it’s back is to the wall, when Strigae experience intense bouts of emotion it sends that individual into a state of fight or flight. The eyes previously mentioned as being primarily yellow-green are completely blackened, and while their frame remains much the same as before the features of that physiology become far more gaunt and sunken. Their blackened veins become visible as well, their nose flattened, their ears long and sharp. Striga also gain access to elongated talons which serve them well as tempered weapons for defense in the most dire of circumstances. male Striga in beastial form LESSER STRIGAE A Lesser Striga Is the product of an individual's self-indulgence. Degeneration to this state is in practice caused when the body has ingested far too much blood for its own good. The blood curdles to the point of mutation and the specimen in question becomes in its entirety the beast that was formerly chained by strength of character. Satiation of the hunger is conducted in bloody fashion with no regard at all for nuance or even security; the strength that occupies the upper echelon of the species having disappeared in its entirety. Symbolic of this fallen mental-state lesser Strigae also lack physical control of their vampiric traits; lost to the beast is their original passive state, forced to remain in a revolting shell which mirrors the tainted mentality of the subject, their healing factor becoming a parceled shard of what once was. It is for these reasons that lesser Strigae are subsequently shunned and oppressed by the wider society; those who have given themselves to the hellion inside are traditionally barred from aid by nominal authority which finds itself vested in the collective covens that encompass the hidden corners of the world. The wild conjecture of common myth and legend are perpetuated at their fullest by the fallen, as most find no other shelter than amidst the darkest caverns and tombs, only arriving in populated areas to slaughter indiscriminately before retreating into the shadows. Thus they are also the only subset of the species which experience a true and final death as it is thought repulsive to help revive such a reviled example of the species; once the body of a lesser Striga has been torn asunder it is simply no more, doomed to linger in the place of it’s death in perpetual torment. Lesser Striga themselves are then divided into three subspecies, first categorized as so in books recovered from the ruins of the Marked stronghold the Hexicanum. Each is identified specifically by their place in the metamorphosis. An Upir is the immediate product of degeneration, the state of an individual who has only recently given themselves to their baser instinct. All the features that were once contained by the self are displayed clear. The face is left sunken and grey in appearance, and the claws are permanently present. The array of savage teeth even become so unmanageable that an Upir’s maw protrudes from mouth perpetually, their lips receded and thinly retracted back behind the marrow of the bone. Behind a cloak or any dense clothing capable of hiding their monstrous features can be masked, at a practical distance at least; Upirs are still very much humanoid in shape, they walk on two feet. The hunting habits dawned by most of its subspecies reflect these limitations, often only appearing in the night to avoid being properly seen. Upir are also even capable of some stunted speech confined to a few simple audibles; a grunt there, a moan here, the howl of a rabid dog, unintelligible a sane mind though amongst themselves oddly communicative. Some Upir even experience desperosity; a need for a way out of their condition. TO that end hunger will drive them to appease or devour their distant greater kin, most often one who has been set apart as anathema. After several years of survival and continuous ingestion the midway in development follows; defined as an Alp. Degenerating specimen at this second stage no longer maintain a typical humanoid form; they grow blackened and obese via the nutrition progressively sustained over the span of their years. What is most particular to the subspecies is the density of muscle; the trait is asserted as a product of a subject’s accumulated weight which also lends to it’s quadrupedal orientation. The increased load being distributed between the Alp’s four appendages. The beast essentially resembles that of a great ape; all that comprises it’s former identity driven so far deep into the body that it might never be retrieved from the void. Alps are thus also incapable of any variety of speech or higher thought. What they do manage to ascertain is based solely in auditory sense; an Alp’s eyesight is poor, so it will attack indiscriminately any entity that cannot considerably subdue their own steps. Many fallen Strigae do not last past this state, and the ones who do find themselves unable to find security even in the darkest of catacombs; the slaughter they stir far too great to go unnoticed in most circumstances. the three subspecies (upir to carcoran) The final stage of development is prone to extreme rarity; known as a Carcoran these creatures are eternally starving behemoths. The process to reach this point is debatable, however the spectrum of most individuals closes after a common period of five years if feeding is regular. The body’s evolution starts to churn down; it’s development catching up with the beast’s own bloody diet, the creature’s physiology taking shape as that of a gargantuan bear with most of the creature’s weight distributed on its hind legs. As a result a Carcoran may walk on all-fours, or stand rampant when confronted with suitable danger. When fully erect a Carcoran stands nearly nine feet high, though their full height is left unused in most cases due to the slouch that accompanies them. It’s limbs themselves long and thick like the trunk of a great oak tree. They are also completely blind; the issue of eyesight exacerbated to the point redundancy regarding the subject. Completely vestigial in nature. Instead a Carcoran relies completely on their ears in the form of echolocation. Their habits reflect this, as most of the subspecies live in caverns on the outskirts of townships or villages, even sometimes feeding on petty animals to retain their fill though they are prone to eventually vomiting it all back up. Despite this immense strength and speed consequently Carcoran are also subsequently the most unintelligent of any of the three aforementioned specimen; dumb as an ox and easily dispatchable by overwhelming force. RED LINE: Lesser Striga beyond Upir restricted to ST; degeneration occurs after the equivalent of four adult meals (two people drained in their entirety.) Upir are playable with a separate CA dictating that a player is aware of the differences between a greater and lesser Striga, should the lesser Striga devolve further they become unplayable. An Upir may ascend back to greaterdom by consuming a greater Striga, in doing so they would be rendered Anathema. PSYCHOLOGY The Strigae experience a hunger that transcends the common temptations of ambition, greed and social acceptance: forced to become the architect of their own sustainability, all centered around the premise of discrete existence and consistent feeding. While the lesser Strigae fail to carefully cultivate an existence that serves their needs, the greater Strigae find no challenge in being the realm’s greatest pretenders. Bishops, merchants, bureaucrats and soldiers alike: the Greater Strigae climbs the institutions of man so that he can be protected by its mantle of privilege: a trust, but primarily access, that comes with certain professions and social classes exclusively. The calculating and mobile are rewarded, whereas the clumsy and gluttonous descend into an existence of violent madness. Simply put: their sole purpose is to feed. But one may wonder if the grotesque machinations created around such an existence, don’t deserve to be considered a purpose by itself. The quality of the psyche differs per individual: but much like the commoners among us, the steady hand can hold the most. Once a Striga discovers a formula within his environment that succeeds in providing undetected, yet consistent supply: he is not prone to change it. Though for those that have been adhering to such a formula for centuries, adding self-established ceremonies and rites before or after consumption is not uncommon. Different covens were unable to escape the cultural influences of their location, which brought different ‘enrichments’ to its ceremonies across the realm. Considering that temperance is a matter of proper existence to the Striga, and not just a valued trait: one might not be surprised that most Striga come off as calm and stable to the outside world. Drunkards or excessive talkers are rare, as most wield an iron discipline to only take steps necessary for their continued survival. A quality to some perhaps, but also a trait that renders them inhuman even in public affairs. They can be seemingly bored at a festival, or oddly indifferent at a trial: these events are human pretensions of satisfaction. True satisfaction is being fed. ‘Love and Pain’ by Edvard Munch PSYCHOLOGICAL DETERIORATION There are significant differences between the psyche’s Strigae that go beyond the greater and lesser distinction. The path from greater to lesser takes place on a spectrum: with each Striga differently placed. The Striga could survive without blood, as much as it can handle a constant routine for centuries. The question however, is whether their psyche is strong enough to sustain it. The less well fed a Striga is relative to what he is used to: the more agitated he becomes with the unnecessary in his life. Distractions can, in serious cases, evoke sincere rage or loss of composure. The usual façades towards those around him weaken: the need to be fed tampers the mind. On the opposite end of this primitive bloodlust stands the achilles heel of even the finest of Greater Strigae: the contemplation of their existence. Outliving all friends that they could possibly have, with no natural transition of their bodies nor the rush of inevitable mortality: what can they get from their prolonged, systemic lives? For those that have made it into the finest circles of mankind: the curse of too much time and insufficient pleasure brought them to pursue acts of psychological distraction. Analyzing all the structures, tales and norms that the world operates through. Pondering what their place is in a world that seems to wither before they do. The upper echelon of Greater Strigae make of the greatest, yet loneliest of minds. For those unable to cope with the inability, or excellence of their ability, to cultivate a comfortable existence for themselves: this destiny seems realistic. GREATER STRIGAE: CAPABILITIES & LIMITATIONS Striga blood itself is a stimulant that derives its potency from the concentration of the life essence that is extracted after feeding upon a mortal subject. Gifted first from the Unseen to aep Helgraen and subsequently thereafter: from the oldest to the youngest. It is from this that all Greater Strigae derive their abilities; abilities that can be divided on the basis of passive or active function. In essence, active abilities require conscious effort, while passive effects act practically as regular bodily mechanics. It is also worthy to note that these abilities are dependent on blood intake and that efficiency is entirely tied to the health of the individual. If a Striga decides to starve himself of life-essence he will lose that which fuels his abilities; thus being as weak or infirm as he might have been otherwise before his transformation. Likewise if the subject feeds regularly their powers and functions will remain intact. PHYSIOLOGICAL AUGMENTATIONS: HEIGHTENED PHYSICAL PROWESS, When Strigae are at their most potent they benefit from a variety of bodily boons; most noticeably in both strength and speed. This heightened physical prowess is however limited to the body’s bone structure and muscle density; when a Striga has been underfed or continuously starved these factors then weigh down on the individual to subsequently tire them out more quickly than not. It stands to reason then that the longer a fight goes on for the less opportunities there will be for the specimen in question to defeat their foe, or even possibly flee. Striga are built for quick decisive movement; their high-twitch muscle fiber allows them to strike hard and fast. The body reflects the need of the species: that a fight must be avoided at all costs, to either win quickly or flee quickly. This is further reflected in a Striga’s bestial form, the structure of the body polymorphing against the weight of their anxiety and fear. Striga are also capable of a passive low-light vision allocated to them via augmentations they acquire after their turning; great falls also prove ineffective in hampering Strigae, as many encounters end commonly by way of open window. RED LINE: all physical attributes are capped at the capacity of an Uruk/Orc and limited by the amount of blood they have consumed recently. Someone who hasn’t fed in months will not benefit at all. Strength must abide by reasonable means: think any mixed martial artist or peak athlete, not some unrealistic hulking monstrosity. HYPERMETABOLISM, The aforementioned metabolism also gifts Strigae with inherent health; Immunity to poison and disease (but conversely unable to benefit from alchemical potions.) Theirs is an accumulated numbing to the variable stimuli that life offers over time. As a product of their enhanced metabolism, Strigae also have an inherent resistance to cold and are even able to wander through a tundra, or swim through frozen over waters in relative comfort when well fed. Their immunity to poison makes strigae unable to benefit alchemic healing or elixirs for the changing of appearance. Their body would also reject the afflicted symbiote in this regard. This is also why Striga are unable to learn extraordinary magics, and why the potential for all else is burned out of them by the transfusion of the Unseen’s vile blood into the vein. Once turned, the body fights vigorously against foriegn influences and does not allow an inch of ground in this regard. This is also partly the reason why normal sustenance is simply inferior to the consummation of life energy. In order for the body to continue to operate efficiently it is critical that Strigae receive enough fuel to sustain their corporeal body and their abilities, as even if they are immune to tampering they cannot stave off the gnawing twisting rot that accompanies starvation. Whilst for the most part unhindered and unfeeling of cold, their bodymatter is not exempt from it; a Striga’s skin and muscles can still be frozen by alchemical, magical or even mundane means and the same pain and restriction would be experienced. Similarly intense heat is handled the same way. The body can be hampered like any other creature; yet despite feeling that pain Strigae are also equal to it, fortuitous to curb their physical reaction. REDLINE: Striga are unable to learn any kind of magic, nor are they able to be cured, or transformed into another CA equivalent creature. Everything they had before they turned would then be lost. Also while strong in constitution that does not at all mean that extreme cold or heat does not affect them, they have a tolerance, not an immunity. TEMPERAMENTAL SENSORY, Striga are also found to be more acutely aware of other’s physiology. When blood is near so too is the compulsion to transform and hunt, though this can be mitigated via one’s strength of mind. The compulsion is so great that some specimens of Strigae are even prone to losing control and going berserk. This is also the very reason why Striga can sense their own kind; blood calls to blood. But it is not the blood itself that Strigae are attuned to; rather they are drawn to the qualities held within the blood which offers them sustenance and euthporia in return, very similar to the experience mortals undergo when being subjected to their own blood. The quality of the blood is in fact offset by the elemental composition; essentially the chemical composition and balance of bodily fluids. There are components in this regard, identified as the four humors, four excesses which effect and work to imbalance the body identified as such since antiquity: black bile, yellow bile, sanguinity, and phlegm or mucus. It is believed then that an abundance in any of the four is unappealing to most Strigae; yet some do acquire specific tastes, as these four Humors translate to certain temperaments which are really how those of the species identify the subject of their next meal. Some Striga are in fact abundantly picky in their diet. For the wide majority of Striga however: what is preferred is a meaningful balance of these fluids in the body, as both an excess or a deficiency of any four provides to taint the experience of feeding. Thus it is for the purpose of determining blood purity that their senses are enhanced, and although all five senses are enhanced they are not absurdly so; more apt is that this predatory affinity manifests instead as a sixth sense entirely. REDLINE: It is not possible to use these sensory skills as an out to track people, to sniff people out of hiding, to listen in unreasonably unto another conversation from another room. Misuse in any of these ways, or in any other malicious manner will result in that player’s CA being revoked. REGENERATION, Passive, Active, and Otherwise, The most prominent ability a Striga may possess is the raw regenerative potential of it’s physiology. Striga retain an ability to heal from even the most dire of wounds. This objectively potent ability is then subsequently contained by the time it takes the body to recover from harm. For the most dire of circumstances most prefer to lick their wounds in solitude or hibernation; in places hidden to the eyes of mortals, the trait is shared by lesser Strigae as well, giving credence to their mythological preference for crypts and graveyards. This passive regeneration is at its most effective when there is no other preoccupation inhibiting the respite of the specimen and it’s latent capacity for cell growth. Thus it renders Strigae are only actively able to manage surface wounds in combat: cuts, bruises, burns, frostbite; these things are understandably manageable. A sword thrust through the chest however? As painful for any variety of Striga as it would be for an ordinary mortal being. The surest way to best a Vampyric beast is by debilitation. If one burns out their eyes or perhaps breaks their arms, removes their tools from play; these are the stratagems best suited for ultimate dispensation in a disadvantageous senario. A secondary option is the use of a purifying deific magic which renders these boons redundent in combat; slowing the rate of regeneration to a near halt until the body has fought off the virus in a safer environment. Overwhelming force is also of great issue, Strigae cannot feasibly recover from being burned to a crisp or having their heads chopped off and their brains shattered, not without the aid. a striga recovering via the vetalas moments after it’s resurrection True death however is not achievable at the hands of a mortal, as a Strigae spirit remains clung to the site of it’s death. It lies dormant there forever in a hibernative state, the cells of the deceased clinging to whatever it might possibly manifest upon. It is a hopeless endeavour requiring the intervening aid of another Striga that may be drawn to the area. With the aid of another however, and with a donation of blood the regenerative process can be drawn in-kind and the reformation of the body can begin; typically over the course of nine years at the minimum. The state the Striga is left in is near identical to an abomidal abortion. The recovery of one’s skin and bone structure being some of the final components. Strigae return to corporeal form as bloody heaps of meat which must be fed unflinchingly for these painstaking years after their revival; though once completed this new body would look nearly identical to the one they had before their death. It is an odd development, and a traumatizing one for the mind to undertake: for while the mind is not fully conscious the specimen does retain it’s intelligence in this extremely vulnerable state which is consequently dubbed as the Vetalas. Indeed for the majority of this time period Strigae cannot walk, nor even hunt or feed without the aid of a provider. For real death to occur under the prior conditions the entirety of the specimen in question must be devoured upon death with no remains left uneaten; and to that end is the virtue of fraternal aid twisted into the fratricidal act of anthropophagus, or cannibalism. In this instance the murderer in question takes the dormant spirit of their kin and incorporates it into their own; effectively ending the lesser partner in this taboo union. This process effectively renders regeneration defunct, as there is logically no material matter remaining to latch to. For this reason it is held as taboo amongst hidden society that Striga quarrel amongst themselves; it is even mandated by the Unseen themselves through their Codex which details the rule of their covenant with aep Helgraen. REDLINE(S): all internal damage done to a Striga in combat cannot be undone while still in combat. If you're stabbed in the chest or someone pierces a lung, stabs out an eye (again) all of this cannot be feasibly regenerated when focusing on defence. To do so is powergaming and will again result in the immediate revocation of that individual’s CA. Minor wounds can clot and scab, but this must be achieved in combat via emote and to fully heal they must again be safely outside of combat. (A Striga may still PK to valid RP death should they wish) HEMATOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES: HUMORIC STIMULATION, It is already well known that Strigae possesses a latent ability to sense the blood and blood quality of other individuals, but why is this the case? Striga are required to drink of life-essence to maintain their abilities yes, but this is not also why they hunger and crave for it. Essense held in the blood of mortals is the fuel, but it is also in turn a major stimulant for the Striga as well. The numbness of life being temporarily sated in an instance of feeding. Striga experience a certain euphoria when consuming humorically balanced meals, and intensely the range of emotion tied to their victim’s own experiences. It is in this way then that a Striga can almost in a literal sense; suck the life out of an individual. All the valuable emotions and feelings that constitute their own identity: it is this that Strigae yearn for in a life of otherwise poor and miserable circumstance. REDLINE: emotions are the only thing that can be experienced by a Striga when they feed, strong feelings and not memories, events, or clues of any kind. Breaks lore and will result in the revocation of the individual’s CA. BLOOD ENTHRALLMENT, Enthrallment is the result of the innate hypnotic properties found within the blood of Greater Strigae. Strigae blood is capable of posing a unique sway over the waking consciousness of a descendant; instilling in whomever sups from a Striga the same malignant need that the Strigae themselves possess for the blood of those unafflicted by their curse. It is unknown whether these properties are a result of the changes the curse has had upon the Strigae’s body, or if the blood itself carries a magical property to it, but it has proven effective in producing an effect on the body most similar to an opiate addiction; producing great stress both mental and physical upon those reliant upon the substance in the absence thereof. Any descendant who drinks of a Greater Strigae’s blood, wittingly or unwittingly, will begin to fall under the allure of the Strigae. The amount need be no larger than 15 ml, and can subsequently be disguised in drinks such as wine with little difficulty. It is tiered, with subsequent encounters with Strigae blood producing a greater effect building onto addiction and thus true enthrallment. It also has the effect of producing an infantile version of Strigae regenerative ability in the thrall, with blemishes, bruises and otherwise trivial wounds healing passively via this effect. Upon initially being fed the blood of a Strigae, the individual will feel the effects equivalent to post-mild intoxication, with inhibitions loosened and clarity of mind obscured by the sinister nature of it. At the first stage, this bond lasts for two IRL hours and can be utilized to assist in mild persuasion of the person in question. The ‘strength’ of the bond increases exponentially upon every incident where they imbibe the blood of their original regnant. This increases the length of the bond by two hours each time, and subsequently the addiction and the overall hold their affliction has over them up until the fifth and final incident, wherein the bond will be made permanent (until the thrall completely neglects their urges for a period of two IRL weeks) at which point they become fully beholden to the whims of their Regnant and cannot go against their will. (this final stage requires OOC consent) Upon being denied the blood of their Regnant for over two IRL days, the thrall will enter into symptoms similar to drug withdrawal and will suffer from the agonizing effects of such for a period until they feed again or have staved off the addiction for a total of two IRL weeks. REDLINE(S): the final stage of enthrallment requires ooc consent. Enthrallment cannot be used to force a thrall into any sort of act that would entail the willful suicide of the character, or that would be considered lewd or unwholesome. Enthrallment cannot be used to force actions onto a character up until the fifth and final stage of enthrallment, which requires the OOC consent of the player involved. It is meant to instill suggestibility, not outright mind control. Thralls are not granted the abnormal strength or regenerative ability of Greater Strigae, instead inheriting a higher physical resilience that allows them to recover from minor wounds such as scrapes, bruising, etc. Enthrallment must be broken through abstaining from the blood of a thrall’s Regnant, whether willingly or unwillingly, for a period of two IRL weeks and cannot be cleansed by any magical means. STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES SUMMARIZED STRENGTHS SUMMARIZED: General Strengths Strigae are immortal, unaffected by time or disease. Strigae are endowed with some significant strength relative to their size. This is not super strength. Strigae can sense and determine the quality of blood in another individual close at hand according to temperament and physical tells. Strigae are able to be very quick and evasive, capable of moving and concealing themselves in the shadows adeptly. This is not super-speed. Strigae may grow talons (up to 12cm) for use in combat when enraged, hunting, or blood-drunk. Greater strigae are capable of regenerating wounds that would be fatal to mortals, such as a stab through the heart or a slit throat, unless inflicted upon them by gold or holy magic, in which case such wounds take considerably longer to heal and are able to more easily incapacitate the striga. In combat this ability is restricted to surface wounds ONLY Strigae are capable of tapping into their victims emotions and feelings through the drinking of their blood. No more, and no less. Greater strigae are unkillable under most circumstances. While their bodies can be totally incapacitated in much the same manner as would a normal humanoid (Rapid dismemberment, beheading) and destroyed through destruction of the brain, ‘death’ in this fashion only serves to destroy the corporeal body and banish the spirit from this plane. With enough time (Recorded in this document as a minimum of nine years) and the aid of another striga’s blood, a greater striga may regenerate a new body, identical to the last. However, if a greater striga is killed by one of its own kind, it suffers a final death - and similarly, if another striga refuses to offer aid to a comrade whose body is destroyed (Whether this is because they are anathema or for other reasons) they may not regenerate. LIMITATIONS SUMMARIZED: General Limitations Strigae are compelled to feed on blood, hungering for it like a powerful addiction. Though this ‘alcoholism’ can occasionally be overcome by the most controlled of strigae, it is always latent. Strigae who have not fed on blood for an extended period of the time are cold to the touch and begin to suffer from a state of degeneration. While they do not become lesser striga, they become emaciated husks the longer they go with blood, eventually reaching a point where they will be incapable of feeding themselves without the assistance of another due to extreme physical lethargy and muscle degeneration. Greater strigae who overindulge (More than four adult 'meals' per seed-month) on blood will begin the process of degeneration into an Upir and subsequent creatures. Animals (specifically of the family Canidae) are able to detect the scent of a striga and are averse to one’s presence, often unfriendly and suspicious in the presence of a striga. Strigae are susceptible to aurum, and cannot immediately regenerate wounds inflicted by blades of gold, causing it to take twice as long as would normally be applicable. To a striga, any form of aurum or silver is very uncomfortable to the touch, and must be handled with gloves. When a stake formed of either material is driven through the heart of a striga it causes immediate bodily paralysis and inhibits the regenerative functions of the striga until removed. Becoming a striga is irreversible. Strigae are infertile and can only reproduce by inflicting their curse (Or as they often see it, a blessing) upon others. Strigae are completely unable to learn and utilize magical skills as a result of their affliction. Prior magical skills that were learnt prior to transformation become unusable. Strigae cannot utilize the Cloud Temple monks to heal their bodies. The scent of excessive blood such as that of a large battle or slaughterhouse will drive even the most controlled striga temporarily wild and rabid, forcing them into their more bestial form and causing them to lose control of their emotions. Lesser Striga beyond Upir restricted to ST; degeneration occurs after the equivalent of four adult meals (two people drained in their entirety.) Upir are playable with a separate CA dictating that a player is aware of the differences between a greater and lesser Striga, should the lesser Striga devolve further they become unplayable. An Upir may ascend back to greaterdom by consuming a greater Striga, in doing so they would be rendered Anathema. Cultural distaste for individuals who have violated the Unseen “tenants” cannot be used as a basis to DC or PK and an individual, they are essentially only RP flavor/aesthetic and have no basis to force others into RP or enforce any type of DC or PK. Creation Limitations Must use rolls based ritual transfusion; base roll of 12+ needed for success and you get three rolls. If they don’t feed in the 24IRL hours after or fails all three rolls the person in question either dies, or degenerates into an Upir. The Elder in question must also have an accepted TA. Physical Prowess All physical attributes are capped at the capacity of an Uruk/Orc and limited by the amount of blood they have consumed most recently. A character that has fed within the week(IRL) will be at full capacity. A character that has fed within the past month(IRL) will have that capacity subtracted by half. A character that has NOT fed within the past month(IRL)will have that capacity become redundant. Striga are uniquely strong, yet that strength must abide by reasonable means: think any given mixed martial artist or peak athlete, not some unrealistic hulking monstrocity. Metabolic Limitations Striga are unable to learn any kind of magic. Striga cannot be cured. Striga cannot be transformed into another CA equivalent creature. Everything they had before they turned is lost. While strong in constitution that does not at all mean that extreme cold or heat does not affect them, they have a tolerance, not an immunity. Temperamental Sensory It is not possible to use these sensory skills as an out to track people Sensory skill cannot be used to sniff people out of hiding Sensory skills are also unable to allow someone to listen in unreasonably unto another conversation from another room. Misuse in any of these ways, or in any other malicious manner will result in that player’s CA being revoked. Regeneration All internal damage done to a Striga in combat cannot be undone while still in combat. If you're stabbed in the chest or someone pierces a lung, stabs out an eye (again) all of this cannot be feasibly regenerated when focusing on defence. To do so is powergaming and will again result in the immediate revocation of that individual’s CA. Middling wounds can clot and scab, but this must be achieved in combat via emote and to fully heal they must again be safely outside of combat. Middling injuries (ie. cuts and other blemishes) will take three emotes to recover from* Minor injuries (ie. internal bodily injury) will take between 4 irl hours to regenerate from*. Major injuries (ie. severed limbs or grievous wounds) will take between 3 days to regenerate from*. Mortal injuries (ie. destruction of the brain, or complete bodily destruction) will take 1 month to regenerate from, and will also require the help of another striga to help regenerate. Any injury received from aurum will take twice as long to recover from as the same injury received by regular means. Real Death while preferably ending in the permanent death of the character can also result in degeneration or eternal limbo instead. Combat must also already be decided before the rp can commence, one cannot consume their opponent mid-combat. A Striga can still pk to valid rp death should they wish, the same as any normal character. Enthrallment Limitations The final stage of enthrallment requires ooc consent. Enthrallment cannot be used to force a thrall into any sort of act that would entail the willful suicide of the character, or that would be considered lewd or unwholesome. Enthrallment cannot be used to force actions onto a character up until the fifth and final stage of enthrallment, which requires the OOC consent of the player involved. It is meant to instill suggestibility, not outright mind control. Thralls are not granted the abnormal strength or regenerative ability of Greater Strigae, instead inheriting a higher physical resilience that allows them to recover from minor wounds such as scrapes, bruising, etc. Enthrallment must be broken through abstaining from the blood of a thrall’s Regnant, whether willingly or unwillingly, for a period of two IRL weeks and cannot be cleansed by any magical means. PURPOSE Striga exist to challenge the significant value we place on the concept of immortality, and to answer the question of what would happen if a finite entity suddenly found itself invested with infinite vitality. It’s a question that can only really be purely expressed in roleplay, and that is ultimately the core pillar of the community. What would happen if an old man regained his strength? Or a young man remained eternally youthful? What would happen to that individual as a character? It’s the promise of story in the long term for players who value a level of realism that cannot be adequately gained elsewhere. Striga also presents a very fascinating philosophical dilemma; that this curse can transform a moral character into someone unrecognizable. It’s this question: of how beings with such a limited scope manage to fill all the centuries they’ve been given without falling into depression, going mad, or getting killed. The essential battle of a Striga is between humanity and the compulsion to do harm. The niche is complex because of that black and white dynamic and the result is something that is far more unique and character driven than in most other formats on the server. It’s what has made this lore so paliable in the past and why people continue to be dedicated to it now. It’s the reason why it was the first to get traditional night creatures right on this server without conforming to the typical twilight cringe aesthetic. CHANGELOG March 21st, 12:42PM removed most paragraphs copied from the original post via Maly and MTH due to insufficient detail in the requested subjects; instead now using the older source primarily as a base. added table of content to guide progress. added two paragraphs, condensed origin/ background added two paragraphs, elaborated further on creation and related mechanics. added next section: three paragraphs, physiology: greater striga v. lesser striga; lesser striga further described. March 23rd, 7:10AM added three paragraphs on lesser striga March 27th, 7:21PM added three paragraphs, finished physiology added seven paragraphs, psychology finished by Draeris March 28th, 12:58AM start on abilities, marked out titles to fill in; goal to better explain and expand on basic powers, trim the fat. title changed from ABILITIES to specifically capabilities & limitations of greater striga (playable striga) added one intro paragraph; divided abilities on the basis of passive and active function with formal division between physical improvements and abilities that are directly due to exposure to blood. added two paragraphs under subtopic: physical prowess. added a paragraph and a half under subtopic: hypermetabolism. March 29th, 8:58AM added two paragraphs under subtopic: humoric sensory, renamed ‘tempramental sensory’. start on regeneration, critical to get right. added five paragraphs to subtopic: regeneration. expansion on the following topic: real death, regeneration period after death, solidified healing times as requested. started on blood attributes: ‘hematological attributes.’ divided as follows: humoric stimulation, blood enthrallment. added a paragraph to subtopic: humoric stimulation added three paragraphs to subtopic: enthrallment added new redlines and further consolidated strengths and weaknesses in the bottom topic. added relevant red-line restrictions under the relevant abilities. restructure of topics to fit required format added two paragraphs to the topic: purpose. created changelog upon request; documented added to paragraphs to topic: culture added requested caveat on unseen legality feedback hopefully addressed March 31, 10:29PM edited strength augment and redlines after ST consultation; will reverse if necessary. CREDITS To all the people who helped work on this new rewrite, and to all the folks who came before to create this special creature on lotc. This one is for you guys, as none of this would be possible without you; we stand on the shoulders of giants. | MALY, MTHDOMINATOR, SCREAMINGDINGO, KBR, LEVIRAD, BAGLEY, & JACK |
  19. Voidal Horrors This is a reclarification lore submission to truly outline the ambiguous and alien beings known as Voidal Horrors. These horrendous and arcane creatures originate from the void with almost no explanation for their creation, their various purposes or why they are the way they are. This mystery will likely remain such for a long time. However we can still understand what these creatures are. To note: Voidal Horrors overall are an almost purely event Race. Either playable by ET or used in events. You cannot run around roleplaying as a Voidal Horror. Disclaimer - The following is updated lore, editted into this post for clarification on the origin of voidal horrors: What is a Voidal Horror? Voidal Horror is the general term for any twisted and morphed creature, birthed and residing in the Void. They live and reside in the Void, wandering, warring, learning and otherwise doing whatever it is they please. They are a strange and incomprehensible form of being, having been twisted, scarred and morphed by the void into impossible beings of the abyss. Each more vastly different than the last, Voidal Horror’s are as infinitely different as the void from which they originate from, their traits and powers and physiology all alien. However, despite this, there are obvious similarities between all of them, not to mention the obvious similarities between various groups of them, allowing us to more or less generalise them and place them into vague categories. Classifications & Hierarchy Voidal Horrors are as chaotic as the void they originate from, their purpose very odd and alien and always different from another. However, despite these creatures having no form of social structure or civilization, there is a faint semblance of a pecking order amongst the horrors, much like there is in the animal kingdom. Lesser Horrors Greater Horrors Arch-Horrors Simply out of fear from one another, the Lesser horrors do not come between the Greater horrors and the greater horrors respect the wishes of the Arch-Horrors. It is out of a sense for survival, not a desire for order. Aside from this, there are certain similarities between the types of horrors that can bring some form of order amongst the chaos. The various horrors do not necessarily align alongside their type and they merely wander aimlessly in the void, seeking ways to complete their ambiguous and alien goals, should they even have any. Classifications Horrors Example of a possible Horror Voidal Horrors are the most well known form of void-based creature. They are generally far more sentient than their counterparts, very intelligent and analytical (if at all strange), oddly enough oftentimes having the ability to speak common. They are inquisitive and curious, though are as devious as any demon. They sometimes have the capability to wield magic, some magics that are completely alien to the descendant races, some that have not even been discovered yet. They are not necessarily violent or particularly strong, however their various features and differences may make them so. They are usually no bigger than your average man, taking on what could be considered humanoid forms. However, the differences between voidal horrors are vast. For example, the most famous voidal horror, Achan-Chatla, took on a human-like tentacley form, whereas others will look entirely different. However the basic premise is that all voidal horrors take on a humanoid form, regardless of the vast and chaotic differences between them. tl;dr Sentient, humanoid, people-like, very strange, magic-sensitive, huge variation in physical appearance, usually a fleshy form. Terrors Example of a possible Terror Voidal Terrors are the vicious and savage cousins of their Horror counterparts. They are generally mindless and animalistic, their forms reflecting such. They operate almost solely on an animal-like influence, almost immediately acting violently when come into contact with, be it within the Void and their voidal kin or with any living being in the world of the living. They cannot be reasoned with and they cannot communicate, they are mindless beasts with no capabilities or functions other than to slaughter and feed. They can come in various sizes, from the size of a small cat to the size of an elephant, with varying physical strength and traits. They are often found with numerous spines, spikes, fins or horns covering their bodies and heads, multiple eyes, more often than not moving around on four or more legs as opposed to two, however it is not unheard of. Like their voidal horror counterparts, they take on a fleshy appearance, oftentimes with a hardened exoskeleton (sometimes taking on a magical/elemental exoskeleton, such as the volcanic voidal terror of Adrallan, who’s exoskeleton was made of volcanic rock and consistently evoked fire). tl;dr Animalistic, savage, vicious, mindless creatures, can be large, no magic/intelligence/communication, feral beasts, fleshy forms, hardened exoskeleton, sometimes elemental exoskeleton. Abominations Example of a possible Abomination Voidal Abominations are the most alien out of all the voidal kin. They often come in elemental, primordial or ethereal forms, sometimes taking on humanoid shapes, other times no. They will often appear to be the embodiment of an element, an invokable element or sometimes even another force within the universe. These abominations are quite intelligent and often times can be quite tricksy. Most of them retain the ability to speak common, others have the ability to find ways to speak common. Most often than not, they are adept in the art of the arcane, their powers often strange and different to what the descendants are capable of doing, however boast an expansive arsenal of arcane power. Their bodies are vastly different from that of their kin, their fleshy forms taking on very strange and elemental forms. They are not necessarily physically strong, but their physical capabilities vary between each one. The Voidal Abominations are the most different out of all their voidal kin, even amongst one another, their differences are ridiculously stark. tl;dr Elemental, intelligent, primordial forms, magic-sensitive, physical appearances vastly different, physical strengths fairly low (varies). Behemoths Example of a possible Behemoth Voidal Behemoths are the kings of the void, the titanic voidal beasts that reside within the endless abyss. Behemoths are colossal beasts with savage appearances and incomprehensible minds, usually with an unbreakable fixation on a certain aspect of existence. For example, the “Mana-hunter” as described by Avar Telos the void wraith, it’s entire existence revolves around the draining and absorbing of all the mana around it. Behemoths, despite their savage appearance and brutal mindset, are rather intelligent and devious, though despite this they cannot be reasoned with. Their minds too focused on achieving their desires, their ambitions, it driving their every action until it is completed. Some behemoths do have some semblance of magical ability, generally that of standard arcane magics, sometimes having access to more strange and unfathomable powers. Their physical strength however is monstrous, usually being, at the very least, the size of house, some growing larger than that. Their appearance and forms are fleshy but hardened, more often than not covered in a hardened exoskeleton much like Voidal Terrors. Their physical appearances vary massively, however much resembling their lesser terror kin. tl;dr Colossal beasts, intelligent, irrational, fixate on singular aspect of existence, magically adept, physically strong, terrifying. Physiology Diet Voidal horrors do not rely on a diet to absorb nutrients but seem to have the desire to eat anyway. Their diets are extremely strange, more often than not preferring raw meats, fish and insects, however none are aware as to why. Blood All Horrors, regardless of their classification, all bleed the same way. They bleed an odd form of ichor, similar to that of the Itharel in concept but far different. Their blood is a strange pink, bismuth looking form of blood and is rich in genus (the energy of creation and catalyst of all magical energy), serving as nothing but a vessel for their mana, their power. Their blood is extremely volatile when used in rituals, for example with blood magic or contract magic, however does not preserve. Due to its volatility, it cannot be collected nor contained, dissipating and evaporating into the void within hours of it spilling. Life Unlike the descendants, voidal horror’s lives are entirely magical and based around the arcane. Strangely, they do not contain any life force and do not require it in order to sustain their bodies. They do however require mana in order to sustain themselves. Their mana pool being far larger than that of a descendant, voidal horrors tap into this pool, manipulate it’s energy in order to live. Body Voidal Horror’s bodies are all majorly different, as stated above, however there are some similarities between them all. Their bones are brittle but light, their skin rough and tough, their flesh strangely dry. They do not have organs like the rest of us, nor do they have the need to breath. However, at the centre of all voidal horrors is their “heart of horrors”, a singular orb, their lifesource and power battery. When voidal horrors absorb mana, it is transferred to the orb, acting as a battery for the being. Should the heart be destroyed or pierced, the voidal horror will immediately die. A voidal horror can be killed by normal means, enough damage and they will perish, however this is the quickest way. Power The majority of all voidal horrors have access to a wide range of arcane magical abilities, some of which seem entirely foreign to the descendants. Unlike the descendants, they are quick to adapt and learn new magics, evolving their abilities with uncanny ease. Some are far more powerful than others, thus creating a pseudo pecking order amongst them, outlined above. Generally, horrors take to their abilities very naturally, manipulating the void as if it were an extension of themselves. They generally are drawn towards magical schools that appeal to them, rather than choose them out of practicality, the magics and powers available to them more like a fingerprint than a tool. Death In death, voidal horrors don’t leave behind a mangled corpse like creatures of the earth. Much like an evoked element or a conjured being, voidal horrors will always return to the void. Their deaths are mildly explosive, releasing a burst of energy before dissipating and evaporating, their essence and energy returning to the void.
  20. Veggie

    Maiun dah'Rin

    Maiun dah'Rin People of the Desert Among the more obscure cultures found in humans is that of the Maiun dah'Rin, or dah'Rin(i) for short. This translates to People (Rin) of the (dah') Desert (Maiun). As the name would suggest, they originate from and primarily inhabit deserts. As one might expect, this harsh environment in combination with prolonged isolation from other cultures has lead to a hardy, yet upbeat people with unique traditions. With written documents proving their presence as far back as Axios, and speculation of their history reaching back much further, it's a wonder they've kept their presence so unknown all this time. One could attribute this to isolationism, remote locations, or even being mistaken for other groups, but the true answer has not been found as those who'd know have all passed. In recent times, however, they've made themselves and their ways as known as they can in the face of being lost to history. No known settlements remain of the Maiun dah'Rin, so they assert themselves anywhere that welcomes them. While their own language's alphabet and writing are illegible to most, they still make and publish stories in Common with the hope someone will hear their pleas for preservation. Only very recently has it seemed that their wish will come true. Now when you see those strangers in masks, lanky humans with odd accents, you may come to find you know of their kind. A resilient people who've clung onto the very last strings of identity and finally started pulling themselves back up. Names & Masks To the dah'Rin, a mask is just as good as (if not better than) a name. While multiple people can share a name, or even all three names, no two people can have a truly identical mask. Along with being distinct, the mask of a riun (singular of rin) will most always have patterns and colors denoting specific meanings. For example, a rugged wooden mask with red paint on the left side can convey that one is a wanderer who's used to living rough, but still holds love in their heart for everyone around. A mask of ebony with intricate gold patterns would show the wearer as important, but not for combat reasons, likely being some form of leader. These masks are to be removed only when necessary or alone. This is not to say names aren't important, however. All three names of a riun are important for different reasons. A first name is shared with everyone, and is the name a riun will refer to themselves by most often. A middle name is rarer to go by, but is usually used when two people of the same first name are together or when a riun dislikes their first name. A last name, however, is considered very intimate. This is generally to be shared with those that a riun dearly trusts or even loves. An important bit to note is that one would not be called by their last name unless they're alone with someone who knows it. To share someone else's last name is to betray the love and trust they've shown you. To take it as your own is to embrace it wholly. Mask Meanings To expand on what a mask may mean and why, we need only look to three things. Color, material, and adornments. To start with, colors often share similar meanings to what other descendants give them, but there are some noteworthy exceptions. For example, while red may denote passion or anger, the most common use is for love. Orange is linked to enthusiasm, a love for life rather than individuals. Yellow and gold are notably distinct, with yellow being happiness and gold being importance. Green can indicate a nurturing nature, harmony, and even safety. Blue can be freedom, intelligence, or protection, with the first being the typical use case. Purple is often linked with magic, inner peace, and wisdom. As materials go, these are usually picked by convenience or aesthetics rather than significant meaning. When a material is chosen for meaning, it usually coincides with the color. However, the material also gives some insight into the wearer's lifestyle. Wood may be used for travelers who want something that will last long without maintenance. Porcelain would be more indicative of a person who's settled down and decided on something that looks nice rather than being durable. Rarer and more sought-after materials may show someone to be important, or that they've done a great service for their community. Giving someone a new mask is not taken lightly. As said before, it's as personal as a name or face, with the added importance of symbolism. Adornments can be anything from engravings, to shape, to extra pieces added on. These are commonly given meanings by the owners themselves, but an aggressive shape can denote a warrior, and gold engravings usually mean someone of high status. If you're curious about all the intricacies of someone's mask, it's best to ask! Music & Food Food and music are hard to ignore when addressing the more playful side of Maiun culture. Those who dedicate themselves to a craft don't spend their whole lives perfecting it like those of more competitive cultures might. Rather, these rin will use their skills to impress their friends, family, and even strangers with the main goal of making them happy. This isn't to say they'll be any worse on average than those of other cultures, but there will be fewer who lean so heavily into perfecting a skill. As for the sounds of music, a riun will most often play upbeat, drum-heavy songs with the intent to get others dancing. While it's not uncommon for these musicians to be playing throughout any normal day, they most often gather and play together during festivals. In fact, in the absence of any musicians or even untrained volunteers, a festival will be outright delayed until at least one is found. This is most often a lack of people able to fill the role rather than those willing, as bad music is not judged. Even the poorest artist is encouraged to continue. The topic of food actually shares quite a few parallels with music. It's not one's skill as a chef that determines whether their food is eaten, it's a mere matter of who's around to eat it. Even if the meal should make you gag and vomit, you still turn right back around to the chef and tell them what they did right, and how you'd change it for next time. This is likely what caused a shift in dah'Rini meals compared to other human meals - they often make things like cinnamon pork, honeyed vegetables, baked fruits, and many more similar meals. As for drinks, however, they most often drink water, fruit and cactus juices, and wines. These aren't held to the same level of importance as food, as whatever is available will be happily accepted, but it's not uncommon for a riun to go out of their way to find a drink that complements their meal. If a meal is sweet, drink something bitter. If a meal is savory, drink something with a kick. Language With the decay of full-blooded Maiun dah'Rin, the full scope of their language has died out, but that doesn't mean they don't speak what they have left. Even those who speak full Common usually speak in the third person or sprinkle in dah'Rini words and phrases. However, it's important to note that dah'Rini sentence structure is much more free-form than Common. Not only that, but the few who can write fluently in dah'Rini will go right to left, bottom to top. This is due to ancient dah'Rini laying bricks, carving words in until they run out of space, and then laying the next layer to not waste materials. From this came the ongoing tradition of grand story walls, sometimes integrated into buildings, but just as often standing solitary for all to see. Dictionary can be found here. Appearances A dah'Rini can be of any human skin tone, and very commonly end up freckled. Their hair tends to lean blonde, with even darker-haired rin having a golden shine in the sun. Their eyes can be of any color a human's can, but most common is green. It's less common for a riun to be bulky compared to their fellow humans due to the scarcity of food in the desert, but in recent times, most rin end up nomads or living in other cities. This is completely and entirely attributed to the dwindling population and dying traditions they have. On top of that, there are very few full-blooded Maiun dah'Rin to be found. Clothing-wise, even those who end up in cities will at least keep their mask in their possession, if not on their face. Nomads in particular will also stick to clothing of their people, being loose, flowy clothes with lots of airflow. These are reminiscent of real-world Middle Eastern and Central Asian garbs. Some will adorn their clothes with neat patterns or fancy colors, but most are happy with plain robes with hoods and/or hats of straw. Outsiders The dah'Rini are very friendly to outsiders, even welcoming them with open arms to join their encampments and traditions. While this has done well for what little reputation they have, it also means they've been raided on multiple occasions by those they let into their homes. Even in these times, when a riun takes down an invader, it is their duty to give them proper medical care and keep them alive, regardless of the damage the invader has caused. Should their enemies die on Maiun land, they are still given a respectful prayer and proper burial, elsewise a sendoff to their homeland. OOC This is an open culture! Anyone at all can make a Maiun dah'Rin character, and for a full-blooded dah'Rini, you should set your race as Farfolk or just Human. How involved your character is with these traditions is completely up to you! However, it's encouraged to be mindful and respectful of other players OOCly while playing an dah'Rini character, in part because reputation is important early on, but also because you should do that anyway. There are no dah'Rini settlements and there likely won't be unless there's a much larger playerbase than I'm expecting. However, should this be the case, it will be a large encampment in the desert to best fit the lore provided. The dah'Rini dictionary is still being worked on, but there should be more than enough words to spice up your roleplay. Make as many new phrases as you'd like - and remember, the sentence structure is more free-form than English! Context helps determine what you're saying (such as "Ron do'pan," which can either mean you idiot or you're an idiot depending on the context). This page will more than likely be edited! Don't be mean or I will cry. Consider this a threat.
  21. The Deep Roads Cat Spider Appearance Slightly larger that a normal cat and mostly hairless the deep roads cat spider is very similar to its four legged kin but has a few large difference. The deep road cat spider instead of having the typical four legs is instead a host to eight legs. Each equal in size to the next, and each having similar anatomy to that of a normal cat. This over abundance of extra limbs allows the creature to climb vertical walls and sometimes upside down given adequate space for footing. As well as their increased number of legs the beast also has a multitude of eyes, some just have two large ones and a few smaller useless ones to other individuals have a full four pairs, giving them excellent vision in the dark areas they inhabit. They come in a host of colours and patterns but most seem to have a dark tabby coat, perfect for blending into the rocky walls of a cave. Eye colour trends on a dark green, black or amber with the occasional light brown in some members of colonies. an example of an adult Behaviour Typically solitary hunters they seek out smaller caverns or territories to hunt in, disputes over territory can lead to individuals fighting or killing over a prized hunting grounds. Despite their solidarity nature there has been a few cases of them grouping into colonies, typical size for these groups trend between five to twenty members in larger areas with an abundance of food. Though, seeming scary creatures, they are very personable. Bonding to one or more individuals in a household. they enjoy the spoiled nature of domesticated life. Typically found curled up somewhere in dwarven homes, or the centre of attention on someone’s lap. Habitat First found in the Deep Roads of Urguan these strange beings enjoy the warm dark damp nature of the Urguani cave systems. Shying away from the bright light of the surface. It is theorised they can be found in similar cave systems throughout the land as well. Though, they have currently only been recorded being sighted within the grand kingdom. Since being domesticated they have taken off within homes all over the subterranean nation. Sadly, some individuals who have been taken to surface home deteriorated quickly in the sun, first losing their playful friendly nature and eventually their appetite. Leading to sickness and eventually death. This can be remedied by providing a suitable dark area or room for them during the day. the Deep Roads of Uguan Diet Being obligate carnivores their diet is made of of entirely animal material. Mainly small rodents, larger cave roaches, bats and any fish found in underground waterways. While in captivity they can quite easily enjoy chicken and small birds as well. Red Lines -this creature if kept as a pet cannot be used in combat -can't be kept as a pet in a super sunny place -this is open lore don't gatekeep it
  22. Side Effects For the Voidal Attuned When one has been connected to the void for such a long time, practicing arts with the use of it, most will find that the void can be seen as an extension of themselves. Connection can be similar to a reflex, happening suddenly and on accident as an involuntary act to the mage. A skilled earth evocationist might cough out some sand, and a fire evocation might sneeze out sparks. These occurrences are simple, and seem to correlate with whatever subtype a mage practices. The connection to the void is an unnatural thing, but after some years of constant use, the mind will be used to this connection and deem it as a natural occurrence that happens often. There grows the reflex to suddenly connect. These sudden sneezes, hiccups, and other things can be surprising, but have no adverse, or beneficial effects to them. One cannot be injured by these sudden quirks. (OOC and Redlines) Essentially just an aesthetic thing, and give more opportunities for RP, all for simple fun. It can be to spice up some slice-of-life, or let it slip that your character is a mage. Just some nice and fun fluff stuff. Redlines: - Only applies to voidal magics. - Effects are harmless, one cannot be burned by a fiery sneeze. - Subtype needs to be mastered, must be T5. -Must be in reason, nothing crazy or too out there.
  23. -=On the Irehearts=- In the days before the dead awoke to do battle with the living, the dwarves had carved in their caverns great halls and treasures. But such was the nature of those that linger in the dark, to covet in secret the hoards of the dwarves. Nameless things they were, who saw the khazamar as trespassers of the under-dark realms and so they hassled the bearded folk. Caravans, miners and merchants who ventured into the shadowed places of the caverns never returned and so panic and doubt fell upon the citizens of Khaz’Urguan. For what is a dwarven king if he could not protect his own people? Yavok his name was, who above the rest of his brothers, had the most anger and rage in his heart for those who’d dare spite his race. As slander and rumours spread of Urguan’s inaction, it was the king himself who sent his son in good faith, to resolve this issue. Yavok nodded and took a blood oath to see his task done. This promise was one of power, sworn to King Urguan that by the runes that glowed on his crown, it shall be upheld lest his line be broken there after. And so it was that tempered by the wisdom of his father, Yavok took it upon himself to protect the realm of the dwarves from these creatures, wielding two axes and marching into shadow to do battle with them and swearing an oath to not return until his task was done lest his word be counted weak and the crown dimmed in runic light. In those damp caverns, illuminated only by fungi did he see and behold the full force of the enemy. Large bat-like creatures that clung to the ceiling, though they paid no heed to the dwarf who snuck amongst them. Travelling with great caution, he stumbled upon a massive chamber that held within it, a beast of immense size and power. Sniffing his scent, it awoke in anger and roared a mighty cry that would have struck fear into the heart of any lesser. But Yavok was the son of Urguan himself and with a smile on his face, he raised both axes and charged into the fray. For three days did dwarven sentries report roars and howls of a beastial nature echoing throughout the cavern before falling silent to the ringing of steel. Returning from the under-dark, Yavok strided forth to the throne room with the massive head of what could only be described as a bat, whose face was riddled with teeth and eyes. As Urguan looked upon the horrid beast from atop his throne, he called out to the hall and those who saw and heard answered in agreement, for he proclaimed his son Irehearted meaning he who carries much anger within him. As the title was granted to him, the citizens of Urguan cheered and sang songs of merriment as the hated foe was never heard from again...at least for a time. As the years passed, the under-dark saw a watchful peace as Yavok alone stood vigilant atop the tower of kravamoruk which stood at the border of the under-dark and its enemies. It was under his gaze that he saw a large army of cave leeches mustering their forces in revenge against the dwarves. Seeing the war path they would follow, he gathered his sons and daughters to the tower and began training them. He taught them how to use their anger that was rooted within his line and channel it into a fury that would strengthen them tenfold. And so, unbeknownst to most who dwelled in the city, did a battle rage in the under-dark. Dwarven steel meeting tooth and claw in a siege that would not end for 3 days, for the monsters assailed them in the legions yet the dwarves fought with the fury of ten. Each that fell took at least a dozen with them, large groups of Cave leeches hewn down and cut to bits in their righteous fury. It was there on the fourth day that smoke rose from the tower and King Urguan dispatched a company of dwarven warriors to investigate. Atop a pile of corpses were the dwarves led by Yavok, drenched in a glowing green that held their forms in the dark. These creatures in later years would be known as Cave Leeches and it is rumoured that their loss was so tremendous that their race was lessened in both strength and pride, the fury of the Irehearted seared into their hive minds. After the battle was won, Yavok counted the dead and proclaimed his oath fulfilled, the very one he had sworn several years ago. A dark thought lingered in his mind however, for even with the death of so many hated foes, it did not matter. Great beasts of the deep still lurked somewhere in the under dark and so Yavok renewed his oath. For the rest of his days he would continue to protect the dwarves, seeking out terrors and nameless things to slay… Author’s Message Several millennia have passed since the battle at the Tower of kravamoruk and yet today the Irehearts are still renowned for the fury they wield into battle in their constant struggle to uphold the oath their founding father made during the days of Urguan himself. From the Golden age and the passing of time, many of his line have led the dwarves to countless victories. His descendants would slay dragons, nameless beasts, and even banish Khorvad back into prison. From this Elder Clan of Yavok do the dwarves learn the vigilance of protection, the ferocity of battle, and the bravery of those who would stand for kith and kin. The Remembrancers tell this story as blood oaths are not sworn lightly even to this day and it is to Yavok and his kin that paved the way for such a tradition. To this end does his line still endure and the crown of the dwarven Kings still glow. - Kazrin Starbreaker
  24. [ Obligatory lore submission music ] [ Ambience ] [ Accompanying Inferi Lore ] “True power is not wrought by merit alone, yet from ambition…” Descendants of a scholarly disposition or those with a blinkered lust for power, may be lured to the path of the Naztherak for the promise of forbidden knowledge and unearthly gifts. Little do they realise however, that these prizes are scarcely guaranteed and even those which are, come at a grave price. Such infernal powers stem from the deepest pits of Moz Strimoza, and the nightmarish fiends who dwell there. In these citadels of searing flame, fissures of decaying flesh and sulphuric seas of unfathomable anguish, the Zar’rokul reign with a cruel iron grip, founded upon a single principle: “Ra’drakurz raht roknoth kuul ra’vaznan amol tul.” “The weak are meat and the strong do eat.” Together these five abominable titans comprise Ra’Urdol or “the Pentacle”, a power struggle of cataclysmic proportions, between extremely dangerous superpowers. Each Zar’rokul eternally attempts to gain an advantage over the others, some favouring brute force, while others employ cunning and subtlety in a very high-stakes game of chess. In the prior century Naztherak or ‘False Princes’ were known to perform rituals to attract the attention of a Zar’rokul into a daring negotiation. The price: souls and footholds upon the mortal realm, which many agreed to provide all too eagerly. Yet power-chasing Princes were able to slip through the claws of the Pentacle when the promise of power was elsewhere, and the plots of their beastly benefactors scarcely came close to fruition. But no more.. In an unprecedented move, the Pentacle agreed to convene and together devise a means to ensnare mortal Warlocks to their designs, so that they could never again be left without their dues. They hauled upon the very foundations of Moz Strimoza, stripping the remaining Princes of their gifts, then beat and wrought the powers of the Naztherak into a new shape, the chains of which they could pluck, tug and lash as they pleased. From here they sowed the seeds of discord and corruption far into the mortal plane, upon dark whispers; promised forgotten pieces of creation held within the burning battlegrounds of Moz Strimoza, shards of divinity sequestered in the flesh of Inferi, forbidden knowledges visible only to those who discard mortality entirely, and of course the allure of power beyond the comprehension of ordinary Descendants — these are the bait upon which Warlocks are tricked into this deadly game of infernal chess. Not as Kings and Queens, but as pawns. The Naztherak is blind to this grand scheme, far too preoccupied with their own pursuits and the promise of further spoils, than to see the jaws of the trap surrounding them. Even should a Warlock eventually learn the deck is stacked, it is already far too late, and they are beholden to a sunk-cost fallacy. Having bartered away their very soul, they are already in so deep, that digging deeper into the demonic is of little comparative consequence. ⛧ Synopsis Naztherak Control, authority, power — each of which are desires of the common man, who seeks to submit all under his own thumb. Yet despite the many who seek these gifts, few men of flesh ascend to such a level of power within the courts and councils of their respective provinces, a handful of mortals placing themselves upon thrones of gold, silver, and ivory, the rest are left to grovel at their feet in capitulation. True ambition fuels passion however, granting these lesser peers the unorthodox ability to transcend the feeble capabilities of their mortal coils. Such aspirants as these are known as the Naztherak, Descendants who usher forth their own court in which they may ascend — instating themselves as Princes, Lords of their own infernal domain. To serve under the Pentacle even for power, is a great sacrifice, for they have marked the Naztherak as their own, subjugating the Warlock beneath themselves. As harbingers of Moz Strimoza and ra’Urdol, it is the duty of the Zar’akal to subjugate forces beneath them, or to decimate opposition. Such may be performed upon a consenting mortal, whether or not they know of the Pentacle or akal’s true motives matters not, so long as they are willing. The Zar’akal must then take the mortal and bathe them in a deluge of Malflame, or enact some other means of applying a brand of Urdol — an infernally wrought star with five sides — upon the soul of the mortal, forever marking them as a servant of the Pentacle and thus binding them to its will. This ‘brand’ will forever remain upon the soul of the Naztherak, marking them as one of the Infernal for infinitum. The Prince The Naztherak, or False Princes, are Descendants who have surpassed the barriers of mortal capability, drawing upon infernal powers in order to grant them a greater capacity for might than any common mortal. Such an art permits its practitioners to wield the very powers of the High Hells itself, great feats of heinous origin through a conduit of infernal power known as the Grimoire, a precious relic of demonic conjurerers. Yet such power comes at an immense price — that of the individual's soul; for once one has set even a toe into the diabolic art, there is no escape, their spirit now tainted by the damnable influence of Moz Strimoza, forever a bound vessel of the Pentacle’s will. As a result of their ties to the Pentacle, the Prince takes upon themselves various telling traits which stand testament to their dealings with the infernal. Primarily as a result of their use of Malflame, Princes suffer from physical degradation not unlike that of the Void Magi of yore, for they are scholars and zealots of the Zar’rokul above all else, not typically affluent with the blade. The most immediate and significant change of the Prince however, is the Brand which they receive upon their hand once they have pacted with the Zar’akal, signifying their allegiance to their respective Zar’rokul. The Brand Once the mortal’s pact with the Zar’akal has been sealed and they have begun their pursuit of the Infernal, they shall receive upon themselves a Brand, or Vhiit, marking them as beneath the Pentacle’s influence, and serving as a reminder of their perilous tutelage — for one cannot invest within the Infernal and anticipate a life of mundanity. The further the Prince delves into the empty promises of the Zar’rokul, they will find their Brand to expand and encompass even more of their being, until it becomes that which truly defines the Naztherak in mind and body, as such dedication should. Yet the Brand serves as more than a sign of their being, allowing them to conjure forth that which exists only to cause devastation and agony — Malflame, the ember of the Infernal — as well other capabilities which only those Branded could perform. A Naztherak receives a brand upon their hand when they pact with the Hzakhadlu (Tier 5 Naztherak posessing a TA) who connects them, allowing them to begin their training in the Infernal arts. The brand may appear as a twisted scar, burns, Litchenburg marks, loops, and whorls like fingerprints which may seem obscure or strange to the mundane observer, even granting a passive glow should the Naztherak wish. Regardless, the moment the Naztherak begins to cast their magic, the brand will illuminate brightly with an otherworldly glow. An example of a Brand at Tier One (left) to Tier Two (right) Tier Progression Tier One - The Brand appears insignificant within the palm of the Naztherak’s hand, able to be easily concealed by something as simple as a glove or other hand-covering. Tier Two - The Brand encompasses the Naztherak’s entire hand and part of their wrist, still easy to disguise with a glove, though quite noticeable upon bare skin. Tier Three - The Brand comes to encompass the Naztherak’s entire arm up to their shoulder, now significantly more difficult to conceal, though not entirely. Tier Four - The Brand spreads to the Naztherak’s half-torso which the Brand was initially applied, now impossible to conceal unless one is completely covered, as some of the Brand has even reached the lower portion of the Prince’s neck, requiring true discretion. Tier Five - The Brand has completely covered the Prince, perhaps appearing as strange tattoos or markings which have overtaken their entire form — a grizzly heraldry of true dedication. General Redlines: - It is considered metagaming to assume a person of being a Naztherak by the brand alone, unless they have had genuine roleplay experiences with other Naztherak to inform the character. - While the Brand offers the Naztherak protection from their own Malflame, it will not defend them from the Malflame of others even if it should make contact with the Brand directly. - The Brand will always glow and become noticeable when one casts, even through clothing. Thaznitaka A cruel irony of the Pentacle is making those who subjugate demons become like demons themselves, and thus the Prince is brought only further into the grasp of Ra’Urdol. As the Brand grows to encompass more of the body with a Prince’s progression, it is a strange, twisted mutation afflicted upon the Naztherak, either a byproduct of their dabbling of the Infernal, or a cruel irony wrought of the design of the Zar’rokul. With each pact sealed, the Prince’s soul is further gnawed upon by the flames and influence of Moz Strimoza, similarly to those unfortunate, desolate souls who find themselves cast into such a realm, as their mortal body appears to take on increasingly more devilish traits. While an apprentice may disguise her discoloured flesh with powder, for she has only pacted yet once, a Warlock who has signed his third would reveal fiery, bestial eyes rivalling that of Inferi themselves, having also twisted, vile horns emerge from his temples. For as one delves further into the demonic, they may realize their humanity is truly lost. As the Naztherak commits to further pacts with the Pentacle in the form of slotting additional subtypes, their mortal form will change accordingly, reflecting that of the Inferi they subjugate as members of their court, each pact making them appear more demonic. Of course by means of Infernal Magic such “mutations”, as they are called, are able to be hidden safely by the Naztherak, yet are forced to emerge whenever they seek to cast their wretched magic or practice such godless arts, acting as a distinct tell. Additionally, the corruption occurring within the Prince’s soul leads to a curious symptom experienced not by him, but by the mortals he still maintains social relationships with. For all who make bare-skin contact with the flesh of a Naztherak, will feel a subtle unnerving in themselves, as if a kernel of goodness inside them is disturbed by the wickedness lurking within the Warlock. A Naztherak of three pacts. Pact Progression First Pact - [2 slots] - The initial pact a mortal strikes with a Zar’akal on behalf of the Pentacle, establishing them as a Mortal Prince, or Naztherak. Upon casting their magic, their flesh will discolour, their cheeks sinking as their pupils might become only slightly more narrow and slitted. This may be disguised relatively easily through things as makeup or coverings. Second Pact - [3 slots] - The second pact a mortal strikes with the Pentacle, perhaps allowing them the ability to curse and afflict others by means of Malice and infernal magic through things such as idols, cursed trinkets. Upon casting their magic, small horns would appear upon their temples, twisted and gnarled, as their fingernails might elongate, their flesh becoming a distinct discolouration. This may be disguised by complete coverings, and even then, this is hard to do. Third Pact - [4 slots] - The third pact a mortal may strike with the Pentacle, potentially granting them a Striith as a symbol of their dedication. Upon casting their magic, they would possess great twisted horns, their eyes raging like that of fire as they become nearly akin to a demon in all regards, save still distinctly humanoid and mortal. This is impossible to completely disguise even when fully covered. Fourth Pact - [5 slots] - The final pact wrought with the Pentacle, granting true ascension as the Prince is reborn into that of an Inferis, thus establishing them as a Twisted King, a Zar’akal. They will always appear completely demonic and unnatural, as stated in the Zar’akal physical description. General Redlines: - The first and second pacts’ mutations may be hidden or disguised, though the second to a much lesser degree and with much effort taken. The third and fourth pacts cannot be disguised by regular means whatsoever. - This state emerges every time the Naztherak casts their magic, and only when they cast their magic. Upon mutations being visible, the character will be considered a 'revealed dark mage' for the purposes of Holy magics. Once they have finished casting, they will return to appearing as a regular mortal over the course of two emotes. - Mutations will always make one appear noticeably disfigured after the second pact, appearing demonic and twisted and vile. By no means are these excuses to play “cute boys with horns,” but rather, these are distinctly gruesome and wretched forms which would set a Naztherak apart from any mundane mortal upon the sight of such. - Generally speaking as one progresses through pacts, horns grow longer and more twisted, claws turn black, teeth become predatory fangs, eyes appear flaming, skin colour changes to that of Malflame, etc. - Any mutation which occurs offers absolutely no combat advantage. - All Naztherak must also roleplay a sense of unnerving experience in those who make skin-on-skin contact with them. This can be likened to a pang or squirm in the stomach, or a shiver down one’s spine. Other Naztherak are not immune to this. - Even though a Prince is partially infernal, they still require food, water, sleep, must breathe etc. and will grow fatigued and so on as any other mortal character. - A Naztherak will experience an effect similar to Voidal poisoning experienced by Mages in the past. This limits their ability to obtain substantial muscle mass, meaning although they may swing a sword and so on, they will quickly tire. - They are however capable of wearing platemail and casting while wearing it. Malices of the Prince Upon their birth as a Prince, a Naztherak finds themselves to have acquired a Malice, the driving aspect of the Prince’s newfound nature which grows the further they delve into the Infernal. There are many Malices which the Naztherak may initially follow, each determining how the Prince comes to behave, even going so far as to determine the disposition of the Naztherak’s own court. Ultimately, the Malice will eventually define the Prince as much as the Prince defines the Malice, a dastardly sin wrought by the Pentacle only to further ensnare those which they have bound to them as False Princes. Maleus and the Grimoire Whilst other dark crafts may focus more upon inherent capabilities of their art, the gift of Naztherak is one of great study, appealing to both those of scholarly mind as well as aspirants of raw power, granting knowledge at a price. In order to contain their sum of unearthly knowledge, a Naztherak will often carry around with them what is known as a Grimoire, an bedamned book of blasphemous binding which stands testament to their scholarly nature and study under the infernal. With a Grimoire in hand a Naztherak can become quite formidable, permitting the Naztherak a plethora of capabilities, allowing them to curse others, conjure the damned, and summon forth dreaded hellfire, known by the accursed as Malflame.. This unholy tool indeed makes the Prince a versatile foe, the Grimoire demonstrating a surplus of supernatural abilities which hint towards its godless nature. These may appear however the Naztherak wishes, yet also hold infernal qualities of their own; pages may turn by unseen forces, ghostly whispers may emanate from the scrawled parchments, and perhaps even defy physical restraints such as gravity, hovering within the Prince’s very hand, making them quite discernible from the mundane books and tomes of studious scholars or zealous preachers. These damnable tomes may be forged in all manners of vile means, the most common practice being the use of mortal or infernal flesh as binding, then soaking each page in a mixture of blood and maleus. The Grimoire is an essential tool for the Naztherak, allowing them to perform all of their infernal abilities, from conjuring Malflame to binding and summoning Inferi. To have their spells made accessible, the Naztherak must inscribe the spell’s wording within the pages of the Grimoire using Rakir, an infernal material created from mixing maleus and ink. Once they have inscribed the necessary Ilzakarn wording relating to the spell, whether it be Malflame, Inferi Summoning, or Pacting, they may draw upon these powers by opening their Grimoire and reading the inscription aloud, taking at least a single emote to do such, much like establishing a Voidal connection. Without the Grimoire in their hands or possession, a Naztherak will be unable to cast. Grimoires may possess supernatural qualities, though to the degree of being used for flavor purpose only. It may hover above the Naztherak’s hand, whisper occult ramblings, or possess other mild aesthetics. These of course, do not make the Grimoire more difficult to knock out of the Naztherak’s hand or be stolen. Likewise soul-binding does not prevent such theft or sabotage of the Grimoire, however were it to be found again by the Naztherak who inscribed it, such as on the Auction House, it may be assumed that the Grimoire managed to return to the Prince by some infernal means — though this is never guaranteed. General Redlines: - Without a Grimoire, the Naztherak will be unable to cast. One cannot ‘memorize’ inscriptions. The only exception to this are the Zar’akal who may cast their magic without need for the Grimoire. - Supernatural qualities of the Grimoire, such as opening automatically, floating, etc. exist only for aesthetic and flavorful purpose, and by no means grant any advantage against the Grimoire being removed from the Prince’s possession. - The Grimoire is not impervious to harm. It can still be ripped apart, waterlogged, or destroyed through other means. Grimoires can always be stolen/knocked from a Prince’s hand. - Even with the Grimoire, a Naztherak must still practice the necessary schools to use their spells. A Naztherak who does not possess the Cursing pact would not be able to imbue their Malflame with a Malice, for instance. - MArt submissions may be made to create unconventional but functionally identical Grimoires. - If a Naztherak is in an extreme level of pain, even with their Grimoire, they will not be able to cast. While they may be able to cast through things as cuts or scrapes or through movement, excessive dodging, stabs, and maiming will prevent casting still. To cast such wicked demonology, a Naztherak requires maleus, which is a dark and abominable residue, used to fuel a Naztherak’s forsaken spells of devilry and hellfire. Maleus is essential in the scribing of spells within the Grimoire via Rakir — a macabre ink made from maleus and any scribing substance — whilst also being used as a means of supplying the infernal energy for a Naztherak's conjury. Maleus can be found in the blood of Inferi and can be drawn from mortals burnt by means of Malflame, composed of warped soul essence, the result of infernalised spirits doomed to an eternity as an Inferis. Whilst Princes of the past relied upon a Cistern in order to contain this vile substance, now the Pentacle's meddling has enabled a Naztherak’s own hellish nature to contain it within their bloodstream similar to that of Inferi, for indeed they truly lean toward such a foul existence. When harvested, maleus resembles a smoky plasma which seeps from the wounds of Inferi or the Malflame burns of mortals, trailing over towards the Prince in a sickly haze as it seeps into their bloodstream and replenishes them. As opposed to using a Cistern, they now store this within themselves, drawing upon it each time they cast their infernal magic. While it does not hold the exhaustive properties that mana does to a Voidal Mage, if the Naztherak were to deprive themselves of this substance too hastily, should they cast a spell requiring such, terrible Malflame burns would form upon their body, leaving them scarred and in agonizing pain. Attempting to do this further, they will perish as their own soul is consumed from the expenditure. A Prince may will their maleus to their hands, and while doing so their touch will impart a purely aesthetic effect upon weapons, tools or other objects. One [1] emote is required to perform this, and when doing so whatever the Naztherak is holding will take on a darkened ashy appearance, give off faint smoke, embers and cinders as if it were smouldering with fire; these are harmless, give off no heat, nor potential to ignite any material, and the smoke will not impair sight or breathing. This effect does not fade and may be used to make flavourful roleplay items. The following list dictates the amount of maleus a Prince will possess per tier of Naztherak, regardless of how many slots are dedicated. It essentially acts as a base number which may increase depending on how far the Prince delves into the art. [T1] - 10 Maleus [T2] - 15 Maleus [T3] - 25 Maleus [T4] - 30 Maleus [T5] - 35 Maleus Naztherak who have dedicated themselves further to the infernal practices would be bestowed a larger quantity of Malflame for each slot they dedicate, building upon the base pool they inherit initially. [2 Slots] - 20 Maleus [3 Slots] - 35 Maleus [4 Slots] - 50 Maleus [5 Slots] - 85 Maleus Thus, say a novice Naztherak were to only have dedicated two slots, they would have a total of thirty maleus, whereas a master Naztherak who has dedicated four slots will possess eighty-five maleus in total. A Zar’akal, who has both mastered Naztherak and dedicated themselves fully to it, would possess a grand total of one-hundred-twenty maleus, allowing them great feats unlike that which any mere Mortal Prince would be able to perform on their own. Dedicating more slots to the magic does not make one’s Malflame spells more powerful innately, but instead enables the Prince to use more spells from their repertoire, or a few specifically expensive ones. Rakir is a key component in the scribblings of a Prince, for no mere mortal ink is fit for the scholarly and devilish works of the Naztherak. It is the only substance which may be used by a Naztherak within their Grimoire, allowing them to scribe their spells and runes to draw upon them later. It may be created from maleus and any scribing substance such as ink, though far more foul ingredients may be employed if the Prince so wishes, such as the blood of an Inferis. Spells inscribed within the Grimoire without Rakir will bear no effect and will likely be revoked by the Grimoire or burned clean off the page. Infernal Alchemy Lore: Rakir General Redlines: - A Naztherak’s ability to cast depends on how much maleus they possess and they cannot cast without it. Should one attempt to cast after they run out of maleus, their body will be overtaken by Malflame burns, leaving them alive but in terrible pain. Attempting to cast without maleus again before it replenishes will result in their death and thus a PK by suicide rules. - Maleus will naturally replenish over the course of twelve OOC hours, though a Naztherak may restore it forcefully through means of draining maleus from members of their court, their Striith(should they have one), or even inflicted Malflame burns upon mortals to draw the warped soul essence from the infernal wound. Details are listed in each section respectively. - Rakir may be made from mixing maleus with ink or Inferis blood for the purposes of writing in one’s Grimoire or performing Naztherak rituals. This does not require a set quantity of maleus to perform, nor item representation etc., though discretion should be practised. It is the only substance that may be used to inscribe spells within the Grimoire. - A Naztherak may will their touch to cause held objects to take on an ashy appearance, and give off cinders and smoke. This takes one [1] emote to do so and consumes no quantifiable amount of maleus. - This effect is purely aesthetic and serves no function other than to create visually flavourful roleplay items. These items require ST signing. - Players may not use this to damage buildings or affect objects they cannot physically lift and so on. It will only affect small objects and personal effects. - More slots dedicated to Naztherak does not increase the power of spells. E.g. The Malflame of a two-slot Naz is as strong as a four-slot Naz. Ilzakarn — The Infernal language Known by Warlocks of demonic cabals merely as the “chaotic tongue” and a language of foul and infernal origin, such is Ilzakarn. This obscure and fel speech is based in the ancient spirit dialect Old Blah, and uses the grammar and script of Al’tahrn-Durngo, a tongue devised by the Greater Spirit of Fear and Insanity, Ikuras. It is thought that it was Ixli who was the one to craft this infernal tongue yet no record can account for the machinations of the Greater Spirit of Forbidden Knowledge. The Naztherak may begin to learn Ilzakarn as they master their occult pyromancy, and most masters and few rare scholars of questionable morals are versed enough to hold conversation in the language. Unlike Al’tahrn-Durngo it lacks the staticy, ear-biting quality when heard, but rather can cause mortal listeners and speakers to feel faint, fleeting pulses of warmth which if prolonged may induce mild sweating akin to the physical of anxiety. Where the Black Language causes exhaustion and stinging in the eyes of those who read it, the Chaotic Tongue induces dryness and agitation in the eyes when its glyphs are read. As well, all markings of Ilzakarn darken upon what they are written, ink or carvings appearing charred or irregular in texture and feel warm to the touch. It is quite possible for certain names, such as those signatures of powerful greater Inferi, to spawn fire upon what they are inscribed and are unsafe to be recorded lest they ignite a hidden tome or scorch a rock face. [Recorded on a separate document to avoid metagaming]. General Redlines: - Ilzakarn may only be read, written, and spoken by individuals who currently study and practice Naztherak or were users of it in the past. - Mortals not studying Naztherak who come to hear the language will feel an uncomfortable warmth and anxiety, and reading it if transcribed would be as if looking painfully into a bright flame, their eyes becoming dry and agitated. Written runes in Ilzakarn may be uncomfortably warm to the touch, though not enough to burn an individual directly. - Inferi may speak Ilzakarn as their native tongue, at will without any side effects. - For a spell to be inscribed within a Grimoire, it must be written in Ilzakarn with Rakir. To then cast the spell, the proper incantation in Ilzakarn must be spoken aloud by the Naztherak. ⛧ Malflame Conjuration “Cursed flame, darkember, the devil’s brand, hellfire — call it what you will..” The most notable and definitive ability of Naztherak beyond that of Infernal Summoning — Malflame Conjuration, which allows the Prince their many great feats, branching off into further, more advanced applications of the infernal. It is a dastardly practice, wringing forth a damnable fire from the depths of Moz Strimoza itself, possessing far more heinous properties than any spark or ember known to the common man. While flame of the material consumes that which is physical, it is the wicked, blasphemous nature of Malflame which targets a far more metaphysical presence within its victims, leaving those touched by its ire in utter torment as their very soul is burned from within them. Such practice is the Prince’s primary tool in combat, as well as being key in numerous other feats such as restoring maleus or as a catalyst in several rituals. Usage and Application Malflame may be summoned forth from Moz Strimoza by a Prince by means of utilizing their Grimoire, consuming the Nazthrak’s maleus in exchange for the infernal flame wrought forth. Whilst the spells and inscribings for such lie within the Grimoire, it is the Prince alone who may bring them forth, as they are the author of such an accursed opus. Its use requires that the individual be able to read and speak aloud the necessary incantation in Ilzakarn, as well as possess the Brand which prevents them from being burned by their own infernal spell. With this in mind, Malflame may be manipulated in a variety of malicious and devilish ways, as the language of the Inferis is one derived from beings of spite and malevolence, allowing dastardly applications of the element that hinge upon the wording used to conjure forth ignoble cinders. Malflame is a fire-like substance which a Naztherak may conjure, the flame itself offering no light, heat, nor can it burn objects. It may appear in various colours depending upon the Naztherak who wields it, namely being alien colours such as shades of violet, putrescent pink, sickly green, and other vivid colours. Such flame possesses no light, nor has any effect upon the Material Realm on its own, only agonizing the soul upon direct contact with a soul-bearing individual’s flesh. It ignites the portion of the soul blueprint where upon it strikes a victim, and then inflicts agonizing pain that wracks the body at that point and ebbs at the flesh leaving it blackened, sickly and burning with the Malflame’s afterglow. Spells of malflame scribed in a Naztherak’s grimoire in Rakir take the form of a three part string, a phrase in Ilzakarn glyphs, the same runes which brand inferis to a Prince. These spells are formulated in three parts, the first always the same: ‘rok’ is the core word to malflame spells, ‘fire’ in Ilzakarn. Following ‘rok’ comes the size of the spell added onto ‘rok’, defined as diminutive, small, medium, large, and giant; -maul, -kharv, -kot, -hzak, and -viit. Following the size comes the shape, the form in which the malflame takes on with a hyphen, an instantaneous structure such as a ball or something sustained over time such as a wall. While there are various shapes and applications listed here, not all will be. However, note that any phrase or word not listed may be applied strictly for non-combat purposes. Example spells of malflame written or spoken in Ilzakarn may be: Rokhzak-dhurz , a large malflame ball. Rokkharv-norrvut, a small malfame pillar. Rokkot-niirk vorzhnak, a medium malflame whip laced with Desolation. Size Limitations Malflame may be conjured in four quantities by a False Prince, yet they can only bring forth so much. Even greater feats or quantities may be applied by those with a great amount of natural maleus, often being Inferis or True Princes. These sizes often determine the significance and severity of the spell in question, though some particular shapes may require a particular size for them to function. For example, one would likely not conjure a ‘small’ storm. Maul - Ilzakarn word for ‘diminutive’. Spells which use this root-word are rather harmless in their own right, doing little more than causing distraction or wreaking havoc as opposed to causing true damage. Kharv - Ilzakarn word for ‘small’. Spells which use this root-word are still rather insignificant, though can deal some minor damage, often used to cause pain or torture than outright decimation. Kot - Ilzakarn word for ‘medium’. This is the most commonly used root-word, creating relatively significant spells which can be used to cause moderate damage to victims. Hzak - Ilzakarn word for ‘large’. The least used root-word, often because of how much maleus it costs on its own. It can be used by a high-tiered Prince to conjure anything from waves to storms of hellfire. Most often, these are applied in a more ritualistic fashion, though at times may be used in combat by an individual with a far superior maleus-blood concentration, likely to be an Inferis or True Prince if not multiple Naztherak working together. Non-Combat Casting When in a non-combat circumstance, the Malflame capabilities of a Naztherak know almost no bounds, allowing them to employ their Malflame conjuration in any way which the Ilzakarn language would allow. While they are limited by tier, higher tier Naztherak, especially if in greater number, are capable of performing great feats of hellfire and malice, anything from creating an ember for a visual representation of agony, to decimating an entire landscape in a terrible display — baptizing it in infernal fire. - Malflame may be applied in non-combat in any artistic way the Naztherak wishes so long as it can be invoked through a correlating word in Ilzakarn. While, of course, there is not a word for every shape or form, one might substitute the word ‘rodkar’ if the spell is being used as a small, artistic representation, such as forming a skull out of Malflame in one’s palm. - If combat begins while the Naztherak is casting a non-combat spell, the spell will vanish and they will be forced to fall back to the explicitly listed combat arsenal. - The amount of Malflame a Naztherak can summon is tier-based. A tier-one Prince could not possibly summon a storm of Malflame. Additionally, while emote counts are not explicit in non-combat, reason should be applied. In the event one is trying to summon a Malflame storm, several detailed multi-line emotes would need to be applied, likely around seven or eight at least. Combat Casting While Princes possess more freeform in non-combat, in a more chaotic environment, the Naztherak is drawn to invoke their more diabolical and cruel powers, utilizing only the most wicked spells in their arsenal. Some may find themselves capable of restraint, but typically the Naztherak will find themselves inclined to use spells which cause agony as opposed to outright decimation, though if such is absolutely necessary, the Prince will not hesitate to do what must be done. Kriviir - [T1] [Combat] The first true manipulation of Malflame which a Naztherak is taught, permitting them to invoke a small tongue of flame within their hand, which may be used to burn away at the soul of a mortal within its fleshy vessel. This particular spell yields the greatest crop of maleus from the victim, which may be used to refuel the Warlock’s powers. Mechanics: A Naztherak may create a small, golf-ball sized sphere of Malflame which can be used to drain maleus from a soul-bearing victim upon sustained touch. This particular spell costs only [5] maleus to perform. It requires [2] emotes to charge, and can be sustained for up to [5] emotes, each emote where touch is maintained restoring [5] maleus. For example, sustaining touch for [2] emotes may yield [10] maleus, while [4] emotes restores [20]. Redlines: - Cannot be thrown, must remain in the Naztherak’s hand. - Must have constant contact with the flesh to draw maleus. - If this ability is used to harvest maleus, it may not be NPC’d or ‘happen off-screen.’ It must occur during roleplay with another player-character. - Using secondary personas or throw-away characters to ‘feed’ Maleus to a Naztherak is strictly not allowed. Vhiit - [T2] [Combat] A more combat oriented spell of Malflame which a Naztherak may inscribe, invoking a wreath of Malflame around the Prince’s hand, spiraling up their arm from the elbow. This may be used to burn flesh similarly to that of Kirviir, as well as sending forth cruel punches with minimal burning effect, though nonetheless painful. Mechanics: A Naztherak may create a wreath of Malflame around their Branded hand, which can be used primarily to inflict greater pain when performing physical attacks such as punches. This spell requires an initial [10] maleus to cast, with [2] emotes to conjure the Malflame around the marked hand. It may be maintained for [3] emotes, every additional [3] emotes requiring an extra [5] maleus. Redlines: - Does not draw maleus from contact. - If a Naztherak attempts to wreathe part of their body not covered by their brand, they will suffer Malflame burns and pain just like anyone else. - Cannot be made into a projectile. Rok-Dhurz - [T2] [Combat] A signature spell of Malflame wielders, a result of them compacting their Malflame into spheres of various sizes which they may shoot or lob towards a target, burning any living skin which it touches, yielding a painful wound which many seldom recover from. Mechanics: A Naztherak can create a sphere or ‘ball’ of Malflame which they may cast towards an opponent, these projectiles come in three different sizes; small, which is golf ball sized; medium which is the size of a baseball; and large, which is the size of a standard 3ft diameter beach ball. Each of these requires [2], [3], and [4] emotes to conjure respectively. Projectiles also have ranges of [5], [10], and [15] meters, respectively, before dissipating. The maleus costs for each are [5]/[5]/[10]. Redlines: - Each projectile will travel at about the speed of an overhand baseball throw, regardless of size. - They do not draw maleus upon contact. - The ball of Malflame disperses upon impact and has no ‘spatter,’ with the exception of being imbued with the Revolt Malice. See the Revolt Malice for further specifics. Rok-Heedz - [T3] [Combat] The Naztherak conjures discs of Malflame which they may throw or send whirling towards their target upon the ground. The disc will fly or roll forward at substantial speed and will stop upon coming into contact with flesh or some other hard surface, leaving Malflame burns where flesh it touched. Forming Malflame into a disc requires more fine control than spheres, and those Naztherak with more finesse may find niche uses for a flaming wheel over a flaming ball. Mechanics: A Naztherak can create a disc of Malflame which they may cast towards an opponent, these projectiles come in three different sizes; small, which is the size of a compact disc; medium which is the size of a large dinner plate; and large, which is the size of a bicycle wheel. Each of these requires [2], [3], and [4] emotes to conjure respectively. Projectiles also have ranges of [5], [10], and [15] meters, respectively, before dissipating. The maleus costs for each are [5]/[5]/[10]. Redlines: - Each projectile will travel at about the speed of an overhand baseball throw, regardless of size. - They do not draw maleus upon contact. - The ball of Malflame disperses upon impact and has no ‘spatter,’ with the exception of being imbued with the Revolt Malice. See the Revolt Malice for further specifics. - Discs and spheres are similar in function, but discs require more fine control of Malflame, thus requiring a higher tier Naztherak to grasp adequately. Rok-Kirluk - [T3] [Combat] A better spell for a more detering Naztherak, who seeks to keep his opponents at a safe distance by using the terrible powers of Malflame, creating a funnel of flame which streams towards opponents, searing them so long as they are touched. Mechanics: A Naztherak may create a cone of Malflame which may be projected forwards in the form of a flamethrower. This funnel is no larger than a block in diameter, and cannot exceed five blocks further than its point of origin, that being the Naztherak themselves. This spell requires [3] emotes to perform, as well as a total of [10] maleus. It may be sustained for up to [4] emotes, requiring an additional [5] maleus every [2] emotes after that. Redlines: - The flamethrower must have its point of origin at the Naztherak themselves, and cannot be conjured anywhere else in proximity. - Cones of Malflame may extend no further than 5 blocks ahead of the user, no wider than one block in width or height. Which is to say Rok-Kirluk may reach a maximum size of 1x5x1 blocks. - A Zar’akal may breathe the Malflame from the mouth or nose etc. by following the same emote count. - This is more intensive on the user than other Malflame spells. They may move at a walk, but any sudden movements such as side-stepping an attack, or ducking behind cover will interrupt the channel. Rok-Ladom - [T3] [Combat] A powerful, foe-deterring spell which can leave those in its wake in utter agony, a wave of hellfire sweeping over them and disfiguring and warping their very flesh. Such a cruel spell is often used as crowd control by the more fiendish Naztherak which wield this hellish fire. Mechanics: A Naztherak may conjure a wave of Malflame which will move towards its targets, holding no solidarity nor force, yet completely dousing any it touches in Malflame. The wave itself has a maximum size of [2] meters tall and [3] meters wide. It requires [3] emotes and [15] maleus to conjure, and will continue to move forward either until it hits something, or it has exceeded a ten meter distance from its point of origin, dissipating afterwards, not requiring sustenance to be sustained. Redlines: - The point of origin of the wave must be the Naztherak themselves. - The wave has no force whatsoever, and will merely pass over any targets, leaving searing Malflame embers upon any unprotected skin. - After moving toward the target, the wave cannot be controlled such as turned/rotated or raised up etc. - It may travel in any cardinal direction, including up and down, but may only move continuously in that direction. Rok-Argal - [T4] [Combat] A deterring, more defensive barrier of Malflame which a Naztherak may conjure. While a wall of mundane fire may only deter one to a degree, the effects of a wall of hellfire are not to be taken lightly, as walking through it with exposed skin will cause excruciating pain to those who dare to traverse its scorn. Mechanics: A Naztherak may create a wall of Malflame in [2] emotes, which provides a deterring barrier in front of them or another, albeit not very defensive. The wall is purely composed of malflame, scaling up to [3] meters tall, and may be made at a minimum of [3] meters in length, and [1] in depth. It cannot be moved once charging begins, a spot glowing the colour of the Prince’s Malflame appearing in the location it is being conjured The overall cost of the wall is [15] maleus and the length of the wall may be extended by [3] meters for every [10] maleus added to the cost. The wall will last for 5 emotes, and may only be summoned within 8 blocks of the caster as long as they have direct line of sight with the location. Redlines: - A Prince may summon it anywhere within 8 blocks of their current position. - They must have direct line of sight with the location they wish to summon it. - The wall has no force whatsoever, and one may pass through it, leaving searing Malflame embers upon any unprotected skin. - One may not move the wall after casting begins. Rok-Norrvut - [T4] [Combat] Columns of flame are not unfamiliar to magickal fire-tamers, but are more often associated with the intervention of Aenguls and Daemons. The Warlock may pervert this likeness, using their wicked flame to create seething pillars as a means to obstruct or deter their foe. Mechanics: A Naztherak creates a pillar of Malflame in front or around them. It cannot be moved once charging begins, a spot glowing the colour of the Prince’s Malflame appearing in the location it is being conjured. It can be conjured in three [3] emotes, and lasts for up to five emotes afterwards. Only one may be conjured at a time by a Prince, and it is only one block in diameter. This spell requires ten [10] maleus to conjure at two blocks high; fifteen [15] maleus at three blocks high and twenty [20] maleus to conjure up to five blocks high. Pillars may not be summoned more than eight blocks away from the Naztherak, and they must also have line of sight with the location they intend to summon it at. Redlines: - The pillar must originate from the floor or ground. It may not levitate in mid-air. - It has no mass whatsoever, and may be passed through freely, but will scorch the soul at the location of exposed flesh. - Only one may be conjured at a time by a single Prince. Should they attempt to cast another, the original will collapse in on itself. - A pillar may be conjured at most [8] blocks away from the Naztherak. - One requires line of sight with the position, in order to summon a pillar there. - One may not move the pillar after casting begins. Rok-Niirk - [T4] [Combat] An agile selection of the Malflame spells where a Naztherak may conjure forth a whip or lasso made of cursed flame. While it functions as an intimidating sight for mortals to see and is no less painful than any other weapon in the Prince’s arsenal, its effects upon Inferi are more interesting. Against demonic imps and beasts, the whip or lasso possesses physical mass, and may be used to bind or bring them to heel. Mechanics: A Naztherak conjures a whip or lasso of pure Malflame into their hand. A whip-like conjuration functions as a bullwhip and may be lashed at a foe, while a lasso may be flung with the intention of ensnaring a target over the head etc. Summoning either takes three emotes to fully manifest and costs fifteen [15] maleus. Whips and lassos may be at most [4] metres in length, and last for five emotes. These conjurations possess physical properties for Inferi only, allowing a Naztherak to whip or lasso imps and beasts as if with their mundane counterparts. Redlines: - Whips and lassos have no mass whatsoever until the target is an Inferi. - Zar’ei and greater may be lasso’d, but are capable of breaking free where their lessers are not. - Although the ethereal whip/lasso will burn upon skin contact, it will not bind a mortal player-character. - Whips and lassos have no 'knockback' effect or similar. Rok-Krimth - [T5] [Combat] Not unlike the whip-like conjurations of their more novice peers, a master of Malflame manipulation may summon chains of pure Malflame with which to burn continuously against the flesh of mortal men, or to bind infernal adversaries. Mechanics: Similarly to whips and lassos, a Naztherak may conjure chains of seething Malflame into their hands. These may be lashed at a foe in a manner similar to whips, or may be manually placed around the wrists, torso, legs etc. of one’s victim to continuously burn into their flesh. The links of the chain may be as large as the Warlock wishes, but may be no smaller than those of chainmail, and the chain itself may be no longer than [6] metres in length. When used to bind Inferi, these chains assume material properties comparable to that of mild steel, providing strong restraints for most demons. The conjuration takes three emotes to fully manifest, and consumes [20] maleus whilst lasting for five emotes; this may be extended by spending an additional [5] maleus per two emotes. Redlines: - Malflame chains have no mass whatsoever until the target is an Inferi - Imps, Beasts and Zar’ei may be bound with this spell, but Zar’ei/Zezimar may attempt to break free. - Brute Zar’ei may brute force chains to break them, while Malda and Kozun may loosen them to escape. - Although the ethereal chains will burn upon skin contact, it will not bind a mortal player-character. - Whipped or thrown chains have no 'knockback' effect or similar. Rok-Zevik - [T5] [Combat] The most powerful and destructive use of Malflame, only able to be performed by creatures whose acumen over fel flame is truly mastered. By conjuring a substantial amount of Malflame, a Prince essentially creates a storm of the accursed fire, which can completely destroy entire groups of men, while leaving the surrounding area virtually unaffected. Mechanics: A mastered Naztherak, may conjure a large storm of Malflame which covers a wide radius of [7] blocks in a dome or column no taller than four [5] blocks inclusive. It must centre around the Prince. This is however, incredibly draining, requiring a large amount of maleus to perform. It costs [35] maleus to perform such a feat, requires [6] emotes to charge, and may be sustained for up to [7] emotes. Redlines: - The firestorm still only burns exposed soul-bearing flesh. - It must centre around the Naztherak and may not be repositioned. - Otherwise the flames pass harmlessly over covered persons. - The storm has no mass and may be passed through easily. General Redlines: - Malflame may only be conjured by a Naztherak, as they possess both the Brand and are able to read the Ilzakarn inscriptions within their Grimoire. One who is not a practicing Naztherak would be unable to conjure Malflame even in the event that they know the Ilzakarn language for whatever reason. - The exception is that Inferi can naturally use Malflame and are immune to only their own Malflame. - A user may move at different speeds while channelling Malflame conjurations depending on the spell tier, but may not employ sudden movement without the spell ending, e.g. dodge-rolling. - May move 4 blocks while channeling T1-2 Spells, 3 blocks during T3, 2 blocks during T4, and must be stationary at T5. - While Malflame projectiles do not always have a set range, the more they travel, the more they will weaken. - Naztherak are not immune to the effects of Malflame, only immune to their own when conjured where the Brand is present. - The burning from Malflame is extremely painful, like being pressed against white-hot metal. The pain from such may interrupt casting, and will likely last for several narrative days in the event that the person survives. The effects and pain of Malflame may be alleviated by Holy Magic and may be treated, to a lesser degree, by medicinal painkillers. - Malflame will consume the victim until there is nothing left to consume, as long as there is continuous exposure. Simply landing the hit does not make it an insta-kill. - It may be put out by smothering or submerging in water. - Burns left by Malflame will darken, even blacken in some cases. After healing and scarring, they may still present a subtle glow the colour of the Malflame which caused it. - Malflame cannot burn through cloth, armor, or any other protective material. It must make contact with living flesh or hair on a user in order to be effective. - One may not guide or shoot Malflame through the visor, eyeholes etc. of helms, or similar small gaps in clothing. The skin must be exposed. - Malflame does not produce light nor heat, nor does it have force on its own. - Should Malflame conjurations make contact with air evocation spells of T3 or above, they may be blown out or redirected. - Druidic Blight Healing is unable to alleviate the effects of Malflame burns, except in the case of Epiphytes, Soul Trees, or Fae, Treants and animals through the respective Beast-Purging ability. In the case of animals is does not heal the actual wound. ⛧ Demonlore “Oh how they yearn to be freed!” A Prince is naught without a court to call his own, having servants of the Infernal subjugated beneath them in a cruel hierarchy of the Pentacle’s own design. Such a profane practice may be employed with the use of the Naztherak’s Grimoire, much like that of their other enactments of the accursed. With this in mind, the Prince may bind to himself Inferi through the use of Malflame, subjugating them beneath him either by force, or whatever semblance of reason such a heathenous creature holds. However, chaos begotten will yield chaos in turn, often leading to resentment as the very Inferis the Prince has subjugated seldom heeds their words true, for a False Prince is only entitled to false subjects — those who obey in fear by power, yet not righteousness. Subjugation The powers bestowed upon a Naztherak permit them to bind the Infernal and force them to kneel, as a serf to his Prince. Their power is magically bolstered, allowed only by the machinations of the Pentacle, such that even should they be lacking in charisma, will or at least dominance, their Inferi will obey. It is not limitless however, and a weak Prince will find their court may avoid careless or vague commands, loopholing and using half-truths to permit them to act as they please, even sabotaging the Warlock’s plans- all very possible despite a bound Inferis’ inability to directly harm or disobey their master. A Naztherak has two means of dominating an Inferis in order to initially bind it with the powers of their Grimoire. The first is to physically exhaust the Inferis, such as by defeating it in combat, while the second means is to restrain it through mundane or magical means. Neither of these methods are for the faint of heart, and for the scholarly sorts typical of Warlocks, the latter option may be preferable. Subjugate — Shackle [T1] [Combat] The Naztherak summons forth fetters, shackles and chains of Malflame which immediately move to ensnare an Inferis within 10 blocks. These will immobilise a prior-exhausted Inferis, while those who have the strength to fight back can attempt to escape. Attempting to ‘shackle’ an Inferis takes three [3] emotes, one to open the Grimoire, one to speak the incantation and one for the shackles to move to the Inferis and begin binding. Additional emotes after that are more freeform as the Naztherak and Inferis fight. A Prince must expend [20] maleus to shackle and bind an Inferis in such a way. After a successful binding, a new page in the Naztherak’s Grimoire must be filled in with numerous scrawlings about the bound Inferis, and is completed by writing its assigned name at the head of the page. Redlines: - NPC Imps and Beasts may be bound by wrestling them into submission and then Shackle cast upon them. - Imps and Beasts are unable to resist the Shackle spell, but Zar’ei and anything more powerful may attempt to break free. - Player CA Zar’ei and Imps must be roleplayed with, such as bargaining between them and the Naztherak to allow themselves to be bound, or combat to ensue etc. and to then be forcibly bound. - A Naztherak may attempt to bind Inferi which appear in ST events, in which case a player may create a CA to play a Zar’ei bound in such a way. The overseeing ST may refuse and otherwise has discretion about how to handle such cases. - Every attempt to bind an Inferi costs 20 maleus. - This spell does nothing to non-Inferi etc. Alternatively, a Warlock of particularly shrewd bargaining may be able to convince Inferi to be willingly bound. Typically this is only temporary such that the demon and Prince may cooperate toward a common goal, or to wreak havoc in a mutually beneficial fashion. It is only later that each may discover how true to their word the other is. Redlines: - A Naztherak and a CA Inferis may agree to a pact whereby the Inferis is bound in the Grimoire as if shackled. This may be as steeply-priced as the Inferis desires, as long as the agreement is based in RP. - One may also negotiate with Inferi to cease hostilities or otherwise make bargains of a sort in ST events. In which case, the overseeing ST has the discretion to name a price, determine what the Prince receives in exchange etc. They may alternatively reject the chance to bargain. Naz’kuthun Even among False Princes, there are depths to which some may wish to avoid sinking into. Those who are already paving their walkway to damnation may seek other sources of Inferi for their court, those comparatively more dark than other powers possessed by their peers. One such practice among Warlocks is named Naz’kuthun, a ritual which induces the rapid and complete infernalisation of a mortal’s mind, body and soul. Such an act is truly profane, but certainly a practical solution to those Naztherak who seek to bring another into their court, without the legwork of finding stray Inferi. Using Naz’kuthun, a Prince may turn existing player-characters into Inferi, via the corruption of the character in all capacities. The soul warps to a demonic state, with the flesh taking on monstrous mutations, while the victim’s mind is similarly sundered. At the end of the ritual, the character will keep all of their prior memories, but will see the world through a new lens- no longer as a person, but as an abomination. Such an Inferi may regard their prior lives with disgust in such sentimentality or weakness, while others may reflect on their experiences in a new light. In any case the Inferis will now be driven by chaos, spite and the desire to spread turmoil in their wake. This is not to say all will immediately seek to destroy a nearby village, and indeed these Inferi are much like their peers in the capacity for cunning and manipulation. Some will exist as a slow-burning flame, puppeteering great calamities from the shadows, while their more instantaneously gratified counterparts will burn brightly and revel in mayhem and bloodshed. Mechanics: - The victim must be submerged in a bath, basin or pool of blood and gore. A Naztherak may add additional blood and corpses etc. on top of them afterward. - A [T4] Naztherak performing Naz’kuthun will open their Grimoire and begin to read a prepared incantation, whilst infusing [50] maleus into the pool of gore. - The victim will begin to undergo a transformation of mind, body and soul. The process is agonising, but the character is incapable of preventing it at this point. A player must OOCly consent for the ritual to successfully corrupt the character. - Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Orcs, Hou-Zi and Kha will become Zar’ei. - Sprites and similarly small characters will become Imps. - Halflings may choose between the two, but may need to shrink to adhere to Imp size limits. - When the new Inferis emerges from the pool, they are exhausted and easily bound by the Naztherak. At this point the player may create a CA for the playable Inferis. - A Prince may perform the same ritual upon animals to create imps and beasts, acting as sufficient roleplay to justify their later summoning. Redlines: - Only a Naztherak of at least T4 may perform Naz’kuthun. They must be taught the ritual through roleplay. - OOC consent from all parties is required for a Prince to transform a player-character into an Inferis. - Humanoid player-characters, including Kha and Hou-Zi become Zar’ei, and may choose their ‘type’ appropriately. For example an Elf may decide to be either a [Knight] or a [Mage] type, while an Orc may choose to be a [Brute] or [Knight] type etc. - CA Sprites and other small creatures become Imps. - Halflings may choose to become a Zar’ei or Imp, but must abide by all redlines of either, e.g. height limit of Imps. - If an Olog undergoes Naz’kuthun, it may become a [Brute] type Zar’ei, but must adhere to the redlines of Zar’ei, including their height/build restrictions. - The player-character must possess a soul and a body in order to be transformed by Naz’kuthun. Liches, Darkstalkers, ghosts, Sorvians etc. may not be turned into Inferi. - Characters transformed in this way will lose their prior magics. - Being transformed into an Inferi is utterly irreversible. - All Inferi are subject to the redlines and mechanics as outlined in the Infernal Compendium. Invocation By means of invocation through infernal incantation, the Prince may summon forth one of their own bound Inferi which they have subjugated, sending them forward to enact the Naztherak’s cruel will. While demons of greater power may indeed be bound and wrought forth by the Prince, there may be instances in which the Naztherak may have need for a weaker, less significant power to whom they appoint their malice. This practice requires that the Prince had inscribed a rune within their Grimoire associating to the particular Inferis upon their initial binding, thus allowing them to call it forth. A Naztherak may summon a bound, non-playable Inferis as an independent combat summon, though only to a particular tier of demon. Both Imp and Beast Inferi may be summoned interchangeably depending on the circumstance and how the Naztherak wishes to apply their court to the situation. To do this, they must speak the incantation correlating to the Inferis they wish to summon, which will then be brought forth. Aesthetic is left up to the Naztherak, allowing them anything from Malflame chains pulling the demon forth from the ground, to the Inferis appearing in an explosion of Malflame. Of course, such creatures must be coaxed, and thus the Prince must offer a certain amount of maleus to bring them forth into the Material World and wreak the havoc both the Prince and their court so desire. Invocation — Zevn [T1] [Independant Summon] [Combat] A Naztherak may call forth a bound imp, assuming they possess one. They may do this in three emotes; one to open their Grimoire to the right page, one to begin the incantation, and one to summon forth the imp, which can take anywhere from one to two emotes. Multiple imps may be summoned at once by taking two emotes for every additional imp, up to two being able to exist at once typically. They will last for up to eight emotes, at the cost of five maleus per imp, and can be sustained further by spending an additional five maleus, unless they are killed or dismissed prior to their maximum duration. While the imps tend to follow the mechanics and behavior as listed in the Infernal Compendium, they do possess some minor differences. Imps summoned, while following the general commands of a Prince, follow them vaguely if at all, causing unnecessary destruction and chaos even in simple tasks. They are rather unintelligent, unable to wield more than rudimentary weapons such as clubs or crude maces, and also have a limited capacity to control Malflame. Redlines: - Zevn may be conjured even if the Naztherak has not bound a player-character imp, though the roleplay of binding the NPC imp should still be present for one to summon it later on. - Zevn summons follow their respective behaviors, redlines, mechanics, and abilities listed in the Infernal Compendium, unless explicitly stated otherwise. - Zevn require five maleus to summon initially per imp. Expending five additional maleus will extend the summon by a further eight emotes. - Although a Naztherak may have at most two imps in combat simultaneously, they may possess up to five under their command in non-combat scenarios. Invocation — Zekul [T2] [Dependant/Independant Summon] [Combat] A Naztherak may call forth a bound Zekul, a beast, assuming they possess one. Only one Zekul may be conjured at once, ranging from the size of a housecat to the size of a warhorse or grizzly bear at the very most. They will last for up to six emotes after initially summoning, though may remain longer should the Prince spend an additional ten [10] maleus, unless they are killed or dismissed prior to their maximum duration. The quantity of Maleus and emotes used varies upon the size of the Beast, with larger Zekul requiring more bribery and coaxing. A Beast up to the size of a dog, may be summoned in three emotes, at the cost of [10] Maleus; a wolf, big cat or horse-sized Beast, may be summoned in four emotes, costing [15] Maleus; finally a Zekul up to the size of a grizzly bear requires six emotes to conjure, and costs [20] Maleus. Redlines: - The roleplay of binding the NPC Beast should be present for one to summon it later on. - Zekul summons follow their respective behaviors, redlines, mechanics, and abilities listed in the Infernal Compendium, unless explicitly stated otherwise. - Zekul between the size of a housecat and dog require [3] emotes and cost [10] Maleus. - Those between the size of a wolf and a horse require [4] emotes and cost [15] Maleus. - Larger Beasts up to the size of a grizzly bear require [6] emotes and cost [20] Maleus. - Although a Naztherak may have at most one beast in combat simultaneously, they may possess up to four under their command in non-combat scenarios. Invocation - Zar’ei [T3] [Non-Combat] Although a Naztherak may not conjure a Zar’ei as they do lesser Inferi such as imps and beasts, they may reconstitute bound ‘Twisted Ones’ who meet their demise by steel and sorcery. A Warlock requires only the most meagre remains of the Inferi in question, such as blood, charred bone or even ashes. Here the maleus does not act as a bribe for the Inferis, but is used to refuel them. This may be performed in no fewer than five emotes; one to open their Grimoire, one to speak the incantation, one to ignite the remains with Malflame and two for the Zar’ei to reform. It may not be performed in combat. Redlines: - The roleplay of binding an NPC Zar’ei should be present for the creation of the player CA later. - Zar’ei follow their respective behaviors, redlines, mechanics, and abilities listed in the Infernal Compendium, unless explicitly stated otherwise. - Zar’ei require [50] maleus to be reconstituted. - Reconstituting a Zar’ei in such a way must follow all rules of Monk Revival mechanics. - One may not use this to summon a CA Zar’ei in combat. - A Naztherak may not have more than three Zar’ei. Invocation — Zentherak [T5] [EVENT ONLY] A skilled Warlock, or perhaps one merely charismatic and lucky enough to have bound a Zentherak to their court, may summon it as they do of Inferi several rungs below a ‘True Prince.’ The devastating power of Infernal beings of this stature however, is not to be taken lightly, and a Prince will likely have only a few permitted uses of such a summoning. To perform such a feat, the Naztherak may do so in six emotes; one to open their Grimoire, one to speak the incantation, then four for the Zentherak to emerge in all its fel glory. Redlines: - The summoning of Zentherak is restricted to event-only encounters. - An ST overseeing the event has the discretion to ask for additional reasonable requirements from the player, in order to summon a Zentherak, such as a living sacrifice, offerings etc. for the sake of fairness. - A summoned Zentherak is permitted to stay for the entirety of an event, unless it is defeated, or withdraws due to injury etc. - This drains the Naztherak’s entire pool of maleus, no matter how great or meagre. General Redlines: - Any aesthetic of summoning cannot change the function nor have any damaging influence, and it must also fit the general theme of Naztherak. It would not make sense to summon Inferi from a snowy portal. - For aesthetic/flavor/environmental purposes, a Naztherak is not limited in the number of Inferi they may have wandering about their lair, though these will serve no combat or RP advantage, acting as NPCs. - A Naztherak may not summon Inferi beyond Zevn and Zekul in combat. They may be accompanied by CA Inferi prior to combat, but these may not be summoned from the Grimoire at whim. - Accompanying CA Inferi contribute to the player cap for raids and other banditry. - Players cannot possess more than three CA Zar’ei in their court. - They may also not have more than five imps, NPC or CA, four beasts and three Zar'ei in their court. ⛧ Narthruzka “Yet the taint of his own spirit was not enough, nae - he had to set the ruin of others as well...” The cruelty of the Infernal Lords knows no bounds, their dominance of lessers absolute. It is of little surprise then that their abominable countenance should pass on to mortal Princes like an infection. Such is the origin of Malices; Infernal inclinations which take root within the Naztherak’s very soul, at their first connection to their Princely Powers. They are not without their uses to those who dabble in devilry, but Malices further warp the Warlock’s mind when adopted as their own. An accomplished Naztherak who takes on a further pact, undertaking tutelage in the art of Curses, will find themselves capable of empowering their Malflame with the ire of their Malice, to further scourge their victims and adversaries. Other Warlocks will discover that a more subtle approach can be equally as devastating, burning the Malice into objects and harrowing their enemies with debilitating curses. Whether a Prince realises so or not, this spreading of cruelty only guarantees more tormented souls for the grinder within Moz Strimoza, such is the nefarious purpose of this spiteful art. Cursed Fire Cursed Idols A Naztherak may also be taught to take objects or ‘idols’ and curse them with profane properties. These are then to be distributed as the Prince sees fit, whether casting them out into the world, sown like seeds of spite to cause misery and turmoil among mortals, or offered to unwitting recipients disguised as harmless gifts. A Prince may even sell or trade such objects to those mortals with a spitefulness akin to their own, who seek to achieve the downfall of their brethren. To create such devilish devices, the Prince must prepare an area for ritual. This may be an elaborate altar with all manner of occult embellishments, or just a corner of a cave in moments of urgency. Preparing the ritual requires a complex pentacle of Ilzakarn script, scrawled in rakir, which details the Malice used and what manner of curse is being placed upon the idol. With an adequately prepared place to perform the deed, a Warlock places the idol in the circle’s centre, then opens their Grimoire and invokes their Malflame as a catalyst, whilst feeding the ritual with maleus to begin the process. Candles may flicker, alien whispers may be heard and other supernatural phenomena occur as the ritual is performed. The ritual burns the Ilzakarn into the object like a circuit board or a set of instructions, and uses the Naztherak’s maleus to initially charge the idol, finalising the curse laid upon it. - Creating a curse requires the ritual as described above, a minimum of four good-quality multi-line emotes, and may not take place during combat. - One’s Grimoire must be present to create a curse, except for a Zar’akal. - Creating a cursed idol consumes forty [40] maleus from the Naztherak per object. Assuming one has enough maleus to do so, multiple objects may be simultaneously imbued with the same curse. - An idol may only be cursed with a single Malice. After this dark ritual is completed, the cursed idol’s effects could be described as passive and continuous, constantly prepared to prey upon soul-bearing creatures. Physical skin-contact with the idol is enough for the curse to begin taking effect, but consistency is required for the curse to progress to its fullest effects. To sustain themselves without the need for a Naztherak to revisit their victim, an idol will siphon off minute slivers of soul essence from their bearer; if they instead possess maleus, the idol will consume this in the same fashion. Over the course of weeks and months, if there is consistent contact with the idol, its curse will grow and develop from mere cinders to an all consuming flame, capable of destroying one’s life. An idol can be difficult to detect, allowing an innocuous possession or even a treasured gift to secretly bring mayhem and suffering into the lives of mortals, without their knowing. Should such an idol be discovered however, Holy magicks can strip it of a curse, or even non-magickal folk may destroy the object in question through mundane means. - Curses provide long-term effects as detailed by the corresponding Malice. They take three [3] IRL days of possessing the idol to ramp up to their most debilitating effects. - They do not require recharging, and sustain themselves by gnawing at the bearer’s soul essence(alternatively maleus) periodically. No emotes are required. - An individual under the effect of a cursed idol may be alleviated of the curse by a Paladin’s purging ability, or any similar ability from other Holy magics. - Idols may be purged of their curse by the Paladin enchantment Sunlight’s Wrath, or a similar ability from other Holy magics, keeping the object itself intact. - The idol itself may also be destroyed by non-magical means. A cursed necklace may be melted down in a forge, a cursed pocket watch can be smashed with a hammer and so on. As long as the Ilzakarn ‘circuit’ upon the idol is destroyed, then the curse is broken. - When destroyed or purged, the dregs of maleus within the idol are released as a small curl of vile smoke, before dissipating entirely. - Although one may begin to realise that their behaviour changes after acquiring the cursed idol, or that they experience supernatural symptoms within its proximity, it’s considered metagaming to simply read the item’s description and immediately know it is cursed. Woe An idol cursed with Woe will cause the bearer to, over the course of the first few IRL hours, become progressively more miserable and depressive. They may merely take to brooding for hours, or may lack the motivation to cook and clean. As this progresses into the second IRL day many will find themselves unable to leave their bed, wallowing in self-loathing and turmoil. They may forgo cleaning, eating or other activities necessary to function. On the third IRL day, victims may not be capable of taking care of themselves, and even forgo activities which once brought them joy. Particularly susceptible personalities may even consider suicide. Lies An idol cursed with Lies will initially cause the bearer to begin responding to yes or no questions incorrectly on occasion. As this progresses into the second IRL day of the curse, a victim may attempt to weave a complex web of lies around themselves or others, which require further deception lest they be revealed as a sham. Developing further into the third IRL day, the cursed individual may even begin to believe their own lies, whether through sheer delusion or out of necessity to maintain this fragile fantasy they’ve constructed. A discovered liar may quickly realise the consequences of crying wolf. Revolt An idol cursed with Revolt will cause the victim to feel a gradually increasing sensation of disgust within themselves. Initially this may begin with merely a nudge to avoid certain individuals, objects, activities or even one’s appearance, as chosen upon creation by the Naztherak. After a second IRL day, this progresses toward an innate aversion to specific things, such as attending church, speaking certain words, or even possessions from one’s home. At its peak, after three IRL days, those cursed with Revolt may feel physically nauseous, skin-crawling sensations and other instinctual responses of disgust from the fixation of their Revolt. Some may be physically incapable of looking at their own reflection, for how utterly repulsive they find themselves to be. Madness An idol cursed with Madness will incite psychological discord within a victim. This begins with only minor symptoms, such as easily dismissed sensory hallucinations, or habitual and ritualistic behaviours. As the curse progresses into the second IRL day, the symptoms exacerbate, until friends and family would certainly notice the victim’s ‘disturbed’ nature from their usual selves. Paranoia may emerge here, along with more complex delusions, such as the belief others can hear their thoughts. After three IRL days the victim’s mental state deteriorates and they may become catatonic, or isolate themselves to avoid the triggers of their specific malady. Removing the curse’s effect with Holy magic will not automatically undo the trauma this Malice causes. There is no quick fix and overcoming this trauma will take IRL weeks. Players are also reminded to be tasteful, and that mental illness is more likely to lead one to hurt themselves rather than others. This Malice should not be used as a means for edgy 'serial killer’ roleplay etc. Desolation An idol cursed with Desolation is a truly spiteful weapon. The first stage occurs within the first IRL day of possessing the idol, where the most recent of memories will begin to degrade in accuracy. This may lead to simple mis-remembering of events, or requiring triggers such as smells, or coaching from others to assist the victim. At this point, it can be easily dismissed as forgetfulness. Upon the second IRL day however, this curse begins to attack memories from further into the past and particularly those which hold significance to the victim, such as birthdays, their wedding day, or even the birth of their children. This likely leads to frustration from others and the victim, that they continuously fail to grasp these important aspects of their past. Finally in the third IRL day, the curse burns away at fundamental pieces of the victim’s personality, such as lifelong skills, names, remembered faces and to a lesser extent even language. In this final stage the victim experiences true Desolation, as they as a person are obliterated, destroyed without a drop of blood spilt. Temptation An idol cursed with Temptation will cause the bearer to become progressively more distracted and preoccupied with their desires. Within the first IRL day they may experience reduced impulse control, resulting in the stealing valuables, if for example one is a material individual, or may become vocally obsessed over a love interest. Moving into the second IRL day of the curse, a victim will experience a degradation of social inhibitions, for example resulting in poor etiquette, not respecting the personal space of a love interest, or even speaking uncouthly of another within earshot. Finally in the third IRL day, a victim of Temptation will find their willpower diminished and are driven by the need to obtain objects of their desire; whether material goods, knowledge or even people. Dread An idol cursed with Dread inspires a growing terror and paranoia within its victim. In the first IRL day of the curse, this creeping fear will be akin to a feeling of being watched and being easily startled by sudden movement in the periphery, or loud noises. Progressing into the second IRL day, anxious symptoms intensify and will fixate upon one of a number of possible triggers, essentially causing the victim to develop a phobia. In the final stage of the curse(after 3 IRL days), this phobia will be allconsuming, the expectation of encountering its trigger will inspire paranoia and delusional thinking, such as an arachnophobe believing their mattress is filled with spiders. At this point the fear is far beyond rational and the victim will abandon almost all reason, save for self-preservation, should they encounter the trigger of their phobia. A Naztherak creating a Dread-cursed idol may choose from the following phobias at creation, and may not change the phobia once the curse is created: Fear of any given animal/creature including dragonkin, chimeras, manticores etc. Fear of a specific inanimate object, as defined by the Prince Fear of confined spaces/being buried alive Fear of germs, dirt or the unsanitary Fear of drowning/deep water Fear of open spaces/crowds Fear of thunderstorms Fear of falling/heights Fear of the dark/night Fear of holy symbols Fear is difficult to assuage in such victims and similar to Madness, even those who receive the help of Paladins or other Holy magics in purging their curse, will require IRL weeks to unlearn the phobia, such is the truly cruel facet of this Malice. Venom An idol cursed with Venom debilitates its victim with extreme symptoms, which mimic those of a toxic snake bite. Within two IRL hours of the curse, a clammy sweat sets in, followed by nausea and discomfort in the joints of the victim. One may easily dismiss these as symptoms of a mundane illness. They can be mitigated some by normal medicinal treatment, but won’t subside. During the second IRL day, the clamminess develops into a fever, accompanied by vomiting and in some cases mild delirium such as hallucinations. Dehydration is a potential danger here. After the third IRL day, the victim will experience difficulty breathing and abnormal functioning of the heart, such as palpitations. Were someone to have pre-existing conditions of the heart or lungs, this would be greatly aggravated and may even lead to death. The curse alone is unable to kill a physically healthy individual unless with OOC consent, otherwise only greatly weakening them. Gluttony An idol cursed with Gluttony is a dark totem indeed. Initially the victim will experience an increase in appetite and thirst, accompanied by nausea, which is a minor inconvenience and easily sated by simply indulging cravings. Upon the second IRL day of their curse they will discover that mundane food and drink cannot satiate this gnawing demand within their body. The aroma or taste of blood will be more appealing than that of wine, and the smell of flesh will prove more appetising than seasoned meats. After three IRL days of possessing the idol, the victim will find their body’s need for mundane food has been replaced by an unnatural hunger for the flesh and blood of their own race. Pestilence An idol cursed with Pestilence is a potent font of disease. Placed upon the person or in the home of one’s victim, it will begin to spread a malaise to those who come into direct contact with it, or those in frequent proximity to where it’s kept. Over the course of the first IRL day, victims experience this malaise as a general feeling of being unwell, accompanied by chills and a rising temperature. At this point, they will likely seek the assistance of a healer for what they believe is a mundane sickness. During the second IRL day, the supernatural plague advances to a persistent cough and shortness of breath, accompanied by blood in the phlegm and a weeping bloody discharge from the eyes and nose, while the temperature rises to a fever. At this point a healer’s attempts to manage symptoms will begin to fail. In the third IRL day of the curse, the prior symptoms persist and likely force the victim to remain in bed due to weakness. Necrosis may additionally begin to spread up the extremities, starting with toes and finger-tips, to begin consuming the victim with rot and disease. If the idol is destroyed, or ‘Holy’ magic is used to cure the curse, tissue death can be reversed if the victim wishes(OOC consent required). Healers are also at risk of becoming cursed, if they enter a victim’s home to treat them while the cursed idol still functions. Misfortune An idol cursed with Misfortune will sabotage the efforts of the Naztherak’s victim in almost all capacities, from the everyday to the magical. During their first IRL day of the curse, the victim may stub their toe, cut themselves shaving or overcook their evening meal, minor inconveniences easily attributed to benign bad luck. Advancing into their second IRL day, alchemists may find their potions have spoiled, Mages fizzle their spells without explanation and mundane mortals may lose their possessions or otherwise encounter numerous and consistent inconveniences. Upon the third IRL day, more dangerous mishappenings will emerge, such as falling down the stairs, windows falling shut upon one’s head and other supernaturally suspicious accidents. In this state, a victim would start to feel like someone was out to get them. It is up to the player to roleplay Misfortune appropriately, whether they choose to roll for the chance of Misfortune striking, roleplay a series of unfortunate outcomes, or indeed succumb to a tragic end during an event etc. Redlines: - Cursed idols require an ST-signed RP item as enchanted objects. They should adhere to the ST’s criteria for enchanted objects. - One may not curse multiple objects with different curses within the same ritual. - One may not stack multiple Malices upon the same object. - Druidic Blight Healing has no effect upon cursed idols. - Creating a curse is not possible in a combat scenario. - Curses are not immediately detectable, but one may roleplay a gradual realisation that the idol is supernatural. - The Paladin Purge ability, or similar abilities in other ‘Holy’ magics, will remove the effects of a curse from its victim. - If the idol is not destroyed, the victim may find themselves cursed again, taking another 3 IRL days to ramp up to its full effects. - The Paladin enchantment Sunlight’s Wrath, or similar abilities in other ‘Holy’ magics, are able to destroy the idol’s curse permanently. - Cursed idols are not immune to damage. They are functionally ordinary objects and can be smashed, melted in lava etc. - If an idol is destroyed, it takes a full 3 IRL days for its curse to pass, unless expedited by ‘Holy’ magics. - Characters may not be used as a cursed idol, e.g. Shapeshifted Izkuthii - Izkuthii and Sorvian masks may also not be cursed, but they can still be affected by Malice-infused Malflame spells. - If an idol is placed within a player’s home, the inventory may not be locked to prevent access for its removal or destruction. - Curses cannot affect constructs and non-soulbearing entities, with the exception of Sorvians, which possess Soul Essence to fuel a curse. - Tree Lords can be affected by curses, but in place of ‘Holy’ magical intervention may be cured by the Purge ability of Druidic Blight Healing. General Redlines: - A Naztherak must reach [T3] to be taught Curses/Nathruztar. - Curses as a subtype has no tier progression, and occupies one [1] slot. - One may teach Curses after [1] month of possessing it. They must also have been taught how to infuse their Malice into Malflame spells and how to create a cursed idol. - The Prince's TA should be updated with this subtype, when the allotted time is reached, should they wish to teach it. ⛧ Pacting “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” While the practitioners of Naztherak may obtain for themselves power by research and force, their studies will not have gone unnoticed by unseen eyes. For when a Prince makes their first pact, the deal is sealed on behalf of a higher, more diabolical power. At the precipice of a mortal’s descent into the infernal, a Zar’rokul lays claim to slivers of their soul and watches over them, as a beastly benefactor grooming them ever closer to the needs and desires which serve the Rokul’s own ends. The Naztherak is unaware of this patronage, as is the design of their powers as wrought by the Pentacle, lest meek apprentices learn too quickly of their mephistophelean downfall and wrench what remains of their soul beyond the demons’ grasp. Instead the Zar’rokul moves pieces upon a board, creating opportunity or even placing obstacles in the path of their newest toy. It is only when the Prince achieves a level of blinkered, zealous pursuit of further knowledge, or at least jadedness, that they may earn the privilege of contacting their patron. Nizarhuk A Naztherak who has grown further invested in their demonic powers, may seek to open a means of communication with their patron, who until such a point has remained anonymous. To achieve this the Prince must create a pact, not dissimilar to that which they may have initiated at the beginning of their journey upon the infernal path. This pact begins with a ritual to draw the eye of the Prince’s patron such that they can conduct nizarhuk or “communion” with the Zar’rokul. Although the outcome of nizarhuk is typically the same regardless of the Prince and their patron, there may be minor variations in the pact’s smallprint, suited to the Rokul’s specific wants. The Prince must prepare a ritual pentacle drawn in rakir, not unlike those required for Curses, and similarly it may be embellished with candles and other occult objects if one desires. In this case, the Ilzakarn scrawlings call upon the Pentacle of Moz Strimoza to witness it, and in the centre of this pentagram an offering bowl is placed. A Naztherak already in possession of Pacting who is teaching a student, should assist in assembling the ritual to demonstrate each step and such will not impact the ritual itself. Into the bowl, the Prince must offer their own blood such as by cutting the palm. This need not fill the bowl entirely, but the offering must not be wanting. Into this the Prince then wills a sliver of their maleus, to create a rakir of their own blood used only in this ritual. The rakir will shift and bubble as if being heated, until pale plasma-like fluid will appear to separate from the main body of the substance. This swirl of plasma will then form the likeness or name of the Zar’rokul who has chosen the Naztherak, revealing their identity. At this point the Prince must then fill the remaining contents of the bowl with the blood of the animal corresponding with their patron, by means of slitting the creature open and spilling its blood as a sacrifice. A goat for Velkuzat, a bat for Drazhana, a snake for Kiiztria, a crow for Kholidav, or a black cat for Zathairn. Filling the bowl with animal blood, the Naztherak has made their offering and the Zar’rokul will answer, by either manifesting as an avatar before them or speaking through the body of the sacrifice. Drinking their fill of the Warlock’s pool of maleus, the Rokul will then acknowledge the Prince as chosen by them, makes their offer and names their price. The Naztherak may agree or refuse, the latter will cancel the ritual and the Prince receives nothing for their spent blood and maleus. Upon striking their bargain a fresh page within the Prince’s Grimoire will mysteriously become inscribed with the pact. Written entirely in Ilzakarn, it details the terms agreed upon, including the price: a further sliver of the Prince’s soul, allowing the Zar’rokul into their mind, and one permanent mutation. It also lists the prizes one has paid for: a familiar, the Rokul’s own Malice and the knowledge of and ability to use Boons and Banes. Mechanics: - Performing nizarhuk requires the ritual described above, in a minimum of four good-quality multi-line emotes, which may not take place during combat. - The Naztherak’s grimoire must be present throughout, unless they are also a Zar’akal. - The TA-holder teaching the Pacting subtype must be present throughout the ritual and guide the student through the process. - Players are encouraged to have various flavourful supernatural phenomena occur during the ritual, and are permitted to be creative insofar that it is not abused to seriously harm bystanders. - In their bargaining with the Zar’rokul, the Naztherak must allow them to consume the entirety of their pool of maleus, no matter how full or how large their maximum pool. - The Rokul will also demand a further sliver of the Prince’s soul, permanently slotting Pacting. - As a result of further corruption of their soul, the Naztherak will inherit a permanent mutation unable to be hidden, which bears a likeness to their patron. Such things may include scales, a bat-like nose, forked tongue, fangs, cat-like eyes, vestigial wings etc., but may not grant any combat or mechanical advantage. - Lastly the Prince must allow their patron into their mind, causing vivid nightmares at least once a week. If one attempts to forgo sleep to avoid these, they will instead manifest as waking hallucinations. Either may be visions of their patron, inferi or Moz Strimoza. These cannot be cured with medicinal aids, only ever granting temporary reprieve. - Upon successful completion of nizarhuk, the Prince may also adopt the Malice associated with their patron. Gluttony from Velkuzat, Dread from Drazhana, Venom from Kiiztria, Pestilence from Kholidav and Misfortune from Zathairn. - After acquiring Pacting, the patron may also telepathically contact the Prince to goad them into certain actions, such as interfering in world events, sabotaging the efforts of a rival Zar’rokul and their servants, or other flavourful means of grooming the Warlock into serving their patron. - Nizarhuk may be performed again for flavour roleplay after acquiring Pacting, or used for ST events where the Prince wishes to consult with their patron, but may not be used to metagame or stall combat etc. - An ST with manager approval may roleplay as a Zar’rokul for the purposes of communion rituals, eventlines or for telepathic communication to a pacted Naztherak. Redlines: - An accepted Naztherak MA, and T3 is required to perform this ritual and thus acquire Pacting. - One may not conduct the ritual during combat. - If an ST member is not available to roleplay the Zar’rokul during the ritual, the teacher is permitted to play them instead only for the purposes of their student acquiring the Pacting subtype. In which case the Rokul is scripted to its offer and price, and may not make unique demands of the Warlock. - After the pact is complete, the player must notify the ST to update their MA appropriately. - One may teach Pacting to another Naztherak after possessing it for 1 IRL month. A TA may be updated accordingly. - The Prince must wait the full 12 hours after the Zar’rokul has consumed their maleus, before it replenishes, as they have no maleus with which to cast kraviir. - Permanent mutations are not able to be hidden and do not respond to casting. They must have some likeness to the Zar’rokul one has pacted under. Again these must be unsettling or grotesque. - The nightmares and subsequent adverse effects upon the Prince must be roleplayed, whether that is as a disturbed mentality, extreme tiredness due to an inability to sleep, or other such symptoms. - Alchemical, magical or herbal sleep aids have a diminished effect upon a Prince’s nightmares, at best working by half their typical strength. This may not be bypassed by taking extra doses. - Pacting consumes one [1] magic slot. - Like all Naztherak subtypes, one may not regain the slot offered to their patron. Ever. - One may teach Pacting after [1] month of possessing it. They must also have been taught the properties of their Striith and how to apply boons/banes. - The Prince's TA should be updated with this subtype, when the alloted time is reached, should they wish to teach it. Infernal Familiars “Every Prince needs a Herald” Although the price of a pact with a Zar’rokul is great, the rewards are not lacking. Perhaps the first of these to manifest is the Naztherak’s familiar, dubbed a striith in Ilzakarn. These creatures take on the appearance of the animal associated with one’s patron, as a disguise for the wicked Inferis concealed beneath the flesh, fur and feathers. Even then this deception is inherently flawed by the truly demonic nature of the striith, exhibited by traits such as albinism, melanism, uncharacteristic size, red or bleeding eyes, enlarged teeth and claws, or other such symptoms of infernal origins. The striith is both a servant bound to the Naztherak, but also a means for the patron to have the Prince under nigh constant observation- for the Zar’rokul did not ascend to their position among the Pentacle, by allowing themselves to be blindsided. It is perhaps ironic that the striith is both jailor and prisoner in some regards, as like all inferi bound to a Prince, they must obey. Striith Psychology Comparable in intellect to that of a Zar’ei, these infernal familiars make for useful advisors and companions upon the dark path of the Naztherak. This intellect, coupled with the inherent power struggle of all inferi, may prove to be one’s undoing, as the striith is inherently manipulative. They will seek to subvert their relationship with the Prince if they can, preying upon fears or a weak will, to dominate the Naztherak for spiteful amusement by tugging upon the few chains they are able to. Should the striith and the Prince be of alike personalities- finding kinship within deceptive, malicious, chaotic mentalities, or at least greed- then they can build a more amiable, symbiotic relationship, aiding each other in their respective endeavours without the explicit instruction of the Naztherak. The pact between the mortal Prince and their Zar’rokul patron is mirrored in their striith too, allowing master and familiar to communicate telepathically as long as they are within whispering distance or within sight. - A striith is given to the Naztherak upon acquiring Pacting. It will invariably be the animal representation of the Zar’rokul; a goat for Velkuzat, a bat for Drazhana, a snake for Kiiztria, a crow for Kholidav and a black cat for Zathairn. - Each familiar will possess demonic physical traits such as melanism, albinism or other unnatural skin/fur/feather discolouration, horns, larger fangs, claws, talons etc. red or bleeding eyes, unnatural size etc. As long as the animal is unmistakable for its representation. - Familiars may emerge from the body of the animal sacrificed during nizarhuk, allowing a one-time transformation into the striith’s form, or it may merely be roleplayed as appearing mysteriously. - The striith may act as a servant for the Prince, akin to a pet or messenger bird, but all usual rules apply. E.g. 3 emotes to ‘bird’ with the striith. - The personality of the familiar can be roleplayed as one pleases, as long as it is of an inherently selfish, chaotic nature. Players are encouraged to treat the striith as a character, not just a pet. - Princes may communicate telepathically with their striith as long as they have line of sight with it, or it is within #w distance. Properties of the Striith In addition to a fellow traveller upon a dark path, the striith is also a potent source of maleus, when burned by Malflame, allowing a desperate Warlock to sacrifice their familiar for a fix of maleus to fuel further casting of their infernal powers. Alternatively it may be harvested for its inferi blood, which acts as a unique form of iridescent rakir the colour of the Prince’s Malflame. This rich striith blood is known to be used by Warlocks in the creation of pacts with mortal man, and the conveying of magical boons and banes onto bodily flesh. Lastly a striith is capable of meagre Malflame conjurations on par with those of an imp. Which is to say they may throw coin-sized balls, or spit small tongues of felfire, but do not possess a Malice of their own to utilise. - Should a Naztherak cast kraviir upon their striith, it will yield the fullest crop of maleus as the spell states in the Malflame section. This will destroy the striith however, and it may not reappear for an IRL week. - The Prince may instead choose to let the blood of their striith, to produce a shimmering rakir the colour of their Malflame. - The quantity of this does not change with the size of familiar, and always yields enough blood to inscribe a boon and a bane, without destroying the striith. If the Prince chooses to extract a further ‘count’ of blood within the same IRL week, they may at the cost of destroying the striith and triggering a 1 IRL week for it to manifest again. - Striith do not like being destroyed and resummoned repeatedly, and will quickly foster hostility and toxicity toward a Naztherak who does so. - If a striith is slain by mundane means, such as during an attack upon their Naztherak by other parties, it will remanifest after 3 IRL days. Redlines: - ST guidelines concerning combat pets must be followed, concerning a striith. One may not use a goat familiar beyond the size of a golden retriever in combat, for example. - Snake familiars must adhere to the ST’s policy for poisons and venoms. - All other rules concerning pets or animal companions must also be followed with one’s striith, such as at least three ‘bird emotes’ to send a message. - One may not use their striith to metagame information. For instance you may not ask the striith who killed you should it have witnessed so. Similarly it may not be used to spout exposition about lore the player-character is not privy to etc. - A striith may possess demonic traits as listed above, or similar, but which may not give it outlandish abilities beyond those of their mundane animal counterparts. - Their Malflame capabilities are on par with those of an imp. - Although familiars are a device to encourage strongly aesthetic flavourful roleplay, one may not roleplay their striith as a totally docile pet. It must always at least be selfish, manipulative and chaotic, with room for them to be plenty spiteful and hostile as well. - Striith who are repeatedly harvested, killed and resummoned by a Prince may not harbour an amicable relationship with their master. - A Prince may cast a single spell of Kraviir upon their familiar to harvest it for maleus, which burns it away into embers and ash. - A Prince may take enough blood from the familiar to create one (1) boon and one (1) bane, or any combination thereof without issue. Should they do so again within an IRL week, this will kill the striith. - Should a striith be slain by mundane methods, it will remanifest after 3 IRL days. It may reassemble itself from ash, or otherwise mysteriously reappear. - If a striith is destroyed by over-harvesting blood or maleus it will take 1 IRL week to manifest itself again. It may reassemble itself from ash, or otherwise mysteriously reappear. Boons & Banes “A Prince's prize is handsome indeed..” Perhaps the greatest reward bequeathed to the Naztherak by their patron, are the means to begin making pacts of their own among mortalkind. For the Inferi Incursion upon Arcas taught the Pentacle the true value of luring Descendants to their side as pawns, with promises of power, trinkets and other such frivolous promises. As a Prince who serves their Infernal Lord however, it is the place of the Naztherak to make these agreements on their behalf, and by now they should be all too familiar with how to bargain for devilish deals. Boons and banes are additional powers a Naztherak may employ in order to begin entangling mortals within their own complex web of pacts. This is the very intention of the Pentacle, to further encourage a mortal Prince to such tendencies, until they not only excel in them, but are far too invested to be concerned with the price for their own powers. A Prince may negotiate a contract with a mortal, promising the power of a boon and assign their own price as they see fit. Even should one still possess a modicum of kindness, or at least nepotism, so as to waive a price, the dark magics of the Pentacle still require a bane to accompany the boon. Like the boon, this bane may be chosen from a list, but continuously gnaws at the bearer’s soul essence, whilst fuelling the boon’s power. To give a boon, the Prince must harvest blood from their striith- enough for one boon and one bane- and expend a sum of their own maleus to enrich it further. At this point such a rakir will virtually crackle and spit with embers, as it is saturated with the potential for wickedness. Using this the Prince may tattoo or draw upon the flesh of their pactee, an inscription in Ilzakarn which names the boon and bane selected. This process is painful and will inflict hot flashes upon the individual who receives it, with a lasting stinging sensation which will only fade after a few days. Upon completion however, they will discover that the boon’s benefits may be enjoyed and the bane’s curse suffered. - A Prince may offer boons to other soul-bearing player characters as a means of bribing them for cooperation, material goods, knowledge, promises of servitude or other such things as the Naztherak finds worthy of trade. - Even if they waive a price for the boon, such as to reward a loyal pawn, each must also be accompanied by at least one bane. A Prince may even choose to place a bane and no boon. - Imbuing their fresh harvest of striith blood costs the Prince a flat [50] maleus per one count of striith blood. They may imbue multiple counts of striith blood at once if they possess enough maleus to do so. - The roleplay for this process is freeform, but it must be roleplayed. Handing out boons and banes without roleplay will be considered OOC magic trading. - After one receives their boon and/or banes, the Naztherak must notify the ST to update their MA with a comment. The comment should detail which boons and which banes the character has been given. - A character may not have more than three boons and five banes at any given time. - Boons and banes have no expiration. The bane feeds on the bearer's soul essence to fuel itself and the boon indefinitely. - If the tattoo of the bane is scored or cut out, the boon will cease to function. - If the tattoo of the boon is scored or cut out, the bane will continue to function. - Boons and banes may also be destroyed by a Paladin’s Purging ability, or similar abilities in other Holy magics. The Naztherak may mark their victim with any of the following boons and banes, and a TA-holder with Pacting may create new ones via lore additions. Boons Banes General Redlines: - Striith blood must be used within 2 IRL hours of harvest unless an appropriate RP item is made and signed by the ST. - When tattooing boons/banes upon a character, both they and the Naztherak must be in close proximity in roleplay. One may not be more than 5 blocks away mechanically or iRP and still receive boons/banes. - One may not NPC the receipt of boons/banes. The roleplay should occur between two player characters. - A character may not have more than three (3) boons and/or five (5) banes. - To roleplay the received boons/banes, there must be a comment on the providing Naztherak's MA which details the boons/banes the player possesses. These may be updated by the ST when necessary. - Although knowledge of boons and banes is magically conferred to the Prince, the TA-holder who is teaching them should also guide a student through the process in roleplay. - To receive boons/banes the player character must have a soul to feed from. This means various constructs such as Sorvians may not receive boons/banes. Refer to the CA’s lore and ask the ST. - An Azdrazi’s inner flame purges the striith blood from the tattoo/marking, thus preventing them from receiving boons/banes. - Boons/Banes may be removed by Paladin purging, or similar abilities from other Holy magics. - Alternatively the destroying of the tattoo/marking, such as cutting it out, will effectively remove it. - If the boon is destroyed, the bane still produces its effect. If the bane is destroyed however, the boon ceases to function. - One may not use banes to remove senses, literacy, or ability to imagine which a character did not already posses. For example, a blind person may not have "Taken Sense" remove the sight they don't have and so on. - Boons/banes have no expiration and may be used indefinitely. - The ST are entirely within reason to blacklist players who repeatedly abuse boons/banes, use them for poor-quality villainy such as roadside banditry(including meme/troll RP), or use them as a means to OOCly harass or bully other players. ⛧ Ascension Playable [CA] “A Prince becomes a King” All the powers of a Naztherak are created to fulfil numerous goals, from the conjuring of felfire to spread chaos amongst mortals, the sowing of suffering through curses, the trappings of pacts - these all serve the insidious purpose of luring the Prince further into the infernal, expending the slivers of their soul until there is but a final shred of mortality left within them. Small, weak and tainted. It is all which separates the False Prince from the same Inferi which they bind and summon to do their bidding. For those who have already delved deep into demonology and have taken three pacts, there is one step left to take in their pursuit of power, zealous service to the Pentacle, or other blinkered searching for promised forbidden knowledge. Through the performing of a dark and unnatural rite, a Naztherak may surrender the last of their soul to the powers of Moz Strimoza and in so doing, become fully infernalised. Upon achieving this, they take up the mantle of the Twisted King, Zar’akal, and serve their patron Zar’rokul as a harbinger upon the mortal plane. The ‘akal walks amidst mortalkind as a wolf amongst sheep, luring potential Princes from the flock, and preparing the rest for slaughter. A Naztherak who has dedicated four slots to their devilish arts, may take the final leap to dedicate their last to become a Zar’akal. Like all prior pacts, this cannot be reversed and is typically only undertaken by those Princes who have truly lost themselves to the powers of the Pentacle. They are often distinguished above even other Inferi as a commander or templar is over footmen, wreathed in embers and ash, crowned with horns and even some cloaked with vestigial, broken wings. Zar’rovuth - The Twisted Forge The ritual begins not dissimilar to Naz’kuthun, in which a large basin such as a bath or pool is filled with blood and gore. A hopeful Prince then steps into it and must be submerged up to the waist in the grizzly baptism, whereupon they open their Grimoire and speak aloud a prepared incantation. Feeding their entire store of maleus into the bloodbath, the presence of three other Naztherak is required, and for them to also infuse no less than [50] of their own maleus into the pool. The total of four Naztherak leaves the hopeful’s Zar’rokul as a symbolic fifth, thereby representing the Pentacle. As the incantation finishes, the Prince must submerge themselves entirely, which will force their mind, body and soul into becoming totally infernal. This process takes a full IRL day, leaving the character unable to be played during this time. Screenshots of the ritual may be given to an ST for confirmation, and the appropriate Creature Application made on the forums e.g. “[CA] Zar’akal” Mechanics: - Acquiring Zar’akal needs a T5 Naztherak to possess Malflame, Demonology, Curses and Pacting; meaning four of their magic slots must be dedicated to Naztherak. - The ritual above is fairly freeform, but requires a minimum of 4 multi-line emotes of decent quality, and 3 other Naztherak to each offer [50] maleus to complete. - Only a Zar’akal may teach the ritual to another Naztherak, who will then be able to perform it upon themselves, assuming they fit the criteria above. - Upon acquiring Zar’akal, the player’s fifth and final slot is consumed, and any other magic which prior occupied that slot is removed. If this is the case, it should be stated in the Creature Application. - The transformation into the CA Zar’akal is irreversible. - If all existing TAs become inactive, the ST is able to connect new Naztherak through eventlines and/or event characters, to encourage the healthy longevity of the magic. This requires managerial approval. - A Zar’akal is considered a ‘category D’ CA. Physicality Zar’akal are no longer Descendants, or even true mortals, and their physical appearance reflects the truly monstrous nature of their beings sufficiently. Mutated even more grotesquely than that of a Naztherak, they resemble large abominable beasts the likes are heard of only in nightmarish fairytales. Twisted Kings are unable to disguise their surrendering to the infernal any longer and all mutations they had prior acquired are not only always manifest, but considerably more hideous and outright offensive. When stepping out from their dark baptism, the Zar’akal may stand taller and broader than before, their prior physical weakness purged to make way for whatever machinations their patron may have for them. Although by no means giants among their kin, a Zar’akal occupies a comfortably balanced position between strength, cunning and sorcery. As part of their transformation, their capacity to create mana is diminished entirely and replaced with a deeper pool of maleus. It will be of no surprise then, that such godless creatures are despised by the Light and those who wield it. No longer capable of ‘innocence,’ a Zar’akal will find themselves vulnerable to Holy magics, such as those of Paladins. Not only will these magics prove more effective against a Twisted King, even burning upon mere contact, but standing within the presence of Holy artifacts or practitioners will offend and discomfort the demon, unable to tolerate such righteousness. Inferi Diet Like other Inferi, Zar'akal are required to adhere to the same diet. They will discover that their vile and warped body is almost exclusively carnivorous, with very little sustenance gained from plant-based foods. Were a Zar'akal forced to survive only upon vegetation, their muscle mass and strength would wane, but they could survive in this diminished state. Like other Inferi, they may consume the flesh, blood and bone of Descendant races without any negative side-effects, and indeed many a Twisted King revels in devouring their foes after playing with their food first. Mechanics: Strengths: - Zar’akal are immune to Malflame. - They may reach peak physical strength for their pre-transformation race. - A larger pool of Maleus means a Twisted King is capable of longer bouts of Naztherak sorcery. - They are functionally immortal. - Do not require a Grimoire to cast. Weaknesses: - Abilities such as Holy Affinity from Paladinism are substantially more painful to a Zar’akal. Even mere contact with Xannic Mist or Tahariaean Light etc. will cause a burning sensation. - A Paladin’s passive aura and similar holy auras, will illicit discomfort in a Zar’akal, akin to instinctual disgust. - For the purposes of Holy magics, a Zar’akal is always considered a ‘revealed dark creature.’ - Zar’akal can also be poisoned in the same fashion as any Descendant might be, such as by Azhl. - This includes thanhium and thanic steel toxicity. - Unable to disguise demonic appearance. Redlines: - Zar’akal are Inferi by definition, but cannot be bound by Naztherak. - They do not need sleep, but must eat, drink and breathe. - If a Twisted King is forced to subsist upon plant-based foods, such as while captured, they may not maintain their peak physical strength. Their appearance may deterioriate to connote this. - Zar'akal are totally sterile and forbidden from sexual FTB. - A Zar’akal may still be knocked out by sufficient force. - Mutations they possessed, including their Brand, carry over from the Naztherak to the Zar’akal. Existing mutations become more severe or grotesque. - If I see a single uwu horned eboy/egirl ‘akal I will strangle you IRL. - One may not use the height boost to go beyond 7ft. Yes I’m talking to you, Toodles. - The character’s prior race informs the peak strength of a Zar’akal. - Zar’akal cannot produce mana and may not use abilities from other magics/feats which require it. - Should thanhium or thanhic steel weaponry be used against them however, it will still have the frostbite/poisonous effects, but cannot corrupt the akal’s mana pool, for it has none. - Zar’akal cannot be harmed by Malflame itself, but may still be effected by any Malice used. - They may also be successfully cursed by Naztherak curses, or those of other magics. - Holy magics are more effective against the Zar’akal, causing a burning sensation upon mere contact and additional pain and burns when struck with spells. - Holy objects, artefacts and auras additionally elicit spiteful scorn from an ‘akal. Mentality With their last vestiges of mortal mundanity wrenched away from them, a Zar’akal is consumed almost entirely by their Malice. Some of their former preoccupations and behaviours may remain out of routine habit, but they are the hollow exterior of an insidious undoing long in the making. Concepts such as kindness or self-sacrifice are far beyond their grasp now, supplanted by nefarious thoughts of self-gain. Any offer from a Zar’akal is certain to have a grave price, so it is that they have devolved to a state not unlike their Zar’rokul patron. All drives of virtue are snuffed out, and the demand of their Malice replaces any zeal for life the Prince had left within them. The whispers and nightmares bestowed upon them by their patron do not fade, and the Twisted King may find that they hear their Zar’rokul more readily now, or are at least merely broken and warped enough to believe they do. In any case, the akal’s mastery of their dark powers culminates with the ability to cast their abilities without the need for a Grimoire, their demonic mind able to comprehend, remember and recall Ilzakarn, and speak incantations without aid. Mechanics: Redlines: - A Zar’akal may not be kind and genuine. They are spiteful, evil creatures. They may ‘feign’ niceties to manipulate others, but not out of genuine goodness. - One will keep their memories in tact, along with all learned skills and so on, but whatever sentimental/emotional attachment they had will be distorted at best and usually totally severed. - A Grimoire is no longer required to use Naztherak abilities, but one may choose to keep one etc. - The emote counts for combat casting remain the same. Abilities As harbingers of the High Hells, it is the Zar’akal who is charged to bring forth a foothold in which the Pentacle may creep into the mortal realm. The Inferi Incursion of Arcas was all too sudden and overt, innately rallying many to oppose it, and learning from this the Zar’rokul have instead opted to weaken the mortal world- not as an invasion, but as an infection. Ra’Ilkgarokk - The Infernal Sickness This infection manifests as taint or corruption which seeks to blot out all that is good and pure. At sites of this despoiling trees are charred, grass rendered ash and the sky is filled with swirls of dark cloud and smoke. Pools of fire and smog can be found throughout this accursed region, the land plagued with sulphur and hailing brimstone. Any flora has been burnt to ash or charred, completely barren of any beauty they may have had within or about them. Animals are either slain or warped into monstrous beasts which roam these forsaken plains, attacking and consuming anything which wanders unwittingly into this scar in the world. Rocks become jagged, waters dried out, and the land becomes scorched or covered in ash which rains from dark clouds in the sky. Mechanics: Redlines: - Players may not create Ilkgarokk upon land they do not own, without RO consent. - Although players may create Ilkgarokk within charters, one may not block access to the corrupted land to prevent players from potentially removing it. For instance, players cannot simply close the gates and lock doors at all times so their corruption can’t be destroyed, there should always be some reasonable avenue to access the blighted ground to allow healthy roleplay. - If it is cultivated underground, the land above will reflect this and become hellish. - Players may not use pools of lava, mouths etc. to attack other characters etc. - The Ilkgarokk cannot be commanded or manipulated, even if it is flesh and sinew with faces etc. It is functionally still terrain. - Imps and beasts may be described in region text, signs etc. to make the corruption more flavourful, but cannot be used to remotely attack players without being actively roleplayed. - By the same token, players may not presume the plot is perfectly safe to traverse, simply because there is no mechanical/player representation of Inferi, or other dangers. Characters would still reasonably have reservations about tromping through a hellscape. Kehrlagashk - The Ritual of Adulteration To despoil the world in such a vile and unholy manner, a Zar’akal requires a fittingly sacrilegious ritual. It begins with a Zar’akal restraining an unwilling mortal victim with chains of Malflame, and while not normally possible the victim will be bound to the ground which is sought to be corrupted. The Twisted King, and any Naztherak or inferi present, must then pour their Malice into the victim. As a host for such dark and profane magics, this victim endures excruciating physical, mental and spiritual anguish, resulting in their soul being ripped from their body. In doing so, the corpse is rapidly consumed by the ground and begins to spread corruption outward, like a godless seed planted in a fetid garden. All nearby Attuned Druids will feel nature wail and scream in turmoil, as it is assailed by the completion of the ritual. To experience this pain through Communion would be deeply unsettling. Other deity users considered 'Holy', such as Paladins or Clerics, would feel a disturbing sensation of dread wash over them. Mechanics: Redlines: - Although the ritual has some flexibility for flavour purposes, it requires one [1] unwilling player-character victim with a soul, one [1] Zar’akal and either five [5] Naztherak or three [3] CA player Zezimar to perform. - The victim need not PK to complete the ritual. - If players are found to be creating throw-away personas, or friends do so, to achieve the ritual, it will be considered an abuse of the CA and grounds for a blacklist. - Similarly if players are found to be providing poor quality conflict RP, such as roadside banditry, to fulfil the requirements for this ritual, it will also be considered an abuse of the CA and grounds for a blacklist. - One may not begin the ritual in a combat encounter. Combat should be settled prior to its initiation. - Players need not do casting or ‘feeding’ emotes to fuel the Ilkgarokk. It will be removed from their Maleus pool passively if it is not actively roleplayed. - Equally however, one may not go inactive for a week and return to a fully-developed plot. Should a player not be active on the Zar’akal persona for more than 72 hours during the Ilkgarokk’s growth, its timer will pause and will develop no further. - When the player is able to roleplay more consistently, such as a few hours a day for 2 consecutive days, the timer will resume. Note that logging in every three days and doing minimal roleplay to avoid the plot's timer pausing is not permitted. - If the Zar’akal does not have the required Maleus to feed the development of the Ilkgarokk, such as when its Maleus is frozen post-revival, the plot's timer is paused. - Again, the corrupted region must have some reasonable access so players may attempt to destroy/cleanse it. Revival With their spirit sundered by the infernal forces of Moz Strimoza, ripped of any remaining virtue, goodness and purity, the warped soul of a Zar’akal is unsalvageable. Too fetid and mutated to reach the touch of healing hands, and often too spiteful and discordant than to even consider seeking Monks, Twisted Kings must reconstitute themselves through their own dark powers. So it is that an ‘akal may fuel the regeneration of their body by gorging upon their pool of maleus, exhausting it for a considerable length of time. This triggers a slow agonising process, which takes place over the space of weeks. Even once complete, it leaves the Zar’akal in a weakened state, their soul incapable of reproducing maleus for the first few months after their body is remade. During this time, the ‘akal will likely lurk and seeth within whatever lair they’ve carved out for themselves, offering its slayers or servants of the Light some time to recover and regroup. Mechanics: Redlines: - Players must still roleplay the fear of death, and may not make references to their revival as a means to shrug off the consequences of being slain. Being destroyed should always be avoided by the character. - Revival should not be used as a means to continuously harass players with poor villainy. This is considered an abuse of the CA and will be grounds for a blacklist. - Zar’akal are not invulnerable and are able to be slain like any other member of their prior race. - Poisons and toxins affect the Zar’akal as they would any other member of their prior race. - Upon death in RP, the Zar’akal takes 24 IRL hours to reconstitute its body, during which they may not be roleplayed. - For the next 5 IRL days, the player’s maleus is frozen at [0]. Upon the expiration of this cooldown, their maleus will be immediately refreshed to their full maximum pool. - Non-raid PVP deaths are exempt from cooldowns. For instance if knights raid a lair and slay the ‘akal, the player must undergo the cooldown; if the ‘akal is subjected to ‘minas or die’ banditry they do not. - If the Zar’akal is slain again during the cooldown on their maleus, it does not restart. - All other resurrection rules apply. ⛧ Tier Progression A player does not progress in the magic, without lessons and practice. One may not go on hiatus at T1 and return in time to be T5 and post a TA and so on. Players are reminded that they do not automatically unlock spells and abilities, and that they must be taught through roleplay. Princeling - Tier 1 - Immediate The Naztherak has sealed their pact with a Hzakhadlu (Tier 5 Naztherak posessing a TA) and is connected to the magic. Their Brand begins as a mere blister upon their palm and when they cast it glows with the sickly colour of their Malflame. The Prince is able to conjure small tongues of felfire to harvest maleus from mortal victims, and may bind and summon imps to their court. They may will their touch to give an aesthetic of ash, ember and smoke to whatever they hold. Maximum Maleus [30] Spells & Abilities Malflame: Kriviir Demonology: Subjugation Shackle, Invocation Zevn Apprentice - Tier 2 - Two IRL Weeks Post-Connection The Prince’s Brand has grown to encompass the entire hand and some of the wrist. At this point they may be taught to wreath their hand in Malflame, conjure wicked balls of spiteful fire and to bind and summon beastly Inferi for their court. When they use any of their dark powers, their cheeks seem to sink and their pupils may become slitted or narrow. Maximum Maleus [35] Spells & Abilities Malflame: Vhiit, Rok-Dhurz Demonology: Invocation Zekul Malice’s symptoms begin to manifest Adept - Tier 3 - One IRL Month Post-Connection With their Brand now covering their arm to the shoulder, the Naztherak may wreath their entire arm in Malflame should they see fit. Additionally they are capable of more pronounced manipulation, leading them to be able to learn how to form discs, cones and even waves of seething soulfire. The Prince may attempt to bind Zar’ei and be taught how to revive them, should they be slain. At this point one may make additional pacts, if they are so inclined to further dark sorcery. Maximum Maleus [45] +[15] per additional subtype Spells & Abilities Malflame: Rok-Heedz, Rok-Kirluk, Rok-Ladom Demonology: Invocation Zar’ei May opt to take Curses and/or Pacting Expert - Tier 4 - Two IRL Months Post-Connection The Naztherak may now be taught the dark ritual of Naz’kuthun, to infernalise not only small creatures and animals, but mortals too, as a means to further bolster their court. With their Brand now enveloping the half-torso of their body upon which it originated, their occult pyromancy makes them capable of summoning barriers, pillars and even whips of Malflame. Maximum Maleus [50] +[15] per additional subtype Spells & Abilities Malflame: Rok-Argal, Rok-Norrvut, Rok-Niirk Demonology: Naz’kuthun Master - Tier 5 - Four IRL Months Post-Connection Capable of conjuring chains and great infernos of Malflame, dealing with even Zentherak and later summoning them for their schemes and plots, the Prince is now a master of their dark powers. At this point the Brand covers their entire body, glowing when they call upon their occult sorcery. If the Naztherak has carefully avoided taking further pacts, they may still blend into mundane society, but the temptation to delve deeper may be all too much to resist. Maximum Maleus [55] +[15] per additional subtype May create a TA. Spells & Abilities Malflame: Rok-Krimth, Rok-Zevik Demonology: Invocation Zentherak Curses and Pacting do not have tier progression, but their effects on the Naztherak’s appearance and the abilities they provide are listed in their relevant section of the lore. ⛧ Purpose The purpose of Naztherak is to fill the niche of Warlockry, demonology and the ‘highway to hell’ sort of theme for characters to pursue. In prior iterations the magic introduced many interesting concepts, some of which have been fleshed out more fully and redistributed across magic slots. Players are now able to take only the ‘basics’ of Naztherak if they want, but those invested in the theme can delve deeper and explore concepts like curses and explore themes of a demonic patron. Malflame has been appropriately redlined and its mechanics reinforced, as it was abused as an ‘instant-kill’ previously, and the purpose of the magic(at least this time) is more to spread long-term misery and despair than straight up combat. Curses is a subtype which offers a character the ability to imbue their Malflame with their Malice for some combative applications, but hopefully more interesting are the hexes one can apply to mundane objects. This might fulfil themes of a shop which sells occult objects, and the Naztherak owner has under-the-counter services for specific clients, or a Prince who just readily sows torment by gifting cursed jewellery to unsuspecting people. These curses take time to reach their full effect, which are often pretty grim, but will not outright kill a target. Pacting was previously almost a ‘must have’ for any really flavourful facets of Naztherak. As a subtype like Curses, Pacting is meant to groom the character toward making pacts of their own, the theme runs throughout in fact given the player must discover their patron and then pact with them to learn the subtype. The Prince receives a familiar and knowledge of boons and banes, which together offer them tools to draw up agreements with mortals to get what they want, in return for some flavourful housemagery-like abilities to the pactee. This also fulfils a tasty non-Faeish niche of “deal with the devil” roleplay, as no boon can be used without a bane. Yes fear not, cursed children are back~ Lastly acquiring Zar’akal no longer requires self-masturbatory ST events of eating demonic souls and heads, but is instead a ‘finalisation’ of the progressive mutations Naztherak experience throughout their study of the magic. This is described as an ‘ascension,’ but really it’s a damnation of the Prince’s last vestiges of mortality for power. The Zar’akal loses the noodle-mage physique of a Naztherak, and the need for a Grimoire, whilst gaining a larger maleus pool and pseudo-immortality, but with punishing revival mechanics. As Inferi, Zar’akal are also weak to Holy magics, because you’re a demon- what did you expect? The Dark and Light should conflict. Oh and uwu demon eboys have been forbidden. We’d like to push for an MA and TA wipe of Naztherak with this submission, because we believe it needs a fresh start. With the Inferi Incursion eventline recently, it presents a good opportunity for a new generation of Naztherak to emerge. Citations Credits Archipelego - Consultation Auric_Saint – Feedback & Balancing Frott - Consultation Jelonny - Consultation Luci/Nivndil - Writing Mordu - Consultation Sorcerio - Writing Sykogenic – Consultation Zacho – Feedback & Proof Reading Zarsies - Consultation Changelong
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