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  • #16
    VARVARA, THE THIEF-IN-THE-NIGHT



    Since the Solars fell, there has been no one to summon Erembour to Creation after the First Age; however, her doleful music still drifts between worlds when the wall between them is thin enough, and it was during one such Calibration that her sorrowful strains swept out across the moon-drenched dunes of the South, where it was heard by a small tribe of Dune People, who were quickly touched and transformed by her song...all save one. A young girl, who had not even killed her first outsider yet, was enraptured with the ethereal music and yet not affected by it...instead, she matched it with a tune of her own, played artfully on a thighbone flute that she had whittled during the hateful days. Erembour heard this response, and began a duet with her, the two singing their nocturnal sorrows and joys across the worlds until the sun rose, quieting them both. So moved by the experience was That Which Calls To The Shadows, that her Messenger Soul was instantly remade on the spot into its current identity. As to the Dune Girl, assuming she survived, who knows...

    Varvara, the Messenger Soul of Erembour, appears as a young, pretty albino girl of quiet and dour demeanor, with hair of the same length and style as her mother-souls', only white where Erembours' is black, with a few streaks of black running through it. Her large red eyes' soulful innocence is belied by the sharp-filed teeth filling her mouth and her voice is soft and quiet, yet always clearly is heard from just over the shoulder behind the person she is addressing. She wears a formal black dress and hat crafted by the Weaver of Voices from the hushed whispers of those trying to avoid notice; in a realm where shadows don't exist, it aids her by creating shadows to hide in. The green sunlight of Ligier sears her as much as the sun of Creation, so when she must be about in daylight she normally wears a long, dark veil that descends at will from her hats' wide brim. She sometimes accompanies Erembour as she trails behind after the Ebon Dragon, clutching onto her oversouls' rat tail, but often she just follows as insubstantial music itself, a living coda to Erembour's dirge.

    The Thief-in-the-Night lives up to her title, being one of the most accomplished thieves in Hell or Creation. She has stolen jewelry and statues, daiklaves and manses, hidden scrolls and hearthstones; however, her true joy is in taking intangible targets, such as hearts and minds. In any gathering that she visits, Varvara will always take something from someone present, whether it is the capacity to feel a certain emotion, the memory of their first kiss or kill, the ability to walk (meaning the target must run or crawl everywhere) or even a single Charm. If no one is present, then she may steal some quality of the area, such as all the air from a room, or the gravity from a building, or the scents from a garden. Her favorite trick is stealing light, either the sight from someones' eyes, or directly, by taking the very light given off by burning flames; candles and bonfires so affected still burn, but with a shining darkness that mortals find difficult to describe...

    Varvara is most often summoned for her skills at infiltration and theft; there have been known instances where sorcerers summoned her to steal back items she stole from them in the first place, back and forth, multiple times! She is equally competent at stealing people, and so is sometimes used as a kidnapper; she is quite capable of taking the ultimate treasure, life itself, although she is rarely called upon as an assassin in the Demon City, just as she is rarely called upon to perform her enchanting music in Creation. The Thief in the Night can escape into Creation when a thief is caught in the act of stealing while a moonbow is in the sky.

    Notes: Varvara has an Essence of 6, Larceny, Performance and Stealth Excellencies and Specialities, a Defining Principle of "There is nothing that I cannot steal", Major Principle of "I celebrate the night through my music", and a Minor Tie to the Dune People. One of the most exceptional performers of music of her Circle, Varvara specializes in wind instruments (especially her favorite, the shiny black metal flute gifted to her by (or stolen from) her sister), and has mastered many Efficacious Songs that have various magical effects in Malfeas and Creation. She has never bothered learning Sorcery, as she has stolen a number of spells that she can use at will, as if she had; she also once stole Night Breeze Style from an assassin, one Charm at a time, until he was finally killed by pursuers that he could no longer escape from.

    Varvara has a special ability to steal both objects and the qualities that belong to something. The things she steals she keeps in her Sanctum, which she accesses via a musical tune that serves as its abstract door. She can also summon these stolen things at will, usually by playing her tune in reverse. She may also steal traits from other beings, but this only lasts for one scene, unless they are extras or they die, in which case she can keep them permanently, so long as she goes into experience debt.

    This one went through some evolution in about a day...Originally, she was going to be MUCH more music-oriented, but rereading Erembour's write-up, I noticed that I hadn't touched on her affinities for the Dune People and things done in the dark, such as theft and murder, so I wanted to incorporate that, and she drifted away from the music angle. I dunno, maybe I'll fine-tune (pun intended) this one later...Abstract Doors are detailed in CoCD: Malfeas, pg. 124.
    Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-05-2018, 03:30 AM.

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    • #17
      Well, I'm done with Erembour (unless you guys want to see what the original version of her Messenger Soul was like!); but before moving on, I'm curious to know what you guys thought, so I'm requesting feedback, as that will help me both as a creator of content in general and Exalted in particular. Who was your favorite here, and which did you like the least, and why? Were they too weird, just the right amount of weird or not weird enough? Any particular ideas or images leap out at you, or ones you'd prefer deleted?

      Oh, and while I'm pretty sure I've got enough material to last the month, new inspiration is always nice, so if you have any requests or ideas you'd like me to expand on, let me know...

      Your help is appreciated!

      Comment


      • #18
        Huh, nothing?...Don't know how to feel about that. Kinda hard to know how I'm doing in a vacuum. I'm seeing lots of views, but no Likes, which are really easy to leave. Maybe I actually suck at this, but no one has the heart to tell me? Now I'm just depressing myself again.

        Well, shuffling onward...

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        • #19
          Likes are uncommon, even for homebrew stuff. That is what I have observed for myself anyway. When likes do appear it kinda takes a while.


          .

          Comment


          • #20
            THE PROCESSION OF BLASPHEMIES

            Of all things constant in Malfeas, these are paramount: The Law of Cecelyne, the use of sound to keep away the Silent Wind, and the hatred of their jailers. But Calibration is a topsy-turvy time, even amongst Demons. It starts with a change in the unending din; not a lull, as no one dares risk Adorjan visiting them, but the music-making shifts to a minor key and a lower pitch and slower tempo as it turns into a communal song of remembrance, of a time of freedom long past, and grief on behalf of the Yozis they spring from.

            But this somber mood does not last long, for something in the Demonic nature rejects it. At about the third day of Calibration, their music grows quicker, louder and more frenzied, Demons leave off of whatever tasks they were about, and join impromptu marches up and down all of Malfeas' roads and causeways, singing and chanting songs of hatred...not for Creations' champions, but for their own masters. This is the one time the social order of Hell is overturned, as the weak band together to take down the strong, and the serfs curse and assault their betters.

            High in the sky, noble Ligier turns his face in disgust from the Demon City below; this is the one time when Ululala, the Red Moon, draws closer to the Green Sun, waltzing with him across the skies, shielding his sight from the rebellious chaos below. This hellish eclipse lasts only as long as the virtual revolt below plays out, and both lovers leave each other, sated, until another year.

            Under the pall of this once-a-year twilight, the demon masses swarm and cavort, ganging up on more powerful demons, and even driving away the Priests of Cecelyne. Of course, even in their ecstasy none are foolish enough to challenge the Unquestionable, but those mighty powers are withdrawn to attend to their Yozi masters, anyway; most of the aristocrats of the Second Circle are powerful enough to take on many serfs, but not hundreds at once. So most of them team up into groups dangerous enough to defend themselves and quickly find shelter in their Sanctums. First Circle Citizens and Strangers have few such opportunities and must fend for themselves at this dangerous time.

            One of the most spectacular sights to be seen in Malfeas' Calibration are Demons who coat themselves wholly with narcotic paints of shining gold, silver or the hues of the Elemental Dragons, taking on the mantles of the Chosen, and shouting their slogans while defacing and pulling down buildings and roads and assaulting their fellow Demons all in the name of the Gods. This all culminates when the Demons find the weakest, most pathetic being they can locate (normally a serf, occasionally a mortal), painfully crown him "King of Hell", chain him to a wheeled platform, then whip and parade him through the streets of the Brass City, heaping trash and mocking insults upon their "King", who is always messily devoured by the end of his travails.

            This sacrilege ends when the Tomescu scream for the fifth and final time, signaling an end to yet another Calibration. The surviving Demons seem to wake as from a trance, go back to their homes and jobs, keeping the Silent Wind at bay with work songs as they noisily repair and rebuild all the damage they caused. None speak of their rampages, and none question where the Demons who perished during them have gone. Some Savants speculate that the Solars of the First Age started this tradition, while others wonder if it is an expression of the Yozis' disgust at their own loss filtering down to act itself out through their lowest souls. Only Malfeas can say for sure, and no one's asking him...

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Iceblade44 View Post
              Likes are uncommon, even for homebrew stuff. That is what I have observed for myself anyway. When likes do appear it kinda takes a while.

              Yeah, maybe I'm just overthinking this. And I did get some Likes! Thanks to those who took the time and effort to leave them, I don't mean to sound ungrateful! I dunno, maybe I should just get more sleep...

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                Well, I'm done with Erembour (unless you guys want to see what the original version of her Messenger Soul was like!); but before moving on, I'm curious to know what you guys thought, so I'm requesting feedback, as that will help me both as a creator of content in general and Exalted in particular. Who was your favorite here, and which did you like the least, and why? Were they too weird, just the right amount of weird or not weird enough? Any particular ideas or images leap out at you, or ones you'd prefer deleted?

                Oh, and while I'm pretty sure I've got enough material to last the month, new inspiration is always nice, so if you have any requests or ideas you'd like me to expand on, let me know...

                Your help is appreciated!
                You're a creator of content? What luck! Many of us here enjoy consuming media.

                Personal bugbear, that'n: if you're writing fiction, you're improving your skill as a fiction writer. "Content creator" is about the most useless description this side of "Maker of Things" and I have no idea why it caught on.

                As to the stuff y'got here? I particularly like the the Strigoi, because they're so off-beat from other First Circles. I imagine the victim is very, very dead, , but the Strigoi are born deceivers and consider it polite to play along. The process of becoming a Strigoi also sublimates a mortal's lower soul, meaning that the creature has some of its host's base desires - favorite foods, sexual preferences, addictions that are no longer physiological but are still remembered fondly.

                Mortal sorcerers making ill-considered bids for immortality have sometimes summoned Vrykolaka, which isn't such a terrible idea for the summoner - who usually comes prepared with vices and amusements sufficient to placate the demon - but usually makes the lives of everyone nearby highly interesting for a while.

                (Since you seem to be writing from a 2e perspective? In 3e, a sufficiently insane mortal sorcerer can summon, but never bind, a Second Circle. This is not usually a good idea.)

                Varvara, I'm less sold on. She's a cool idea, but I think she solves too many problems too cleanly for a sorcerer that binds her. I think she needs a little quirk to avoid being "The Night Caste, But Better". Say, when she steals a thing, she always leaves something of similar weight* in its place, and this is the only way she is capable of "giving" things. She cannot be bound to give without taking or take without giving any more than a Blood Ape can be commanded to fly.

                *Weight is judged according to the 777 Scales of Sentimental Usury, and has very little to do with an item's physical heft - except when it does - such is the iron law of Cecelyne.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                  Well, I'm done with Erembour (unless you guys want to see what the original version of her Messenger Soul was like!); but before moving on, I'm curious to know what you guys thought, so I'm requesting feedback, as that will help me both as a creator of content in general and Exalted in particular. Who was your favorite here, and which did you like the least, and why? Were they too weird, just the right amount of weird or not weird enough? Any particular ideas or images leap out at you, or ones you'd prefer deleted?

                  Oh, and while I'm pretty sure I've got enough material to last the month, new inspiration is always nice, so if you have any requests or ideas you'd like me to expand on, let me know...

                  Your help is appreciated!

                  They were enjoyable--my favorite was Vrykolva, if only because "Demon Dracula" felt more like something I'd use then the rest. Overall good stuff, enjoyable to read.


                  I did a lot of homebrew over here. PEACH.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                    Huh, nothing?...Don't know how to feel about that. Kinda hard to know how I'm doing in a vacuum. I'm seeing lots of views, but no Likes, which are really easy to leave. Maybe I actually suck at this, but no one has the heart to tell me? Now I'm just depressing myself again.

                    Well, shuffling onward...
                    I've been enjoying each and every!

                    Will we see some underworldly creeps arising as we get closer to Halloween?



                    Check out Momentum Exalted!

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      This stuff is awesome and I'm loving reading it. But your original post suggested we might see more stuff than just demons. Anything from the Underworld? Ghosts and specters or strange phenomena that have to do with the dark, dead, or distant memory of the lost? THAT's the stuff I'm looking forward to.

                      Keep on, keeping on!


                      I post Artifacts in this thread. How I make them is in this thread.
                      I have made many tools and other things for 3rd Edition. I now host all of my creations on my Google site: The Vault of the Unsung Hero

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                      • #26
                        Aaand, I'm back. Again. Ugh. But before I start answering questions and posting more stuff, I think you guys deserve an explanation of where I've been this month, as I failed to meet the obligation I set up for myself. I don't want to get too much into details, basically some stuff came up where I needed to help my mom with my dad for a few days (we had to install a chair lift to take him up and down the stairs), and I foolishly slept with the window open one night, and got really sick for a few days. All the while, as the days went on, I kept thinking that I would post multiple entries to keep up, but as more and more time went by, much of it taken up by work...I dunno, I just got kinda depressed and lethargic, to be honest. Also, if I'm being honest, a bit embarrassed that I fell so far behind, so I fell into the trap of procrastination, which just made things even worse. Tonight is actually the first night since my last post in this thread that I actually brought myself to even look at this forum. It doesn't make much sense, I know...but here we are.

                        I'm sorry if I let anyone down and that I failed to meet your expectations here.

                        Much thanks to those who kindly took the time to respond to my request for feedback, I apologize that I got distracted away just when you did so. I do have some more stuff to post, but this close to the end of the month/holiday, I'm not gonna worry about any specific time, and just throw it up as it comes to me...

                        EDIT: Aaand now I just learned there's a new season of Castlevania up on Netflix, which is awesome, but now I gotta find time to watch this too...
                        Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-30-2018, 02:24 AM.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
                          Huh, nothing?...Don't know how to feel about that. Kinda hard to know how I'm doing in a vacuum. I'm seeing lots of views, but no Likes, which are really easy to leave. Maybe I actually suck at this, but no one has the heart to tell me? Now I'm just depressing myself again.

                          Well, shuffling onward...
                          Likes are a weird thing, I sometimes login and find I've gotten dozens from something I said years ago.


                          The Freedom Stone is back

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Amayad View Post

                            You're a creator of content? What luck! Many of us here enjoy consuming media.

                            Personal bugbear, that'n: if you're writing fiction, you're improving your skill as a fiction writer. "Content creator" is about the most useless description this side of "Maker of Things" and I have no idea why it caught on.
                            Yeah, that's what I meant! Although an argument can certainly be made that "written entertainment" does fall under "media", and so the term "content creator" still applies, even if it is usually used to refer to visual media. But whatevs...
                            As to the stuff y'got here? I particularly like the the Strigoi, because they're so off-beat from other First Circles. I imagine the victim is very, very dead, , but the Strigoi are born deceivers and consider it polite to play along. The process of becoming a Strigoi also sublimates a mortal's lower soul, meaning that the creature has some of its host's base desires - favorite foods, sexual preferences, addictions that are no longer physiological but are still remembered fondly.

                            Mortal sorcerers making ill-considered bids for immortality have sometimes summoned Vrykolaka, which isn't such a terrible idea for the summoner - who usually comes prepared with vices and amusements sufficient to placate the demon - but usually makes the lives of everyone nearby highly interesting for a while.

                            (Since you seem to be writing from a 2e perspective? In 3e, a sufficiently insane mortal sorcerer can summon, but never bind, a Second Circle. This is not usually a good idea.)

                            Varvara, I'm less sold on. She's a cool idea, but I think she solves too many problems too cleanly for a sorcerer that binds her. I think she needs a little quirk to avoid being "The Night Caste, But Better". Say, when she steals a thing, she always leaves something of similar weight* in its place, and this is the only way she is capable of "giving" things. She cannot be bound to give without taking or take without giving any more than a Blood Ape can be commanded to fly.

                            *Weight is judged according to the 777 Scales of Sentimental Usury, and has very little to do with an item's physical heft - except when it does - such is the iron law of Cecelyne.
                            Glad you like the Strigoi, that's certainly one way to portray them! Interesting idea on Varvara, and I really do like the weirdness of it, but I feel the need to point out that there are plenty of canon demons who are basically "X Caste but better" (Sondok/Octavian for Dawn, for ex) with no particular drawbacks at all. Part of the philosophy of Exalted's game design seems to be that you can, in fact, take full advantage of such powers with little or no direct, immediate consequences...those come later, based on your choice of how you use them.

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                            • #29
                              KARMANOR, REAPER OF THE FINAL HARVEST

                              As the people of Creation raise and reap their crops throughout the year, they offer up prayers to the field guardians overseeing their lands for bountiful harvests. Each of these gods passes this veneration on (after taking their due, and sometimes more), along with their crop reports, up the hierarchy of the Terrestrial Bureaucracy to their supervisors, until they reach the gods ultimately responsible for their domains as a whole in Yu-Shan. Each period of sowing and reaping (and the attendant festivities) is overseen by a Celestial god, and Karmanor is the God of the final Autumn Harvest in the months of Earth, before Calibration. His domain being a world-wide one places him as a god of the fourth rank, with the fact that it is only relevant one specific time of the year keeping him from the fifth rank.

                              Of late, Karmanor has noticed a shift in the rites celebrating his domain, which has altered the taste of the Ambrosia he receives from it. Noting the increasing laxity of the Celestial Bureaucracy, he has decided to investigate this personally, leaving functionaries to run his heavenly office in the meantime.He has discovered that the rites honoring him in the Hundred Kingdoms have slowly been altered, incorporating darker elements of kidnapping, torture and sacrifice, but by who he has yet to determine, let alone what to do about it…if anything. Frankly, he is gaining more Essence from his cult than ever before, and if the proper heavenly authorities don’t se em too eager to stop this, then why should he? On the other hand, if the worship of his cult changes too much, there’s a slim danger that this could alter his own essential nature, which is perhaps the goal of the interlopers.

                              The Harvest Lord has yet to make a final decision, as he IS loyal to Heaven, and doesn’t want to compromise the security of Creation, so he’s holding off until he, or trustworthy agents he can rope into his service, can find who is responsible for this. And if he does NOT approve, then they will face the cold fury of the God of Reaping…

                              Karmanor manifests in Creation as a tall, thin elderly man with heavily-weathered, severe features, long, unbound, iron-grey hair, and an almost palpable air of gloom about him. He is dressed in the traveling clothes and wide-brimmed hat of a farmer, and carries a sheathed scythe and a bundle of stalks on his back. In his divine aspect, he looms like a nine-foot tall scarecrow composed of various types of vegetable matter (often including a grimly smiling face on his large, gourd-like head), wielding a massive grand grimscythe with blades of Black Jade at both ends. Against particularly dangerous foes, he can split his scythe in the middle, and incorporate both its blades into his arms, as though they were natural weapons.

                              Notes: Karmanor is a God of the Fourth Rank, with most of the usual stats, including a Cult of 5+. His Grand Grimscythe (Artifact 5) is part of his divine panoply. He is a master of White Reaper Martial Arts, knows some nature-related Terrestrial spells, and has all the powers available to field guardians, as well as the divine authority to over-ride their charms, although he would only do so under extreme circumstances. He gifts those heroes who please him or offer to work for him with small scarecrow-like talismans with various Blessings.

                              So, yeah, this is basically Creation's "god of halloween", although there's also room for a more "Jack Skellington" type figure if that's more to your liking! Wasn't sure if his office should be in the Bureau of Nature, Seasons, or the Division of Endings, so decided to leave it vague...
                              Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-30-2018, 01:20 PM.

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                              • #30
                                THE CULT OF THE SCARLET SMILE


                                Across the Hundred Kingdoms, the late autumnal rites accompanying the fall harvest of the months of Earth leading up to Calibration have recently been changing into something darker and bloodier. This change has been brought about by a secret conspiracy, a demonic cult of Yozi-worshipers who are slowly infiltrating every level of society at the behest of the Second Circle Demon who serves as the cults' patron.

                                These cultists use every means, both mundane and magical, to bribe, extort and terrorize the populaces of towns and villages to alter their way of life, and their success has been, so far, slow but sure. Their efforts have been especially helped along by the use of the demonic Masks That Reveal The Face summoned by their leader. But they have been facing some set backs, as local heroes are starting to take notice of their actions, and the God whose worship they have been disrupting has recently taken a personal interest in their doings...

                                Notes: The Cult of the Scarlet Smile is largely composed of mortal extras, plus a few who qualify as battle-ready soldiers serving as bodyguards. During their ecstatic rites, they use paint their bodies in orange-and-black patterns with hallucinogenic dyes that lower inhibitions and enhance their pleasure, while the soldiers use alchemical elixirs such as Valiant Warrior's Formula to enhance their fighting prowess to superhuman levels.

                                The leader of the Cult is Mortani Wex, a Demon-Blooded Terrestrial sorcerer (with Corrupted Words as his Control Spell and the Bargain with Mara Shaping Ritual, granting him the Infernal Nobility merit) who has a Tongue of the Serpent Prince and a Devil Beast raiton named Swift Shadow as his Familiar. His chief bodyguard and second-in-command is Joyous Agony, an Akuma of Malfeas who fights with Laughing Wounds Style, using a fiery red Jade Direlash as her weapon of choice, her natural skill enhanced by her Tomescu Demon Ink Tattoo.

                                Wex is concerned with the recent interference in his cult's affairs, and has considered requesting his master send him the aid of one or more Green Sun Princes to preserve the cult's mission. However, he is afraid that the Warlocks will take over his operation and steal his thunder...

                                The exact patron of the cult is up to the Storyteller, although personally, I like Vrykolaka for the job...
                                Last edited by Hand-of-Omega; 10-30-2018, 01:25 PM.

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