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  • Amayad
    Actually, depending on the exact draculosity of your interpretation? Creation's version of Dracula may well be Mara - a predatory, suave seducer that enjoys fostering dark obsessions, corrupting and sucking the lives out of people, and sometimes inducting them into dark power? Checks all boxes. Remember that she 's a shapeshifter - there's no reason she can't appear to be a hot aristocratic guy (with deer hooves) if she wants.

    Which isn't to say that Vrykolaka isn't a thing, just that Creation has room for several Draculas,

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  • Hand-of-Omega
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Makarios makes sense as a warden soul. Remember think of it abstractly. He’s not particularly wardeny... so just think what that says about Erembour?
    I'll be honest, here...sometimes, I'm not so good with the "abstract, reading between the lines" type of thing! That's one of the things that fascinates me so much about Jenna Moran's writing and ideas, she has this Strange angle she comes at her material...and she makes it look so effortless!

    Well, that's just how her brain works, and no one else can do it quite like her. But that's one of the reasons I'm challenging myself to push past my normal way of seeing things, and to try to capture some of that exotic weirdness she put into Exalted's demons. Obviously, I can't write just like her...nor should I. When you look at 2E's collection of new and old demons, I think you can pick out which ones weren't written by her fairly easily. But that doesn't mean that they're *bad*, just that there's more variety in hell than first appeared.

    Really, I'm more of a direct, literal kind of person. I would probably have made the Gilmyne descended from Stanewald, as they both have Dance as a theme. There ARE some thematic connections between some Circles, but they're so abstract (and in some cases, minor) that they come off as almost arbitrary or coincidental. Stronger thematic connections are supported in some demons, however such as Erembour (which may be one reason I like her and her brood so much!), so I don't think it's "wrong" to depict them that way; it's pretty clear, for ex, just how Mara *defines* her, and there's little or nothing abstract about how Alveua creatively *expresses* her nature, as they both transform people. However, Makarios (who is also creative) spends much of his time *communicating* with those in Creation, traveling to their dreams, and dealing with tradesmen and their trade routes.

    All of that just naturally says *Messenger* to me. But how do you read it? What do you think it means to be a "warden"? Or "reflective", for that matter?

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  • Eldagusto
    Makarios makes sense as a warden soul. Remember think of it abstractly. He’s not particularly wardeny... so just think what that says about Erembour?

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  • Hand-of-Omega

    Vrykolaka is the Indulgent Soul of That Which Calls to the Shadows. He appears as a tall, incredibly alluring man, with imperious, aristocratic looks and manner, swathed in the richest fabrics of the most tasteful cut, and drenched in a heady cologne that masks the one flaw in his vanity, a rank odor of musk and blood. What appears to be a cloak are actually large bat-like wings normally at rest and his ears are tapered and tufted like a bats'. His fingernails are solid jet, but ripple like dark pools; those who look into them see themselves lost in the throes of passion…

    The Tenebrous Serenade cannot abide the touch of Ligier’s light, and so he established his domain in the under layer of Malfeas, where the green sunshine does not reach. This massive shadowed cavern is one of the homes of those warped by his creator’s night music, where they caper and cavort until the Ebon Dragon brings the fall of night to the Demon City once again. Vrykolaka’s home hangs upside-down from the roof, dwarfing the stalagmites surrounding it. But appearances are deceiving: What looks like the peak is actually the lowest level, which the twisted demons try to reach by building massive living ladders of their own bodies. Only a few make it in before they all tumble down, and those are escorted up to the massive throne room that takes up most of the wide top floor, where Vrykolaka hears their petitions and settles their disputes, for he alone of all demons sees their true beauty.

    Although he normally only rises to the surface of the Demon City when the Ebon Dragon’s night falls, Vrykolaka occasionally has need to do so before then. At these times, he dons a silvered mask, and wears a hooded cloak and gloves along with his usual finery, to shield himself from the Green Sun’s relentless glare.

    One of the few things that can tempt him to dare the days of hell is the prospect of romance. Vrykolaka is one of the finest lovers the Demon Realm has ever produced, and he has a running feud with his sibling-soul Mara over their seductions; while she prefers quantity, he champions quality, and so spends much more time and effort wooing difficult targets. In the process, he has become famed for the quality of his poetry, gamesmanship, dancing, and musicianship, especially becoming one of the most accomplished players of the Armonica and Gateway in hell. Not one to limit his conquests, many Strangers can also expect an eventual visit from the Tenebrous Serenade…

    Vrykolaka fancies himself as one of the nobility of hell and plays the part convincingly. His dress is in the fashion of aristocracy from various eras (including First Age Solars and Shogunate era Dragon-Blooded), his manners are gracious and impeccable, and his speech often in the native tongue of his guests, albeit with a heavy Malfean accent. He is not compelled to keep his word, but makes it a point of pride to do so, even if it disadvantages him. His peers think he puts on airs, while he thinks they should live up to the stateliness of their positions; he cares not what the rabble of the First Circle thinks.

    The Tenebrous Serenade is often summoned for sensual companionship, either for oneself or for others, but he has also often been summoned to aid introverted sorcerers with their own quest for romance. He can escape into Creation when the blood of someone who has had their virginity magically restored is spilled.

    Notes: Vrykolaka has an Essence of 7, a Defining Principle of being “The Greatest Lover in Hell”, Major Ties to his Castle and Brides, Excellencies and Specialties in Presence, Performance, Socialize and Melee, and has mastered Sorcery of the first two Circles, focusing on spells involving transformation, darkness and entrancement (although he would consider using such for purposes of seduction as injurious to his honor). He has gone out of his way to master “social” martial arts, such as those based on arts like singing, dancing or etiquette, and is happy to teach these to others who impress him. (he disdains his sister-soul’s Black Claw Style, although his family believes this is solely because she refused to teach it to him)

    While Vrykolaka considers combat beneath him, a true lord can stand up for himself or his lovers when he must. He excels at melee combat, his preferred weapon being a glossy black Reaper Daiklave forged for him by Alveua from a dying mortal lover who was madly in love with him, and whose Evocations he has long since mastered, allowing it to attack through darkness and twist the perceptions and emotions of those whose shadows it cuts.

    Among the Tenebrous Serenade’s most precious belongings is an Artifact Armonica forged from colorful Chiaroscuran glass and Adamant by a former Dragon-Blooded lover; when played with the users’ own blood, it shines forth a colored light and shadow show that symbolically brings the audience’s dreams to life.

    Vrykolaka has created few First Circle Demons, such as the bat-like Forgetful Couriers. However, his true innovation are the Strigoi, who come about when he completely drains an entity’s Essence, either through drinking its breath or blood, then replaces it by infusing it with his own.

    When this process is performed upon demons, they lose all connection to the soul hierarchy they had before, gaining a new connection to Vrykolaka, in effect becoming First Circle Demons descending from him and subject to all the conditions (such as Commands of Subordination) thereof. It is not yet known how this might affect demons of higher Circles, or the Gods and Elementals of Creation.

    Vrykolaka has transformed a few of the mortal unfortunates who eke out a living in the streets of Malfeas into Strigoi, with mixed results. He is eager to draw Exalted of various types into his fold, and, although he is far too polite to force such a transformation upon them, he will certainly offer them the chance to join him…usually after bringing them to the height of ecstasy.

    Strigoi share their master’s condition, being Creatures of Darkness who also cannot withstand the gaze of either the Green Sun or Creation’s sun. In most other ways, they remain like the demons they were before, still possessing their previous abilities and charms, although they usually lose their specific compulsions, instead gaining a Defining Intimacy of Obedience to Vrykolaka.

    Unlike their master, however, Strigoi must feed on living Essence, and pour out of the shadows in the Ebon Dragons’ night to devour and kidnap other demons to slake their unending hunger. There are unconfirmed reports of Strigoi passing on their condition to others, but this may just be demonic urban legend.

    Most Strigoi have not distinguished themselves in any notable manner; three heroic commoners have caught their master’s eye, however, and been elevated beyond all others as his Brides:

    The most recent is a Demjen who guards the lower entrances of his inverted castle. Third Bride is a master of Silver-Voiced Nightingale Style, which enhances her already supernaturally alluring voice, which can always be heard echoing throughout the lower castle.

    The castle’s middle chambers are protected by a Gilmyne, who ceaselessly dances through its halls and rooms. Second Bride’s dangerous dances are enhanced with Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style.

    The crown of the castle, where its master is most likely to be found, is looked after by a Neomah who won her position by permanently sacrificing her lovely voice to Berengiere, who wove his favorite outfit from Cloth-of-True-Love, and so now holds first place in her lord’s affections as a result. First Bride takes on the form of an intruders’ loved ones to attack them with White Veil attacks, her disguises only marred by her eerie silence.

    Vrykolaka would not look well upon any who harmed or destroyed his Brides…unless they were looking to replace them, in which case he’d be willing to forgive, so long as they were willing to become Strigoi as well.

    Ok, this one's pretty obvious! This guy came about from watching too many Dracula movies last Halloween and wondering how he'd work in Creation. As a challenge, I decided to forego the obvious Abyssal approach, and went with something more...hellish. Originally, he was MUCH more powerful, on par with Octavian, because I also threw more than a bit of Dmitri from DarkStalkers in there as well, but actually writing him out, I thought he should maybe be more on par with Mara. Erembour's Wisdom Soul is up next!

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  • Hand-of-Omega

    Savants of Creation know that Demons of the Third Circle have seven souls, each embodying some aspect of said demon; however, few understand how these souls relate to each other or the Principal that they spring from. In truth, each differs: Some demons allow their souls to live completely separate lives, never calling upon them, and each soul deals with its fellows as they would any other Demon of the Second Circle. Other demons rigorously bind all their souls to work together as a team towards some purpose or other.

    Erembour takes a middle-of-the-road approach. Most of the time, she leaves her souls to their own devices, but on select times of the year, she regularly calls them to attend to her. In these instances, she adopts an almost maternal mien, providing a sumptuous banquet for them to come together and socialize while she dotes on them, encouraging them to share the experiences and events they have had since they last met.

    She watches and smiles as Alveua pesters Makarios about selling her crafts (far superior to his, naturally) at his Equitable Market, while Mara tries to convince Alveua to get out of that dank old Forge of Night of hers, and come out into the Demon City with her to find new lovers to seduce for a change. All while mortal and serf staff serve new courses--and are occasionally devoured themselves.

    When the Tomescu scream out against their fate, signaling the dawning of a new day, Erembour ushers her children out into the Demon City once more. Often, they just go their separate ways, but sometimes, some of them do pursue their plans together…

    Like most Third Circle Demons, three of Erembour's souls have already been detailed. Over the next few days, we'll look at the remainder. Alveua is her Expressive Soul, Mara her Defining Soul, and Makarios is her Warden Soul. Frankly, that last doesn't make much sense to me, so I'm Golden Ruling him into her Messenger Soul, which I feel fits far better. We'll be seeing her Warden Soul later on this week...

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