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The Zhuul, the Mysterious Marauders of the West

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  • The Zhuul, the Mysterious Marauders of the West

    While devising devious foes for my circle, and doing research on several warrior societies, I cobbled the Zhuul together. Thus, for other STs, or those looking for something for their Deathknights n the West, or just some flavor in the West, I present, the Zhuul, a mystery and terror. I hope you all enjoy.

    A nomadic tribe of marauders and warriors infamous for their brutality, the Zhuul are as ferocious as they are mysterious, with no apparent homeland, but somehow the ability to strike at many different islands of the Coral Archipelago.

    The culture of the Zhuul revolves almost entirely around warfare and death. There exists only three classes within Zhuul culture, the warriors, the soothsayers, and the slaves. The slaves scavenge food, do the menial labor and provide lodgings and tools for the other classes. The soothsayers provide fortunes for the warriors and also magical support, summoning the blessed ancestors the Zhuul worship, along with their “Blessed Messengers,” earthly incarnations of these apocalyptic beings. While many outsiders view these ravenous apparitions as Hungry Ghosts, the Zhuul view them as holy. In this way, the Zhuul live simply, in wooden huts made specifically to be erected and disassembled quickly, a testament to their nomadic leanings. This simple lifestyle even for their leaders is underpinned by the belief the best possible end to one's life being a valorous death in battle, whereupon, the soothsayers teach, their tribal deity, the Hare Riding Upon the Lion, will take their souls and transmute it into tone of the blessed ancestors. Indeed, if one is truly holy, providing plenty of corpses from battle to the soothsayers or slaying truly worthy foes, then after their deaths, then such a worthy hero will be honored in a baptism of transformative fire by the Hare's master, a mysterious deity known only as the 'Great Planner', becoming one of their holy warriors, slaughtering the unclean and foreign.

    Not much is known of this ancient deity, apart from the fact that they were responsible for an apocalyptic event deep in the past that claimed millions of lives in a faraway land, where ice lies upon the ground and the land stretches out for all sides endlessly. However, in the deep West, such a land surely cannot exist, correct? On top of this, those Zhuul captured are adamant that their homeland was forged by this deity, raised from the slimy depths of the ocean, an ancient land known only as the Land of Death and Bones; Zaigut-Azon. This land, which can move about the sea, borne of winds long dead in this modern era. Such scholars who interrogate the few Zhuul captured scoff at such a preposterous idea. A moving island? Borne of dead winds? Truly no such feat could be done in such holy times as these, when the Dragons rule. And yet, the Zhuul continue to assault islands hundreds of leagues distant, and worse still, are accompanied by bizarre beasts made of bones not seen or known by any scholars....

    In battle, the Zhuul tend towards frontal assaults, utilizing whatever Blessed Messengers they have on hand as frontal raiders, while they charge behind them. They favor melee combat, using clubs and obsidian-tipped spears. but many are also skilled in the use of darts and slings, which are often quite efficacious against the massed ranks of the Realm's legions. The most unnerving element of the Zhuul, though occurs after battle, when the Zhuul scour the battlefield, snatching up any and all corpses, friend or foe alike. There, those who gathered the most are bestowed honors, usually in the form of ghoulish tattoos, also bestowed upon those who best worthy foes. These skeletal, winding decorations, are ostensibly for the Hare to identify those worthy of her attentions, but also provide psychological warfare on their enemies, as they are assaulted by skeletally decorated opponents howling bloody murder and charging at them.

    Last edited by Dietaku; 02-04-2019, 12:37 PM.