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  • Nyomozo, the Scandal Finders

    Sometimes, things are needed to be found out. Not in the midst of lost archives in long-lost civilizations. Those are for the Jawa. Not in dusty old libraries and old tomes. That is for the Naneke. Not in the minds of demons in Malfeas. Those are for the Achristos.

    No. Dark secrets permeate every place, every dwelling, every single civilization. A city may hold a mafia. A country home may have a child steal a toy, then blame his brother. A town may lynch an innocent traveller, and then bury his existence and never speak of him, hoping that no one would find their sin. A neighbourhood may keep silent of a father's abuse of his daughter, a desire to preserve tranquility and to not rock the boat closing their ears to her cries and their hearts to her tears. A rich merchant may dump toxic waste into the water supply in secret, and when the neighbouring fishing village perishes in agony he swears his underlings to secrecy. Dark secrets. Hidden shames. Little tidbits of information that everyone knows but no one speaks about.

    That is what the Nyomozo are to find. Lanky and tall, wearing dark cloaks, they wear wide-brimmed hats dipped in black tar and wear them on their heads. Their eyes are always a dark grey, and smoke pours out from their mouths. When they brood, omen weather appears. Skies become overcast. The sun dims. And heavy and dreary rain falls upon the area they dwell.

    Their temperament is sarcastic and dripping with snark, and yet, people trust them for some strange reason. The Nyomozo specialise in talking to people. Or more importantly, ferreting out their secrets. A Nyomozo would not be able to tell iron from lead...but he can, with a glance, look upon a man and discern his occupation, his family, his social status, and much, much more. The Nyomozo dig into human secrets, and when they do, it is often impossible to slow them down. Men who vow to keep their mouths shut, suddenly find themselves shouting words which gives clues or incriminate themselves. Women who have sworn to keep silent, find themselves giving out half-clues or pointing to those with the information the Nyomozo needs.

    The digging of secrets of living thinking beings, whether demon or human, always make dangerous enemies. More than one Citizen has been humiliated when a scandal or embarassing secret is found by a Nyomozo. Mafia and triads and other violent groups have found their doings released to the public when a Nyomozo comes after them. Thus for their own safety a Nyomozo carries a flamepiece, steelcaster, or crossbow beneath their dark cloaks, always to surprise an angry suspect or an criminal who suspects they know too much.

    Stats:

    Attributes: Dexterity 2, Strength 2, Charisma 3, Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Perception 4, Stamina 2,

    Abilities: Investigation 5 (+3 to finding out secrets involving people), socialize 4 (+2 for persuading people to talk), Archery 2 (+2 to flame pieces, +1 when making a surprise attack), Athletics 2 (+2 to running away), Melee 2 (+2 for good old fisticuffs), Stealth 2 (+2 in the darkness), Bureaucracy 2 (+2 to finding corruption), Larceny 2 (+2 to breaking and entering), awareness 3 (+2 to sight), manipulation 3 (+3 to self incrimination), Lore 4 (+2 to criminal activity), Survival 1 (+3 to finding people)

    Charms:
    First excellency for Investigation, Bureaucracy, and Socialize
    Second excellency for Investigation, socialize

    I'm just here to talk - The Nyomozo talks to someone who knows a dark secret, or has something to hide. Rolling his socialize and Investigation against her dodge MDV, he attempts to convince her that he's harmless. Upon beating her MDV, her guard will drop, and she will be tell the Nyomozo the information he seeks, as long as it is not too blatant. She will not admit to murder... but she will be willing to admit that she had grown tired of her husband, and longed for a better lover.

    I didn't say it was murder - The Nyomozo talks to someone who he regards with suspicion. Rolling manipulation against the targets essence + MDV, he incites him to either give out information unwillingly or to provoke a reaction. On a success, the target flies into a rage or emotional outburst, that reveals something. This can range from shouting about how his partner cuckolded him, to revealing that he knows far too much about a murder in the docks

    The eyes are the window to the soul - Looking upon the eyes of his target, the Nyomozo attempts to discern what is happening. Upon a success, he discerns... something. A lie. A secret fear. It is by its nature, unspecific.



    Comment


    • http://exalted.xi.co.nz/wiki/Seiraryu/Sanjiv
      Engramia, the Mnemonic Hound, Demon of the First Circle

      Progeny of the Eater of Hearts

      Vicious and always thirsty for their type of sustenance, the Engramia are bloodthirsty descedants of Sanjiv. They prowl the alleyways and streets of Malfeas in packs and devour anyone who happens to have a vivid recollection of something while in their direct line of sight. Often used as tracking and hunting hounds by the armies of the Yozis, the Engramia can track their prey by using the hunted's memories of fear and escapism as guides, smelling the floating recollections in the air.
      Engramia appear as savage dogs of two yards in length and standing almost a yard at the head. Their fur is ebon in complexion, though matted with the same blues and reds as their ancestors higher in the demonic hierarchy of their parentage. Their claws are shaped as wicked sickles, making their gait odd as they have to walk upon the bent talons that grow from their rotted paws.
      Perhaps the most disturbing phenomenon of the Engramia is that each and every one of them lacks the upper half of their cranium, leaving an exposed and rotting brain for any and all to see. Their brains are almost always missing huge chunks, and this compliments the twisted stare and drooling maws that let go long and thick forked tongues.
      When an Engramia kills its prey, it does nothing before it cracks the victim's head open with its powerful jaws and begins to devour the brain nestled within the cranium. They find the meat tasty and sweet, and feeding one chunks of a mortal's brain is perhaps the best way for a sorcerer to gain an Engramia's affection... or as close as one of these hell hounds can come to it.

      Comment


      • http://exalted.xi.co.nz/wiki/TheHoverpope/Lepida
        Lepida, the Razor of the Forsaken Heart

        It is in the nature of the weapon to reflect the desires of its wielder. It is to be an extension of the arm that holds it, but sometimes this balance is reversed, and it is the knife that steers the hand.

        The Lepida appear in the image of a sword, usually a katana, sitting on a shelf or stuck in the ground, or otherwise passively existing. Essence sight reveals that the Lepida is, in fact, a living demon; otherwise, it appears to be a mundane but perfect weapon. When it is taken up by a person, though, the demon forms a bond with them. When they sleep from that point on, they will be greeted in their dreams by the thing that they most wish to fight for - the target of their vengeance, the one they wish to protect, the honour that they seek. This apparition is the Lepida's soul; it will use the target's intimacies and virtues to convince them that they should fight together. From that awful daring of a moment’s surrender, the Lepida begins to take hold of its target. The target is drawn to battle, his valour inflamed, and the Lepida slowly consumes him. With every battle, the Lepida takes more control of his target's soul, gaining greater and greater powers as it feeds, taking on new and impressive forms totemic of the person that wields the weapon. A mad assassin might wield a Lepida that uncurls as a viper to strike its opponents when he is partially taken, eventually becoming a nest of serpents writhing about his arm that spit vitriolic venom; a holy warrior of the unconquered sun might wield the Lepida as a golden spear which eventually becomes a ray of purest flame. When battle is not underway, the Lepida returns back into its form of a simple weapon. Soon, the host is gone completely, merely a vessel for the tool that it wields, and with the apotheosis of the Lepida it becomes even more dangerous, a powerful combatant whose drive is solely to make war.

        Stats:
        In its weapon form, the Lepida takes the form of a perfect, but otherwise mundane example of whatever its target's weapon of choice is.
        Dream avatar form: physical: NA social: 5/5/1-5, mental: 3/3/4
        Abilities: melee 4, socialize 3, presence 5, awareness 3, integrity 4
        Essence 3
        Willpower 7
        Essence pool: 65
        Virtues:
        Compassion: 4
        Conviction: 2
        Temperance: 2
        Valor: 4

        Charms:
        Dematerialize (35 motes) First presence excellency

        First Melee Excellency

        Dreamscape: The Lepida appears in the dreams of those who hold it, convincing them to make the demon their weapon.
        Essence inveigle: The charm is used to addict the target to battle, starting in the first dream.
        Hollow out the Soul: The Lepida attacks the willpower of the wielder at the end of any scene involving combat. It cannot choose not to do so.
        Landscape Hide: The lepida hides until it sees a target it considers appropriate for adoption

        The Lepida gains a combat charm for each point of willpower that it hollows from its target. These charms may be deployed by the demon on its wielder's behalf. They are spirit or demon charms, flavoured by the style of the wielder. The first half of the target's willpower consumed (round down) grants essence 2 charms. The second half of the target's willpower grants essence 3 charms. When the target's last point of willpower is consumed, the demon gains a single essence four charm.

        The Lepida, after consuming half of the target's willpower, gains the ability to transform into a level three artifact in combat, in some way representative of the soul whose consumption powers it. After consuming all of the target's willpower, it gains the ability to change into the equivalent of a level five artifact when in combat. Transforming into this higher form costs 10 motes and 2 willpower, paid by the demon. When the target's willpower is fully consumed, the Lepida is still wielded with its abilities and attributes, and gains access to any essence pool it may have. The target's motivation becomes "Make war."

        The Five Gods of Administering Death

        TheHoverpope/SixteenBladesAru
        TheHoverpope/LightningWalkingSteel
        TheHoverpope/FathomlessUnderworldSea
        TheHoverpope/ShakaTheDirgeSinger
        TheHoverpope/WrathFalcon

        Comment


        • http://exalted.xi.co.nz/wiki/Hemera
          Helioi, The Burning Ones The Helioi, the burning ones, are terrible creatures. Looking into their eyes, is like looking into an infinite whiteness, an endless field of blinding light that threatens to sear the soul away from the body. The wings that bear them aloft are tendrils of blazing, terrible light, which they may use to strike their enemies. Then, there are their blades, built of Malfean silver and blazing into fire as they strike. However, this is not the holy, cleansing fire of the Unconquered Sun, but horrid white demon-flame that continues burning until nothing is left of their victims.

          Aquilae, The Heralds of the Aten
          The Aquilae are the Aten's Heralds, spawned from his ichor. In their natural state they are eagles with plumage of brilliant silver, although they can take human forms, in which case their heads retain the shape of eagles'. They can focus the light that shines from their eyes into beams that sear and burn, terrible blasts of light that can swiftly slay mere mortals.


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          • http://exalted.xi.co.nz/wiki/Kairos
            Lampades, Those Who Drink From Phlegethon's Depths

            The Lampades are the spawn of Hekate, and have all drunk from Phlegethon's depths, as an infant tastes its mother's milk. Those molten flames now flow as their blood, and they all bear torches carrying a tiny amount of the all-consuming fire that is Phlegethon's waters. In Creation, they are usually summoned as arsonists, and assassins, for the flames of Phlegethon burn until there is nothing left to burn.

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            • http://exalted.xi.co.nz/wiki/SheWhoLivesInHerName

              Those Who Swim The Depths (Nero's Boot)

              In the depths of Kimbery are Those Who Swim The Depths, progeny of the subconscious, deep, unheard thoughts made flesh. For The One That Sits and Ponders is in the minds of all mortals, and may take their deepest, most unheard thoughts, and make of them entities. Those Who Swim The Depths are thoughts of murder, adultury, and envy, thoughts of betrayal and lust. Given the form of man-sized whales, Those Who Swim The Depths explore the watery abyss of The Sea That Marched Against the Flame, for it is said they seek even her forbidden thoughts, and when they find them, they will become more, transfigured into light.

              Gagoxyrn, the Maze Walkers(Kukla)

              Shaped like a human with three legs, three arms, one torso with three chests facing in three directions and no back, and one head with three faces, the Gagoxyrn gazes in all directions at once and never blinks. Their skin, which resembles a sooty green malachite, is marked not by pores or nipples but by thin folds and layered creases that creak as they move, and their hair, which lies thick on their bodies, is white and ash-scented. Their legs are all right legs, their arms are all left arms.

              With mad enthusiasm, the Gagoxyrn walk the passages of the Demon City, learning the crevices of the passages from one side of a layer to another, etching maps on to their bodies with sharpened fingernails. They are skilled cartographers and mappers, but their passion is not a joyful one, for their obsessive mapping is a compulsive, unhappy need which they must fulfill to grant relief to their constant anxiety and paranoia.

              Comment


              • Draugr, the Drowned Folk

                Your breathe catches. Your body freezes. Goosebumps appear on your skin, as you pull the covers around you. The night around you is still, except for the... fog? The fog?

                The fog has crept in. How unfortunate. You should close the window.

                Then you realize the shape in the doorway, and you scream, just once.

                The Draugr is born of the loneliness and freezing cold at the bottom of the ocean. It is the horror of the bottomless depths, where things out of nightmare lurk and where no light penetrates. It is the stifling cold, as one's body slowly freezes and slows. It is terror, as a man is trapped within a cavein or a collapse, and finds his limbs pinned down by rubble or stone, forced to lie still, even as dust chokes his lungs and his mind fades away from lack of air. It is the desolation of a long lost shipwreck, rotting and abandoned, its inhabitants forever doomed to a watery grave in a place where the sun does not shine and where they are devoured as sustenance.

                The draugr is a combination of fog, tentacle, and waterlogged corpse. Its gait is easily heard, a wet squish and a dragging of heavy footsteps as it tries to navigate dry land. The Draugr summons with it mists and cold, so as to slowly batter its enemies. The body of a draugr itself is surprisingly weak. A strong enough man can wrench away its grasp, if he worked hard enough and was able to withstand the freezing cold. The Draugr itself cannot withstand places like the desert or dry savannahs. The place must have suitable amounts of water or cold, such as a tropical rainforest or a seashore. Of course, if a sudden heavy rain appears, it can appear there as well. The Draugr gains limit each time it is exposed to incense, and flees. If forced to attack, it gains a -2 penalty to all rolls except retreat.

                Essence: 3; Willpower; 8; Join Battle; 6 dice
                Personal motes: 80
                Health levels: -0x2/-1x6/Incap

                Merits:

                Bringer of desolation: The presence of a Draugr brings ill omens. Omen weather appears. Clouds appear in the sky to obscure the moon, sun, and stars.

                Body of mist: The Draugr is partially made of insubstantial fog, and can use this property to move through fences, gates, and beneath doorframes

                Charms:

                Support charms

                Mist summoner (passive)
                The Draugr summons a mist, much akin to those atop rivers. It extends out from the Draugr, up to medium range. It gives a -2 penalty to awareness rolls, as well as a -2 penalty to properly discern the location of the Draugr via sound

                Biting chill (passive)
                The Draugr summons the crushing cold of the depths, such as those felt by those who have a watery grave. (Saps away at initiative. Does no real damage on its own. Upon initiative crash, victim experiences a -2 penalty)

                Offensive charms

                Crushing grasp (5m)
                The Draugr grapples with its foe. Upon contact and a successful grapple, the Draugr savages his target. The target's penalties for attack increase by 2, as the cold weakens his limbs. The savage attack gains a +2 bonus

                Misty body (10m, 1wp)
                The Draugr's body is part tentacle, part man. this supplements a flurry attempt,

                A/N: I think this is better suited for ghosts. And I think i really shouldn't have used 3e for this.

                Comment


                • I don't know if you missed my post in the Ask a Question thread, but there's already a tentacled demon that vexes people in the form of a bone-chilling mist; it's called the Eristrufa.

                  Comment


                  • Most demons have the charms Hurry Home (only when bound by a sorcerer), Materialize (normally with some description of how they manifest) and Measure the Wind (with some kind of appropriate limitations to stop the Wyld Hunt deploying them as an army of Anathema detectors).

                    Mist Body looks like Principle of Motion which is another charm that's just available to certain demons when its appropriate for their nature.
                    Biting Chill looks similar to Dragon-Blooded anima flux and should be resistable, perhaps anyone immune to cold damage for whatever reason is also immune to that?
                    Body of Mist is somewhat redundant when you consider demons are naturally immaterial.




                    Onyx Path Forum Moderator
                    Please spare a thought for updating the Exalted wiki.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by TheCountAlucard View Post
                      I don't know if you missed my post in the Ask a Question thread, but there's already a tentacled demon that vexes people in the form of a bone-chilling mist; it's called the Eristrufa.
                      Yes. But it doesn't... Fit the idea I had.

                      This is my inspiration for the demon:

                      Perhaps she slept, perhaps not. It was difficult to tell. Skimming like a stone over the surface of awareness, she could not tell whether she had truly dreamed or whether she had only drowsed until her eyes opened again with a jolt of alarm. Something was up there, on the ceiling. Her chest froze in panic. The room had darkened, she was sure of it, the shadows thickening until they choked out the light, and the temperature had fallen to the point where her breath panted out in rapid clouds. But even in the blackness, she could see the deeper shadow, the vast thing that stood at the foot of her bed and bent over her, pressing against the ceiling, a clot of congealed dark that oozed malevolence. It was impossibly tall, an undefined, faceless, looming presence, motionless, paralysing her with fear. It is not there! something inside her screamed, her rational mind beating frantically at her whirling panic, fighting to cage it again. It is but a shadow, just a shadow! But it was there, and it radiated evil so thick that she felt she might gag on it; a thing with no shape and no form, yet she could feel its eyes, staring at her unflinchingly, regarding her with a dread gaze. She was hardly even aware of her hand scrambling for the matchbox that lay on a table next to the bed, kept there for lighting the oil lamp nearby. She did not dare look away from the swarming blackness above her, fearing that the moment she did so, it would descend on her like a shroud, and she— The crack and hiss of the match broke the spell, and a small glow of light drove back the dark. She took the glass from the oil lamp and shakily touched the flame to the wick, then held it up without even replacing the glass, thrusting its light to the ceiling. There was nothing there. She sat up in the bed, panting. Was it gone? Had it ever been there at all? She’d been so sure… Fearfully, she slid out of bed. The cold raised goosepimples along her flesh, beneath her nightgown. She placed the glass on the oil lamp to diffuse the glow and spread it wider, then turned it up to full brightness and checked the room. She looked behind the chest of drawers, under the bed, and finally turned the key in the door to lock it. Night chills, she told herself. That is all it could be. Perhaps I am not as fully recovered as I thought. She slipped back into bed, replacing the lamp next to her on the table. For a time, she lay awake, staring at the ceiling where the thing had been. Something happened to me, she thought. Something happened, and that is why I cannot remember, and that is why I was ill, and that is why I was mad. But I am getting better. I am! Suddenly feeling idiotic, she tipped the glass of the oil lamp and blew it out. The darkness slunk back into the room, and settled. She watched the ceiling for a time, but all she saw was blank white plaster. Steadily, she began to feel herself descend towards sleep once more.

                      The stairs creaked – a long, low moan. She was instantly awake again, her eyes wide open, alert. That was no natural night sound, no clank of cooling pipes or sigh of flexing boards. The next stair creaked, quite deliberately. Someone was coming up. It took several seconds for the realization to sink into her, during which time the slow, heavy tread ascended up two more stairs. There was a terrible purpose in those footsteps, something unnatural that she could barely place, and an awful feeling of foreboding clutched at her, accompanied by a terrible sense of vulnerability. It is Thaniel, Thaniel or Cathaline. It must be. There is no reason to panic so. But somewhere inside her, deep and instinctive, she knew that whoever or whatever made those footsteps was coming for her. The room had cooled further, and the darkness had deepened again. She pulled the blanket tight to her collarbone and shuffled backwards so that she was sitting against the headboard, and searched about the room with her eyes for something that might serve as a weapon. The dressing table! There were drawers there; there had to be a letter knife in one of them. But she was frozen. She did not dare leave the imagined safety of the bed to cross the room. The intruder had reached the landing now, and she knew suddenly why it was that she had thought the footsteps unnatural. They were wet. This was not the clump of boots, but the soft slap of something like fins or webbed feet. And accompanying it was a laboured wheezing, like the phlegmy breath of an old, old man. Somehow, it was that sound that got her moving, made her slide the blanket aside and put her feet down on to the rug. She did not dare light the lamp in case it alerted the intruder, hoping against hope that whatever it was outside did not know she was there. Silently, her body so tense that it was painful, she padded across the room. Her shadowy reflection crept towards her from the other direction, approaching from the far side of the dressing-table mirror. She was surprised at how normal she looked, when her insides were seized with utter and complete terror. The slapping feet came closer, approaching slowly, and there came also the long dragging sound of something heavy. Alaizabel cast a fearful glance at the door, fancying that the thing outside was already opening it, and then tugged one of the dressing-table drawers as quietly as she could manage. Locked. She tried another drawer, trembling, and in her haste she let it grind along the inside of the dresser, making a scrape that was deafening in the glowering darkness. The feet ceased their advance. Somehow, the silence was worse that when she could hear them. She could smell salt, even taste it on her lips and tongue. The room was freezing now, so cold that she began to shiver violently, and every breath was like a plume of white fog. Like the cold, dark depths of the sea, she thought, and she realized that dew was clinging to her, moistening her nightgown and making her fine blonde hair stick to her face in lank, chill tentacles. Juddering uncontrollably now, she looked down into the drawer. There was a knife there, not a letter knife but a curious thing with a wavy blade. The door thundered at her, shaking violently, deafeningly. She screamed, grabbing the knife and scrambling back to the bed, where she knelt facing the door. It rattled against its frame as if something was pounding it from without, clattering and thumping until Alaizabel screamed again to shut out the noise. How was it that Thaniel had not heard such a din? How was it that he was not awoken and alerted? Unless it was Thaniel that was outside her door. Then came silence. Alaizabel watched, panting, shivering and wide-eyed, the knife held before her in a futile threat against anything that might try to come through the door. Her skin was clammy, her hair a straggle like kelp.

                      The key began to slowly turn in the lock. Terror-stricken, Alaizabel stared at the circle of the key’s grip as it rotated, millimetre by millimetre, each one bringing her closer to the moment when there would be nothing between her and whatever waited outside. She could not move. The click of the lock as it was disengaged sounded like a pistol report. The door swung inward gently, opening a gap of perhaps ten centimetres of pure, utter darkness. Silence, and stillness.

                      I want to get that feeling. That feeling of isolation. Of fear. Of something coming for you.

                      So... I guess I failed.
                      Last edited by Accelerator; 03-28-2019, 04:44 PM.

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                      • https://forums.sufficientvelocity.co...7#post-8174905

                        Rogandem, the Artworks in Motion
                        Demon of the First Circle
                        Progeny of the Unrestful Savant

                        Yyrizesh is a firm believer in art as a means of discovery, and preaches the ideal that when done properly, it can convey the innermost details of both its subject and the being which creates it. This appeals greatly to his quest for understanding, but it also carries an intrinsic flaw. His ultimate goal lies in escaping his current state of gross imperfection through analysis of himself and the world around him – but if he himself is imperfect, how can he trust any conclusion he draws?

                        To address this flaw in his plans, the Palsied Sage turned to his own body of work. Over the course of a century he reviewed each individual piece, and finally set aside two hundred which he felt to be uniquely insightful and emotionally potent. Using the blood, sweat, tears, and other of his ichors which had made them, Yyrizesh quickened life in these chosen masterpieces, birthing a race of demon who could serve as critics, analysts, and external observers for his work – the first of the rogandem.

                        As befits their name, the Artworks in Motion are appealing in both form and action – they are perfect likenesses of the masterpieces from which they were born, formed of exquisite glass. The contours of their transparent skins reflect light to create dazzling patterns of iridescence, while smears and droplets of their maker's paintlike Essence twist and whirl beneath the surface, assembling to create exquisite poetry or achingly beautiful paintings before scattering again after the briefest of instants. A rogandu's pride in their appearance is often only second to their fear of injury, for the idea of their craftsmanship being damaged or marred horrifies them nearly beyond all reason.

                        However, even this neurotic preoccupation with themselves pales before the all-consuming mania to critique and investigate. Most rogandem are reclusive and voyeuristic, self-proclaimed scholars of behavior, emotion, and creative thought who spy on others' lives from afar; in hidden alcoves, they record their findings in vast treatises, peeling apart and dissecting every detail of their subjects gleaned from their observations. Their greatest fixation lies in divining the inner motives and essential nature of things – what makes one man become a general while another contents himself to a life of asceticism, the precise manner in which a decorative pillar's engravings convey a story, how the craftsmanship of a clay urn reveals its maker's state of mind while he formed it.

                        This obsession often takes a darker turn when a rogandu applies it to themselves, engendering a perverse desire to take themselves apart as a “reasonable” means of truly determining what they are and how they work. Such an act, however, would mean destroying an example of Yyrizesh's handiwork, and so it is taboo. This does not always stop the more unhinged members of the breed, and once in a great while one of the Artworks in Motion will conduct an elaborate performance piece of their own dismantling, seeking to grant a true understanding of themselves to onlookers.

                        Summoning and Use: (Obscurity 2/3) Neurotic, self-obsessed, and intrusive as they may be, the Glass-and-Ichor Pundits are exceptional in their ability to analyze objects, and to a lesser extent, people: a rogandu can tell a Shogunate firewand from a forgery with a few moments of examination, explain the motives and beliefs of a painter by perusing a few of his works, translate the esoteric meaning of an ancient mural into terms a child could grasp, or work out the age of an Eastern temple to within a year or so of its founding. More learned scholars of the occult may call upon them to drain off portions of their Essence-thick ichors (which serve well as ingredients for talismans, Artifacts, or sorcerous workings which involve insight, artistic ability, or observation), and a rare few even bring rogandem forth for purely aesthetic reasons, using them as walking art pieces or sources of creative inspiration.

                        For all their prowess in providing criticism, however, the Artworks in Motion have little ability to accept such treatment of their own work – they must roll for Limit whenever the accuracy of their conclusions is flatly denied (the occasional gatherings of rogandem who come together to share their discoveries are notoriously fragile affairs for this very reason, with each member scrupulously phrasing their reviews to avoid even the perception of offering offense). More prosaically, the Glass-and-Ichor Pundits are quite lacking in martial skill; they are certainly more durable than they look, but the average rogandem can do little that a well-fed peasant could not, and their insane fear of being disfigured means that even the Surrender Oaths cannot make one take up arms unless they literally have no other option.

                        When a mediocre artisan nevertheless gathers a great number of admirers and sychophants, a rogandu may tear its way out of Hell through the least execrable of the works he has on display to address the offending artist's insulting lack of talent.

                        ================================================== ================================================

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                        • Szo, the word hunters

                          The ruffle in the pages. The ink, glistening. The words, seemingly shifting before your eyes. Names you do not know, occuring in the background and retelling of events. Lies and secrets, hidden meanings, all revealed beneath purpled light. When that happens, skilled sages call for demon-hunters, for a Szo has been let loose upon the pages.

                          A Szo has barely any physical form, and in its default state, has none at all. Being a descendant of Elloge, they are nothing more than a smattering of words. A narrative, a character, given puissance and thought by demonic power. They start out as common names, that could be found in any direction or in any town, and then enter into books, ledgers, tomes, storybooks, and documents. Entering their narratives, making a nest in between the lines and paragraphs. A history retelling of the battle of blackwater, for example, will be altered to include the off-hand account of a standard bearer of a common name. A report on a guild meeting, will include a mention of a new aide of the merchant prince helping to take notes. Most of these insertions are harmless. A manifestation of Elloge's desire to be part of every story.

                          That changes when they are summoned by sorcerers. For in being part of the narrative, they now can affect it. A brave commander who charged forward and broke the enemy's lines, can have the event changed for him to become a cowardly deserter. Brave champions who held off the enemy while their companions retreated can have their names altered to become someone the sorcerer favours. A book on herbology, with a extra mentions of their discoverer, can have names alterd or switched around, so any physician using them will use poison instead of a cure. Sowing chaos and disruption wherever they go, warping historical records and precious stores of knowledge. Worse in this age of sorrows, where books and tomes that are of any importance are rare and precious.

                          Szo have enmity with the Maiden of Endings, fearing the end of their narratives and their stories. When shone with purple light, they scream in pain and terror, shifting and altering. There, their power fades, and the original text appears, appearing bright white while the black words of the now-corrupted text squirm in pain. Prolonged exposure and exposure to incense will lead to the Szo leaving the book entirely, and this is where their second usage comes off. A Szo's physical form is a shifting one of dazzling adjectives and nouns, capable of forming any mortal weapon out of its shifting body. Its strength is not much greater than that of a mortal warrior, but the advantage obtained by sorcerers by having the words of a book leap out and attempt to murder their rivals is one that cannot be discounted.

                          In the modern age, the Szo have adapted, shifting and altering their own narratives and charms to match this new world. Now they are lines of code, in computers. Now, they are background subroutines within websites and web crawlers. Now they travel through cables and the air, leaping through computers and laptops, corrupting data, introducing errors within governmental and law enforcement records, walking through the darknet to introduce themselves as anonymous persons, trading information and favours. Now they leap through computer screens to slay those who seek to obstruct their masters.

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                          • https://forums.sufficientvelocity.co...2#post-6336507

                            https://pastebin.com/ELPNHKR7

                            From aleph

                            Erooltony, the armour blossoms

                            Progeny of the Flower Maiden
                            Sessile and unintelligent, an erooltony resembles nothing more than a harness made of grey vines when it lacks a host. Should a living being touch the demon with their bare skin, however, it quickly slivers across them, laying down hair-thin roots which dig into the skin. These roots produce a thick, armoured shell that covers the entire body like many layers of chain swathing, while from the vines bud countless brightly coloured blossoms. Such beauty hides a hidden danger, though - the flowers spit fire at anything they perceive as threatening their host.

                            The Flower Maiden did not cultivate these demons for their cunning, though - nor for their wisdom. They are dumb beasts, but their vine-skeletons are strong and when they wrap themselves around a host, they lend their strength to them. A man wearing an erooltony is faster and stronger than any man should be. Such prowess comes at a cost, though, for the demon takes the nutrients it needs from its host. On campaign, a warrior who wears one of these will have to eat several times as much food to fuel the exertion of the plants - and likewise, the armour blossoms require light. Those who think to remove such a symbiote find it leaves its marks on them. Normal humans who don an erooltony find that the roots leave acne-like scars across their entire body when the demon is removed. If they have worn it too long, their own muscles may have withered from lack of use.

                            Sorcerers summon the armour blossoms for exactly the same reason Flower Maiden Haneyl made them - to wear, or have their servants wear. If one can meet the requirements of the demon, they provide excellent protection - though they have all the subtlety of a scream, unlike the peronelle. Should the demon not receive its required sustenance, though, it gains one point of Limit per day as well as inflicting one point of lethal damage per day on the host. The erooltony do not willingly escape from the strange realm where they are grown, but still, sometimes when an armoury is left to fall into ruin and rust one may blossom from the rusted remnants of fine plate.

                            Matuzyiks, the Sailbacked Lizard-Wolves

                            Progeny of the Flower Maiden
                            The tiny realm of Krisity the land is built from echoes of Primordial glory and its architects were the Demon Princes born with it. The realms of the Princes war without ceasing, and should one dominate it is inevitable the bickering siblings will turn their attention on the upstart, for none would like to see their brothers or sisters rule unchallenged. They have no need for the elementals of Creation. Yet green-eyed Haneyl wrought the matuzyiks to tend to her garden lands, and they mock the forms of the guardians of Creation just as the metody of Malfeas do.

                            A matuzyik is a quadrupedal demon who stands with its shoulders as high as a man’s, and in its features partakes of the natures of both lizard and canine. Much like a wolf, its posture is alert and attentive, its eyes are keen and its prominent snout is sharp. Its scales, however, are the muddy browns and clean greys of Haneyl’s woods, its forked tongue is long and prehensile - indeed, it is just as useful as a man’s hand - and at most times its blood runs cool. Upon their back their exposed spine sprouts with many kinds of extravagant bulbs, one growing from each exposed neural vertebra. From the side, the plants which sprout from them resemble a sail, which gives them their name.

                            The matuzyiks are prone to laziness, and would rather bask under the red moonlight in Krisity, planting their seeds in bare scorched earth and supping on fruit and the flesh of other demons. When they cannot find bare earth to relax on, though, they grow agitated and should this go on too long their blood runs ablaze with ardour. This is no mere metaphor, for in such times their veins are filled with the emerald fire of their progenitor. The heat makes the plants on their back bud and burst, and burning blossoms festoon their forms, seed-shrapnel spraying everywhere. This drives them into a contagious frenzy, and should one member of a pack enter the burning mood the others will join them.

                            Once the mood passes and they are surrounded by flame the lizard-wolves fall into a deep lethargy, burying themselves deep in the burning ground to escape the heat. When the fires stop, they will - eventually - wake and dig themselves out. And then on the freshly scorched ground, they lazily begin to plant their seeds and eat and sleep in the fire ecology of Haneyl’s lands.

                            Nyilsaskae, the Firequills

                            Progeny of the Flower Maiden
                            Admire the scene; a forest glade as autumn draws in. Grass carpets the ground and the leaves of the trees are a fiery collage of red, yellow and brown. The sun beats down from above, and a faint ringing hiss and crack can be heard on the breeze, like the sound of a sword being unsheathed and a match being struck in its wake.

                            At this point, the wise or knowledgeable stop admiring, and start to run.

                            Firequills are insectoid demons the size of a child, and resemble nothing so much as a praying mantis crossed with a porcupine. From their long, bulbous abdomens sprout a thousand banded quills that radiate backwards and to the sides, each up to a metre long. Though the length of the quills changes colour with the foliage as its owner does, the tips are always a fierce and angry red. A nyilsaska can reach back with its front claws to pluck a quill from its back, lighting the flammable tip with a bite from the incendiary venom they carry in their jaws, and then throw it as fast and as far as an arrow. The characteristic sound of them preparing to fire is a warning well-heeded in their woods, since being shot full of burning arrow-quills often offends.

                            The typical nyilsaska is a proud and competitive creature which prefers to stay in the trees, hiding amongst thick foliage and observing without being seen. Their eyesight is keen, and colonies of them will often inhabit a stand of trees together, having frequent competitions of eyesight and accuracy. Finding firequill barbs lodged around target flowers or in the corpses of trespassers is a strong sign of these companies, but it is not necessarily death to stumble into one. Nyilsaskan pride is taken as much in metaphorical accuracy and insight as physical, and they can often be mollified and cajoled by flattery in the form of poetry or prose. New and perceptive ways of seeing or describing the world are particularly pleasing to them, and they will often refuse to harm those who impress them in this way.

                            Should a firequill be rejected or ignored by one who it has challenged to a competition, its wounded pride will cause it to gain a point of Limit. When a burning arrow snuffs out the life of an insect on the wing, a nyilsaska may use its landing point as an entrance into Creation.

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                            • At the end of last year I noticed someone mentioned an old work of mine, and I said to myself, "Mockery, you should really return to that and bring some of your old material up to speed." I also said that here.

                              ​And then I went to sleep and forgot about it for about seven months, until Accelerator asked about the Kerumath earlier this week. And I realized I needed to do something before someone else did, because I'm unreasonably touchy about that sort of thing sometimes.

                              So then I turned around and hammered something out over the last couple of days, and went way overboard on what I'd intended to do. I also kind of turned the previous characterization inside out: my first writeup had them as sinister jackasses who played people as part of their breeding cycle, but ultimately I ended up making them something of the opposite, making them devoted cheerleaders who still lead their companions to death and destruction without the slightest quiver of conscience.

                              Kerumath
                              The Lastling Road
                              Progeny of the Eggshell Sentry


                              The Kerumath is an unimpressive demon to behold, resembling nothing so much as an odd but non-threatening bird. Little larger than a chicken, its plumage is the dusty brown of a worn dirt road in the summer, mottled lighter here, darker there, with a series of ivory circles, like the eyespots of a butterfly, on the underside of its wings. Its mismatched eyes may draw comment—one red, one black, both alert and gleaming like jewels. And the feathered barbels that droop down from its short, sharp beak are strange, but not exactly menacing.

                              The Kerumath does not look like much. And it would claim--with complete sincerity--that it isn’t much. There’s not much hope for it alone, sadly. But to another, it is quick to add, it can offer much.

                              Thus the Kerumath seeks a partner, it loves a partner; in a sense it needs a partner, or a keeper as they might style it. There is a strange tragedy that the Kerumath can warp and twist the play and weave of fate, but never for itself. And if it cannot have greatness itself, it finds its pleasure in sharing in the rise of someone else’s greatness.

                              (There is a fall, alas, there is always a fall. But they don’t let that stop them; the Kerumaths have a keen nose for that part and make themselves scarce)

                              Whether by sorcerous binding or a pact it’s negotiated itself, whether with a mortal, a god, or one of its fellow inmates of Malfeas, the Kerumath eagerly attaches itself to another, and freely dispenses advice. Sometimes it suggests innocent things: presenting a lover with a particular flower, or presenting oneself in public with a peculiar and specific form of dress. But it sees no great difference between these and more questionable or even horrific things: Between singing a song in the square at sunrise and investing one’s last handful of silver in a merchant caravan, the Lastling Road may attempt to convince its keeper to murder a child to break their parents’ spirits.

                              The Kerumath loves its keeper, and its advice almost always plays out as intended: the song attracts a lover, luck sustains its keeper until the caravan returns and repays her a thousandfold, and the Guildsmen who would normally take great offense at such an upstart are instead drowning themselves in the bottle and making offerings at their son’s grave. Luck, comfort, and fortune lie in wait for those who follow the Lastling Road.

                              However, the sweetness of life that the Kerumath brings is fundamentally wrong: perhaps the newfound riches are innocent and victimless, and perhaps its keeper is truly kind, but their windfall is unintended for them, unnatural to them, and Fate seeks to correct itself. Misfortune attempts to answer fortune…but the Lastling Road knows when this is coming, and can again direct the eddies of fate such that whatever would bring ruin or sorrow upon the head of their partner is falls elsewhere. Sorrow or calamity strikes someone close to their keeper’s heart, and removes them from her life.

                              Nothing stops a Kerumath’s keeper from grieving. Nothing prevents them from holding their remaining friends close, or trying to share their good fortune. But there is precious little to tell them that their own luck is bought in someone else’s blood. The Kerumath knows, of course. But if they were to come clean about that, that then the partnership might come to an end, and that would be unacceptable.

                              There is a natural terminus to this bargain: eventually Fate claims all the keeper’s loved ones, and the next time the Kerumath gives its advice, the demon cannot protect its keeper. And oh yes, the Kerumath loves its keeper. But their kind are nigh-universally cowards, and when the only one the demon can offer up on the altar of fate is itself, they are reminded that they love themselves more, and are nowhere to be found. Few keepers of a Kerumath survive whatever comes next.

                              The Kerumath loves its keeper, though. If able, they seek out the body of their keeper, and take a small fragment. Most focus on bones, teeth, and nails, as these keep easier and longer than something fleshier; many even endeavor to collect the same fragment from each of its keepers; they like having such a signature to their handiwork. Their token bears with it the hungry ghost of their partner (if any), and so in this they will never be parted. Exactly how a Kerumath keeps and displays their tokens is a matter of individual taste: one may wear a jacket of eyeteeth, another might have a home in Malfeas where it keeps its collection on display like fine art, whether in a glass cabinet or a brass gallery. Regardless, most of their time between summonings is spent with their collections, or comparing them to their fellows.

                              The rare nights of Malfeas create a singular conundrum for these demons, as with it comes a brief taste of freedom and release for the ghosts of their former keepers. The kerumaths do not object to this per se; they often relish the chance to reconnect their previous partners-in-crime even as those shades usually lack the emotional capacity to reciprocate. On the other hand, a hungry ghost is often a danger even to its loved ones in life, and a kerumath who does not take its jacket and fly from the shadow of the Ebon Dragon, or who does not line the display of their collection with salted wards, will rarely collect more than a few souls before their own poor life choices catch up to them.

                              (NB One Kerumath, Allagunder, made a great sacrifice to circumvent this dilemma: she has thrown herself into the shadow of the Ebon Dragon forever, and borne with her dozens of cages with halite bars, which she has coerced her newfound dark kin to bear upon their backs in their permanent nocturnal revelry. The ghosts, too, have been warped beneath the Shadow of All Things, but they are still close enough to what and who they were that Allagunder has spent centuries dancing from cage to cage reminiscing in melancholy nostalgia.)

                              Sorcerers of Creation summon the Kerumath even being aware of its price, but many are surprised at the ferocity with which the demons resist binding, given how freely they offer themselves and their services when they sneak into Creation. The Lastling Roads have their own reasons: being bound, serving their partner, frankly bothers them not a whit. But when they make a deal to advise, they want commitment, not a brief dalliance, and that’s rarely what a summoner has in mind; sorcerers cannot direct where the wrath of Heaven falls when they employ the demon, and rarely have a surfeit of people in their lives to shield them in such a manner. As such, the times when a Kerumath is bound by a sorcerer is usually brief and unpleasant for both parties.

                              Intimacies: Current Keeper (Major Tie of Affection), Previous keepers (Minor Tie of Fondness), It’s Not My Fault, Ever (Defining Principle), I Want to Help (Major Principle)

                              Actions: Fly: 5 dice, Spotting trouble: 11 dice, Stealth: 5 dice, Reading Intentions: 8 dice, Instill/Inspire: 6 dice
                              Resolve 1, Guile 4

                              Essence: 2; Willpower: 5; Join Battle: 6 dice
                              Personal Motes: 70
                              Health Levels: -0/-1/-2x2/-4x3/Incap.
                              Combat:
                              Attack (Bite): 7 dice (Damage 4)
                              Combat Movement: 8 Dice
                              Evasion 3, Parry 1
                              Soak: 2


                              Materialize (35m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Kerumath’s song, like a pigeon, is heard moments before it appears in a puff of plumage.

                              Measure the Wind (5m; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Kerumath understands people through their wants and needs; if someone confesses a desire to the demon, it gains an even greater picture of them.

                              Far-Seeing Devil Eye (10m, 1wp; Simple; One Scene; Essence 2): As the Solar Charm, Prophet of Seventeen Cycles [Ex3 Core, p. 339]. The Kerumath does not need to spend time doing active research, but must spend an appropriate amount of time in social interaction with its keeper, and can only benefit projects of a social nature that primarily serve to directly benefit them. Further, the project inevitably succeeds barring powerful intervention, but equally inevitably attracts at least one dire complication; the Kerumath will almost always use Hell-Rain Ablating Wing to defend against this.

                              Feted Vizier Whispers (4m; Reflexive; Instant; Essence 2): When the Kerumath’s summoner (or anyone who has made a bargain with it) follows the advice from Far-Seeing Devil Eye, the demon reflexively makes an instill roll. This is frequently to form or bolster an intimacy toward itself, but the ST may use another Intimacy. Feted Vizier Whispers may be invoked once per use of Far-Seeing Devil Eye.

                              Hell-Rain Ablating Wing (10m (+2wp); Simple; Instant; Eclipse; Essence 2): When within medium range of someone the Kerumath has a positive intimacy towards, it may avert calamity directed at them. While this normally is used to protect against the redresses of Fate, it may also defend against such effects that Destiny-Manifesting Method would apply to. Regardless of its source, Hell-Rain Ablating Wing redirects the disaster at someone who in turn has a positive intimacy towards the target. This does not always take the same form as what was redirected; there is little visible connection between a spurned lover electing not to send an assassin and a dear friend’s death in a house fire. Such disaster need not be lethal, either, but it is scarring nonetheless: the hapless target of divine wrath develops a Defining Tie, of profound unease if nothing else is more appropriate, toward the Kerumath’s keeper.
                              If the Kerumath uses this against any source than the fallout of Far-Seeing Devil Eye, they must pay a surcharge of 2wp.

                              Last edited by Mockery; 07-06-2019, 05:44 PM.

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                              • Wonderful. Now if only someone wrote up the Tartar....

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