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  • https://forums.sufficientvelocity.co...#post-12723525

    Aptocimexi, the Utility Crabs
    Demon of the First Circle
    Progeny of an Unknown Creator



    One thousand, six hundred, and thirty-six individual bones. Twelve separate types of internal body fluid. Twenty-seven major organs, along with a twenty-eighth distributed throughout the interior of the carapace, which generates replacement organs and bones as needed. Nine limbs for motion, nine to grasp and manipulate objects, four that can be modified to serve a number of specialized purposes, five to hold sensory organs, and nine gelatinous apertures through which new appendages may be extruded for attachment to the carapace.

    The aptocimex is a marvel of redundant, utilitarian design, capable of surviving wounds that would kill any of their peers - and they must be, for their flesh, bone, muscles, and fluids exist solely to be extracted and turned to whatever purpose their owners desire. Their modular anatomy allows for easy excision, expulsion and modification of its individual components, their nine-lobed brains crafted to excel at finding ways to recombine harvested bits of themselves into tools for almost any task. One needs only to ask and the aptocimex will eagerly strip its own carapace and trim the pieces to form a sturdy breastplate held together by precision spurts of hepatic adhesive, or shear its limbs away and lashs them together with nerve lengths pulled from the stumps to make a fetching stool. Their blood evaporates quickly when exposed to air, preventing their labors from making an unseemly mess and perfuming their handiwork with comforting scents of sandalwood and warm human skin.

    Aptocimexi go about their duties with unsettling cheer, assiduously hiding the pain they suffer for their betters’ enrichment, concerned only with ensuring the output is as pleasing to its beneficiary as possible. Their creator’s diligence in impressing this mindset upon their forefathers is quite evident from the breed’s reputation as supremely reliable serfs, bootlicks, and renewable food sources (although the latter purpose is quite disquieting and uncomfortable for utility crabs to even contemplate, and one of the few acts that can elicit reluctance, uneasiness, or disgust from them.)

    Summoning (Obscurity 1/3): A utility crab is perfect for anyone in need of a demon that can quickly produce highly functional (if merely mortal-quality) goods and tools for a variety of purposes. Amateur infernalists favor them for their obedient and helpful natures, making it unnecessary to bind the demon so long as it is provided with praise and token shows of gratitude for its services. Alas, this same eagerness to serve makes them almost pathetically insecure - which can become quite annoying, as the beasts fret over what miniscule imperfection in its tissues caused their dear, wonderful, thoughtful owner to clothe himself in Eastern silks, rather than wear robes of its rendered lung-fibers and woven sinews. Should they witness their current master seek out another to provide them with new goods or raw materials, they immediately gain a point of Limit.

    When a craftsman is threatened with loss of life or limb should he fail to complete a project before the next dawn, but lacks the tools or materials with which to do so, an aptocimex will often scuttle out of Hell and into his workspace, offering its own tissues in place of whatever the unfortunate mortal has need of.

    https://forums.sufficientvelocity.co...#post-10142982

    Emléködösaar, the Weeping Stones
    Demon of the First Circle
    Progeny of the Unrestful Savant



    Hell does not suffer weakness; all who live there must do so by their own merits, seizing food and power however they can without falling victim to their fellows' endeavors to do the same. It is no surprise, then, that the Demon City's historians and chroniclers fashion their knowledge into a weapon, using scraps of scavenged lore and hushed rumors to build - and break - Malfeas' countless squabbling fiefdoms. The Weeping Stones, especially, are well-suited to such exploitation, for they learn best by harvesting the memories of other beings, leaving nothing but confusion and numbness in their place.

    On the rare occasion a Weeping Stone is seen clearly (for they detest being exposed, in any sense of the word), they resemble boulders or lopsided eggs, formed of something that resembles (but clearly is not) some mixture of wood, stone, and a crab's carapace. Their hides are rich with odd knobs, whorls, wrinkles, creases, and other irregularities, often concealing the various misshapen apertures through which they breathe, expelling an Essence-rich haar which naturally settles around them into a murky, bubbling fog bank. Their moniker of 'Weeping Stones' is born of this lumpen appearance, and the sound made as they exhale from each of their apertures in turn - a series of long, mournful drones interrupted by brief hiccoughs as the demon sucks in a draught of air, rather reminiscent of a human moaning in the throes of grief.

    The purpose of all emléködösaar is to act as living archives and storehouses of knowledge; their foglike breath can siphon memories from the minds of mortals, demons, elementals, or even gods caught within it[1]​, pulling kaleidoscopic streamers of recollection from eyes and mouth into the depths of their bodies. Further, they have an ingrained hunger to recount that which they have stored, twisting their nebular exhalations into images and shapes from their mental repertoire in order to present them in grand, evocative retellings (or simply as a part of bartering their knowledge of forging jadesteel in exchange for a tribe's oral history) - which many indulge by becoming propagandists to demonic warlords, seamlessly adapting historical trends, occult learnings, and local rumors into full-throated paeans to their patron's magnificence and might.

    Given the opportunity, an emléködösaa will hungrily snap up whatever information is available to them, and hunger all the more for that which is beyond their reach - a tendency which further encourages them to seek vassalage under a greater power, for they will serve loyally and without complaint if fed a steady stream of tidbits drawn from their lord's encounters with other infernal potentates, or accounts of the goings-on in distant layers of the Demon City. The few who find long-term employment outside of Hell often run wild as they realize the new vistas available to them, and can be convinced to do nearly anything for a chance to sup on the thoughts of elementals, Wyld-things, and other such foreign entities, or seize hold of knowledge formerly lost to history or relegated to some insignificant tribe. All knowledge is power, even if only through the intimation of such to those whom an emléködösaa wishes to impress.

    This hunger, in fact, can drive them to madness if left too long unsated - a Weeping Stone must roll for Limit each season it goes without learning something outside its chosen bailiwick, as well as each individual time it witnesses someone destroying an object which holds information it has yet to obtain for itself.

    Summoning (Obscurity 2/4): Sorcerers call up emléködösaar to serve as dispensers of knowledge, storytellers, interrogators, and even as an aide in indoctrination, peeling away the memories a captive relied upon for the strength to resist their conjurer's rhetoric. A handful of more-advanced exemplars of the breed have even bent their talents to the purpose of creating analogues to the raksha's will-eaten thralls, using their mists to subtly encourage certain lines of thought and instill desired skills in a victim even as the rest of the person's psyche is scrubbed clean. Others learn to briefly harden their mists to serve as momentary weapons or armor, or find ways of spreading their fog's befuddling influence into the minds of attackers.


    [1]​ (Although they must first gain permission from any target of higher Essence than themselves)

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    • https://forums.sufficientvelocity.co...#post-11956957

      Termeszeti, the Waddling hot springs
      Demon of the First Circle
      Progeny of the Languid Courtesan


      Ah, to rest! To relax! To sleep! To have hot, steaming water, cover your skin. To have hot steam stir over your face and eyebrows! To feel the impurities and the dirt get leached away from you. To feel the sores and the twists and your little aches go away! Such a luxury!

      But alas, drawing water is difficult. Drawing pure water, in the demon city, even more so. Add in the cost to heat it up, and the various spices and herbs and perfumes... why, it is near-impossible to find a good bath!

      It is for this reason that the Languid Courtesan created the Termeszeti. To bring luxury and relaxation, whether in the seas of Kimberry, the deserts of Cecelyne, or in the City of Malfeas. A Termeszeti is a gigantic tortoise the size of a hippo, with a shining, large shell of Malfean Porcelain, with long legs and an extendable head, with scales of Malfean iron, nails of volcanic rock, and eyes shining like rubies. The Termeszeti can fire out great gouts of flame or heat, and release clouds of water that can dissolve stone and mortal flesh, turning mortal soldiers into screaming puddles. Yet, this is simply a side-effect of their power.

      When ordered to, the Termeszeti can draw their legs and head inwards, stony flaps covering the holes in their shell. Then their shell reshapes itself. Flowing and molding and shifting like water. Until a basin has formed. Drawing upon its native charms, the Termeszeti fills the basin with water, heats it up to near-boiling, and then fills it with perfumes and scented soap.

      The hot spring the Termeszeti forms out of its own body, is a wondrous one. Not only does it allow relaxation, allowing one to lose all forms of exhaustion upon resting within it for an hour, relaxing within it counts as a full-night's rest.** The healing perfumes and purifying heat within the water, also fortifies and purifies the body of whomever rests within.*

      Within the Demon city, many others also use the Termeszeti. They are sometimes used as shock troops, to kill off the weaklings in any skirmish, and those demons who need to drink use the Termeszeti as a source of pure water. It tastes strange, but drinking from the walking hot springs are far easier than finding a pure source of water in the Demon City.

      *Bonus to resisting poison and disease. Also, heal faster.
      **Get more willpower. Not sure on how to mechanize that.
      ***Note to self. Write up charms that show ease of usage. I'm quite sure that first circle demons can do things like conjure up soap and towels.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by norraba View Post
        Sharar al’Najm1, The Flames Of Aster
        Demons Of The First Circle
        Progeny Of The Forger Of Paths


        As C'al Siphar forged the Ghurban in the fires of the Forge Of Aster, the sparks that flew into the air with each swing of his hammer gave birth to a demon of their own, and In every way that their brothers resemble their progenitors former self in mind and action, the Sharar resemble that self in form, while having a mind and function akin to those that that their father has adapted after his fall from the heavens. They tell no legends about themselves, they are not so boastful as needing to do all that, they simply know what they are capable of and feel no need to embellish their deeds, and amongst themselves they mark the greatest of their kind by those who have taken part in the creation of the greatest works.

        Their thoughts are always on their craft, constantly creating for their citizen masters, or the sorcerer engineers who summon them to creation. However, much like the demon who gave them life, they struggle against the restrictions of the unimaginative sameness that they find in the demon city, being especially appalled at the garishness of Lieger's vision of bronze, though they will never be caught saying so, and sometimes when great works are being wrought in creation, whether they are summoned or not, they will find their way there to witness it and lend their own aesthetic to the process. To this end they have become masters of disguise and social intrigue, able to find their way into even the most prestigious of workshops unbidden, none the wiser to their true nature or their impact that they might have on an artifacts final form.

        No mortal truly knows what they look like, as they will appear in creation already disguised, but some who have caught them off guard say they appear to be women made of fire and cloaked in clothes of flame.

        Motivation: To create and influence great works

        Essence: 3; Willpower: 8; Join Battle: 6 dice Personal Motes: 80 Health Levels: -0/-1x3/-2x3/-4/Incap.

        Actions: Disguise: 7 dice; Senses: 7 dice; Read Intentions: 7 dice; Stealth: 7 dice; Social Influence: 7 dice; Craft (Glassworking; Metalworking; Ceramics; other fire based crafts):11 dice2; Appearance 4, Resolve 3, Guile 5

        Combat:
        Attack (unarmed): 8 dice (Damage 16)
        Attack (Martial Arts Black Claw Style Style): 10 Dice (Damage 17)
        Combat Movement: 6 dice, Evasion: 3, Parry: 4 Soak/Hardness: 10/0

        Merits

        The Lesser Forge Of Aster:3 The Forge Of Aster is the fires of the dying star that is C’al Siphar, the creator of the Sharar Al’Najm, and like their father they too have access to the forge as part of their being that they take with them wherever they go. As a Story Teller character the Sharar do not track crafting XP but has as much or as little as is appropriate for the story taking place. They can only perform Craft Fire rolls, and can not generate superior crafting slots of their own, but are capable of aiding crafters capable of generating their own superior slots.

        Touch of Permeating influence:4 For the Sharar, to exist is to help create great works, and everything they touch bears this potential within it. Whenever a Sharar is able to touch a crafting project while it is being constructed, regardless of what craft ability it falls under, they may infuse it with their essence, the effect of which can range from allowing them to dictate some of its functions to aspecting it with their nature. (the effect of such an occurrence is up to the ST, however some examples may be that if it is an artifact it is likely that its evocations will gain a flame aspect to them, or if its a structure there might be a trapdoor where previously there wasn't one, it should always be kept in mind that the Sharar are most interested in making crafted objects greater, regardless of how this could affect them in the long run.)

        The Hidden Flame:5 The Sharar were born on The Forge Of Aster and on The Forge Of Aster they can be born again. The Sharar always have the ability to remake themselves, altering their appearance to pass for mortal. When a Sharar enters a situation where they would need to conceal their demonic nature They automatically adopt a human form appropriate for the setting, appearing as a local woman or man of who’s only betraying feature is their inhuman beauty. They may hold this form indefinitely, and may also use disguise rolls to superficially alter their appearance when needed, but the Sharar do not repeat their works innumerably, and once they return to their native form, they may never forge the same appearance again.

        Infallible Trust (Conditional):6 Although they do not have an innate desire to help humanity as their brothers and C’al Siphar do, and do not normally benefit from this merit, when people see them in their human form, they assume that they are trustworthy, and all effect individuals gain a minor tie of trust towards the Sharar. This tie can not be diminished until the Sharar sheds their current human form, at which point it diminishes automatically. However, for any mortal who has a tie of trust to the Sharar and then witnesses them shedding their human form their human form, such as with the charm Sacrifice The Form Familiar, transforms their minor tie of trust into a minor tie of betrayal.

        Sense Greatness:7 The Sharar have an innate pull to great processes of craft, and if they are within 100 miles of a superior project being performed they can sense it and tell where it's location is.

        Offensive Charms

        thinking about adding one, not sure yet

        Martial Arts

        The Sharar has access to all of the charms in the Black Claw Style of martial arts at the terrestrial level

        Defensive Charms

        Sacrificing the Form Familiar: (5m, 1wp; reflexive; Decisive-only; instant; Essence 3)8The Sharar Al’Najm become very attached to the forms they adopt in creation and are loath to relinquish them, especially once they have become established in a local social circle, knowing that once they abandon that form they may never adopt it again, and so it is often only when their lives are threatened that they will reluctantly do so. If a Sharar is hit with a decisive attack, they may cause the flesh of their human form to harden into a burning black husk which then explodes sending shards of their form in all directions as a counterattack, rolling ten dice plus her enemy’s extra successes on the attack roll as a decisive attack against all characters within short range. Each character suffers a base damage equal to the extra successes the Sharar’s attack roll received against their Defense, and her Initiative is divided evenly among all characters to determine the total damage. The Sharar may then use the confusion caused by the counterattack to perform a reflexive stealth action.

        Social Charms

        Unquestionable Presence (How Dare You Question Me): (5m; Simple; one scene; Psyche; Essence 3)9 The purpose of the Sharar’s existence is to craft and to influence the crafting of others, and to do this, they will resort to any means to get close to the hidden works of others, or gain access to the magical materials they need to craft their own works, however their preferred method is to simply assert their right to be their right to be where they wish.
        This charm supplements an instill actions against a questioning party, making them believe that the Sharar has the authority to go where they wish and that their presence is irreproachable. Treat all parties that would question the Sharar’s for the duration of the charms effect as if their resolve is halved (rounded down to a minimum of 1). If the Sharar succeeds in their instill action they gain a minor tie of belief that the Sharar belongs in the place that they are infiltrating.
        If their rolled successes exceed the target’s resolve by two or more then they instead gain a major tie. If the rolled successes exceed the targets resolve by 4 or more then they instead gain a defining tie.

        Miscellaneous Charms

        going to add a charm having to do with forging here


        Hurry Home (10m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Sharar extinguishes in a puff of smoke and vanishes on its next turn, drawn instantly to either its summoner’s side or the last workshop it crafted in.

        Materialize (40m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Sharar coalesces from surrounding sources of heat, which extinguish as she takes shape.

        Measure the Wind (5m; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Sharar can measure the nature of being who’s forge she has worked at or craftsmanship she has observed.

        Authors Notes:

        I didn't originally plan on making this first circle demon when i decided to make the Rijal Al'Ghurban, but after i found the image reference for the ghurban i tried to find one for C'al Siphar, when I stumbled on the image below and the idea to make a second first circle demon and have the two be a sibling species came to me and the entire concept of how they would work as the children who embodied the second circle demon's current form just came very easily after that, even though trying to figure out how to make that concept a reality through charms and stats took a while longer.

        Footnotes:

        1. Sharar Al'Najm means the read flame in arabic, originally wanted to have a name that meant the unseen flame or the flame of the stars, but that would of been way too long.
        2. Originally wanted to have this be craft fire, like in 2nd ed, since i thought it would be thematic to have them have an elementally gated crafting ability, but we don't have mechanics for that any more so for the sake of avoiding any potential confusion i changed it to them having craft specialties in anything that might have previously been covered by craft fire.
        3. I wanted the sharar as the crafter progeny of C'al Siphar to have access to The Forge of Aster, but that merit was a reskinning of aluvias forge of night, and too powerful for a first circle demon to have, so i had to incorporate some nerfs into it, and when i was done i thought it would be fun to call it the lesser forge
        4. when i came up with the idea for the sharar as being drawn to great works of craft in the same way that the Ghurban are drawn to people in danger, it seemed very appropriate that they should want to have an influence on that, to increase the potential for change, as their progenitor is so fond of, and i had an idea for it being a "corrupting touch" but without the negative conotations that come with the word corrupting since the change should not be inherently bad, it should just be inherently beneficial to the concept of the work and work to make it better. eventually with the help of some frieds and a thesaurus i found a bunch of positively/neutrally aspected synonyms to corrupt.
        5. This ability was in part inspired by the neomah's shape changing ability, and i created it in part because it would be necessary for the Sharar to pose as something other than a crafting fire demon if they were to be able to get into heavily guarded crafting facilities to influence the crafts there. after writing most of it i realized it could carry a lot of benefits similar to the sidereal ability to adopt resplendent destinies, and so might be too powerful for a merit of a first circle demon, so i added the attachment that they felt towards the forms specifically and made it so that they could never take them again once they leave, which i felt depowered the ability enough to make it balanced and also made for a nice aesthetic which i used as inspiration for the defense and social charms.
        6. The adaptation of this merit was directly inspired by the previous merit, how the Sharar are one thing but then become another in their pursuit of craft, thinking about friends they might make, relationships they might foster, all in the effort of getting to a crafted item, and then the feelings of betrayal they would have to accept for those former relationships if they sacrificed the form.
        7. This is really just an alteration to the direction sense, but honestly it felt right for the antagonist.
        8. This charm is based on the defense charm that the second circle demon aluvia has, although it doesn't have the artifact armor granting ability, which i felt depowered it enough to justify it being given to a first circle demon.
        9. Most of the charms i wrote for the second circle demon and their first circle progeny have to deal with putting distance between enemies, escaping conflict, or trying to avoid conflict altogether. the second circle demon does it because they are running for their lives most of the time, the ghurban do it because they have people they have to protect, but the way i was writing the Sharar was much more espionage. Originally i was planning on basing the social charm for the sharar on the one i wrote for c'al siphar that lets him hand wave people away and think hes unimportant, and i almost just copy pasted it, but then i thought it would be much more interesting to have a charm that does the exact opposite, and remembered the solar charm spurious presence and adapted my idea to be based a bit more on that.



        Image Source: Ksenia https://cdna.artstation.com/p/assets...jpg?1477307917


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        • Originally posted by norraba View Post
          Rijal Al’Ghurban1, The Ravens Who Shepard Men
          Demons Of The First Circle
          Progeny Of The Forger Of Paths


          Forged by the Demon C'al-Siphar from the remnants of his desire to help wayward travelers, The Ghurban are the long riders/flyers, messengers, and guides of the Demon Realm. According to their own legends it is they who first get the call each time a demon is summoned to creation and then relay that message to the desired recipient, guiding them along the way. They have traveled to the far ends of creation and beyond leading the wayward and or the lost, or even just the curious, often being summoned by adventurous sorcerer's seeking greater protection when venturing into hazardous lands and realms where mortals are better off leaving alone, but in their heart they know this is not their true purpose and from time to time they can feel themselves being pulled to creation unbidden by magic when a lost mortal is in need of help find their way home, especially when the mortal is a child who they feel an innate desire to protect.

          From a distance the Ghurban might be mistaken for members of the birdlike Metagalpan Birdmen, but closer inspection reveals eyes filled with an above human intelligence which is further set apart by the Ghurban’s tendency to always cary a lantern and a shepard’s crook to guide the lost travelers who draw them to creation.

          Motivation: To guide and protect those in need

          Essence: 2; Willpower: 6; Join Battle: 7 dice Personal Motes: 70 Health Levels: -0/-1x3/-2x3/-4/Incap. Actions: Flying maneuvers: 12; Senses: 7 dice; Stealth: 6 dice; Read Intentions: 7 dice; Tracking: 5 dice; Stabilize Condition: 8 dice; Appearance 3, Resolve 3, Guile 3

          Combat:
          Attack (Claw): 6 dice (Damage 14)
          Attack (Staff): 5 dice (Damage 10 Minimum 4)
          Attack (Martial Arts Dagger Wind Style): 8 Dice (Damage 15)
          Combat Movement: 5 dice (10 when flying), Evasion: 3 (5 when flying), Parry: 3 Soak/Hardness: 10/0 (Light armor)


          Merits

          Infallible Trust:2 any mortal being who gazes upon a Ghurban, despite their alien appearance, knows that they are safe and in the presence of a being they can trust, and in this knowledge they are correct. All affected individuals gain a minor tie of trust towards the Ghurban

          Perfect Confidentiality:3 A Ghurban can not under any circumstances be compelled to reveal the nature of the help they rendered to another, or even if they had helped the being in question at all, and when they choose to lie to uphold this, their guile is treated as insurmountable.

          The Unmutable Form:4 The Ghurban being a guide and protector for the hopeless is immune to all degrading or damaging effects of the wyld and other realms caustic to living beings, and is capable of rendering that same immunity onto others so long as they rest in the shadows of his wings (limit up to 2 people)

          Pathfinder:5 The Ghurban always knows the way to safety and can lead it’s charges there along the quickest path possible.

          Offensive Charms

          Staff Of The Good Shepherd:6 (3m; Suplemental; Essence 2) The Ghurban are always reluctant to enter a fight, preferring instead to flee from conflict in order to protect their charges, but the quickest way to force their hand is by attempting to harm those under their charge, or by attacking any children within their field of vision. Whenever an enemy attacks the Ghurban's charges or any children around the Ghurban while it is protecting them with a defend actions, the Ghurban may make an immediate decisive counter attack using their shepherds crook, which can be used to make a disarm or distract gambit. If the counter attack succeeds, the enemy is knocked back one range band.

          Martial Arts

          The Ghurban has access to the Dagger Wind Style of Martial arts at the terrestrial level up to but not including the cap stone charm due to not meeting the essence requirements

          Social Charms

          Bequest Of The Reluctant Guide:7 (10m, 1wp; Suplemental; Essence 2) Exploiting the minor tie of trust generated by the Infallible Trust, the Ghurban may roll double 8’s on any roll to persuade its summoner away from a path it knows is too dangerous for them.

          Defensive Charms

          Dodge Of Dimming Light:8 (5m, 3i; Reflexive; Instant; Essence 2): In an instant the light from the Ghurban’s lantern flutters out, only to appear in another location, adding +2 Evasion against an attack. A successful dodge allows the Ghurban to reflexively move one range band in any direction, if it wishes.
          Call To Friendship:9 (6m; Reflexive; One scene; Essence 2): Even the demons enemies can’t help but feel a sense of comfort and security in the Ghurban’s presence, forcing characters to pay a point of Willpower before they can attack it in a scene unless they have an Intimacy that represents ruthlessness, pitilessness, or a desperate reason to fight it that is greater than the Minor Tie created by Infallible Trust.

          Miscellaneous Charms

          Hurry Home (10m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The demon fades away and vanishes on its next turn, drawn instantly to its summoner’s side. This Charm is unavailable when the demon is unbound.
          Materialize (35m, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Ghurban coalesces from the darkness, a steadily growing light to shield from the bleakness of despair
          Measure the Wind (5m; Simple; Instant; Essence 1): The Ghurban can discern the nature of anyone seeking it's aid.


          Author Notes:

          I came up with this antagonist concept after i realized that the grindle antagonist created by bogmod that i found on the exalted unofficial wiki was not going to meet the needs i had in mind for what i was going for. I needed a first circle demon that i could use as a base for the transformation merit in the sorcerous initiation merit, and the premade one i was trying to use had nothing to do with what i needed, which was a birdman who had the ability to survive in places like the underworld, malfese, and the wyld.
          The original picture i had of them in my mind was the metagalpan birdmen, and the reason i chose the grindle in the first place was because their description fit that image very well, save for the fact that they were flightless, so i went on art station and started looking for images for inspiration. i knew that in making my own first circle demon i wanted them to be similar to C'al Siphar's original purpose in guiding lost travelers particularly in dangerous areas to account for their ability to withstand them, but it was only when i saw the image below that i got the full concept of them in my mind as shepherds of men.


          Footnotes
          1. Rijal Al'Ghurban is arabic for The Men Of Ravens/ The Raven Men and the pronunciation for Ghurban is hard to describe in english since there is no equivalent sound to what gh makes in our language, but for the sake of ease ghurban can be pronounced rurban
          2. This merit is based on the Shimmering Crystal Beauty Merit from the agata
          3. This merit was based on the idea of having the Ghurban be an open book, except in the case of when protecting the secrets of those he has helped, partially to prevent people from summoning them and forcing them to reveal where they had lead people that they had potentially helped escape from unsafe situations.
          4. This merit is the main reason why i created the Ghurban in the first place, and it related directly back to their need to protect people as well
          5. This is based on the merit direction sense, but i made it a tad bit better to fit with the Ghuraban's theme
          6. This charm is based on the snarling guardian attack found in the dog/wolf antagonist under the animal section, it was latent for them, and didn't have a mote cost, so i added a knockback ability and came up with what i think is a reasonable mote cost
          7. Got the idea for this from the charm devil seraglio way in Mara's social charms
          8. This is a reskinning of the agata charm Kaleidoscope Dodge
          9. This is a reskinning of the agata charm Jeweled Heart Allure



          Image Source: Slawomir Maniak https://cdnb.artstation.com/p/assets...jpg?1413876560


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          • https://forums.sufficientvelocity.com/threads/general-exalted-thread.44/page-476#post-4141425

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            Ekditaksai, The Infinite Serpents
            Demons of the First Circle, Progeny of The Author In Exile

            For all their varied culture, art and nature, almost all Demons of the First Circle are made first to be useful. Everything beyond that is a secondary concern or trifling afterthought, and this is true of the Ekditaksai as well. Their origins long forgotten, these demons now slither through the warrens of the Demon City, preying on and preyed upon by the ambitious and foolhardy.

            Showing a marked preference for cold cellars, waterlogged dungeons, and the subterranean spaces of any lordly estate or fortress, the Infinite Serpents were often cajoled into being guardians of some Citizen's vault or treasure trove. Taking the form of massive snakes, these demons are commonly as thick as a man is tall and ten yards long or more. They have strong, layered and gnarled scale hides. Tough enough to endure most of the pressures and hazards of the Demon City, and are famed for their relative longevity in Malfeas. Relative, insofar as they rarely die by happenstance.

            Many sub-species exist, wrought by ambitious or inventive Second Circles or fashioned in fleshweaving studios of great body-artisans. Regardless of their form, their Essence maintains a singular unique quality that they all share, in that their hides are as legendary as their destined ends.

            If left alone, they shed their skins endlessly every year and grow successively larger, stronger and more intelligent. No one is certain how large an Ekditaksai can grow, but they have been known to serve as beasts of burden for long segmented carriages that wind through the streets of the Demon City.

            While they are strong, fast and useful for any number of pedestrian tasks, their true value is in their hides. Written into every serpent's skin is a specific demise- a condition and implicit quest that promises both a vulnerability and great wealth to whoever was fortunate enough to divine it. This knowledge is etched into the play of muscle and scale, but this engineered fault whispers to the dying stars of Malfeas and the constellations of Creation with every undulating motion.

            These conditions vary in complexity and can often have unique, even nonsensical requirements, while the older the demon is, the more elaborate the conditions become. Young Ekditaksai have conditions such as 'slain only in darkness' or 'by a weapon stained in its wielders blood'. Older Infinite Serpents have layered conditions, developing prophetic, lengthy quests and challenges.

            When killed under the proper conditions, the demon's hide unleashes its bound magic upon itself and becomes fantastically tough, strong and useful for any number of things. The demon in fact has two hides- an outer scaled layer and an inner skin, both of which are coveted by leather workers, armorers and other industries. Their teeth, venom, ichors and other parts are also valuable of course, but the value of these things pale in comparison to the skin.

            The closer a hunter holds to the destined fate of the serpent, the better the hide that results. Truly ancient serpents can require ends such as being slain by a specific artifact weapon, even one that has yet to be made. Or perhaps that slaying the demon is what makes the weapon. Savants of the First Age did not have the opportunity to find out for certain.

            Summoning: (Obscurity 1/2)
            Sorcerers summon Ekditaksai as guards for treasure, as these demons are exceptionally even-tempered when left in their preferred habitats and given sumptuous meals. Alternatively, they are of course summoned for their hides- and Sorcerers can specify that they wish to summon an elder Ekditaksai. Sorcerers can order an Ekditaksai to shed their current skin once per binding, which counts the resulting exotic component as 1 dot of Essence lower as detailed below.

            Sometimes, one of these serpents will find its way into Creation when a bag of scaled hide is turned inside out within the vaults of a castle or fortress. When this happens, the bag becomes their skin and they shed it explosively. Only the youngest such ever manage to escape however, as the elder Ekditaksai can't leap into the crack between realms.

            There they will be content to live out their years living off the countryside and any nearby villages or castles, growing larger and stronger until either a local hero divines their secret weakness via omen and portent, or a Sidereal is made aware of the astrological anomaly. The Bureau of Destiny enjoys hunting these serpents, as they can be a learning experience for younger Viziers or their Creation-native allies.

            Motivation:
            To grow large and attain a legendary hide.

            Spoiler: Attributes, Virtues, Abilities
            Attributes:
            Strength 9, Dexterity 4, Stamina 8; Charisma 1, Manipulation 3, Appearance 1; Perception 4, Intelligence 1, Wits 4

            Virtues:
            Compassion 1, Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 3

            Abilities:
            Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Dodge 1, Integrity 1 , Investigation 1, Martial Arts 1 (Bite +2), Resistance 3, Survival 3

            Backgrounds:

            Ekditaksai do not usually have Backgrounds until they reach a venerable age. Young Infinite Serpents can have an Ally or Mentor background, representing a handler or trainer who is tending to them, but is obviously the one in charge. Older Serpents often maintain Contacts, Influence, Resources and sometimes even Artifacts- though they tend to loan those out instead of using them.

            Charms and Attacks
            Charms:

            [To be Determined]

            Join Battle: 7

            Attacks:
            Bite: Speed 5, Accuracy 7, Damage 12L, Parry DV 3, P, N
            Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 10, Damage 9B, Parry -, C, N, P

            Soak: 10L/18B (Hardened Scale Carapace 3L/5B x Permanent Essence)

            The Hardened Scale Carapace has a unique magical trait in that it downgrades incoming damage by type- Aggravated becomes lethal, lethal to bashing, and bashing is ignored. If an attacker satisfies one of the destined conditions detailed below, their attacks deal Aggravated Damage automatically and bypass normal protection. Aggravated Damage from the Holy Keyword functions as normal.

            Artifact Armor made from the hide of this demon gains the ability for +1 dot.

            HLs/Essence
            Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap

            Dodge DV: 3

            Willpower: 6
            Essence: 2
            Essence Pool: 70

            Other Notes:

            Ekditaksai grow endlessly, but it's commonly accepted that the average Infinite Serpent is Essence 2 with increasingly rare individuals having attained Essence 4 or higher.

            There has been no record of an Infinite Serpent reaching Essence 6, but there is a fiefdom where a venerable, wise and ancient such demon dwells not as a guardian, but storied and cultured owner. Each time one of these serpents gains a point of Essence, they gain 4 dots to distribute among their Attributes. Thus with age, Ekditaksai grow more intelligent, perceptive and gain the ability to communicate with other beings. They however must learn Abilities the same as any other creature.

            Conditions written into the skins take the form of prophetic phrases and concepts. "Slain by a blade quenched in the blood of the innocent." or "Strangled by a man with honey in his veins." Essence 4+ serpents can require specific elements, such as a particular person or object. Essence 5+ serpents can require a specific Artifact tool or weapon be used in their ending, though the wonder might not yet be made. At the Storyteller's discretion, slaying one of these serpents with a prophesied Artifact can increase the background's rating by 1, granting enhanced or additional powers.

            For each condition a character fails to meet when striking the killing blow, reduce the result by 1 point of Essence. Ex. killing an Essence 3 serpent with martial arts when it was meant to die by a sword reduces the reward to Essence 2.

            Rewards Table
            Essence 1: 1 condition. Counts as a 1-dot exotic component. [add more?]
            Essence 2: 2 conditions. Counts as a 2-dot exotic components.[add more?]
            Essence 3: 3 conditions. Counts as a 3-dot exotic component. [add more?]
            Essence 4: 4 conditions. Counts as a 4-dot Exotic Component. [add more?]
            Essence 5: 5 Conditions. Counts as a component useful for creating an Artifact N/A.

            The conditions that dictate how a serpent is to be slain can be read in the stars by a character with at least two degrees in the Art of Astrology, though they take a -2 internal penalty if they are trying to use Creation Astrology in Malfeas and vice versa. The difficulty of this roll is 2+ the demon's Essence, with an interval of 1 season- the whispered fate is not easy to discern.

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            • https://forum.rpg.net/index.php?thre...2#post-5689153

              Teremtes, the Flaw That Sees Perfection
              Progeny of the Keeper of the Forge of Night

              Hideous even by the standards of Malfeas, the teremtes are eternally cloaked and cowled lest their hideousness cause the other demons to slay them out of hand. They shuffle carefully through the streets of the Demon City, hawking their exquisitely manufactured wares to any who will take them; weapons & armour, clockwork devices, cunningly fashioned statues and jewellery so perfectly made it appears almost alive.

              Most often summoned by sorcerers in need of expert supernatural helpers, during the First Age it was not uncommon to see entire cadres teremtes constructing manses or working in the expansive cathedral-factories on skyremes and royal warstriders. Even in the lessened Age of Sorrows, they are called from the bowels of Malfeas for the same tasks, providing excellent (even inhuman) assistance for any form of crafting.

              Attributes
              Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Charisma 2, Manipulation 4, Appearance N/A, Intelligence 4, Perception 5, Wits 3
              Virtues
              Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valour 4
              Abilities
              Athletics 3, Awareness 3, Craft (Universal) 6, Dodge 2, Integrity 3, Linguistics 1 (Native: Old Realm, Malfean), Lore 5, Martial Arts 2, Occult 5, Resistance 3, Socialise 3, Survival 2
              Backgrounds
              None
              Charms
              Creation of Perfection, Materialise, Stoic Endurance
              Initiative: 7
              Dodge DV: 5
              Soak: 3L / 4B (demonic hide 2L/2B)
              Attacks
              Claws - Speed 5, Attack 7, Damage 3L, Defence +2, Rate 3
              Essence: 3
              Willpower: 7
              Essence Pool: 75
              Cost to Materialise: 39
              Health Levels: -0 / -1 / -1 / -1 / -2 / -2 / -2 / -2 / -4 / Incap
              Notes:
              Any being that sees a teremtes uncloaked must immediately make a Willpower roll with a difficulty of 3 or attempt to slay the demon out of hand. The blind or sightless are immune to this effect, as is anyone in total darkness. Anyone who succeeds at this test still suffers from an internal penalty equal to (5 – character’s Compassion) to all social rolls dealing with the demon. The teremtes themselves are not immune to this effect.
              A teremtes' Craft (Universal) skill can be substituted for any other required Craft skill, mortal or magical. Outside of the Demon Realm, however, they require guidance and/or detailed plans to follow. The golden light of the Unconquered Sun reduces them to the status of clever slaves, much to the chagrin of many sorcerers who thought to take the easy way out.

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