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The beautiful worlds of the Nephandi

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
    I would think that the avatar inversion of the Cauls would allow the Nephandi's masters to instill pretty unshakeable loyalty, though perhaps some of those who go through it are deluded enough to think that they're still serving their own agenda rather than their masters' afterward.
    Only if the Cauls can custom make Nephandi. I tend to think that Inversion is already a profound and difficult undertaking, not one that can abide additional tinkering. You also have to consider who is actually running the Cauls and why they would be so adept at Avatar manipulation in the first place.


    Mage: The Ice-ension: An Epic Game of Reality on the Rink

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Ramnesis View Post

      Only if the Cauls can custom make Nephandi. I tend to think that Inversion is already a profound and difficult undertaking, not one that can abide additional tinkering. You also have to consider who is actually running the Cauls and why they would be so adept at Avatar manipulation in the first place.
      Might be a relatively commonly known Spirit 6 (or the Foundation and Pillars equivalent) Rote or effect.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Krata Lightblade View Post
        My long-running Nephandus from many of my Mage games is named Damien Mallory Blake. Damien is a twisted individual, of course, like all Nephandi, but he maintains a respectable veneer of charisma and philanthropy. He has a long-ranging network of contacts and influence that would make some vampires jealous, and he defends his influence with a combination of blackmail, threats, and if necessary, paid-for violence from people who may or may not live to see their paycheck depending on how useful they are.

        But you ask what he wants. Well, it's quite simple, really.

        For the world to stay exactly the same craphole it is right this second. For it to remain a place where he can spread his particular brand of misery, where he can do the horrible things he so thoroughly enjoys, and where he has power, influence, and victims for his depraved needs.

        Damien's paradise looks a lot like the World of Darkness as it is right this very moment. Because, after all, if the world falls apart, he's very well aware that the Dark Masters (and that's precisely how he thinks of them, never in more specific terms than that) won't have much use for his services anymore.

        He knows he won't live forever. He knows he's hellbound, whatever hell means to him. But he also knows that he's going to take this world for every drop he can along the way, and if he ever does deliver it packaged in a pretty little bow to the Dark Masters, he's going to wait until he can't get anything else out of it, and just hope that that's enough to earn him a better place in whatever's left over when they're done.

        He knows better, of course. But that's why he doesn't actually want the Descent. He just wants the world to suck enough that he can keep enjoying the hell out of it, pun very much intended.
        It would really suck for Damian if some Nephandi higher ups catch wind of how noncomital he actually is towards descent. If a gilladean catches wind of this, they may start testing him. Either he'll step in line, or become a pawn in another's game.


        Keepers of the Wyck: A Chronicle I'm running FINALE: Chapter 39: Green Fairy

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Krata Lightblade View Post
          My long-running Nephandus from many of my Mage games is named Damien Mallory Blake. Damien is a twisted individual, of course, like all Nephandi, but he maintains a respectable veneer of charisma and philanthropy. He has a long-ranging network of contacts and influence that would make some vampires jealous, and he defends his influence with a combination of blackmail, threats, and if necessary, paid-for violence from people who may or may not live to see their paycheck depending on how useful they are.

          But you ask what he wants. Well, it's quite simple, really.

          For the world to stay exactly the same craphole it is right this second. For it to remain a place where he can spread his particular brand of misery, where he can do the horrible things he so thoroughly enjoys, and where he has power, influence, and victims for his depraved needs.

          Damien's paradise looks a lot like the World of Darkness as it is right this very moment. Because, after all, if the world falls apart, he's very well aware that the Dark Masters (and that's precisely how he thinks of them, never in more specific terms than that) won't have much use for his services anymore.

          He knows he won't live forever. He knows he's hellbound, whatever hell means to him. But he also knows that he's going to take this world for every drop he can along the way, and if he ever does deliver it packaged in a pretty little bow to the Dark Masters, he's going to wait until he can't get anything else out of it, and just hope that that's enough to earn him a better place in whatever's left over when they're done.

          He knows better, of course. But that's why he doesn't actually want the Descent. He just wants the world to suck enough that he can keep enjoying the hell out of it, pun very much intended.
          I like this idea, because it goes along with a way of thinking I've assumed some Nephandi would have. "I love to hurt people. And I want to go on hurting people." This is the sort of person who might be opposed to the idea of bringing the world to an end, because it means there won't be any more suffering. A festering corpse of a world can't suffer. A violated rock sucked on by an Outer God is populated, if by anything, by the mad, and the mad don't care.

          I'm imagining a kind of Gnostic Nephandus. One who believes that the Demiurge was a malevolent being who created an evil world, with the living shackled to that world and made to suffer in ignorance. To such a Fallen, this horrible material world is paradise. Why would they want to destroy it? Why, indeed, would they appreciate their fellow Nephandi's attempts to do so?

          I can imagine a Nephandi who devotes a portion of their life specifically to thwart the master plans of other Nephandi. Not the little atrocities they pull off, but the big, world-destroying plots. He can't have anyone - especially his supposed "peers" - ending his fun. Malus vult!
          Last edited by Bluecho; 03-14-2017, 11:44 PM.


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          • #20
            Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
            Might be a relatively commonly known Spirit 6 (or the Foundation and Pillars equivalent) Rote or effect.
            I disagree. The kind of magick used to create a Caul should be a monumental and complex undertaking, with the knowledge of how to do it hoarded by hoary old Nephandi.

            Sure, it would serve the Greater Evil for the knowledge to be spread wide. But it wouldn't serve the ones who actually know it, since they're the ones who get called upon to build Cauls. They're architects of masterwork structures in high demand. It behooves them, individually, to keep a death grip on their proprietary knowledge. That way, they can charge fortunes to whatever Nephandic cult to build a Caul for them.

            Plus, if the knowledge of how to build a Caul were known to any old Nephandus, it's just a matter of time before that knowledge falls into the hands of some non-inverted mage, who could bring it to their own Spirit Archmasters. Do-gooder Archmasters could potentially study the Cauls, not just in how they are, but how they're made. It could be the key to developing countermeasures, and the creation of an "Anti-Caul", capable of un-inverting Fallen Avatars. The whole enterprise of Descent could be in danger if the information falls into the wrong/right hands!

            Or at least that's what the Old Masters of Qlippothic Spirit 6 tell the younger generation, when they come asking for the Unholy Rites of Caul Creation. That, and because I suspect doing the Rite incorrectly can result in bad things happening (and not in a way that's helpful for the Nephandi).


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            • #21
              Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
              I can imagine a Nephandi who devotes a portion of their life specifically to thwart the master plans of other Nephandi. Not the little atrocities they pull off, but the big, world-destroying plots. He can't have anyone - especially his supposed "peers" - ending his fun. Malus vult!
              Damien's story started as a seduction of a young Mage (One of the core PCs of the primary story) onto the dark path. He was not, in fact, the primary antagonist of the story. He was, if anything, a minor side antagonist, at first, who did in fact work to thwart the primary antagonist verrrrrrrrrry quietly and carefully. Said primary antagonist was another Nephandi, one of the crazy ones that even is so far gone he's gone for demonic Investments and at the time was trying to bring literal Hell to Central Park.

              Damien was not at all instrumental in his downfall. But Damien was moderately instrumental in the survival of several PCs who WERE later instrumental in defeating the primary antagonist's plot. And his entire reasoning for this was twofold. First, "She's mine." Second, "Your methods are crude, childish, and unsubtle. SOMEONE has to show you how it's done..."

              This all took place on a chat site roleplay, incidentally, where I played Damien as a side character. We had a hell of a time.



              Originally posted by Saikou View Post

              It would really suck for Damian if some Nephandi higher ups catch wind of how noncomital he actually is towards descent. If a gilladean catches wind of this, they may start testing him. Either he'll step in line, or become a pawn in another's game.
              It would indeed.

              And, in fact, that's pretty much how his story ended. Well, that, and a single inconvenient moment of conscience involving his daughter...

              But then, there's a great deal that a character who super-specializes in social skills, manipulation, secrecy, Mind-magic, and subtlety can get away with for a very long time. It's just terribly inadvisable to make deals and then fail to live up to them. Particularly when the other half of those deals understand exactly what eternal suffering really means.

              But Damien was never going to survive, honestly. That was almost a foregone conclusion. He played way too close to the fire, even for someone of his skill set. His grisly end was an inevitability, that was never in doubt. But that didn't mean we couldn't have a great deal of fun with him while he lasted, no?

              And his philosophy was key to that, and evolved largely from the needs of the character as he was to be played. I definitely don't put Damien up as the perfect example of what Nephandi "should" be, seeing as how they're all kind of terribly monsters and categorically should NOT be. But I do enjoy Damien's particular philosophy as being very, very useful for an antagonistic character who can play merry Hell with a bunch of PCs who never really know what side he's on... and who should never, EVER trust him, but just might end up doing so anyway.


              Side note, Damien really only lasted as long as he did because absolutely nobody knew anything about him. Everything was double-blinds and layers of lies, but rule one was very simple: Never lie unless you absolutely have to. Damien's Subterfuge Specialty was always "Making the Truth sit up and dance".

              After all, the woman he was seducing was one of the favorites of a Cult of Ecstacy Archmage.

              There is no paranoia that is too much paranoia when you're dealing with a Master of Arch-Time...

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