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  • The hungry dead

    Strigoi: The hungry dead
    Why? I have wanted, for a long time, to create European creatures akin to the Wan Kuei. This is the first beta version.

    A summary:
    • This is a draft (well, less of a draft and more of a list of key points) of an article on a creature, which has existed in many different cultures across the world; undead corpses returned from the afterlife who find themselves compelled to drink blood from the living.
    • I have chosen the name Strigoi (a Romanian word for a type of vampire) and added them to the mythology of (my/a) World of Darkness. Strigoi is both a singular and a plural noun.
    • Strigoi are spirits of the dead returned to Earth after going down to the Underworld; however, they are not Risen. Their souls have been hurt by the Shroud and Oblivion, but they are not split. They don’t have a Psyche or a Shadow, and they cannot learn Arcanoi.
    • Strigoi are not Kuei-jin: they do not have Soul virtues, they do not consume Chi (they can only feast on flesh and blood), and they do not follow Dharmas. However, they are more similar to them than to Cainites. They cannot learn their Disciplines.
    • Strigoi are not Kindred: they do not have clans, bloodlines or sire/childer relationships and their blood lacks many characteristics vitae displays.
    • They do not consider themselves to be descendants from Caine (as they do not descend from anybody); they consider themselves cursed, however, and their legends are as confusing as those of the Kindred.
    • Strigoi do not have Virtues or Humanity scores, and walk a thin path between rational behavior and mindless brutality (this is still in development)
    • Strigoi cannot create ghouls or childer, but in some specific circumstances they can create creatures known as Dhampirs and Moroi. Dhampirs are humans with strigoi blood in their veins from birth; Moroi are bestial, almost mindless, blood-drinking horrors which strigoi control through fear, cruelty and… some other means.
    • Strigoi, Dhampirs and Moroi cannot be Embraced or Diablerized, and the effects of their blood on Kindred, and of Kindred Vitae on them, have been barely studied and the data is extremely scarce (section still in development)
    • Like the Kindred, Strigoi are vampires: they are undead, they need blood to rise every night, they must spend the day protected from sunlight and they lack life signs (pulse, temperature, body heat, etc.…)
    • Sunlight does not burn them, but it hurts them and deprives them of their powers and supernatural abilities.
    • Strigoi have taboos and weakness, similar to those of the Kindred.
    • Some say the first of them made a pact with the Crone, others say they follow the steps of Lilith, some others whisper that they stole the secrets of Caine from his descendants; however it happened, they can learn some of the Disciplines of the Kindred, but not all.
    • When they interact with Kindred society, they usually pass themselves as Caitiff or, in the time of Thin Blood, as Thin-Blood vampires. Some Cainites consider them a threat and hunt them; some others ignore them, and some have forged alliances and even unlikely friendships with them.
    • The Kindred most familiar with Strigoi are the Gangrel, the Tzimisce and the Tremere, from their Transylvanian domains, and the Ventrue, who remember them from Roman times as degenerate lemures, or vengeful spirits of the restless dead.
    • Strigoi are known by many names across the world; other names for them include moroi (which are, in fact, a different creature, spawned by Strigoi) and the hungry dead.
    Last edited by Alqamar Alaswad; 05-19-2020, 12:47 AM.


    "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

  • #2
    I wish I could remember who did it, but about 20 years ago, someone did a short bit about how easy it was to take the Wan Kuei and adapt them to Ancient Greek ideas about the parts of the soul, the Underworld, and the four elements, among other things. I really wish I'd saved a copy of it.


    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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    • #3
      Yes, indeed... If I remember correctly, in the Odissey, Odisseus can only talk to his mother's ghost (a wraith? a shadow? a spectre? some other thing?) after he and his crew sacrifice an animal and let it bleed on the ground... the ghosts appear and they are compelled to drink the blood... Creepy, indeed, but quite interesting. Thanks for your post.


      "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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      • #4
        As this is a beta, any comments and suggestions are welcome.


        "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Alqamar Alaswad View Post
          Yes, indeed... If I remember correctly, in the Odissey, Odisseus can only talk to his mother's ghost (a wraith? a shadow? a spectre? some other thing?) after he and his crew sacrifice an animal and let it bleed on the ground... the ghosts appear and they are compelled to drink the blood... Creepy, indeed, but quite interesting. Thanks for your post.
          Indeed, the way I understand it, the warm sheep’s blood brings them back to full consciousness, whereas wandering the dreary fields of the underworld is implied to sap their individuality over time. Tiresias can speak coherently without it, whether because he’s a seer or just recently dead, but he still desires it.

          And yes, Ancient Greek culture bears many similarities to ancient Indian and Chinese cultures. They were all more similar to each other than any of them are to us today. And really, having multiple kinds of undead is fine. There are too many legends for any one thing to cover them all. Contagion isn’t the only metaphor to work with.

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          • #6
            This is an interesting take Alaswad. I have contemplated this but never dedicated to much time to it. I would like to see this developed, as I can see that their is a minority of Revenant/Wan Gui Style risen dead vampires. I was contemplating using Strigoi/Vrykolakas but then I kept getting drawn to them as Changelings. I still need to read the Strigoi vault book but I may hold off on that till I finish my expanded Kith Book. I wanted to make Kiths based off the dreams of the other supernaturals, as Beasties seem to be Nightmares born of the Delirium from the Imperigium. I would have the Strigoi as Witch/shapeshifter/vampires, and Vyrkolakas maybe more of an emphasis on Vampire/shapeshifter.

            So what kind of power set do you imagine they have if they don't use Cainite or Wan Gui Disciplines? They would use a third type of Disciplines or another power?

            You say they don't have a Psyche or Shadow but their soul is damaged. Has this damaged sort of fused the Psyche and Shadow into like a singular Demon Soul?


            It is a time for great deeds!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
              This is an interesting take Alaswad. I have contemplated this but never dedicated to much time to it. I would like to see this developed, as I can see that their is a minority of Revenant/Wan Gui Style risen dead vampires. I was contemplating using Strigoi/Vrykolakas but then I kept getting drawn to them as Changelings. I still need to read the Strigoi vault book but I may hold off on that till I finish my expanded Kith Book. I wanted to make Kiths based off the dreams of the other supernaturals, as Beasties seem to be Nightmares born of the Delirium from the Imperigium. I would have the Strigoi as Witch/shapeshifter/vampires, and Vyrkolakas maybe more of an emphasis on Vampire/shapeshifter.

              So what kind of power set do you imagine they have if they don't use Cainite or Wan Gui Disciplines? They would use a third type of Disciplines or another power?

              You say they don't have a Psyche or Shadow but their soul is damaged. Has this damaged sort of fused the Psyche and Shadow into like a singular Demon Soul?
              Oh, this current nickname is "Alqamar".

              Thanks for your comments, Eldagusto (Excuse me, do we know each other from the old, way old, Shadownessence Forums? I am the madman who wrote the Fomorian fanbook for Changeling: the Dreaming)

              I like your ideas, and I have in mind something like that; excuse me if I don't say a lot of things right now, because I have to check my sources and I want to save some surprises...


              "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alqamar Alaswad View Post

                Oh, this current nickname is "Alqamar".

                Thanks for your comments, Eldagusto (Excuse me, do we know each other from the old, way old, Shadownessence Forums? I am the madman who wrote the Fomorian fanbook for Changeling: the Dreaming)

                I like your ideas, and I have in mind something like that; excuse me if I don't say a lot of things right now, because I have to check my sources and I want to save some surprises...
                Oh yes I very much remember you from back in the day, you had a rather dapper Avatar back then. And the preview of the old Fomorian product earned mad props, the art and system you hammered out seemed to mesh well with the Ascetics I enjoy, which is why sometimes I find the fan products of quality matching or exceeding the canon books.

                So I know if you do a project I am interested.

                I still base a lot of my Fomorian head canon on that preview, the Fields of Asphodel and the Jotunn oh even the art was vibrant!


                It is a time for great deeds!

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                • #9
                  Oh, I feel honored. Maybe I should gather everything, update it for C20 and send it to the Storyteller's vault...
                  Last edited by Alqamar Alaswad; 05-19-2020, 03:59 AM.


                  "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                    the art and system you hammered out seemed to mesh well with the Ascetics I enjoy, which is why sometimes I find the fan products of quality matching or exceeding the canon books.
                    Who are these Ascetics you are mentioning?


                    "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alqamar Alaswad View Post

                      Who are these Ascetics you are mentioning?
                      Oh sorry that was a typo I mean aesthetics as in your style in what you make. Like certain forum posters I know will regularly pump out great little tidbits like I know I will enjoy pretty much any thread Mythadvocate or Astromancer post in Changeling, in Lordheru posts great ideas in the Trinity section, and while you are infrequent in your posts you work has been gold Alqamar.

                      Shadownessence had some excellent projects, I still enjoy the work of Spikey, who sadly passed away, and my take on the Djinn are closer to his vision then the published one. Shadownessence seemed to have the such a thriving Changeling community back in the day. I kind of read the gamelines in order so by the time I got to reading Changeling the Shadownessence forum was my go to place for Q and A as well as inspiration.

                      I hope the Storytellers vault kicks off a new renaissance with homebrews as I mostly live in the 20th anniversary edition/Revised era for my games.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        This is a beta version of the table of contents:
                        • Some paragraphs of fiction.
                        • The essentials: The ways Strigoi differ from other supernatural beings.
                        • The origins: Why do people become Strigoi? Do they know anything about their own history? Was the person a witch or warlock? Was he or she unlucky or was cursed?
                        • The philosophies: How do Strigoi interact with their own natures?
                        • The connections: The Strigoi and the Kindred, and other creatures, including Moroi and Dhampirs.
                        • The mechanics: Creating and playing Strigoi.
                        • Four hungry dead and one of their children: Four ready-to-play Strigoi and a ready-to-play Dhampir.


                        "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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                        • #13
                          (Excerpt): What do Strigoi do?

                          From the moment of death, Strigoi follow a path different from wraiths or Kindred; their "soul" descends to the Underworld and then (after some variable length of time) come back to the Skinlands as an "invisible" spirit or shade...


                          "No, no, don't look any further, my profile is actually more handsome than me"

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                          • #14
                            Their attachment to a place of their death could lead others to believe they are savage tzimisce instead and cause lots of drama.

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                            • #15
                              You could also chapter up relations with other supernaturals. Garou, fae, mage, fomori, weaver, etc

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