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[Fanmade Dark Era] [Beast/Geist] The Forest That Weeps

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post
    Wow...well done!
    Thanks, I'm currently making preparations for the Beast and Geist part. I hope they'll turn out good in the end


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

    Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

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    • #62
      Originally posted by Cinder View Post
      Thanks, I'm currently making preparations for the Beast and Geist part. I hope they'll turn out good in the end
      Beast: The Primordial rekindled my interest in the CoD, and so, uh yeah, a Beast Dark Era is, to me at least, pure awesomesauce.

      A question, though: Insatiables, are they going to make an appearance?

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post

        Beast: The Primordial rekindled my interest in the CoD, and so, uh yeah, a Beast Dark Era is, to me at least, pure awesomesauce.

        A question, though: Insatiables, are they going to make an appearance?
        They will. Not a major one, a paragraph and a sample Insatiable, but I'm not gonna leave them out


        Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
        Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

        Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

        Comment


        • #64
          Beast isn't really my jam, but I can't help imagining a new Anakim Tyrant moving in who's a mashup of Tarzan and King Kong...

          Comment


          • #65
            Not sure if either of those guys were from the Congo

            Though it's an intriguing idea though


            A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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            • #66
              I'm not dead but my PC is. I'll venture into the Underworld to bring it back but in the meantime writing stuff on a large scale is sadly not possible. Things that happen, sorry everyone


              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
              Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

              Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

              Comment


              • #67
                If you come back from Underworld, your Geist's Psyche will rise and show us better Sin Eaters section.


                Conquest of Paradise - Fan Dark Era about Portugal and Spain conquests in XVI century - Mage & Beast ( & Hunter )
                My Hubs - VtR 2E System Hacks, MtAw 2E Legacies and System Hacks & WtF 2E Lodges and System Hacks

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                • #68
                  Cinder, only sorta related to this, but what do you think of the book "The Poisonwood Bible", especially as inspirational literature for This Dark Era?


                  A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                    Cinder, only sorta related to this, but what do you think of the book "The Poisonwood Bible", especially as inspirational literature for This Dark Era?
                    You can get something out of it, but it's a different era. The book is set in the Sixties, long after the Congo Free State was gone. It's a good book, and I read it when doing my research but, strictly speaking, has not much to offer to this specific era.

                    It shows the consequences and impact the Free State had on Congo even in the following years and depicts living there in the Sixties in an interesting way, but my personal opinion is that it is a bit too distant from the colonial era to be of much use. Still a good read, though.


                    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                    Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Finally back to work. It's 4 AM here and I don't have the energy to check this properly right now, but I'm posting it anyways because I'm glad to be back on this. Here you go people, beginning of the Beast chapter
                      • Horrors in the Darkness: Beast the Primordial
                      “The sight of it made the earth seem unearthly. They were accustomed to look upon the shackled form of a conquered monster, but there-- there you could look at a thing monstrous, beautiful, and free.”
                      Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

                      The descendants of the Dark Mother always had a strong presence in Congo. There was something the country that resonates deeply with the Begotten and fears they embody. Beasts tried to understand the reason behind this for years. Some, basing their opinion on fragments of ancient stories and even sparser archaeological evidences, insist that the Dark Mother visited the place many times during past eras. Others are of the idea that’s due to the fact that powerful Beasts have a tradition of being the Apex of the various Hives in Congo, inevitably shaping the astral reflection of the country in a way that facilitates the birth of new Beasts. Many theories, few real answers.

                      Perhaps the reason lies more to the fact that, until the end of the Congo Free State, civilization was something isolated. Not in the sense it was not there, it absolutely was, but even the great kingdoms of Congo were a conglomerations of towns and villages surrounded by vast expanses of wilderness. The moment you left the safety of your home, you entered a dark and hostile realm to which men did not belong to. Nature does not bind easily to mankind and in Congo this was true both to the Africans and the Westerners. The jungle does not care for the lives of the people that dare to venture inside it and it is something that men and women instinctively perceive. The oppressive atmosphere, the darkness and the knowledge that there are things hidden around you that can kill you with ease: there’s something in the jungle that triggers something in the mind of men, buried instincts and forgotten fears. The vast, unforgiving sea of trees is truly a place where man can lose themselves and catch glimpses of the lesson spawned by the Primordial Dream.

                      This is valid for all men, no matter the ethnic group to which they belong to. The Westerners that come to Congo find an environment that is not as easy to tame as they claim. No matter all the trading posts, railroads and steamboats, the truth is that outside each town, each village, each man is a singular reality surrounded by an unforgiving environment. Something that makes nightmares stir.

                      For years, the Beasts of Congo were born and died in this sort of reality. The narratives of the Primordial Dream left their mark on the lives of the Begotten. They could grow, they could build great families but at the same time they had to be wary of Heroes, which, intrinsically tied to Beasts as they are, arose with frequency. From a perspective centered on those touched by the Primordial Dream, Congo was a prolific but balanced homeland. A place where Beasts lived in great numbers but far from being the only example of this around the world.

                      The Congo Free State utterly shatters this balance. It is not because of the arrival of new people, new fears and the new monsters that something changes: it’s because of Leopold’s regime and its consequences. The actions of the humans spread a shroud of terror all over Congo to which the Begotten reacted instinctively. The chances to feed are now around every corner and many Beasts don’t think twice about it. Beasts grow strong, and this translates in a circle of fear the perpetuates itself. New Devourings happen daily, and new heroes are born constantly as a reaction both to the birth of Beasts and their actions.

                      It all goes downhill from there.

                      The monomyth acquires an almost tangible shape. Heroes and monsters, monster and heroes, all fighting each other. Even when it’s subverted or altered, the conflict between Beasts, Heroes, Insatiables and other denizens of the Primordial Dream is something that keeps growing. Each duel, each rivalry, inevitably becomes the source of new nightmares. What truly makes it unbearable though it’s the fact that the Congo Free State is already a nightmarish reality itself. The Begotten and the Heroes are part of a bigger picture and when things become so terrible, when the predominant emotion that burns in the mind of the inhabitants of Congo becomes nothing but fear in all his shapes, that the Primordial Dream begins to erupt in the real world.

                      As terrible and unseen phenomena begin to plague Congo, Beasts find themselves in a difficult situation, forced to try to find a balance for their Hungers and their Family in a place where the strength of the myths that give shape to their souls is both omnipresent and aggressive. Beasts old and young have to make decisions quickly and always watch their back. Some lose themselves to their Horror, others find themselves trapped in a narrative of conflict they can’t escape from, others gorge on fears until they completely shed the idea of trying to teach a lesson related to them, tragically becoming nothing more than meaningless monsters, drunk on power with no responsibilities.

                      In a way, the Congo Free State offers Beasts the opportunity to do as they want, but it’s a freedom that comes at high price.
                      Last edited by Cinder; 03-20-2017, 11:23 PM.


                      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                      Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                      Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Currently busy reading stuff from the Dark Eras Companion, especially the Mutapa Empire chapter which, while not the same as Congo both for time window and exact position, will certainly prove helpful.

                        I'll probably change some things here and there from the plan I had in order to make my stuff fit. but I'm pleasantly surprised that quite a few of the ideas I had for certain aspects of the Chronicles of Darkness are not much different from what has been written there. Means I got something right, I hope


                        Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                        Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                        Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Ok, first "real deal" Beast chapter. After this, I'll get to Families, Hungers, the Lessons and the Brood/Family. It's the actual starting point for Beasts, the one that will color future chapters, so if you think something does not work or is missing, please do tell me.
                          • The Begotten
                          “They had behind them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, of phrases spoken in nightmares.”
                          Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

                          Beasts might have no need or inclination towards the complex social structures other supernaturals have but, to the other creatures of Congo, the Begotten are creatures that have an undeniable strength and powerful presence. The names used to refer to Beasts changed many times through the eras but in the late 19th centuries the most common one is ngobodi, a word coming from the language of the Kongo Kingdom. In its various meanings, it means both monster, entity of great might and mask to wear. It describes a creature that acts both as source of terror and inspiration, something to which the Begotten actually respond to.

                          The knowledge of what Beasts truly are is far from common and even the most well-informed cannot grasp the whole picture, but all the supernatural cultures in Congo are aware of the existence of the Begotten. The role ascribed to them varies accordingly to the perspective of the observer, but Beasts are something that influences the entire supernatural ecosystem of Congo.
                          They are the creatures in darkness that hold a secret wisdom made of screams and nightmares, primal forces of nature that are both a boon and a curse to others. To speak with a Beast means crossing a border from what is socially accepted to something that the supernaturals as a whole have no idea how to deal with. It’s the equivalent of going to consult a witch-doctor, someone that is part of the community and yet removed from it.

                          Among themselves Beast don’t have fancy names for their kin. To answer to the primordial names of the families and keep them alive through the ages is both a form of respect towards the Begotten of the past, an act of defiance towards the heroes that would erase their heritage and, for those who believe in her, a sign of respect for the Dark Mother. In Congo, most Beasts show at least some form of consideration towards the Dark Mother and even those few who are skeptical about the fact She might survive to these days tend to honor her as the progenitor of her kind and as an ancestor which has to be remembered. It rarely becomes a serious matter but tension between those who openly venerate the Dark Mother and those who don’t care about Her do exist. It sometimes becomes a source of arguments within Broods, with some Beasts trying to make even other supernatural accept what they consider their common ancestor. Another peculiarity is that tales about ancient Begotten and their conflicts against Heroes are told from a Beast to the other, the elder ones handing these tales down as both inspiration or warning for the young ones. The wisdom and the lessons of the past might fade, but Beasts in Congo try their best to keep them alive.

                          Aside from such aspects, the culture of the Begotten in Congo is hardly monolithic. There are some conventions, but they change with time and no Beast ever managed to impose a set of rules over its brothers and sisters. The existence of a Begotten is one that is colored by its own personal hungers and inclination, an identity which is both influenced by the Horror and its life before the Devouring. Few Beasts have the arrogance to try to force their mindset on others, as most eventually understand their kin have as many shapes as the nightmares that plague the mind of men. Congolese Beasts consequently are not strict when it comes to keep each other in check. Those who attract too much attention, both from mortals and Heroes, and those who feed excessively without at least trying to get a lesson across can expect to be reprimanded, but this is usually done on a personal level by other Beasts that are inconvenienced by such recklessness.

                          Generally speaking, as long as a Beast does not hurt those dear to the others and does not prove to be a danger to the safety of both mortal and supernatural community as a whole, she is allowed to behave as she pleases, free to be true to herself as all Beasts aspire to. This is easier said than done, but common sense is considered a precious virtue in Congo: you have a great deal of freedom but are expected to use it responsibly. Or at the very least to be held accountable for the consequences of your actions.

                          Young Beasts can look towards the elder’s guidance, especially after the Devouring, but they have to listen and adapt quickly. The needs of life as a Beast are not something that can be postponed and the earlier you learn to behave, the better. There’s a little period of tolerance elder Beast observe towards the young ones but it does not last long. It usually translates into a “I’ll let it pass this time, but not the next one”, and no Beast is formally expected to follow it. The Begotten are creatures of great passions and the conflicts among Beasts whose interests and ideas clash are frequent. Congolese Beasts are used to it. Within Broods, the various Beasts often keep an eye on each other and try at the same time to help and keep the hungers of each others under a reasonable control.

                          The advent of King Leopold’s Congo does not change the role the Begotten have but, in a way, accentuates it. They are still creatures of nightmares and terror, something that the Congo Free State sure does not lack of, but, at the same time, while facing the grim reality of what is going on in the country many Begotten find themselves in front of a choice. They can feed, yes, but to do without an higher purpose it’s almost too...empty. While several Beasts fall victims of their own urges and lose themselves to them, the horror of the Congo regime leads most of the Begotten to look for a meaning to their existence, in an almost feverish attempt to demonstrate that they are something more than their Horror’s hungers. Most Begotten dedicate themselves to teaching their Lessons, others spend a great part of their time taking care of their Brood and Family. Some, unable to leave their mortal identity behind as if it never was, become actively involved in the conflicts that rage across Congo.

                          Every single Beast in Congo feels the urge to follow what her heart demands to her, as if her time is running out. Fighting, hunting, conquering or teaching, protecting those she cares about and destroying those she hates: everything that allows a Begotten to affirm her sense of self. The truth is, most Beasts can instinctively feel that the might of the Primordial Dream is a tangible power in Congo. Whether they admit it or not, the sensation is at the same time empowering and terrifying for the Begotten. To let their Horror take lead and fall into the patterns of the mythical cycle that grants shape to their nightmarish origin is easy. Far too much. Many Beasts find themselves unable to cope with such life of constant conflict, hunger and terror and either choose to Retreat, enraptured by the tides of the Primordial Dream, or Merge, freed by the shackles and limits of a mortal mind. Those who endure struggle everyday, both against those who would like to destroy them and against their own primal urges.

                          It is in this state of constant conflict that many Beasts learn the hard way that their best hope of survival lies in the strength of their Brood.
                          Last edited by Cinder; 03-28-2017, 10:03 PM.


                          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                          Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                          Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            • Families & Hungers
                            “I saw him open his mouth wide. . . as though he had wanted to swallow all the air, all the earth, all the men before him.”
                            Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness


                            The Begotten in Congo take many shapes, as they do everywhere. All the Families manifest in Congo because the fears they embody haunt the sleep of every man. While Horrors in tune with the landscape of Congo are certainly a thing, and a common one to boot, a Beast’s birth and Devouring tap into something more primal and untamed than the cultural and environmental resonance of a place. That said, the arrival of the Westerners brings both new nightmares and and new Horrors into the picture. The Primordial Dreams reflects this turmoil and “out-of-place” Horrors become way more common. Horrors that never existed before, hybrids born from the encounter between Beasts local and foreign and from the influence what is going on is having on the Primordial Dream, gain sentience and arise from the depths of the realm of nightmares to join their material counterpart.

                            It is worth remembering that while some Westerners are already aware of their Begotten heritage before coming to Congo, new Beasts go through their Devouring while the colonial engine is already in its place. The ways of the Primordial Dream make no distinction among young Beasts and care not for their blood or their allegiance. All that matters is the abominable nativity that takes place when a Beast’s soul joins its Horror and becomes its true self. The shapes the Horrors take are not important, in the sense they are all equally significant. Some Beast gain Horrors that resonate with their culture of origin, others don’t. Older Beasts find themselves into the not always easy position where they become part of the Devouring of a younger Beast born in a different culture. But while the Horrors and the Primordial Dream itself do not care, for the Begotten it is often complicated to overlook the cultural differences. Beasts come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some are white, others are black. Some were tormentors, other were victims. Some were both. The Devouring is a turning point for many Beasts but, while most of them accept that they all belong to the same Family, this does not mean the Begotten have to get along. The personal attitudes combine with the education, grudges and ideas a Beast might have, thus making strife between Beasts an extremely common occurrence.

                            The only thing that can ensure a fragile peace among inimical Beasts is the menace of Heroes, perhaps the only true common ground for the multitude of Begotten that live in Congo.



                            • Anakim, Nightmares of Hopelessness
                            The Khodumodumo appeared one day, as big as a mountain and as strong as a thousand elephants. The huge, shapeless giant came down from the peaks where none man dwelt and walked through the land. Its steps created new lakes and valleys while its fists demolished the mountaints. The Khodumodumo cares not for the work of men and it destroys all the villages in its path while devouring the inhabitants. Those who oppose it die, except for a pregnant woman that covers herself in ashes and hides among the rubble.She raises her son with wisdom and courage so that one day he is able to fight the Khodumodumo and bring back hope to the country.

                            Hopelessness is far too easy to find in Congo. The strong prey on the weak as a matter of fact and many give up the hope they’ll ever be able to fight back. The birth of the Anakim is just the obvious consequence to such fears being so omnipresent. Whether through the old legends of ogres, cannibal giants and colossal beasts or through new Horrors born in the blood of the Congo Free, the Anakim are here and their steps make the trees tremble.


                            • Eshmaki, Nightmares of Darkness
                            The people that go into the jungle to hunt must be wary of the Sikulokobuzuka. This creature, a chimerical monster which has the features of many predators lives in the darkest parts of the woods and cannot be seen unless it wants to. The Sikulokobuzuka demands a part of what hunters find during their hunt and, if the hunter accepts, it repays him with ancient knowledge and good fortune. But if the hunter refuses, the Sikulokobuzuka takes it as an offence and it stalks the man back to his village, where it begins to kill men one by one until it is satisfied or all the people are dead.

                            The idea that there’s something waiting out there, ready to kill you the moment you lower your guard is something that many inhabitants of Congo share. Lethal predators, poisonous creatures and savage killers: they are all waiting inside the jungle, where the trees are so thick light just cannot shine through. At night you can feel them wandering around, killing and eating, but there’s nothing you can do to stop them. The Eshmaki of Congo are a numerous Family. Many of their Horrors have something that embodies the worst traits of real predators but others are more abstract, shards of darkness imbued with hungry malevolence.


                            • Makara, Nightmares of the Depths
                            To disturb what lies beneath the surface might awake something that will torment entire villages before returning underwater. Such is the story of Untombinde and the Isiququmadevu. Going against the warning of her parents, Untombinde, the chief’s daughters travel to a secluded spot to take a bath in a river known to be the home of Isiququmadevu. Her friends pray her not to touch the water but right after she finishes saying “I’m not gonna disturb the Isiququmadevu” the monster emerges and eats her whole. The Isiququmadevu, a bloated bearded creature, then leaves is home and destroys many villages, eating all the people and the animals it finds until his hunger is sated. People learned to never disturb the waters again.

                            Many people in Congo never saw the ocean, but the fear of the depths is still there. The sea, the rivers, the lakes and the jungle itself: there’s no way to know what lies inside of them and, worst, what might emerge. A man that lose himself within the jungle is as lost as in the middle of the ocean. Put in front of the uncanny vastness around him, it is far too easy to feel like drowning. The Makara also embody the terrible secrets hidden in blood and in the forgotten past. There are things so horrible out there that even the ancestors tried to bury them away. But nothing remains hidden forever and the chaos that is ravaging Congo often unburies what is best left alone


                            •Namtaru, Nightmares of Revulsion
                            It’s an odd tale, but many people know it: two boys,walking by a pumpkin patch decided to smash the biggest one with a stick. The pumpkin warned them “If you pluck me, I’m gonna pluck you”. But the boys did not listen and hit the pumpkin. It landed several yards away and the, to the boy’s terror, it turned around. As it grew in size, it also grew sharp teeth and horrible, distorted limbs, so that it could hunt down the boys and eat them. The goud was not a normal pumpkin but a zimwe pumpkin, and the mere sight of it terrorized men.

                            There are countless things that cause revulsion in Congo, nightmarish sights and nauseating visions. Rotting corpses, swarms of insects that feed on the dead, bodies tormented by illnesses and diseases. Foul beasts that seem to exist only to torment man. Blood, everywhere. The Namtaru in the Congo Free State have infinite forms. Their Horrors are born from some of the most horrible creations the world can offer combined with the terrors created by the hands of men. Some are animalistic, others are just revolting. Does not matter, as the nightmare they represent are powerful no matter what they look like.


                            •Ugallu, Nightmares of Exposure
                            Nobody is truly safe from the impundulu. The lightning bird is so fast that the eye could barely catch its movements, a flash of light the only trace it left behind. When the impundulu leaves its lair to hunt, all a man can do is to hope to not be seen as prey, for no hut, no house and not even the protection of a doctor can stop the impundulu from swooping down and drinking your blood. Its wings summon lightining and thunder and woe to anyone that breaks one of its eggs, because the impundulu will track him down and kill him along with all his neighbours.

                            Safe havens are an illusion in the Congo Free State. A refuge only lasts until some man or nature itself decide to focus its attention on it. Even in the depths of the jungle, the moment you expose yourself is the moment you die. The eyes among the trees see clearly and there’s no way to avoid their sight. The Ugallu in Congo wield nature’s might with their talons, eradicating houses and huts from their foundations, leaving their prey exposed to their hungers. Giant birds, creatures from a distant past and all-seeing beings are just some examples of the Horrors of the Ugallu.

                            -
                            -
                            -

                            As the Primordial Dream grows uneasy and more Beasts are born, the increased Begotten population has no problem in finding nourishment. There is enough fear for everyone, probably even more than needed. No matter her origin and personal attitude, a Beast in Congo is able to satisfy her nightmarish hunger easily. The occasions to dominate the others, hunt preys, destroy the works of man, hoard what their hearts long for and punish those who do wrong are around every corner.

                            Many Beasts temper their hungers through the attempt at teaching lessons while feeding but, the truth is, they don’t have to. There are just so many occasions to feed that if a Begotten wants to do so without caring about anything else, it can. The cultural stigma against those who do so is put at test by the circumstances of life in the Congo Free State.
                            Most Beast still try to act both as terrors and teachers, trying to find a greater meaning to their existence than merely being insatiable horrors. It is also notable the fact that, despite the fact they are not human and that their might could easily allow them to stop caring, several Begotten don’t forsake their mortal roots and combine their hungers with their personal goals or grudges so that they can live according to both.
                            Last edited by Cinder; 04-05-2017, 09:50 PM.


                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                            Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                            Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              Instead of doing a whole chapter about Hungers, I cut most of it and merged Families and Hungers together. I feel like I already delivered the general sense of Hungers in the past updates and that it was better to simplify things in this case rather than examine all the Hungers one by one while while hitting the same point over and over. So, this counts as another update, I guess.

                              Any thoughts?


                              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                              Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                              Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                I needed a little pause from Beast and Geist to recharge my creative batteries for the two "Big Ones", but I still wanted to be productive, so I went for the smaller stuff. Here's the result: I'd appreciate if you could tell me what you think of it, because that's the kind of format I plan to use for the various Chronicles of Darkness lines at the end of the Dark Era


                                Vampire: The Requiem

                                The first European vampires arrived in Congo with the Portuguese, during the late 15th century. Those Kindred expected to find scattered and disorganized, if not primitive, vampires. To the surprise of their European counterparts, the Congolese vampire society is anything but disorganized. The Ekangu-Elemena, “Alliance of the Insatiable Thirst”, is a huge federation of vampires that has existed for centuries in Congo and whose influence spans all over the country. Members of the Ekangu-Elemena live their Requiem according to the many laws and norms that such federation keeps in place.

                                As with any vampiric society, the Ekangu-Elemena is not free from internal conflicts but managed to last so much time by providing structure and safety to Kindred while also not interfering with the various local powers across the vast territory of Congo. The upper-body of the Ekangu-Elemena is a council of all the most powerful vampires of Congo. The council meets regularly and discusses problems, judges crimes and takes decision but all its members are, at least in theory, at the same level and accorded the same degree of respect. It’s an alliance that works because all its members, chiefs and newborns all alike, agree to live by following a common set of rules. The eldest vampires in Congo remember a not that distant time of conflicts before the alliance was formed and most agree that the Ekangu-Elemena is better than the alternative. A specific domain might have its own traditions, but it still has to to follow the core tenets of the Ekangu-Elemena. Outsiders are considered both dangerous and arrogant, and are treated as pariahs when not outright destroyed. Conflicts are solved during public meetings, with the elder vampires acting as judges. It is not uncommon for respected vampires of another domain to be asked to act as impartial side. The bigger the problem is, the higher will be those called to solve it. Within the Ekangu-Elemena there are many lesser organisations that act as Covenants for the Congolese vampires. As a general rule though, vampires in Congo value their individuality quite a lot, often living isolated or in small groups. Major domains exist, but in some places the communications and travels on great distances are complicated. A vampire can be a member of the Ekangu-Elemena while not interacting with another Kindred for weeks: the Alliance is without a doubt the overarching structure of the Requiem in Congo but it’s influence is less invasive and omnipresent that one could expect.

                                Still, the Ekangu-Elemena is what stops European vampires from taking over the place easily. Its foundations are solid and intrinsically resistant to influences from the outside, at least on a large scale. The Ekangu-Elemena is not hostile by default towards European Kindred, but it's distrustful and conservative. It will take decades for Western Covenants to gain a secure spot of power in Congo, decades they spend trying to carefully increase their influence. The loose structure of the Ekangu-Elemena proves to be less resistant when it comes to subtle changes. A vampire can be both a member of a Western Covenant and one of the Ekangu-Elemena: over the years this translates in a bizarre form of syncretic evolution for the society of vampires in Congo.

                                For Congolese Kindred, to be a vampire is both a blessing and a curse. In their beliefs, the Embrace removes an individual from the cycle of life and death. He will never become an ancestor spirit, forever deprived of the honor and greatness joining his family in death would provide. On the other hand, it allows to have a more direct impact on the lives of the people around him. It’s a different path, one that allows someone to tutelate the fate of his family in a way ancestor spirits cannot. It has its downsides and its banes, but one that grants great boons as well. For such a huge sacrifice, vampires consider the blood they take from the living as something due. Congolese vampires have a weird relation to their state of being. On one hand, they clearly consider themselves to be damned and unclean, going as far as calling themselves kavissa, dry corpses, but, on the other, they believe there’s a side of noble sacrifice in their torment, one that allows them to transcend death and to become an alternative form of elder spirits that is bound to flesh and blood. Each clan in Congo has its own stories about how it came to be but the recurring theme is that by becoming a vampire you become part of another heritage, with your vampiric ancestors being as important as your human ones. It’s a great privilege, one you’re expected to pay respect to.

                                The Congo Free State complicates the unlife of the vampires in Congo by an immense degree. Feeding and killing others without being seen might be easy, but the turmoil and chaos King Leopold’s regime unleash over the population in Congo proves to be too much to deal with. With many villages being destroyed and gave to flames, safe havens become a luxury. Congolese vampires have to witness their human families being torn apart and there’s not much they can do about it. Their world changes so fast few manage to adapt, trying to survive as things fall apart. Not to mention the increased amount of Westerners coming to Congo also means that more European vampires make a journey into the country. Their increased presence only serves to complicate things further. The Ekangu-Elemena does not survive through the Congo Free State: the Kindred society that rebuilds itself after the regime is something different born from the ashes of the Alliance.


                                5 Informations, Ideas and Plot Hooks

                                An ancient punishment the Ekangu-Elemena uses against severe crimes is to stake a vampire’s heart with an ivory tusk and bury him in a remote place. There are several of these “criminals graveyards” scattered around the country.

                                In Congo, Strix’ veneration is something of a lasting problem. Even if the Ekangu-Elemena officially discourages it, many vampires, including powerful chiefs and princes, see the Owls of Dis as the closest thing the vampire kin has for ancestor spirits and they look after them for knowledge and power. On their part. the Strix are inscrutable as always but they seem to enjoy wreaking havoc and undermine the stability of the Ekangu-Elemena.

                                The most important meetings of the Ekangu-Elemena happen in abandoned villages and ruins within the jungle during the new moon nights. A great fire is lit and all vampires are expected to resist the sight of it as a proof of strength. People in Congo know they better avoid these places and local medicine men and hunters often know their position.

                                African vampires show a great degree of physical alterations. Hooked feets, animal features and other odd peculiarities are not rare. There are stories of old clans being able to turn into fireflies. Those who possess them are expected to be more careful when dealing with humans, but there’s no other social stigma against them.

                                Even among vampires, those able to use sorcery are considered a different caste. Being able to deal with spirits, ghosts and wield sorcerous powers marks a vampire as someone that embraced a path within vampiric society that calls for a whole different set of social convention from that of other Kindred. They act as witches, shamans and medicine-men for the Damned, both feared and respected.
                                Last edited by Cinder; 04-08-2017, 03:17 PM.


                                Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                                Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                                Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

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