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

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  • Ok, I was actually about to get to Heroes, but I felt it was about the time to write our Apex. If I decide to write new Nightmares I might give some to him, but for now, here's Mokele-mbembe. I describe him quite accurately, so be patient with how big this entry is, but to drop in a NPCs of this size without explaining him well would have been quite irresponsible from my part, like using a Solar Exalted in a Hunter game with only a "have fun with this" to act as guide.

    We've been talking about this guy since Day 1, I'm actually eager to know what you think about him.
    • The Apex: Mokele-mbembe
    Mokele-mbembe, “the one who stops the flows of rivers”, is the undiscussed Apex of Congo. The first written record of his presence dates back to the 18th century. He was already old back then.

    All the Begotten in Congo know about Mokele-mbembe, but few actually meet him. A legend among legends, Mokele-mbembe is so ancient and powerful that other Beast have trouble relating to him. He seems to reciprocate: for a king, he’s quite fond of solitude. Most Broods have no idea what he looks like until they see him in action, at which points his identity becomes terrifyingly obvious. The general consensus is that Mokele-mbembe prefers to mind his own business and the Begotten community is lucky that’s the case, because nobody would be able to stop him should he decide to rule over Beasts more directly.

    The truth is Mokele-mbembe is so old that he himself finds difficult to empathize with others. After living more than two centuries as a Beast. Mokele-mbembe has left almost all the vestiges of his humanity behind. The mortal perspective, or even the one of younger Beasts for all that matters, is something that does not belong to him anymore. Mokele-mbembe survived more battles against Heroes that what can be counted and outlived dozens of Begotten across the years. His human family is long gone, any Brood mates he might have had are dead. It’s been ages since something posed a threat to him and he can sate his Hunger without having to worry about any consequence or repercussion. Even as the oldest and more powerful Beast around, Mokele-mbembe felt no obligation whatsoever towards his role of Apex. Mokele-mbembe was actually making preparations to become a Beast Incarnate. The mighty Beast lived each day cultivating his own Legend, completely removed from any sort of relationship with other mortal beings, his Kinship with the inhuman spirit of Congo River being the only relationship with another creature he still kept. Other Beasts believed that Mokele-mbembe had completely evolved past his human identity and he agreed, meaning he was quite surprises to discover this was not the case.

    As Congo went through more changes in a couple of decades than in a couple of centuries, Mokele-mbembe felt he could not ignore what was happening around him anymore. He saw his homeland being threatened, the places of his distant childhood being destroyed and the descendants of those he cared about suffering. As new Beasts appeared everyday and their influence awakened the Primordial Dream, Mokele-mbembe found the motivations needed to get involved with the human world and his Family once again.

    Mokele-mbembe has seen kingdoms rise and fall and tribes exterminating each other. Consequently, his perspective about the conflicts in Congo is rather inhuman. War and death are something he’s used to, but the nature of the atrocities in Congo managed to gain his attention. He considers himself more a Beast than a human, but the magnitude of what is going on still earned his disdain. Centuries of isolation mean he has to observe and listen if he wishes to understand the strange world he dove back in. Mokele-mbembe firmly believes Beasts must have the occasion to live their own legend and die by it, if it’s meant to happen, but he’s more prone to action today than he has been in decades. This does not mean that Mokele-mbembe is some sort of hero for Beasts and mistreated humans: he’s an old monster and when his unleashed power is a terrible sight to behold. Still, he has his ideas and opinions, meaning those who manage to decipher what goes through his mind can earn his respect, if not his help.

    The key to understand Mokele-mbembe’s alien morality is that he’s attached to the idea horrors must have a meaning and teach something. The ancient Beast based his entire existence around the notion Begotten have the duty to be true to themselves as a way to impress the truths of the Primordial Dream on others. Some die, some survive, some triumph while others are slain, but it’s a cycle that has a sense because there’s a meaning to it, some kind of dark nobility in the struggle that a Beast has to face each day. It shapes the mind of men and the lives of the generations to come. Greed for the sake of greed, insensate destruction and gleeful sadism are the kind of things Mokele-mbembe disapproves. What’s happening in Congo is puerile, vile, impersonal and, what’s worse, meaningless. It’s the end of what countless Beasts died for, of all the traditions, the dreams, nightmares and legends the people of Congo had. While he might not have the power to stop it, it does not mean Mokele-mbembe has to accept it silently.


    Mokele-mbembe is also an old man at the core and he appreciates those who show respect for their elders and the traditions of his childhood. Those who gather the courage to approach him and do so by using the proper formulae and attitudes, he generally listens. Those who show themselves to be arrogant or foolish learn the lesson on their skin. To the Begotten he is like some kind of terrible grandpa. something that comes from a past age and expects them to behave a certain way. He makes no distinction between native and foreign Beasts, they’re all Family, but Beasts not familiar with his cultural background or that believe themselves superior because of whatever notion about race they inherited from their human life, often find themselves in a difficult situation when dealing with the monster he is.

    Mokele-mbembe might prefer to remain alone but nowadays he is always busy. He travels, swimming through the river faster than a steamboat, walking through the jungle unfazed and opening Pathways to the Primordial Dream effortlessly. He sees what Beasts are doing, how Heroes react and what kind of consequences King Leopold’s colonial adventure has. In brief, he watches, keeping his thoughts for himself. Most of the time, he does nothing, as if he’s just taking notes. Perhaps he’s not sure about what to do, being clever enough to realize applications of excessive force are not a solution for everything. It’s as if Mokele-mbembe is trying to judge Congo as a whole, as if the result of such line of thinking can determine his approach to whatever he sees.

    At times, though, Mokele-mbembe does something. When that happens, those who survive rarely forget the experience. Most of the time, he reacts, either responding to “threats” or acting because somebody else convinced him to. Sometimes he just does, listening to his enigmatic reasons. Seeing Mokele-mbembe is terrifying. He is the embodiment of the idea that nature is ultimately stronger and that there’s no hope for those who fight it. Mokele-mbembe has assimilated his own Lesson so much that he’s basically an avatar for Congo as a whole, an idea which is crowned by his Kinship with Congo itself. He can uproot trees and demolish boats without even blinking and, if the necessity arises, the nature of his Lair allow him to merge with his Horror pretty much everywhere in the Congo River Basin.


    Description: Mokele-mbembe’s human form is that of a Pygmy man of old age, with a thick grey beard and ruffled short hair. He wears the traditional body paint of his native people and draws the patterns himself. His aspect does help him stay unnoticed but when somebody actually looks at Mokele-mbembe he’s often shocked by the sight. Mokele-mbembe’s supernatural nature is barely contained by his mortal shape and even those lacking any sort of special awareness can see it, sensing the colossal Horror that breathes behind the small figure.

    Mokele-mbembe strength is unmatched and he knows it. He goes wherever he pleases, caring not for limitations or rules. When he wants to take a look at something, he does. If he wants to sit on the top of the commander’s house and take a nap, he will. The same clarity of intentions applies when he’s fighting, where he hurls entire trees at his opponents as if his over-the-top fighting style is the most natural thing in the world.

    Mokele-mbembe does not talk much and, to be honest, there aren’t many that still speak the language his tribe used. Even to other Pygmies he sounds odd and bizarre. Still, he listens and understands. Many are surprised by this, but Mokele-mbembe’s mind is not weak either. One does not survive two centuries as Beasts only with the strength of his muscles. He might not speak other languages fluently, but he understands enough African dialects to get what any discussion is about. What he does not understand, he usually deduces. He’s also listening to what the Westerners say and he is slowly learning enough of their languages as well. In any case, when he wants to be listened, he gets the point across. Sometimes with gestures, other times by going in first and expecting the others to follow.

    Mokele-mbembe’s Horror is a reptile of titanic proportions, a dinosaur so terrible any real species pales in comparison. A combination of the worst nightmares the idea of those extinct creatures triggers, Mokele-mbembe is as unstoppable as he is fearsome. The Horror is an amphibious creature, which is reflected by his Lair. The prehistoric jungle that is Mokele-mbembe’s Lair is filled by primordial plants and creatures. The enormous river that passes through it is the true home of the Horror and those who follow its stream to the source, fighting against diseases and perils, swimming against its current and diving in it, will eventually find the Heart.


    Storytelling Hints: Mokele-mbembe is a dangerous tool for the Storyteller to use, but one whose attitude makes him easier to control than it might seem. He will annihilate Broods without problems if faced directly, being a powerful adversary even for experienced group of Beasts. While he can be used as an antagonist (he is, after an inhuman monster that hungers for dominance and worship), using him that way requires proper preparation or he’ll wipe out the entire group otherwise. Mostly, though, Mokele-mbembe’s role is that of a powerful NPCs that can used to showcase the themes of a chronicle. If used carefully, his presence can be helpful from a narrative perspective, always keeping in mind that he’s not designed to steal the spotlight from the PCs.

    If left on his own, Mokele-mbembe will do his own thing for a while, maybe crossing the path of the PCs for a couple of time, and then leave. If nobody bothers him, he’ll remove himself further from the lives of humans and younger Beast in order to embrace his Legend and become a Beast Incarnate and. With all the Heroes around, picking up one to defeat completely in order to become an Incarnate is almost trivial for Mokele-mbembe. The only reason he has not done so already is because he’s aware the transformation will alter him to the core and he’s not certain he’s ready for that, especially considering Beasts, other members of the Family and Congo itself might need still him. Eventually, he’ll opt to to become an Incarnate anyways, tired of what his human side can offer him. That is, unless someone else convinces him not to. Mokele-mbembe is a dangerous resource indeed, but he’s a passive one: what he does and the decisions he takes are ultimately left to the PCs. If they want him to postpone his Incarnation, they can find a way. Everyone is so scared of Mokele-mbembe that few actually approach him and, when that happens, everyone (including Mokele-mbembe himself) is surprised of how much he’s actually willing to listen. On the other hand, he can be avoided. If the characters endure his presence enough for Mokele-mbembe to leave, he’s not going to go after them randomly. No matter how many dices he might roll, what Mokele-mbembe does is ultimately up to the Storyteller and the player characters: he is a big presence in Congo, but it’s the players who get to decide how to react to his legend.

    Mokele-mbembe is not there to solve all the problems of a Brood. He’s of the idea they need to deal with their trouble on their own in order for their Legend to acquire power and meaning. Most of the time, he ignores pleads for help. Sometimes though, if the situation interests him, if those who ask act with proper reverence, if he agrees with their ideas or, why not, if he’s bored, he might actually decide to stick around and do something if he feels like it.

    Mokele-mbembe’s human name is something the world has forgotten He answers to the name people gave to his Beast’s identity and none other. If someone were to discover his true name somehow, they’ll manage to get his attention for sure.

    Mokele-mbembe has no love for Heroes, but he believes them to be something intrinsically bound to the role Beasts and the Primordial Dream have. It’s because of this reason he prefers not to interfere when Beasts and Heroes clash, feeling as if his younger kin need to fight them without his overwhelming force destroying the balance. Still, he does help Beasts from time to time. What actually springs him into action is a mystery for all but Mokele-mbembe himself, but it does happen. If a Hero ever attacks him he makes sure to end the problem, usually in a couple of minutes.

    On the other hand, Mokele-mbembe despises Insatiables and kills them as soons as he spots them. Telling him a Beast needs help to deal with an Insatiable is probably the easiest method to make him do something. Some Insatiables, completely convinced of their superiority over Beasts, try to attack Mokele-mbembe and subvert his Legend, but the old Begotten knows how to deal with Insatiables and has many scars to prove it. In the Congo Free State, an Insatiable able to be a threat to Mokele-mbembe has yet to appear.


    Legend: Unstoppable. Mokele-mbembe is more furtive than his myth would suggest but, when something stands in his path, it will be removed. Quickly. If Mokele mbembe decides to do something, there’s not much other people or Beasts can do. By this point, he’s something more akin to a natural disaster than a living creature and he tends to look at those who annoy him in the same way a man would look at ants that infest his home. He’s not prone to anger nor quick-tempered, but you don’t want to see his bad side.
    Life: Distant. Mokele-mbembe does not not interact much. Even the Begotten rarely see him, and when they do, the old Beast is never eager to communicate. Mokele-mbembe prefers to remain alone: he’s so old that all the people from his mortal life are now dead and he has no known Family ties. He rules over the river, but he’s a detached king that prefers to stay in the background.
    Family: Anakim
    Hunger: Power
    Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 8
    Physical Attributes: Strength 10, Dexterity 6, Stamina 10
    Social Attributes:Presence 9, Manipulation 2, Composure 9
    Mental Skills:Academics 2, Craft 2, Enigmas 4, Investigation 4, Medicine 2, Occult 4,
    Physical Skills: Athletics 8 (Swimming), Brawl 7, Larceny 1,Stealth 4, Survival 7, Weaponry 1
    Social Skills: Animal Ken 4 (Reptiles), Empathy 2, Intimidation 5 (Shows of force), Persuasion 1,
    Merits:Common Sense, Demolisher (3), Danger Sense, Direction Sense, Direction Sense (Advanced), Direction Sense (Epic), Eidetic Memory, Eidetic Memory (Advanced), Fame (3), Fame (Advanced, 3), Fist of Nightmares, Fleet of Foot (2), Guilty Pleasures (Breaking Boats), Indomitable, Iron Skin (2), Iron Skin (Advanced 2), Iron Skin (Epic), Iron Will, Killer Instinct (3), Killer Instinct (Advanced 3), Patient, Fighting Style: Relentless Assault (5), Small-Framed, Trained Observer (3), True Friend (Congo River)
    Willpower:10
    Lair: 10 (Currents, Extreme Heat, Flooded, Stinging, Diseased, Engulfing, Suffocating)
    Atavisms: Cyclopean Strength, Dragonfire (Breath of the River), Hearth of the Ocean, Limb From Limb, Looming Presence, Mimir’s Wisdom, Monster From the Deep, Relentless Hunter, Titanic Blow, Unbreakable
    Nightmares: All Your Teeth Are Falling Out (Jungle Fever), Behold My True Form! Everything You Do Is Worthless, Run Away, You Are Alone,
    Size: 4 (+10, +20)
    Initiative: 14
    Defense: 12
    Speed: 22
    Health: 14 (24, 34)
    Armor: 5/4 (6/5)


    Breath of the River: Breath of the River is a modified version of Dragonfire. Instead of torrents of flames, a Beast with Breath of the River is able to unleash high-pressured jets of water from her mouth, either in the shape of destructive projectiles or geysers of terrifying strength. It works as Dragonfire unless specified, except it does not grant immunity to fire and smoke and obviously cannot be used to burn materials or set places alight (putting out fires, on the other hand…). The other differences are:

    Normal Effect:The Beast can breath underwater and can see in the dark and through the murkiest waters, suffering no environmental penalties. While Beasts with this Atavism gain the ability to breathe underwater, they must take an instant action to give their lungs time to adjust when switching atmospheres.

    Satiety Expenditure: Damage against living beings is considered Lethal instead of Aggravate, but those hit by the water are subjected to the Drowning Tilt for a number of turns equal to the Beast’s Lair. Breath of the River ignores the same amount of Durability Dragonfire would.
    Last edited by Cinder; 05-14-2017, 11:24 AM.


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction.

    I'm more friendly than I look, I'm just bad at showing it. Trying to improve about that.

    Comment


    • Just looked at the Insatiables and the Apex now, and damn they're terrifying. And that's good. Insatiables in particular remind me of Infernal demons, who are, for all their glory and power, in truth abominable parasites who do not belong.


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Cinder View Post
        Ok, I was actually about to get to Heroes, but I felt it was about the time to write our Apex. If I decide to write new Nightmares I might give some to him, but for now, here's Mokele-mbembe. I describe him quite accurately, so be patient with how big this entry is, but to drop in a NPCs of this size without explaining him well would have been quite irresponsible from my part, like using a Solar Exalted in a Hunter game with only a "have fun with this" to act as guide.

        We've been talking about this guy since Day 1, I'm actually eager to know what you think about him.
        • The Apex: Mokele-mbembe
        Mokele-mbembe, “the one who stops the flows of rivers”, is the undiscussed Apex of Congo. The first written record of his presence dates back to the 18th century. He was already old back then.

        All the Begotten in Congo know about Mokele-mbembe, but few actually meet him. A legend among legends, Mokele-mbembe is so ancient and powerful that other Beast have trouble relating to him. He seems to reciprocate: for a king, he’s quite fond of solitude. Most Broods have no idea what he looks like until they see him in action, at which points his identity becomes terrifyingly obvious. The general consensus is that Mokele-mbembe prefers to mind his own business and the Begotten community is lucky that’s the case, because nobody would be able to stop him should he decide to rule over Beasts more directly.

        The truth is Mokele-mbembe is so old that he himself finds difficult to empathize with others. After living more than two centuries as a Beast. Mokele-mbembe has left almost all the vestiges of his humanity behind. The mortal perspective, or even the one of younger Beasts for all that matters, is something that does not belong to him anymore. Mokele-mbembe survived more battles against Heroes that what can be counted and outlived dozens of Begotten across the years. His human family is long gone, any Brood mates he might have had are dead. It’s been ages since something posed a threat to him and he can sate his Hunger without having to worry about any consequence or repercussion. Even as the oldest and more powerful Beast around, Mokele-mbembe felt no obligation whatsoever towards his role of Apex. Mokele-mbembe was actually making preparations to become a Beast Incarnate. The mighty Beast lived each day cultivating his own Legend, completely removed from any sort of relationship with other mortal beings, his Kinship with the inhuman spirit of Congo River being the only relationship with another creature he still kept. Other Beasts believed that Mokele-mbembe had completely evolved past his human identity and he agreed, meaning he was quite surprises to discover this was not the case.

        As Congo went through more changes in a couple of decades than in a couple of centuries, Mokele-mbembe felt he could not ignore what was happening around him anymore. He saw his homeland being threatened, the places of his distant childhood being destroyed and the descendants of those he cared about suffering. As new Beasts appeared everyday and their influence awakened the Primordial Dream, Mokele-mbembe found the motivations needed to get involved with the human world and his Family once again.

        Mokele-mbembe has seen kingdoms rise and fall and tribes exterminating each other. Consequently, his perspective about the conflicts in Congo is rather inhuman. War and death are something he’s used to, but the nature of the atrocities in Congo managed to gain his attention. He considers himself more a Beast than a human, but the magnitude of what is going on still earned his disdain. Centuries of isolation mean he has to observe and listen if he wishes to understand the strange world he dove back in. Mokele-mbembe firmly believes Beasts must have the occasion to live their own legend and die by it, if it’s meant to happen, but he’s more prone to action today than he has been in decades. This does not mean that Mokele-mbembe is some sort of hero for Beasts and mistreated humans: he’s an old monster and when his unleashed power is a terrible sight to behold. Still, he has his ideas and opinions, meaning those who manage to decipher what goes through his mind can earn his respect, if not his help.

        The key to understand Mokele-mbembe’s alien morality is that he’s attached to the idea horrors must have a meaning and teach something. The ancient Beast based his entire existence around the notion Begotten have the duty to be true to themselves as a way to impress the truths of the Primordial Dream on others. Some die, some survive, some triumph while others are slain, but it’s a cycle that has a sense because there’s a meaning to it, some kind of dark nobility in the struggle that a Beast has to face each day. It shapes the mind of men and the lives of the generations to come. Greed for the sake of greed, insensate destruction and gleeful sadism are the kind of things Mokele-mbembe disapproves. What’s happening in Congo is puerile, vile, impersonal and, what’s worse, meaningless. It’s the end of what countless Beasts died for, of all the traditions, the dreams, nightmares and legends the people of Congo had. While he might not have the power to stop it, it does not mean Mokele-mbembe has to accept it silently.


        Mokele-mbembe is also an old man at the core and he appreciates those who show respect for their elders and the traditions of his childhood. Those who gather the courage to approach him and do so by using the proper formulae and attitudes, he generally listens. Those who show themselves to be arrogant or foolish learn the lesson on their skin. To the Begotten he is like some kind of terrible grandpa. something that comes from a past age and expects them to behave a certain way. He makes no distinction between native and foreign Beasts, they’re all Family, but Beasts not familiar with his cultural background or that believe themselves superior because of whatever notion about race they inherited from their human life, often find themselves in a difficult situation when dealing with the monster he is.

        Mokele-mbembe might prefer to remain alone but nowadays he is always busy. He travels, swimming through the river faster than a steamboat, walking through the jungle unfazed and opening Pathways to the Primordial Dream effortlessly. He sees what Beasts are doing, how Heroes react and what kind of consequences King Leopold’s colonial adventure has. In brief, he watches, keeping his thoughts for himself. Most of the time, he does nothing, as if he’s just taking notes. Perhaps he’s not sure about what to do, being clever enough to realize applications of excessive force are not a solution for everything. It’s as if Mokele-mbembe is trying to judge Congo as a whole, as if the result of such line of thinking can determine his approach to whatever he sees.

        At times, though, Mokele-mbembe does something. When that happens, those who survive rarely forget the experience. Most of the time, he reacts, either responding to “threats” or acting because somebody else convinced him to. Sometimes he just does, listening to his enigmatic reasons. Seeing Mokele-mbembe is terrifying. He is the embodiment of the idea that nature is ultimately stronger and that there’s no hope for those who fight it. Mokele-mbembe has assimilated his own Lesson so much that he’s basically an avatar for Congo as a whole, an idea which is crowned by his Kinship with Congo itself. He can uproot trees and demolish boats without even blinking and, if the necessity arises, the nature of his Lair allow him to merge with his Horror pretty much everywhere in the Congo River Basin.


        Description: Mokele-mbembe’s human form is that of a Pygmy man of old age, with a thick grey beard and ruffled short hair. He wears the traditional body paint of his native people and draws the patterns himself. His aspect does help him stay unnoticed but when somebody actually looks at Mokele-mbembe he’s often shocked by the sight. Mokele-mbembe’s supernatural nature is barely contained by his mortal shape and even those lacking any sort of special awareness can see it, sensing the colossal Horror that breathes behind the small figure.

        Mokele-mbembe strength is unmatched and he knows it. He goes wherever he pleases, caring not for limitations or rules. When he wants to take a look at something, he does. If he wants to sit on the top of the commander’s house and take a nap, he will. The same clarity of intentions applies when he’s fighting, where he hurls entire trees at his opponents as if his over-the-top fighting style is the most natural thing in the world.

        Mokele-mbembe does not talk much and, to be honest, there aren’t many that still speak the language his tribe used. Even to other Pygmies he sounds odd and bizarre. Still, he listens and understands. Many are surprised by this, but Mokele-mbembe’s mind is not weak either. One does not survive two centuries as Beasts only with the strength of his muscles. He might not speak other languages fluently, but he understands enough African dialects to get what any discussion is about. What he does not understand, he usually deduces. He’s also listening to what the Westerners say and he is slowly learning enough of their languages as well. In any case, when he wants to be listened, he gets the point across. Sometimes with gestures, other times by going in first and expecting the others to follow.

        Mokele-mbembe’s Horror is a reptile of titanic proportions, a dinosaur so terrible any real species pales in comparison. A combination of the worst nightmares the idea of those extinct creatures triggers, Mokele-mbembe is as unstoppable as he is fearsome. The Horror is an amphibious creature, which is reflected by his Lair. The prehistoric jungle that is Mokele-mbembe’s Lair is filled by primordial plants and creatures. The enormous river that passes through it is the true home of the Horror and those who follow its stream to the source, fighting against diseases and perils, swimming against its current and diving in it, will eventually find the Heart.


        Storytelling Hints: Mokele-mbembe is a dangerous tool for the Storyteller to use, but one whose attitude makes him easier to control than it might seem. He will annihilate Broods without problems if faced directly, being a powerful adversary even for experienced group of Beasts. While he can be used as an antagonist (he is, after an inhuman monster that hungers for dominance and worship), using him that way requires proper preparation or he’ll wipe out the entire group otherwise. Mostly, though, Mokele-mbembe’s role is that of a powerful NPCs that can used to showcase the themes of a chronicle. If used carefully, his presence can be helpful from a narrative perspective, always keeping in mind that he’s not designed to steal the spotlight from the PCs.

        If left on his own, Mokele-mbembe will do his own thing for a while, maybe crossing the path of the PCs for a couple of time, and then leave. If nobody bothers him, he’ll remove himself further from the lives of humans and younger Beast in order to embrace his Legend and become a Beast Incarnate and. With all the Heroes around, picking up one to defeat completely in order to become an Incarnate is almost trivial for Mokele-mbembe. The only reason he has not done so already is because he’s aware the transformation will alter him to the core and he’s not certain he’s ready for that, especially considering Beasts, other members of the Family and Congo itself might need still him. Eventually, he’ll opt to to become an Incarnate anyways, tired of what his human side can offer him. That is, unless someone else convinces him not to. Mokele-mbembe is a dangerous resource indeed, but he’s a passive one: what he does and the decisions he takes are ultimately left to the PCs. If they want him to postpone his Incarnation, they can find a way. Everyone is so scared of Mokele-mbembe that few actually approach him and, when that happens, everyone (including Mokele-mbembe himself) is surprised of how much he’s actually willing to listen. On the other hand, he can be avoided. If the characters endure his presence enough for Mokele-mbembe to leave, he’s not going to go after them randomly. No matter how many dices he might roll, what Mokele-mbembe does is ultimately up to the Storyteller and the player characters: he is a big presence in Congo, but it’s the players who get to decide how to react to his legend.

        Mokele-mbembe is not there to solve all the problems of a Brood. He’s of the idea they need to deal with their trouble on their own in order for their Legend to acquire power and meaning. Most of the time, he ignores pleads for help. Sometimes though, if the situation interests him, if those who ask act with proper reverence, if he agrees with their ideas or, why not, if he’s bored, he might actually decide to stick around and do something if he feels like it.

        Mokele-mbembe’s human name is something the world has forgotten He answers to the name people gave to his Beast’s identity and none other. If someone were to discover his true name somehow, they’ll manage to get his attention for sure.

        Mokele-mbembe has no love for Heroes, but he believes them to be something intrinsically bound to the role Beasts and the Primordial Dream have. It’s because of this reason he prefers not to interfere when Beasts and Heroes clash, feeling as if his younger kin need to fight them without his overwhelming force destroying the balance. Still, he does help Beasts from time to time. What actually springs him into action is a mystery for all but Mokele-mbembe himself, but it does happen. If a Hero ever attacks him he makes sure to end the problem, usually in a couple of minutes.

        On the other hand, Mokele-mbembe despises Insatiables and kills them as soons as he spots them. Telling him a Beast needs help to deal with an Insatiable is probably the easiest method to make him do something. Some Insatiables, completely convinced of their superiority over Beasts, try to attack Mokele-mbembe and subvert his Legend, but the old Begotten knows how to deal with Insatiables and has many scars to prove it. In the Congo Free State, an Insatiable able to be a threat to Mokele-mbembe has yet to appear.


        Legend: Unstoppable. Mokele-mbembe is more furtive than his myth would suggest but, when something stands in his path, it will be removed. Quickly. If Mokele mbembe decides to do something, there’s not much other people or Beasts can do. By this point, he’s something more akin to a natural disaster than a living creature and he tends to look at those who annoy him in the same way a man would look at ants that infest his home. He’s not prone to anger nor quick-tempered, but you don’t want to see his bad side.
        Life: Distant. Mokele-mbembe does not not interact much. Even the Begotten rarely see him, and when they do, the old Beast is never eager to communicate. Mokele-mbembe prefers to remain alone: he’s so old that all the people from his mortal life are now dead and he has no known Family ties. He rules over the river, but he’s a detached king that prefers to stay in the background.
        Family: Anakim Hunger: Power
        Mental Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 8
        Physical Attributes: Strength 10, Dexterity 6, Stamina 10
        Social Attributes:Presence 9, Manipulation 2, Composure 9
        Mental Skills:Academics 2, Craft 2, Enigmas 4, Investigation 4, Medicine 2, Occult 4,
        Physical Skills: Athletics 8 (Swimming), Brawl 7, Larceny 1,Stealth 4, Survival 7, Weaponry 1
        Social Skills: Animal Ken 4 (Reptiles), Empathy 2, Intimidation 5 (Shows of force), Persuasion 1,
        Merits:Common Sense, Demolisher (3), Danger Sense, Direction Sense, Direction Sense (Advanced), Direction Sense (Epic), Eidetic Memory, Eidetic Memory (Advanced), Fame (3), Fame (Advanced, 3), Fist of Nightmares, Fleet of Foot (2), Guilty Pleasures (Breaking Boats), Indomitable, Iron Skin (2), Iron Skin (Advanced 2), Iron Skin (Epic), Iron Will, Killer Instinct (3), Killer Instinct (Advanced 3), Patient, Fighting Style: Relentless Assault (5), Small-Framed, Trained Observer (3), True Friend (Congo River)
        Willpower:10
        Lair: 10 (Currents, Extreme Heat, Flooded, Stinging, Diseased, Engulfing, Suffocating)
        Atavisms: Cyclopean Strength, Dragonfire (Breath of the River), Hearth of the Ocean, Limb From Limb, Looming Presence, Mimir’s Wisdom, Monster From the Deep, Relentless Hunter, Titanic Blow, Unbreakable
        Nightmares: All Your Teeth Are Falling Out (Jungle Fever), Everything You Do Is Worthless, Run Away, You Are Alone,
        Size: 4 (+10, +20)
        Initiative: 14
        Defense: 12
        Speed: 22
        Health: 14 (24, 34)
        Armor: 5/4 (6/5)


        Breath of the River: Breath of the River is a modified version of Dragonfire. Instead of torrents of flames, a Beast with Breath of the River is able to unleash high-pressured jets of water from her mouth, either in the shape of destructive projectiles or geysers of terrifying strength. It works as Dragonfire unless specified, except it does not grant immunity to fire and smoke and obviously cannot be used to burn materials or set places alight (putting out fires, on the other hand…). The other differences are:

        Normal Effect:The Beast can breath underwater and can see in the dark and through the murkiest waters, suffering no environmental penalties. While Beasts with this Atavism gain the ability to breathe underwater, they must take an instant action to give their lungs time to adjust when switching atmospheres.

        Satiety Expenditure: Damage against living beings is considered Lethal instead of Aggravate, but those hit by the water are subjected to the Drowning Tilt for a number of turns equal to the Beast’s Lair. Breath of the River ignores the same amount of Durability Dragonfire would.
        Holy s**t.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
          Just looked at the Insatiables and the Apex now, and damn they're terrifying. And that's good. Insatiables in particular remind me of Infernal demons, who are, for all their glory and power, in truth abominable parasites who do not belong.
          Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post

          Holy s**t.
          Hehe. That was the reaction (and the message) I hoped to get through. My humble fan perspective about the Insatiables is pretty much that. Thanks everyone.

          There's still a bunch of characters I have to write after doing the Hero chapter, including a couple of Beasts and Heroes I think you'll enjoy, so knowing things are working so far does help me.


          Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
          Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction.

          I'm more friendly than I look, I'm just bad at showing it. Trying to improve about that.

          Comment


          • Remember when I said I thought two of my Heroes were unrepentant bastards that could not be redeemed? Well, I was talking about these two guys. They are, in a way, two faces of the same coin. I'm not even trying to hide their respective inspiration. The next Hero, on the other hand, will be the most "positive" if I manage to write her as intended.

            Ok, time to have some bad guys.


            Robert Barnes

            “Those idiots keep wasting their time. They have no idea we’re fighting a war here. And it’s a war I’m going to win”

            Robert was consumed by a hunger for conflict since his youth. He would have joined the Union Army to fight the Confederates (or viceversa, had he been born in the South), but he was only a kid back then. While his father remained home to take of his shop like a coward, the young Robert resorted to fighting with other children over petty matters of all sorts. Things did not change as he grew up. Fight after fight, scar after scar, Robert not only improved his brawling skills but he soon discovered he had a talent for gaining the loyalty of others, who saw the determined and authoritarian boy as a natural leader.

            When he joined the Army, a moment that for Robert could not have come soon enough, he transitioned from violent kid into ruthless soldier. Robert never actually proved to be a problematic element in the army. After all, he followed his orders and most his aggressivity was aimed at whatever enemy he was sent against. Yet, for Robert the uneasy peace of the Reconstruction Era lacked something. He felt out of place, his strength wasted on pointless and ridiculous efforts. He left the Army and became a mercenary. It did not took much before Robert became captivated by the opportunities a man with his skills could find in Congo. Robert signed up for the Force Publique and sailed to Africa soon after.

            As an experienced and efficient soldier, Robert did his job well. Other men respected him and, after being promoted to Sergeant, he somehow managed to turn the rabble of different people under him into a semblance of a real unit. Leading through a combination of cruel love and fear, Robert made other soldiers feel safe and never judged them for their actions (provided they never contested his orders, naturally). In an army like the Force Publique Robert was free to follow his bloodthirsty impulses and never stopped others from doing the same. What blocked him from advancing further in the ranks was a certain disdain conventions of the military life. His lack of patience and his evident disgust towards those he disagreed with. The general impression was that while he had all the elements to be a great officer in the field but nothing more. For Robert this was completely fine. Eventually, it was indeed in the field that he truly found himself.

            During a skirmish against the Arab slave traders, Robert felt himself inexplicably drawn towards the jungle. While separated from the main column, Robert ordered a dozen of his men to follow him, pretending to act under official orders. They cut their way to a village within the woods and when they arrived there Robert noticed that one of the villagers was not a human being. As if all his life had the purpose to bring him here and kill that thing, Robert began shooting. Several men died in the following fight but, in the end, the creature had died. It did not matter that he himself had been seriously wounded: for the first time in his life Robert finally felt complete. The notion that monster that looked like men existed gave him an excuse to interrogate the villagers about it. After all, they were the one that lived with that thing and they had to know more. Not to mention many of his men died because of what happened and their deaths deserved an explanation, one he would get with all the means necessary.

            When his superior officer found Robert, he ordered him to rejoin the main ranks immediately. As Robert tried to object, his captain menaced him and warned that he would face the consequences of his actions once they returned back. When the captain was found dead, several gunshots in his back and no trace whatsoever of Arab troops around, most of the men avoided making questions. The few who protested changed their mind quite soon or were put to silence. Robert took control of the group and enlisted them to help him in his war against something far more terrible than some slavers or a bunch of rebels . All he asked from them was total obedience and the determination to do what their duty would require. In return, they’ll be able to do whatever they want to.

            Robert’s band is more a group of wandering criminals than anything else. They are wanted for desertion and all kinds of assorted crimes, meaning they would be quickly executed if the Force Publique ever captures them, something they are all well aware of. The group roams from place to place, pillaging and burning down whatever they can find. Robert and his man still wear their uniforms and often pretend to be normal soldier in order to approach isolated units and take them by surprise.The band manages to maintain its numbers because they regularly recruit young men from the villages they pass through or are joined by other deserters. Most of the time, Robert is fine to lead his men in their raids, but he actually looks forward to find other Beasts. Whenever he picks up a track, he directs his entire band towards it.

            Robert still act as a soldier, but he intentionally behaves as he and his men belong to a separate army. It’s them against the world and, most importantly, against Beasts.


            Description: Robert is in his mid-thirties. A life of military serviced made him fit and muscular. He lives to fight and hurt others since before becoming a Hero and his newfound motivation drives to improve further. A considerable part of his leadership is based on him being physically intimidating and he knows it.

            The first Beast Robert fought against left him several nasty scars, the most notable one of which covers the right side of his face. Combined with his icy eyes, this contributes to his fearsome image. He always has his rifle with him but often carries other kinds of weapon with him.


            Storytelling Hints: If asked, Robert would not be able to explain what drives him to slay Beasts. He just does it because it makes him feel right. He does not care about the nature or attitude of the Begotten he encounters and does not think twice about killing them. Robert himself shows no traces of piety or doubts. He takes all provocations, real or perceived, as an excuse to kill whoever crosses his path and destroy what he dislikes.

            For all his pretension at being a father to his men, Robert does not care a single bit about any of them. He has an almost unnatural gift to use the death of one of his soldiers to motivate the others to fight more and obtain vengeance, to the point he genuinely seem to believe to his own words. The truth is Robert is a vile and rotten man that only cares about himself. He’s not the understanding leader his troops believe him to be. Even the idea that they are free and not obliged to follow his orders is nothing more than an illusion. If possible, Robert is even more unforgiving than the officers in the Force Publique. He basically created a military cult centered on himself: the moment you doubt his leadership or hesitate when given orders, you become a betrayer. Betrayers don’t live long in a war.

            His arrogance aside, Robert is in a more vulnerable spot than he realizes. The action of his band earned many enemies and, at the end of the day, they’re just a small group of brigands. Should they screw up or go too far, the Force Publique will be forced to focus its efforts on rooting them out. The native population is also tired of their crimes and the various communities are organizing themselves against Robert’s band. It only takes someone determined enough to reunite enough people to fight back and destroy the band once and for all. Even internally, Robert’s group is far from being stable. Robert rules through fear and charisma, but a life as outlaws on the run, forced to fight against nightmarish creatures and monsters, puts the mind of his men under strain. As is superiors always suspected, Robert is good but not that good. It only takes a little bit to make him snap and make his leadership crumble. With the right circumstances, his men can be easily led to rebel against him.

            Robert is no pushover, but his strength mostly relies in the band of followers that follows his orders. He’s a good fighter and marksman, above the average for sure, but he’s not the best, and the only reason he survived so long is because he has no issues sacrificing his men in order to save himself. If forced into a corner, Robert pulls no punches and fights dirty, aiming for weak spots and using all the tools he has. He actually has not ever fought a Beast all by himself and never faced the combined might of an entire Brood. Not that he had not the opportunity: he actively does his best to isolate his targets and pick on them in vulnerable moments. If that proves too difficult, he prefers to avoid any conflict where the odds are not stacked to his favor. Robert is dangerous but, for all is bravado, he is nothing more than a vicious bully.


            Legend: Slaughterer
            Life: Soldier
            Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 5
            Physical Attributes: Strength 4 (6 versus Beasts), Dexterity 3, Stamina 4
            Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 2
            Mental Skills: Craft, Investigation 2, Medicine 2 (Grievous Wounds), Occult 1,
            Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 3 (Dirty Fighting), Firearms 3, Larceny 1, Stealth 2 (Ambush), Survival , Weaponry 1 (Improvised Weapons)
            Social Skills: Intimidation 3, Persuasion 4, Streetwise ,Subterfuge 3 (Backstabbing)
            Merits: Indomitable, Inspiring, Iron Skin 2, Small Units Tactics Gifts: Champion’s Endurance, Real World, Vanquisher’s Strength,
            Willpower: 7
            Integrity: 2
            Size: 5
            Initiative: 5
            Defense: 6
            Speed: 12 (14 when fighting Beasts)
            Health: 9
            Armor: 2/0 (4/0 when fighting Beasts)




            Ntambwa Dokolo

            “I refuse to listen to those who would fill my heart with doubt. Their words reek of weakness and I will not be corrupted by them. I’m a warrior and I know my path.”

            Ntambwa is an example of a Hero that has forsaken everything to pursue his call. Nowadays he’s one of the most feared Heroes in Congo, a juggernaut few are able to stop, but he sacrificed everything to get here.

            Ntambwa was once the mightiest warrior of his tribe. From his early childhood, he lived by the principle that the way to greatness was one made of strength, discipline and constant improvement. All the things that, to his eyes, made a man weak had to be rejected. Lesser men would fall prey to vices, laziness and cowardice, but not Ntambwa: he followed the code of the warrior and despised those who would not. His strength rightfully earned him respect, wealth and authority. He had the right to speak when the elders discussed and was considered to be the most likely to become chief once the current one died. He raised his sons to behave as he did, leaving the daughters to the care of his many wives. Following the customs of his ancestors and his own personal ideas about what is wrong and what is right as if the entire world depended on it, Ntambwa managed to become an example for his people. That’s when things started to fall apart.

            Ntambwa’s tribe was not the first one that entered in contact with the white men, meaning he was prepared for their arrival. If he had to go to war against them, he would had. He knew about their strange weapons and their tactics but he was not scared. What Ntambwa could not predict was the effect Western culture would have on his own.

            As the first merchants and missionaries arrived to his village, Ntambwa granted them the right to explain themselves and declare their intention, as the custom said. Nowadays, he comes to regret not having killed them. Those men might not have been hostile, but their culture, made of commodities and of a God that spoke of love and piety, represented everything Ntambwa always despised. He was too blind to see the consequences of letting them be. The life in the village changed, with warrior laying down their spears to embrace the new weapons and men converting to the weak faith of the whites while forgetting about the strength of the ancestors. Ntambwa saw his role and the foundation of his philosophy being forgotten, but there was little he could do without breaking the laws of the tribe. He grew frustrated, impotent and angry, unable to convince the others that they were being corrupted. His attitude and constant fit of grudgeful rage made him lose the respect of his brethen. The day his own firstborn son told him he was about to become a priest, Ntambwa nearly killed him. He became a pariah, a man so attached to his own idea of the past that he could not adapt to the changes.

            It was during a local celebration that Ntambwa went past a point of no return. As he looked at a young boy playing with some friends, he saw beyond this facade and noticed the monster beneath. Refusing to negate once again his own principles, Ntambwa took up his weapon and murdered him on the spot. The little Beast had never met a Hero and had no chance to fight against the might warrior and the Anathema he instinctively wielded. As the the tribe looked in horror, Ntambwa recovered his spear, his shield, his bow and left without even cleaning off the blood from himself. A few men tried to capture him but he killed them as well.

            This happened several years ago. King Leopold became the owner of Congo in the meantime and the country has changed even more. Ntambwa does not care. He only lives to hunt.

            As his world betrayed him, Ntambwa found another reason to live in the slaying of Beasts. It is only by affirming his role in the mythic cycle that Ntambwa manages to feel the sense of importance, power and affirmation he believes to deserve. The fact he keeps triumphing over Beasts and that with each kill he grows stronger only makes him more and more determined. Nowadays he’s essentially a roaming warrior that moves accordingly to what his Heroic senses tell him. He travels from place to place, only thinking about his next kill. He’s almost an anachronism for how he refuses to let what’s going around him to interfere with the hunt, his methods and his principles.

            To Beasts, Ntambwa he’s almost a boogeymen, an unrepentant killing machine that comes out of nowhere and keeps attacking until either him or his prey are dead.


            Description: Ntambwa is a massive Congolese man whose body has been trained for decades to be a killing machine. To those who look at him, it’s obvious he has been involved in many terrible fights, since the web of deep scars that covers his body is in clear sight.

            Ntambwa has intentionally abandoned any semblance of human empathy, something that somehow shows. Those that look at him see something that is barely a man. Ntambwa is intimidating and his total dedication to his role of Hero as slayer of Beasts makes people feel uneasy. It’s as if Ntambwa’s presence awakens primordial memories and reaction within the mind of those around him.

            Ntambwa goes around dressed like a warrior, meaning he’s often covered in war paint and wields his weapong with pride. He’s aware this appearance can often cause him issues in the Congo Free State, but he refuses to dress differently. He is at war, after all.


            Storytelling Hints: All that matters to Ntambwa is his quest for strength. Nothing else is important, not anymore. His thoughts are about the hunt, his efforts and instincts of self-preservation only existing to bring him closer to the next Beast. Everything else is a distraction. Let whites and blacks torment each other, he’s the only one that actually lives as a man is meant to live. Besides, the weaks deserve all the misfortunes that happen to them, so it’s certainly not up to Ntambwa to care.

            Ntambwa is exactly the kind of opponent the Begotten think about when they talk about mercilles Heroes. He’s a powerful antagonist that cannot be reasoned with and that has honed his body and skills to the point he’s a serious threat to most Beasts.
            Ntambwa is an expert hunter and a fearsome warrior, meaning he won’t just rush against a Beast mindlessly. He stalks them as if they are prey and, after wounding them, keeps attacking until they are tired and bleeding. During a fight, it’s as if Ntambwa abandons any limitation and enters a trance-like state which only purpose is to triumph over his opponents. He wields the weapons of his ancestors with great mastery, using spears, swords, maces, shields and bow equally well. He’s a vicious fighter that tries to kill his prey as fast and bloodily as possible.

            Ntambwa’s role is that of an unavoidable physical threat. He has no weaknesses Beast can use against him and he gave up any connection to his human life long ago. If he targets a Begotten, the Beast can only flee or fight, since Ntambwa won’t give up at all. The only element that can be used against him is that Ntambwa is, by his own desire, completely alone. He has no allies, no safe haven and no resources outside his own strength he can use against Beasts. Brood that manage to collaborate and lead him in a situation where he is vulnerable (well, relatively speaking), can manage to take him down. Clever Beast might also manage to manipulate other forces to go after Ntambwa. Since he refuses to bow to anyone or anything, it might be possible to make him gain new enemies with relative ease.


            Legend: Predator
            Life: Warrior
            Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 5
            Physical Attributes: Strength 5 (7 when fighting Beasts), Dexterity 4 (6 when fighting Beasts), Stamina 4
            Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 1, Composure 3
            Mental Skills: Enigmas 2 (Omens), Craft 3 (Wood), Investigation 3, Medicine 1 (Self-Medication), Occult 3
            Physical Skills: Archery 3, Athletics 4, Brawl 4, Survival 5, Weaponry 5 (Spear)
            Social Skills: Animal Ken 4 (Predators), Intimidation 5
            Merits: Danger Sense 2, Direction Sense, Defensive Combat (Weaponry), Fast Reflexes 3, Fleet of Foot 1, Giant, Indomitable, Iron Skin 2, Killer Instinct, Fighting Style: Relentless Assault 4, Fighting Style: Spear and Bayonet 3, Fighting Style: Weapon and Shield 3. Gifts: Champion’s Endurance, Legendary Hunter, Open Gate, Real World, Vanquisher’s Strength, Warrior’s Speed
            Willpower: 9
            Integrity: 1
            Size: 6
            Initiative: 3
            Defense: 7
            Speed: 19 (23 when fighting Beasts)
            Health: 10
            Armor: 1/0 (3/0 when fighting Beasts)
            Last edited by Cinder; 05-15-2017, 04:26 PM.


            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
            Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction.

            I'm more friendly than I look, I'm just bad at showing it. Trying to improve about that.

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            • A question: do you think Mokole-mbembe is still around in 2017? Perhaps as an Incarnate?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post
                A question: do you think Mokole-mbembe is still around in 2017? Perhaps as an Incarnate?
                Yes, that's what I would go for. He is the most famous cryptid when talking about the Congo River Basin, and it feels appropriate for me to have him around as an Incarnate.

                The other "Big Name" is Kongamato, and you should be able to see my take on it quite soon.


                Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction.

                I'm more friendly than I look, I'm just bad at showing it. Trying to improve about that.

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