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Supernatural Templates of Mass Effect Races

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  • #16
    I'm currently thinking about Geist stuff; I like the idea that Ghosts and Geister are somewhat universal, though more common in some places than others. I also like the idea that Geister of any species can make the Bargain with a dying individual of any other 'Souled' species.
    Most notably, however, I'm thinking about how different planets' Underworlds might work. I'd imagine the vast majority are still flooded, like Earth's was in prehistory, with only Chthonian inhabitants, but some might be dry enough to support an 'afterlife'.

    The Underworld of Heshtok is dry and hot, which fits the volcanic planet well. It is infested by a race of living Vorcha known as 'Ghost-Eaters' who, as their name suggests, have evolved to feed on the corpus of ghosts and Chthonians. Ghost-Eaters are theoretically immortal (though most die from their uniquely dangerous lifestyle before their fortieth year, at best) and possess a number of supernatural powers, but always hunger for more plasm. They serve and worship Heshtok's Chthonic Gods.

    The Underworld of Rakhana is flooded, yes, but through the blessings of Kalahira the Drell dead may survive there - granted, most of them are just prey for schools of horrifying Chthonians. The ghosts of the entire Drell civilisation still haunt the surface of the dead planet, but billions more dwell in the Oceans of the Dead. Kalahira'asih, a large Krewe of Drell Bound, seeks to protect the ghosts of those who were left behind and give them peace; there are rumours that they even plan on enacting Catabasis on the dead planet's Underworld.

    The Underworld of Sur'kesh remains flooded and dominated by Chthonians, with no known safe havens for ghosts pass through an Avernian Gate. There is, however, a large population of ghosts in Sur'kesh's Twilight, who regularly engage in memory trading with the Sur'zahn and hide away from the beings that seek to drag them down into the depths. Because they cannot safely drink the waters of the Underworld, there are few to no Geister on Sur'kesh and graveyard guardians never seem to arise. There's a large government sponsored Hunter Conspiracy on Sur'kesh that attempts to regulate the memory trade and keep the dead from causing trouble.

    Raksi plays Peek-a-boo for keeps. ~ nalak42


    • #17
      Originally posted by KageMCS View Post
      Hey, Leliel's the one that brought up which species likes which Supernatural Merits. That's much more a social issue.

      For shapeshifters, spitballing in no particular order, I'd posit Elcor have a shapeshifter that has a smaller, relatively more nimble form. Perhaps something serpentine, avoiding falling in their homeworld's high-gravity environment. Asari have those hair tentacles, making me think an aquatic shifter could fit. Or maybe something insectoid, tapping into the Asari maturation cycle a bit. Or combine for Asari mantis shrimp! Salarians could have an avian shifter; they've got the high metabolism and quick movements already, just jack that up even more. Vorcha could exemplify their status as "vermin" even more by having a rat-analog shifter. (Sidenote: Vorcha are noted as being able to adapt to any environment they live in. So, why not have Vorcha adapted to the Underworld, Shadow, Astral or Hedge?) Geth could easily slide in a Transformers model. Krogan shift into Thresher Maws. Drell, Hanar and Batarians I'm having trouble thinking of, while Quarians and Volus would run into trouble with environmental suits. But Quarians would have a real gift for tech spirits (maybe sharing a friendly one with their suits), while Volus could economize the Shadow with pacts.

      I'm not that familiar with Bound, so if you're looking for outright variants, I might not be the best source. Bound and society I'll take a crack at. Bound depends on if Geist are limited to Bargaining with their own species only (the Binding requires a resonance between the ghosts that can be thrown off by differing species, among other factors), or if anything is up for grabs. Asari with their breeding practices could be a loophole in the former case, the direct descendant of an alien counting as that species. What leaps out at me is a hive-souled Salarian, ritualistically Bound to multiple Geist. Their mortality rates are higher due to lifespan, and it gives them access to multiple sources of information. Turians and their meritocracy brings up the question of if an astute Geist Bound to a lower-ranking individual can move up to their former position easily. The Compact between Hanar and Drell may well veer into this territory, with Drell serving beyond the grave, or Drell taking on Hanar Geist for the long-dead to experience a different sort of life. Batarians might have a culture that elevates Tyranny over Synergy. Quarians are either cut off from the Mourning War dead, or actively suppress those that discover the Quarian sympathizers for the Geth. The Geth may well share Quarian sympathizer dead among their programs as equals in the Consensus. Krogan probably have the most Bound of any species, as they have plentiful fodder for Geist, and plenty of death-seeking living.

      Nice, those work really well. Ironically, vorcha have a pretty big role here as well, and are supposed to; Heshtok was the site of the disaster that ended with the elcor getting a Council seat and nobody that eager to research FTL not using Mass Relays.