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Beasts of Azeroth

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  • Beasts of Azeroth

    Hey everyone I'm doing a World of Darkness Warcraft mirror shard and i'm abording the subject of Beasts so comments are welcome

    Supernatural: Beasts
    Skarr runs through the burning city, running as his legs can carry him. He does not know the city, his eyes of flesh have never gazed on its white walls and he is far too young to recognize the emblems emblazoned on the purple banners. It is not a real city of course but a hodge-poge of everywhere that burned not so long ago. Green creatures with red eyes and maddened bloodlust run behind the young orc. He runs faster and faster to escape them, breaking walls and toppling towers in his maddened flight. Just hounding his steps he glimpses a monstruosity of flesh and leather, severed hands on his breastplate and skulls on his brass helm. Each night young Skarr flees but this time he is too tired and the monster will reach them, will best him and slaughter him like an animal.

    The claws pounce and when Skarr slows down he realizes it was him as along who ran across the burning city destroying al in his relentless wake. He screams for now he hungers for the death of kingdoms.

    Leliana creeps in the dark, coins and jewels without counting threatening to swallow her whole. The monster is near, she knows it. She is intruding in this place but the gold is so alluring even in the darkness where no sun shines. She doesn’t know what the monster is but she thinks it is a great dragon. Yes. This feels right. Dragons on a hoard of gold like Tauren in a labyrinth, it feels right. She creeps and lurks each night and each night she fears what lay in the dark but each night she is glad to come back for the gold and jewels and the bright stone are precious beyond caring. And one night her eyes accustom to the darkness and she sees the monster’s claws red as the newborn sun rake the hoards and making it move like an ocean.

    And she laughs for she is the dragon and she is the grandeur and the magnificence and the eyes in the caverns and she hungers to sleep in her soul on a bed of gold and jewels taken from another.

    Fears breeds monsters in dreams and sleeping minds. These monsters stalk thoughts and dreams falling on dreamers and devouring them. Theirs is the thrill of the chase, theirs is the joy of the kill, theirs is hunt unending for those slain in dream wake up from nightmares and who among the living cannot say they had at least one bad dream, one terrible sensation where they couldn’t move but their minds were wide awake? The child waking his parents with his cry, the soldiers who drowns herself in wine and spirits rather than face her victims and dead friends. They are not different, each can be a prey one night and wake up the same. The bloody man in the suit of skin is no more terrible than the witch of iron-teeth or the grasping demon. At least for most people.

    Some however are born different. They are born with an affinity to dreams and their strange kingdom. They dream of things yet to come, they utter prophecies they see patterns before anyone can see them. They are renowned far and wide or languish in their villages as local seers. Of those most are just brushing the realm of dreams. They are lucky. Others are born with a dream in place of a soul and it slumbers deep within before waking it. None knows what decide the type of dreams who will inhabit them. Some say a nightmare came to them while they were in the womb and devoured their soul before they were formed. Shamans say some spirits ask for a terrible price in exchange of their services and incarnate in unborn infants. Druids say nothing but they remember the Emerald Dream is home to fear as well as the dreams of animals and plants and they turn away when a child is born with a great owl nesting in his mind.

    In other cases, things are much simpler. Sometimes a nightmare will indeed devour a soul and nest in the offal. It can happen by accident but most cases are deliberate summoning or payment for services rendered. For the nightmares, the Horrors who haunt dreams and thoughts can be intelligent and can accept bargains and offerings. They grant to supplicants part of their power over the dream, or even the skill to call their forms unto one’s body. Those who overindulge discover they share the creatures’ hunger forevermore.

    These unfortunates, these Beasts are afflicted with singular Hungers as strong as the Passions of the undead. These thirsts are sometimes divided into categories but they are as varied as the monsters that are their souls. Sometimes they are painfully literal and the Beast hunt for skulls, for gold, for flesh and other less savory things. Just as often they are metaphorical and even esoteric. The Witch hungers for knowledge, the Phoenix wants to cause rebirths, the Serpent wants worship, the Banshee heralds doom and the Fury screams for the punishment of kinslayers. Who has the better lot, who has the worst? Who knows?

    Just as the Beasts are creatures of dreams and nightmares they are creatures of legend. Each Horror is part of a story with strengths and weaknesses. The Orc Ravager says proudly: “Nothing can stand before me and live!” And indeed, he is strong and powerful and imposing. Yet his fate is to be downed by intellect or sorcery and he can very well discovers he has other weaknesses he knows not. Giving oneself to the Legend, to accept a place in the tales can grant power and might and even sorcery, but it comes with a price. The shifter fears silver, there is a hole in the armor of the dragon, the witch goes blind with each spell and the demon is harmed by symbols of holiness. In that, like in so many ways power is a chain strangling those who seek it beyond reason.

    Beasts have two sorts of power and they are sought and feared for both. The first are the most showy for each Beast can call down the form of their Horror in their own bodies. Breathing fire, having strength beyond mortal might and other miracles. The other sort is the capacity to manipulate the mind, leaving their prey haunted by dread nightmares and strange compulsion, or blessing an ally with dreams of strength. Such quiet curses and blessings are more powerful when the Beast is well fed for in times of plenty she understands much of the mysteries of the mind and the astral. On the contrary in lean times the Horror clings to the skin and their powers over flesh are enhanced.

    The last power of the Beasts is the most secret. Like everyone Beasts have a world in their souls. Unlike others, they have the capacity to summon it in the material world when certain conditions are met. There they can be themselves just as when they dream. They bear the form of their Horror and hunt at their leisure, confident that their prey cannot escape them. Such methods enable them to devour prey, subject their foes to terrible trials, or even holding secret councils in the fastness of their own minds.

  • #2
    Supernatural: Beasts: Facts of Life
    The Horror:

    The Horror is at the heart of each Beast for it is what makes them Begotten. Each of them has one of these creatures as a soul. Now whether the Horror is an outsider who broke the host soul to nest in the remains, or if the host was born different and their spiritual nature simply unfurls will depend on the Begotten in question. Some would say that when talking about creatures born of dream the difference is academic. Someone can dream as brightly as a crowd and sometimes the naïve faith of a child can sustain creatures more powerful than those dragged from the imagination of their elders.

    One must note that the term Horror is in itself subject to debate. While all these dream creatures hunger, some present a fair visage and are not understood as figures of nightmare. Is the shadow of Orgrim Doomhammer spurring his host-other self to martial perfection and hungering for the good of the community he chose to leads evil? Are the Bright Knights, the Vengeful Angels and their kin who demand the destruction of the unclean evil? No but they Hunger the same way as the shadows of Arthas, the dragons, the great beasts hunting for flesh and other monsters do. And if their hosts-other selves forgot they are creatures of flesh and bone and give in to the Hunger of leadership, knowledge or even light, they can be worse monsters than their counterparts and they are indeed more insidious.

    After all, to who would you say: “No it’s enough !”, first? To the Mad Mage who seek secrets no matter how dark they are? Or to the winged Betrayer screaming the atrocities of the Legion must be avenged in blood?

    Horrors seem to defy categorization and indeed there are some who insist the Begotten are each a unique creature like someone possessed by the spirits rather than a “race” of Prodigals like the Awakened or the Shifters. In some ways, it is understandable, Horrors can take so many forms and hungers for so many things it boggles the mind. Nobody who can’t see the fabric of a soul would say someone whose soul is a great owl wanting to drink tears is the same sort of being than the girl with the soul of a giantess wanting to punish breaches of hospitality. And yet they are similar, share skills and magic powers and can grow and change until they become each other depending on how they develop their Legends.

    The first division between Horrors is where they come from or which layer of the Astral they resonate with. One can identify two types: Chimerae are born from legends caused by sentient beings. They are often exaggerations and archetypes rooted in a group of people or a single character of infamous renown. A Horror based on stereotypes about the Orcs, or one who imitate Illidan Stormrage are part of this category. Actuals are based on legends resonating in the world itself, great archetypes who have their basis in the natural world. A Horror who is a great wolf stalking endlessly in a dark forest or another who is like the spirit of a drained inner sea are part of this category. Their Hungers are often more primal than the Chimerae’s because they represent universal urges rather than defined legends or stories.

    The second division are the Families often categorized on the feelings the Horror inspires in those who see it. They are manifold but the main five are.

    The Anakim: These Horrors represent great strength being used for good or ill. They are the giants who break all things, the monsters in nightmares you know you can’t overpower. The Mighty can also be heroes who can overwhelm every odd and bear any wounds in the pursuit of their goals. Their hungers are often centered about raw strength, endurance and intelligence, proving the superiority of brutality on the refinement of reasons. And yes even those Anakim Horrors who take the forms of heroes are in that case. Every champion who triumph not because of guile or careful planning but by sheer refusal to die is a testament to power.

    The Eshmaki: These Horrors represent the hunt regardless of the prey. They are the monsters who hide in the shadows and fall on their victims without warning, they are the nightmares of fleeing something you can’t even name. For the Hunters, most things tend to be secondary compared to the thrill of the chase. Their hungers are often centered on a specific type of prey or the sheer need to feel the fear in what you hunt or the need of elaborate ambushes. Ironically their archetype includes many heroes for hunters of beasts and people are an important part of almost every culture. Those heroes are often determined to track their prey even before they kill it proving planning can overcome any odds.

    The Makarae: These Horrors represent drowning but they are far from restricted to the water. Any environment will do for while they are the sirens whose song lure you to your doom, they are also the will-o-wisps luring down unstable mine shafts, or the tricksters losing you in the forest. You can even drown in some non-physical things. Knowledge, responsibilities, magic, secrets, your own mind… Those who learn the way of power are often cast in a world where they don’t understand a thing, just like someone lost at sea or in the depths of a forest. Their hungers are often acquisitive, urging them to drag things or people in the environments they control to keep them safe or beyond the reach of ordinary people. Makarae Heroes tend to be socialites, wearing down their foes by cunning and tales, making giants sleep before cutting their heads or exploring new locales.

    The Namtaru: These Horrors represent revulsion and disgust and poison. They are born from those dreams and nightmares where you realize the universe can be a very ugly place and they represent that fact. Some are natural, representing things sentient people simply feels no affinity with like insect or reptiles. Others take a concept such as war, blasphemy, impurity and show their true horrifying faces behind the fair illusions. Some are not outwardly disgusting but even those who are nothing more than the reflection of your repressed urges feel off and disturbing. Their hungers are not for the faint of heart for the Namtaru are polluters and defilers, even if nothing forces them to blight their friends and families rather than their enemies. Namtaru Heroes are rare but they represent generally both the wisdom of trusting beyond appearances and the necessity of grim dirty work in the defense of creation. Yet even them recognize they are indeed disgusting and not examples to be followed.

    The Ugallu: These Horrors represent exposure and vulnerability. Everyone dreamt going to school or at work naked. The jeers of the crowd, the gaze of your reflection in the hall of mirrors whispering it knows what you done are the birthing place of the Ugallu but they are not alone. Dreams involving the lack of shelter, nakedness under the eyes of heaven, and being subjected to divine judgment are also a symbol of the Farseeing. They come in two major types of forms: The winged monster who knows what you are and can carry you off to places where you have no tools to survive, and the bright or dark judges who sentence you for all crimes born from your imagination. Their hungers are perhaps those who can accommodate best the needs of sentient morality for they urge the Begotten to judge and watch and concentrate on some primal crimes like incest, slaying of kin or violation of hospitality. Ugallu Heroes are drawn to organize communities, to be agents of justice and forget mercy.


    • #3
      People whose influence has created Horrors
      Orgrim Doomhammer
      Kargath Bladefist
      Grom Hellscream
      Magatha Grimtotem
      Natalie Seline
      The Lich King
      Sylvanas (as Ranger-General)
      The Wild Gods
      The Titanic Keepers (ancestral memories)
      the Elemental Lords