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Hrt Isfet [Strains of Cursed Blood- North Africa]

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  • #16
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    Glad to see you find my writing inspiring (on a related note, I'm going to write the Avici Sutra around today, although I'm yet to decide about the exact name of the Usij.)

    Well, I can always come back to edit whatever name you settle on. And at least these notes are a good start on getting back to Age of Azar-related Homebrew. That said, I am wondering if I should do a sidebar for framing the Hrt Isfet in the timeframe of After the Fall. Egypt did fall under the Byzantine Empire before the Ottomans took control.

    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai


    • #17
      After the Fall: Order from Chaos
      As they had done so many times before, the sons and daughters of the Hrt Isfet endure as their homeland lies under another foreign power. The Pharaonic kingdom of Egypt's past has long crumbled to dust, its old gods supplanted by Christianity and Islam.

      The Serpent Blooded of the 15th Century are thus different from their ancestors in Alexander's time. While they honor the 42 Laws which keep Apep bound to their souls, most members of the lineage became Muslims under Mamluk and Ottoman rule. Even then, their influence would wane as the Rih al-Asuad (once called the Saru Salmu) became the most dominant of the infernal bloodlines in the region.

      They do little to resist this status quo. They remember how the Kindly Ones fell to both the Black Wind and the nascent Lucifuge. And they fear that any defiance they make would cause them to share the same fate as their allies. Even so, the Hrt Isfet finds itself divided over how to respond to the new order of the world. Most choose to travel beyond the Sahara, seeking to avoid conflict. Some of these expatriates would carry on their ancient duty, while others would abandon their Vigil and succumb to the vices of the Chaos Serpent. A few - the most devoted of their number - choose to stay in Egypt, and do what they can to prove to the Rih al-Asuad that they are not a threat.

      Despite this persecution, the Hrt Isfet would continue to hunt their chaotic enemies, safeguarding Egypt from those which still dwell beneath its sands while hunting new ones in the lands they settle. In Constaninople, some of their number would help form the Vigil there as Mehmet II rebuilt it as his capital, arriving with the people who repopulate the city at the sultan's decree. It would not take long for these Serpent Blooded to be confronted by a myriad of monsters and nightmares hiding within the shadows.

      A few, in particular, would come to pose a threat to their lineage's very survival.

      Constantinople is a den for many strange cults. Their members practice terrible rites involving murder, cannibalism, and many other depravities, and the souls of those sacrificed in these ceremonies are given to the foul patrons they worship. These horrors are demons hailing from far back in Egypt's past, and as their cults grow, they threaten to tear down the city in a festering maelstrom of madness.

      To make things worse, the Serpent Blooded are horrified to find many of their wayward brethren among their followers.

      These fallen hunters are perhaps the greatest of the Hrt Isfet's enemies in the Ottoman capital. Unconstrained by Ma'at and its 42 Laws, they embrace the power given to them by Apep, manifesting his poisonous Essence in increasingly twisted and inhuman forms. Such perversions of their bodies and souls were held as taboo by the Serpent Blooded, and would have marked them for death long ago. In pledging themselves to the cults, however, these powers have led to them gaining positions of power within their ranks.

      Unwilling to leave such traitors be, and fearful of whatever action would be taken should the Black Wind learn of them as well, the Hrt Isfet of Constantinople rush to contact the rest of the scattered conspiracy. They remember how the land suffered when Apep was last free, and see he may break free again should the fallen ones grow further in power.

      Chaos festers within the heart of the empire, and the Serpent Blooded must rise to banish it again and restore Order.

      Horrors of the Serpent: In addition to the usual powers granted by the Metwet Endowment, hunters of the Hrt Isfet may develop other abilities which draw on Apep's poison. These Dread Powers tend to twist their bearers in mind and body, and leave them more susceptible to the Chaos Serpent's influence.

      Whenever one of the Serpent Blooded fails a Breaking Point, he may choose to take a Dread Power in place of losing a dot of Integrity. These are typically abilities possessed by Apep himself (see here), though some have been known to manifest Dread Powers which invoke other serpentine aspects (see Werewolf: Forsaken, p. 210 for appropriate options). However, the more Dread Powers a hunter possesses, the more vulnerable he is to the temptations of the Chaos Serpent. This is reflected with an additional penalty levied by the Whispers Condition equal to half the character's total number of Dread Powers. And this same penalty also acts as a cumulative bonus for the Convergence roll.

      It is possible for a hunter to attempt a purging of his Dread Powers. Rituals intended to pacify the demon poison within may be adapted to strip away these visible signs of Apep's corruption. Successful attempts inflict a point of aggravated damage per dot of the targeted Dread Power, and injuries resulting from them often leave behind telltale scars. Conversely, a Serpent Blooded can subject himself to Breaking Points in order to willingly develop these Dread Powers. Such individuals are regarded warily among the greater lineage, and all too often become corrupted by what they seek to master.
      Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-16-2016, 09:39 AM.

      "My Homebrew Hub"
      Age of Azar
      The Kingdom of Yamatai


      • #18
        Mohammad Bashandi

        Virtue: Loyal
        Vice: Solitary

        Intelligence - ooo
        Wits - oooo
        Resolve - ooooo

        Strength - oo
        Dexterity - ooo
        Stamina - ooooo

        Presence - ooo
        Manipulation - oooo
        Composure - ooooo

        Integrity - oooooo

        Academics - ooo [Mythology, Research]
        Computer - o
        Crafts - oo [Cooking]
        Investigation - oooo [Body Language, Unusual Ocurrences]
        Medicine - oo
        Occult - oooo [Ephemeral Beings]
        Politics - oo
        Science - o

        Athletics - ooo
        Brawl - ooo [Grappling]
        Drive - ooo [Off-Road Vehicles]
        Firearms -
        Larceny - oo
        Stealth - ooo [Crowds, Plain Sight]
        Survival - ooo [Navigation]
        Weaponry - oo

        Animal Ken - ooo [Snakes]
        Empathy - ooo [Ulterior Motives, Personalities]
        Intimidation - oooo [Glare]
        Persuasion - oo
        Socialize - oo [Uncovering Secrets]
        Streetwise - oooo [Cover-Ups, Rumors]
        Subterfuge - ooooo [Half-Truths]

        Closed Book - ooooo
        Direction Sense - o
        Eye for the Strange - oo
        Hardened Exorcist - o
        Interdisciplinary Specialty - ooo [Body Language, Navigation, Reearch]
        Language - oooooo [Afrikaans, Arabic, English, Mandarin, Spanish, Thai]
        Meditative Mind - oooo
        Trained Observer - ooo

        Choke Hold - oo
        Defensive Combat - o [Brawl]
        Grappling - ooo
        Shiv - oo
        Unarmed Defense - ooo

        Contacts - ooo [Bloggers, Doctors Without Borders, Occultists]
        Esoteric Armory - ooo
        Status [Hrt Isfet] - oooo

        Evil Eye - oo
        Metwet - ooooo (Forge Spawn, Ghost Manipulation, One Million Eyes, Spirit Manipulation)
        Psychometry - ooo
        Supernatural Resistance - ooo

        "That's close enough. I would hate to have my companions scare you off before you can hear me out."

        Background: Ahmad is a hunter who favors his solitude, but he is often sought out by his fellow Serpent Blooded for his skills as an exorcist. Born in Egypt, he first manifested Apep's legacy when he was detained by the police as a suspected terrorist. The Hrt Isfet were quick to recruit him not long after this, and they provided him with the means of both leaving his homeland and erasing anything that could incriminate him. Since then, Ahmad has taken to a backpacking lifestyle, and has traveled east after spending his first years in the conspiracy upholding the Vigil in South Africa. Presently, he is believed to be active somewhere in Southeast Asia, chasing rumors on a chaos demon that had supposedly risen there.

        Description: Ahmad is an Egyptian man of average build, and doesn't seem physically intimidating at first glance. However, there's a brooding quality to his eyes that makes people either look away in discomfort or be rooted in terror where they stand. His body, meanwhile, is riddled with scars, and he typically wears thick clothes to hide them. The Serpent Blooded's appearance becomes warped when he invokes Apep's poison, though. His eyes become hardened black orbs, his skin grows pale and rubbery, and his blood vessels are visible as inky black cracks all over his body.

        Storytelling Hints: Ahmad's occult knowledge and Esoteric Armory are invaluable to hunters faced with spiritual threats. He can supply a cell with the information and means they need to exorcise (or destroy) a given ghost or spirit, and he may even offer direct aid with his ability to mold their ephemera. He will certainly intervene if the beings in question have been twisted from their original selves, whether by becoming magath or falling victim to supernatural powers like the Essence Shaping of an idigam. As an antagonist, however, he is equally dangerous. He may not be as physically capable as others in the Hrt Isfet, but his ever-present familiars often give him the element of surprise. Not only can he see through their eyes to spot potential threats, but they are more than capable of catching enemies flat-footed and making short work of them. Even without their help, though, the Serpent Blooded is a competent fighter as a result of previous hunts.

        Ahmad is currently staying in Thailand, and is quietly researching the Broken Majesty, the idigam which had taken over Pak Kret. He was first alerted of its existence when a local pack of werewolves mistook him for its ally, and he has slowly grown invested in stopping its ascension to Bangkok's golden throne. He has gained some idea of the oaths and pacts tied to this fixture of the local spirit wilds, and he fears what would happen should it succeed in its goals. As a result, he is reaching out to the werewolves of the Wheel of Law with an offer of alliance against their mutual enemy.

        A sample character for the Hrt Isfet. Critique is, as always, appreciated.
        Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-21-2016, 10:13 AM.

        "My Homebrew Hub"
        Age of Azar
        The Kingdom of Yamatai


        • #19
          Rank: 3
          Attributes: Power 7, Fineese 9, Resistance 5
          Willpower: 10
          Essence: 30
          Initiative: 14
          Defense: 7
          Speed: 23
          Size: 6
          Corpus: 11
          Manifestations: Gauntlet Breach, Image, Reaching, Materialize, Twilight Form
          Influences: Darkness 3
          Numina: Entropic Decay (R), Essence Eater*, Gauntlet Vision*, Rapture (R), Regenerate
          Ban: Huriyah must follow the commands of anyone holding a figurine of Apep*
          Bane: Weapons bearing an inscription of one of the 42 Laws in Arabic*

          Since joining the Hrt Isfet, Ahmad has distinguished himself with his ability to craft and command spirits from Apep's Essence. And while the act of creation itself is physically taxing, he has made several familiars to serve as his eyes and ears. Huriyah is not only one of these entities, but he is also the first. The spirit has been with Ahmad since he was first made to save him from his tormentors, shadowing his every move and keeping him abreast of any spiritual dangers.

          Description: Technically a spawn of Apep, Huriyah's appearance is very similar to the original idigam's. Indeed, he was much more horrific to behold when he was first created. Continuous shaping of his ephemera by Ahmad has made him presentable, though, in addition to altering his Ban, Bane, and the Numina he can call upon. Chitinous black scales cover his rubber-like flesh, and his red serpentine eyes seem to peer beyond his immediate surroundings. The Isfet hieroglyph blazes with golden light at the back of its head.

          Storytelling Hints: Huriyah is the first (and longest living) of Ahmad's familiars, and he holds a degree of loyalty and respect to his maker that has only grown over the last few years. He will readily come at the Serpent Blooded's call, even without being compelled to with his Ban. Nevertheless, one would be a fool to mistake the familiar bond as friendship. Ahmad knows how alien and limited the perceptions of spirits can be. And despite whatever sentiments he holds for his first creation, he has not forgotten whose Essence Huriyah is shaped from.

          * - Granted via Spirit Manipulation
          Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-21-2016, 09:58 AM.

          "My Homebrew Hub"
          Age of Azar
          The Kingdom of Yamatai