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Avici Sutra [Strains of the Cursed Blood- Indian Subcontinent]

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  • Avici Sutra [Strains of the Cursed Blood- Indian Subcontinent]

    (name and basic concept from the notes of East Asia's Vigil by Revild's Hotel Mascaron)

    The Asurendra

    [above look of a bowl filled with black, still water, in which skeletal figures drown without leaving any ripples]


    The cycle of life moves endlessly from birth, to death, to rebirth. The movement of ages goes round and round, carrying the souls of all living things through all of the worlds- from heaven to hell. The cycle does not judge- but it has no mercy either. The weight of one's own actions could lift them to the highest of the cycle, eventually allowing them to walk among the gods or even escape the eternal suffering of the cycle of souls once and for all. Others, however, fall down- their past actions accumulate, their mistakes and choices gather, leading from one cycle of suffering to the next. Eventually, it turns into a weight upon their neck, sending down lower and lower in the layers of existence. Some of them eventually drown by their own sins, falling to the bottomless abyss of still water.

    Some of them, instead, become demons.

    The Avici Sutra all know that they have a debt to pay for the world- one which may take more than one lifetime to pay. After all, only the worst among men may be born as Asura, one step away from hell. One wrong action, one more transgression against the cycle- and the depths of Naraka wait for them, spending eternity in Avici before being released back to the cycle. They don't have many chances to redeem their souls. This may be their last. They are not going to fail in this lifetime once more.

    When a new Asurendra is born, it obvious since birth that there is something different about them. While on the outside the look just like regular babies, their eyes gleam with wisdom which they should not yet have. They learn to walk and talk faster then the most, they quickly solve puzzles and problems children of their age shouldn't be able to, they know things which they are yet to learn. When they start talking about their previous life and acts they committed before their life, the rumors start to fly- and the Avici Sutra act, kidnapping the child from his parents and taking them to their hidden monasteries to be trained. Not all children are found that quickly, however- the Indian Subcontinent is a huge place, after all, and some of the cleverer Asurendra escape their notice, but most are found by their information network of priests and monks who always keep an open eye and ear for reports about miracle working child, or a demonic looking beast.

    Once brought to the organization, the children are taught about the truth of their existence- that they were born as an asura, a consequences of sins they don't even remember they made in a life they once lived. That they are not just demons, but the lords of demons- Asurendra, chosen from both to command selfish spirits of desire to their will. That they were birthed to life of temptation and destruction, and that it is their fault even if they don't yet know it. They can, however, repay for their past sins- they can use the dark powers granted by their birth and their authority over demons in order to fight the corruption of the world, and by doing so they could redeem their sins. They may even escape the cycle of suffering and become free. All they need to do to risk their life in battle- and the Avici Sutra are going to train them to do so.

    After that, the training start- they are taught lessons in martial arts, in philosophy, in demonology. They learn verses and gestures meant to banish demons and save pure souls. They practice daily in physical training meant to forge their mind and body. They meditate for hours, seeking enlightenment in their previews life and the visions of hell. In their dreams, they see Yama's gazing look, judging their souls and deciding about their place in the next cycle of suffering. In their wake, they see the corruption of the world they must cleanse if they wish to escape his wrath. They know what they have to do if they wish to purify their souls- and if they'll do, they will achieve Nirvana, transcending through will above the ranks of demons, gods and men.

    But the demons won't allow them escape so easily.

    The asura spirits whisper to them, mislead them, tempt them. They lure them with promises of earthly power and pleasures, telling them about the thrones which wait for them in Naraka and the legions which wait for their command. They speak about other way out of the cycle, another path to escape Samsara. They whisper to them about the end of the world, and the great darkness which would engulf it all with endless hunger. They are all doomed, they say, whether they escape hell or not- eventually the end would come. So why shouldn't they sacrifice their souls for when it actually matter?

    Those "Scorpion Eaters" are the Avici Sutra's greatest enemies. They, who were given one last chance at redemption and freedom from suffering, chose to use their gifts and talents learned from the conspiracy for selfish gain. They fight their influence and test their skills against theirs, sending them to the hell they yearn for so much. Yet, it they are not their only enemies- the spirits who tempt men toward sins must be destroyed in order to protect others from falling in their cycle. Rakashasa plague the world and drink their blood in order to power their vile sorceries. Occultists invoke beings from hell and disrupt the natural order in name of hubris. All of them are are asura, all of them need to pay for their sins and be rebirthed.

    And then, there are the foreign asuras.

    They came long ago, from the west. They spend have great cults worshiping them and asking them for miracles. Their souls are bound to the cycle of suffering, awakening once in a Mahakalpa to bring fourth the judgement of Yama upon the world. Their souls are bound by suffering, and they are stained by the touch of Avici. Most hunters don't remember their existence, being so rare and few- but the Asurendra remember. They remember the first time they came to their lands, and how they obliterated the whole organization with their terrible, foul magics. They remember how they learned from their past mistakes and trapped them in their tombs while scattering their cults. They remember how they rose once more, and how they learned they were tuned to Samsara and the Mahakapla. They remember how they were destroyed once more, only to be reborn and fight them again, and again, and again. They enemies, however, don't seem to remember. They constantly forget the past, the torments of Avici erase their minds and the laws of Yama bind their souls. And now, another Mahakapla has started according to the conspiracy's calendar- and those dread asura walk once more. Another great battle is coming, and there are only two paths for those who fight it.

    Nirvana to the redeemed, and Avici to the wicked.

    Status:
    0- You have been born as an asura, and the conspiracy trained you to pay for your past life. You gain one free specialization in Brawl or Weaponry in an indian martial art to your choosing, and may by dots in the Narak kee Mudra Endowment. In an addition, your training and supernatural energy extend your lifespan. You can expect living up to 150 years at least.
    000- You have shaped you mind against demons and your body against pain. You gain the Meditative Mind merit for 2 dots for free. If you already have it in that rating, rise it to 4 dots. If you have it at one dot, rise it to two and get one free 1 dot merit for your choosing. Your lifespan also grows to 250 years.
    00000- You are an enlightened being, and you are on the path of Nirvana after defeating many evils. Once per Chapter, you may make a meditation roll in order to peer into your past lives and gain a Clue for an Investigation you make. Your lifespan also rise to 400 years

    Endowment- Narak kee Mudra (0-00000)
    The powers of hell are locked in the Asurendra's body, and through the right gestures and training he may channel those energies to defeat lesser demons. Narak kee Mudra (or Hell's Mudra) is a 1-5 merit, which represent how well the hunter may access his supernatural nature. In order to activate the Endowment, the hunter must preform certain gestures, or mudras, meant to unlock his dormant powers. That means rolling a Brawl/Weaponry+Composure, when the relevant Skill is chosen by the hunter's martial arts specialization. In case of a Failure, the hunter lose a single Willpower point as his discipline proves lacking. Dramatic Failure ends with an additional level of Bashing Damage, caused by the wild supernatural energies who ravage his body. In case of Success, however, the hunter's true nature reveal itself, giving her access to her gifted powers. Exceptional Success gives an extra Willpower point.

    The gifts of the Asurendra manifest themselves through his soul, taking the form of Affinities (see Mummy: the Curse). The hunter gains one free Soul Affinity every time she buys a new dot in the Endowment, as long as she has an Endowment rating equal or higher then the needed Pillar. In case the Affinity has a number of possible effects, choose one. You may buy others as different Affinities. The hunter may not buy dots in Guild Affinities, and only Scorpion Eaters may buy dots in Bane Affinities. The Affinities do not require an additional cost or roll other than the one required for their activation. The hunter may replace an existing Affinity with a new one by going through a spiritual training which lasts for one week per Pillar rating. In case those are just different effects of the same Affinity, the duration is reduced by half. The effect of the Affinities lasts for a Scene.

    While the powers unlocked by the mudras may be terrifying, that is not the pinnacle of the Asurendra's true potential. In order to unlock those abilities, the hunter must enter into the form of a demon-god. That requires rolling an Endowment+Composure roll and expanding a single Willpower point. Failure, Dramatic Failure and Exceptional Success are the same as regular mudra activation. In case of success, the Asurendra very body changes in order to invoke the image of her soul- she grows more arms, legs, eyes, heads. Her skin shines with bright gold and she summons weapons made of divine judgement and will. Divine light and foul shadows cover her, creating a terrible or magnificent image depending on the level of her enlightenment. Any mortal who sees her acts as if she was exposed to Terror Sybaris. While in that form, she gain access to all of her Affinities, and may activate them freely as if she was a mummy. In case the Affinity has access to number of effects, she may access them all, and gains temporary access to new Affinities instead as long as the requirements are met. While in that form, she cause Lethal damage to asura spirits as if she was a Mummy. Finally, that form also open her third eye, allowing her to gain the powers of her past life's experience- she gains a number of free Skill dots to be located as she wish for for the duration of the form. Relocating those dots requires expanding a single Willpower. The duration of that form lasts for a Scene.

    While her asura powers may be used for good, they may also be used for great evil. In case the hunter may wish to make an asura spirit (that is, an amkhat), she does not require the flesh of foreign gods to do so- but can simply use her own spiritual essence. When making an asura, instead of using Sekhem the hunter may choose to temporary reduce her Endowment by 1 per replaced Sekhem level. Afterward, she regains the lost dots in a rate of one per day, although she still suffers from a -2 modifier for using her Endowment as long as the asura is animated. While the ones to make such abominations are usually the foul Scorpion Eaters, and the Bodhisattvas of the Avici Sutra preach that such acts lead your soul to eternal suffering, one may wonder if some of the terrible statues of demonic beings which decorate the conspiracy's monasteries are actually sleeping asuras, meant to awake in case of assault by the foreign demons of the west.


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  • #2
    Um, aren't the Asura more akin to violent demigods rather than demons? Even in Buddhist lore, where they considereably mixed up concepts from Hinduism, they're still the considered one of the better-off reincarnation steps, together with Human and Deva/God.

    Still, I understand why you'd use the Asura - afterall, multi-armed gods of wanton destruction and endless wars who dare to spit in the face of Heaven are way too awesome to not use!


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    • #3
      Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
      Um, aren't the Asura more akin to violent demigods rather than demons? Even in Buddhist lore, where they considereably mixed up concepts from Hinduism, they're still the considered one of the better-off reincarnation steps, together with Human and Deva/God.
      well, from what I've gathered, being born as an Asura is considered to be one of the "unhappy birthed"- that is, something you don't want to, the more malevolent kind being the closest thing you have to demons, although I must to admit I am not an Hindu/Buddhist expert. Also, I don't know how well it came out in their write up, but the Avici Sutra name every supernatural being as a form of "asura", there are just many different versions of those, with the Asurendra being the worst- just one step away from Naraka.

      And yeah, multiarmed gods of destruction are too good to pass :P


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      • #4
        double post, double post


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        • #5
          I like the use of Affinities; they fit the tone of Indian epics very well.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
            I like the use of Affinities; they fit the tone of Indian epics very well.
            yeah, I've thought so too :P Anyway, one of the things I've really wanted to experiment with this conspiracy was painting Duat and the Arisen myth through the eyes of another culture, and I hope it came out well.


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            • #7
              I can definitelty see these guys getting along well with the Hrt Isfet and Tartaruchi, especially during Alexander's time. Heck, the Kindly Ones might find some appeal in the Asurendra's belief in atoning for crimes made in their past lives.


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              • #8
                The World Moves in Cycles
                The Avici Sutra are quit unlike the rest of the strains of bad blood. They are not a lineage coming down from a demon, like the Lucifuge. They were not birthed in an orgy of blood and madness, like the Otodo. They are not demons incarnated by a ritual, like the Rih al Asuad, or carry shards of a shattered god in their hearts, like the Hrt Isfet. No greater patron governs their existence, they came from no she-devil's womb. Even the Benei Topheth, who are considered to be more of an "adopted kin" by demons then direct descendants, still bound by blood to their legacy. The Asurendra lack anything similar to that- many of them abstain from worldly pleasures and leave no descendant behind, and even those who have children discover their descendants usually lack any supernatural affinity. Their blood is not cursed- their soul is.

                In that case, if they are not governed by some demonic gene and sins of forefathers, then what stops their souls from being reincarnated all around the world?

                Nothing, actually.

                Whatever governs the mechanism of Samsara, it isn't bound by human things like culture or ethnicity- and the taint of Naraka is an absolute truth, not a subjective understanding of the world. Hell does exist, and its salty, silent water hunger for life. The judgement of Yama doesn't stop in India, but watches every living thing and how it handles the cycle of suffering. Sure, souls usually find themselves bound to similar lifetime they once had, repeating the same circles over and over again until finding a way out- but as the soul advance toward Nirvana, it escapes the concepts of space and time. The Avici Sutra could be birthed everywhere and anywhere.

                And what happens in that case?

                Well, there are few options- first, one should remember that the Avici Sutra are a conspiracy. That is, they have a global reach of power. Their heretic monasteries could be found everywhere Buddhism has a foothold, and their ears are always listening for rumors about demon children. Many of the times it ends up as nothing but a rumor. On others, it is the descendant of another lineage- although most of them don't come to their powers as young as the Asurendra- and in that case they simply move the child toward the "rightful parents" (they have enough problems without starting a war with another conspiracy, after all). But sometimes, they do find a true asura-lord, waiting to be trained by the Avici Sutra.

                A second option is that another, regional conspiracy adopts the child, not understanding the true difference between them and the Asurendra. More than one Lucifuge has been noted for developing strange Castigations, after all- so it won't be too much for them to imagine a child descendant from an indian demon to grow few more arms as she fights evil. Perhaps the Lady knows the truth, but she doesn't seem to care much- she knows the demon-lords of India have better things to do than demanding stray bastards from a group on the other side of the world, especially since their faith of reincarnation means they know the child would eventually return to them, in one lifetime or another.

                The third, and worst, option is for the child to never be discovered. All alone, without the guidance of the strict monasteries and Bodhisattvas, it is too easy for them to abuse their own powers. Their soul burn like a touch, drawing dark things from the depths of Naraka, and asura spirits lure them toward their doom and join the ranks of the Bichhoo Bhakshak- the Scorpion Eaters.

                Still, it seems that the powers of Samsara does have some interest in helping the Avici Sutra in their search- it can't be denied that most of the possible Asurendra are being born in Asia, especially between its southern and its eastern regions. It could almost make one wonder if there is a special reason why such things happen-

                wait- possible?

                Yes, the Asurendra's numbers are, in fact limited. Like the well known Lucifuge, their numbers are set in stone. There are never more than 800 Asurendra all around the world at every second (100 for each Noble Path toward Nirvana, as the Bodhisattvas like to say). More than that, the ones to be reincarnated are almost always the same ones to die- and some of them are reincarnated in that way since the days the conspiracy was established. Only be achieving Nirvana or falling to Avici one could stop being birthed as Asurenda, and once they do another has to take their place. That is, in fact, the greatest secret for the conspiracy- for since childhood, they teach their members that if they prove themselves they may be reborn as regular mortals on their next life. That Nirvana waits for them, eventually. That it in not all or nothing- but that their small acts of sacrifice and improvement have meaning. Not that they are bound to serve the conspiracy for countless lifetimes until sometime, somehow, they'll find a way out. And that maybe, just maybe, the ones to bind their souls for all eternity are actually the ones to make the conspiracy in the first place. More than one member who discovered that truth has went on the path of Bichhoo Bhakshak and eat the scorpion, preferring the freedom of Avici over then servitude under the conspiracy. However, it doesn't mean that Nirvana can't be achieved- only that it is a lot harder than you may actually think.

                All or nothing, as they say- and you have eternity of lifetimes to try.

                Stereotypes:
                Knights of St George: "I remember them, coming to our country. I remember them, claiming us witches and burning our temples. I remember them, stabbing me in the chest, their face covered with zeal. I remember their prayers to dread asura as I breathed my last breath. I remember."
                Ashwood Abbey: "I assume I'll see them among our ranks, in their next life?"
                Null Mysteries: "a self proclaimed scientist once came to me and asked me about my previews lifetime. He wanted to what I remember, what I don't, how accurate can I recall names and place, and so on. And then he left. That experience was more than enough for a hundred of lifetimes of suffering, I believe"
                Faithful of Shulpae: "they seek to become demons and so they eat them, while we wish to escape that cursed existence. Their souls are doomed"
                Aga Nritya: "they have an outstanding understanding of Samsara, I must admit- but who gave them the right to end one's suffering before he learned his lessons?"
                Daeva Corporation: "they search for demons and gods, break their flesh and make themselves garments of stolen divinity, in a futile attempt to cheat their way out of Samsara. Their actions would seal their own fate."

                "A god, you say? You are no god- but I am a demon"


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                • #9
                  To the Strongest: Lives of Ambition

                  The Mantra Sadhaki of India preserve many myths predating what they call the Kali Yuga. They tell of the Naga Kingdom and other nations of demigods, and how they laid down the foundations of human civilization through acts of evil and heroic deeds. From them, they inherited their duty to guide mortals on the righteous path.

                  It is little surprise, then, that they know of the Avici Sutra as well. Having made grave sins in countless past lives, these half-demons are said to be a step away from Naraka's depths, and thus have powers that set them apart from their mortal family. Some squander ther cursed existence for selfish ends, and leave a trail of destruction and suffering in their wake. But many more seek to redeem themselves through their Vigil over the asuras, hoping to break the cycle and reach transcendence.

                  The Asurendra were already widespread in India in Alexander's time. They roamed the land, hunting mortals and asuras alike for grave transgressions. The cults of the Undying Ones were especially fearful of them, as the Asurendra have scattered their ranks and cast their masters down to Avici time and time again. The Scorpion Eaters and Chakravarti heretics are also subject to a number of ruthless purges. Both groups condemn themselves to Naraka for the atrocities they have performed in this life, and the Asurendra see it as their sworn duty to cease their actions.

                  Despite their many foes in the shadows of India, the hunters of the Avici Sutra were also respected. More than a few Mantrikis have welcomed them as traveling companions, recognizing the common ground in their dharmas as well as the value of their divine power. And while undead bloodlines like the Amara Havana periodically clash with the Asurendra, they also honor them as spiritual descendants of the gods that brought them into being.

                  In addition to native asuras, the Avici Sutra have long struggled against other demons from beyond the Hindu Kush. Gandhara and Kamboja were under Persian rule, and the lineage has often come to blows with those hidden horrors that came with their conquest. Among the worst of these dangers were cursed lineages who claimed their roots in Persia. The Usij were corrupted priests who claim to serve the principles of a holy god. These False Prophets wield powers that are often subtle in nature, and they have proven to be formidable foes against the Asurendra ever since their paths first crossed. Equally dangerous (but less common) were the Saru Salmu, the mortal progeny of bloodthirsty wind yaksha. These Plague Bearers have spread their influence alongside the Achaemenid Empire's, and they too come to hunt the demon lords of the Avici Sutra, seeing them as the spawn of yet another enemy of their progenitor, Pazuzu.

                  Between their encounters with these two lineages, the Asurendra come close many times to being overwhelmed whenever their Vigil took them to the Gandhara and Hindush satrapies. Nevertheless, their efforts did contribute to the weakening of Persian rule, and many among the Avici Sutra were convinced that the Persians might be driven off altogether in time.

                  Alexander's invasion changed all that.

                  When the Greeks took Parseh and the rest of the Achaemenid Empire, it was only logical they that would advance next into the Indus, giving the conspiracy a new cause for concern. Their king was a far more successful conqueror than the Persians he subjugated, and he certainly had the ambition and manpower to press further into India in his drive to conquer the world. Even when his generals forced him to turn back, the Asurendra still feared that he might march upon their homelands. It was only when news of Alexander's illness and subsequent death reached them that their worries began to ease.

                  Despite the misgivings of their fellows and the shadow of a would-be conqueror, some Asurendra do travel beyond the Hindu Kush at this time. Some claim it is to discover what asuras might come in the wake of Alexander's conquests, so that they may better prepare themselves when he declares war on the rest of India. Others do so more out of curiosity. They see an Empire whose size and splendor rivals those of India's kingdoms, and cannot help but wonder what they may find in their current incarnations.

                  Egypt, in particular, draws their interest, as their observations - and the memories of their past lives - lead them to see similarities between its people and their Undying enemies. It doesn't take long for them to see the Black Land as the homeland of these demons, and they venture out onto the shifting sands in an effort to uncover more. Investigating this connection is a challenging endeavor, though. The local sorcerers of the Weret-Hekau consider such knowledge too dangerous to learn, and they are not keen on seeing foreign demons plunder them for their own gain. The Asurendra also often come to blows with the Hrt Isfet, another cursed lineage whose members keep a god of destruction locked away in their bodies.

                  Persia is dangerous to an unwary Asurendra, as their enemies still stand despite the conquest of their homes. Like the Karpani witch-poets, the Usij find themselves forced onto a more active role with the deaths of the magi and the loss of both their temples and texts. Several even risk the wrath of their more traditionalist brethren to follow the sorcerers in preserving Zarathustra's faith. The traditionalists themselves would hunt these heretics for their sacrilege, but they would continue to battle the Deceiver and the cults of his Daeva while waging their own battle against the Avici Sutra and many other foreign threats.

                  Greece is an enigma, more or less. The Avici Sutra know that the island of Hellas is where the language and many customs of the Bactrians hail from, but the Empire's heartlands are a mystery that most are not keen on traveling to for exploring. Nevertheless, knowledge of Greece and its people still comes to them through soldiers, traders, and immigrants, and any lore on the land's asuras is especially prized by those Asurendra opposed to Alexander's campaign.

                  In time, the conspiracy would encounter these asuras in person - Pelasgian sorcerers who wield the same Art as the native Mantrikis, traveling empusae with the same thirst for blood as the vetala and pishachas, and many others. But the Asurendra also come into contact with mortals who come into conflict with these terata. Some - like the Aegis Kai Doru and the Kruptos Syllogi - earn their ire for their coveting of India's relics. Others - like the Pyr Tartarus - have their mutual respect as they find common ground in their respective beliefs.

                  Wherever they are and whoever they encounter, the Empire has no shortage of demons for the Avici Sutra to face in this life.



                  Mystery Cult Initiation [Avici Sutra] (o to ooooo)
                  Effect: You are one of the 800 Asurendra of the Avici Sutra, cursed in your present life with the powers of a demon. By honing your powers under the tutelage of the Bodhisattvas, you hope to redeem your soul and work towards Nirvana in subsequent reincarnations.

                  (o) -- You have been born as an asura, and the conspiracy trained you to pay for your past life. You gain one free Specialty in Brawl or Weaponry, tied to an indian martial art to your choosing, and may purchase dots in the Narak kee Mudra Endowment. In addition, your training and supernatural energy extend your lifespan. You can expect to live up to 150 years at least.

                  (oo) -- You are beginning to realize the full potential of your skills as an Asurendra, and have thus attracted the notice of a more experienced member of the conspiracy. You gain a dot in the Mentor Merit, reflecting a senior hunter of the Avici Sutra.

                  (ooo) -- You have shaped you mind against demons and your body against pain. You gain the Meditative Mind Merit for 2 dots for free. If you already have it in that rating, rise it to 4 dots. If you have it at one dot, rise it to two and get one free 1 dot merit for your choosing. Your lifespan also grows to 250 years.

                  (oooo) -- You are a hunter on the verge of enlightenment, and you serve as an example for other hunters to follow. You gain a three-dot Retainer in the form of an Asurendra of lower rank.

                  (ooooo) -- You are an enlightened being, and are on the path of Nirvana after defeating many evils. Once per Chapter, you may make a meditation roll in order to peer into your past lives and gain a Clue for an Investigation you make. Your lifespan also rises to 400 years
                  Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-26-2017, 07:48 AM.


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                  • #10
                    Fall of Iseirion: Breaking the Wheel

                    We are born, given our alloted time on this Earth, and eventually meet our ends in death. Yet some believe we return afterwards in a new lifetime as a different person, and work to realize unfinished goals and settle lingering regrets. This is reality for the Avici Sutra, who spend much of their lifetimes within their homeland.

                    Yet there are exceptions - breaks from this timeless cycle.

                    Though far from the occult upheavals of Ptolemaic Egypt, the Asurendra have their fair share of hardships in the Iseirion Era. The fall of the Seleucids and subsequent rise of the Parthians brought about a resurgence of old enemies, from the illusive bloodlines of the Usij to the Undying and their Scorpion Cults. Such foes kept the Avici Sutra largely confined to the territories of the Maurya Empire, but this does not stop several of their number from traveling beyond its borders.

                    And the Asurendra have many reasons to venture far from home. They can sense the asuras moving in large numbers, with many journeying west to their former homeland while others disperse themselves to the furthest edges of the known world. Some have even gone beyond it, their ultimate fates unknown. Those in the order who are brave and fortunate enough to reach the Black Land may perhaps come across knowledge of the Iseirion Prophecies, and subsequently learn of the events that they have set into motion.

                    How much that matters to a given Asurendra varies between individuals.

                    Compared to the major players in the prophecy, the Avici Sutra are too far from the Black Land to be involved in its intrigues. Their homeland has no shortage of demons for them to deal with, and most of their foreign interests lay further east in Asia. If the Scorpion Cults see one foreign queen's fate as holding great significance, then it is of little concern to the demigods if it weakens their influence in Maurya lands.

                    Hence, most members of the Avici Sutra who visit Egypt at this time do so for reasons unrelated to the Iseirion Prophecies. Some are hunters chasing runaway Scorpion Eaters, who fled beyond the Hindu Kush in order to escape punishment. Others make the journey west because of unfinished business left from their past lives.

                    Nevertheless, there are those who are truly concerned at what the prophecies represent. Many remember the myth of Osiris from lives spent in Egypt, and debate what their deathless enemies stand to gain should the god they worship come into the world. At worst, they may be faced with a god-king more terrifying than Alexander had been in life, and one that might come to conquer their lands in the future. These Asurendra thus work to prevent the prophecies from coming true, hindering the efforts of sorcerer cults and even striking a brief alliance with the Parangelia Seth. Yet while their actions do disrupt the various schemes built around Cleopatra, they do not last once the Parangelia enlist more unholy aid.

                    Whatever their reasons may be, all Asurendra who enter Egypt are far removed from much of what they know. As it was in Alexander's time, their sojourn to the west there is a bold move made in one lifetime - a break from the cycle of life and death spent in their own homelands. How significant their actions are in this life, however, depends wholly on them.

                    ---=---

                    Seal of Pillars: Only a handful of Asurendra can be considered true sorcerers, and they are perhaps some of its most formidable members. Not only are they born with the unearthly marks of Naraka, but they possess insight into the workings of Samsara that allows them greater mastery over the world. Such knowledge takes time to return in most incarnations, but it is easier to recall for those truly dedicated to the conspiracy's occult lore. That their knowledge also includes the means to fell deathless asuras also makes them widely sought by their conspiracy whenever they reincarnate.

                    Those with the Ritual Sorcerer Merit favor Open Rite Mastery in unveiling Sybaritic Omens. The terror and unease that the Undying inspire is often the first sign of their presence, but canny Asurendra can use them to divine omens which they can exploit in their Vigil. There are also sorcerers among the Avici Sutra who excel in the arts of summoning demons and spirits, due in no small part to their cursed blood.

                    Wheel of Life: Hunters of the Avici Sutra are Reborn, reincarnating between different lifetimes yet retaining many of their memories from each. Their cyclical existence makes them a target of the Deathless for the same reasons they hunt Reborn in Egypt, Rome, and the rest of the known world.

                    Despite this, there are a number of Asurendra who pursue true immortality. Such seekers are often Bichhoo Bhakshak wishing to prolong their present lives, unashamed of their selfish actions yet still fearful of what awaits them in Naraka. On the other hand, a number of hunters within the Avici Sutra walk this path for nobler intentions. They believe that immortality is a step to reaching Nirvana, but only if attained through their own suffering. Nevertheless, they are still treated with suspicion by their brethren for disrupting Samsara's will for their souls.

                    Scorpion Eaters who succeed in their quest typically do so as blood bathers or body thieves. Already indulging their vices with innocents, it's a small toll to use their victims to stave off death. Faithful Asurendra, meanwhile, are more likely to become Eternals, investing their souls to objects symbolic of the karmic cycle.
                    Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-26-2017, 03:13 PM.


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

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