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The Usij [Strains of the Cursed Blood- Iran]

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  • #16
    Okay, that is a scary thought. The potential for a high-ranking Usij to command Angels with her heightened Rank makes them even more terrifying antagonists for an Unchained character. In fact, that gives me ideas for the sample character concept I have.


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

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    • #17
      Al-Kazzab: The Traitorous Liars
      When the Sasanian Empire collapsed and its lands were conquered by the Rashidun Caliphate, the Usij would find themselves pressured to convert to Islam. Most refused, clinging to the ancient traditions that they have had since their ancestors turned away from the service of Angra Mainyu. They saw the new faith as a false religion, another facade of the Deceiver meant to make them his thralls. And while their defiance paid a heavy cost in blood and forced them into exile alongside the ancestors of the Parsis, they have remained true with their choice.

      A few, though, chose differently.

      These False Prophets followed the example set by the Rih al-Asuad, and converted so that they may better fulfill their responsibilities. For some, this was a mere ruse, a small sacrifice which helped them to survive and also an opportunity in disguise. For they were the People of the Lie, after all. They had committed heinous acts in service to Ahura Mazda, and the acceptance of a new faith was just one of many betrayals counted among them. So long as they honored their true origins and continue to work towards undoing the works of Angra Mainyu, any deed is worth the price.

      But there were also Usij who were genuine converts to Islam. They believed it to be a new expression of the divine truth, one handed down by another prophet in response to the changes wrought by the Atar. And just as a fire's kindling must be changed so that it nay continue to shine its light, the Usij themselves must change to honor what Ahura Mazda stood for.

      These were the two prevailing schools of thought among the converts. But as Islam continued to spread throughout Persia, a third view would rise to stand with them.

      The Usij were one of the few hunters that knew much of the Divine Fire. They studied its manifestations so that they may protect it from those who would twist it for selfish ends. Yet as their knowledge was framed in the context of the old faith, they refused to acknowledge that the Atar could possess a negative aspect, one that was embodied by certain Yazatas.

      Converts who ascribed to the third philosophy were those who have been forced to recognize such a division. They are Usij who have witnessed Flux in a form they can neither rationalize nor ignore. Such revelations have led them to regard Ahura Mazda as a limited being. In turning to Allah, they hope to find salvation from their damned origins by hunting in service to a greater truth.

      All three schisms are seen as heretics by the main conspiracy, and they are hunted as traitors to their faith and their lineage.

      Yet they are still Priests of the Lie, and many still wield the gifts of Angra Mainyu to uphold the Vigil under their own beliefs.


      Strange Alchemies: Though it is forbidden, some Usij have taken up the mantle of alchemists. Knowing a great deal on the Atar, they learn to wield it in tandem with the gifts of the Deceiver, often with destructive results. A few have even used their studies to purify and refine themselves, allowing them to manifest their power in exotic forms.

      Taking up the craft comes at a steep price, however. First, it is one of the few things that could mark a False Prophet a heretic in the eyes of the conspiracy. The Divine Fire should not be sullied, and those too impure to channel its power must be slain, lest they damn themselves. Such actions are not unjustified. More than a few Usij alchemists had turned insatiate in the past, and the few who don't must exercise secrecy in their practice to survive.

      The second drawback is exposure to Zurvan. False Prophets who pursue alchemy are at greater risk of being discovered by the Ice and its minions. Whenever they use a Distillation or are exposed to a Firestorm, they must reflexively roll Druj + Resolve. Failure exposes them for the scene, as if they had taken the form of the Hamkar. A Dramatic Failure strips this protection for a number of days equal to their Magnitude. Usij alchemists who actually take the Hamkar's form automatically suffer the effects of a dramatic failure.
      Last edited by Deionscribe; 05-17-2017, 04:37 PM.


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

      Comment

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