No announcement yet.

Maw of the River [mummy hunters]

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Maw of the River [mummy hunters]

    Priests of the Crocodile God

    ​[The Egyptian Hieroglyph for Sobek]

    The Arisen set on his throne, looking at his cultist who bowed in front of him, trembling with fear.
    "12 Moons ago, you left this place" he said with a cold and dry voice "You took with you a dozen of your brothers in faith, and gained the blessing of the High Priest and my own. You vowed to find the Eyes of Nephasha before the end of the year, else you'll curse your life and soul and give your heart to the Gods of the Altar. I warned you that you must follow that oath, yet you said you shall never fail. However, a year has passed- and you are here, without the Eyes or your friends, yet your heart still in place. How do you explain that paradox?"
    "My lord.. I have failed" the cultist said, his throat choked with dread "Yet it was not my fault! Me and my brothers for faith have managed to enter to the museum in the middle of the night, bypassing the advanced alarm systems installed there and getting into the inner vault. I was about to take the holy treasure of my lord and retrieve it to you- but we were ambushed"
    "By whom?" the Arisen asked "The Lifeless? A rival cult?"
    The cultist swallowed with dread and said "No, my lord.. they were mortal men, unblessed by one of the gods"
    "Do you tell me that regular men who lack faith has defeated my faithful?"
    "No! I mean- yes, the defeated us, but they were no regular men. They were covered with scars, head to toe. They hold strange weapons and said words in the holy language of my lord. The world itself seemed to wrap around them, as if fate turned against us. In less then five minutes, half of us were dead- and we outnumbered them 3 to one! And then, during the fierce battle, one of them approach the Eyes and.." the cultist swallowed again and released a faint whisper "He ate them"
    Surprised showed on the face of the Arisen as the cultist continued "After that, the group has quickly killed the rest of us- they didn't even blinked as our blood covered their hands and bodies. After they killed the last of my men, the one to eat the Eyes- their leader, I believe, came to me and said this "We could have taken the Eyes hours ago, yet we didn't. We waited for you to come, for we need a messenger. Tell this to your god- just as he moves with ebb and low, so are we. The River has spoken, and you have been found guilty""
    Silenced filled the hall, until the Arisen said "You did well bringing me those news. Those events should be important for deciding our new course of action.. " the cultist has just started to relax, when he continued "However- you still took an oath. The Time has passed and the Eyes are out of reach. I shall now give your heart to the gods"
    And from that moment, the room filled with screams which ended up only with death.

    This world is and old one.

    Sure, humanity's time on Earth is a fraction of the age of the planet, yet for human generations have born and died during this time. Great civilizations, nations and empires grew and fell, all tracking to a single source, a single point in time in which men dared to rise his head to the stars and speak with words. That was the birth of society as we know it.

    It was also the birth of the gods, too.

    Sure, the gods weren't created by humanity (well, depends on whom you ask), but to conceive their forms and awe one must be aware to their existence, and by defining the gods to make them. The Sun, the Forest, the Desert, the Night. Only once there was a human mind to understand those terrible sights, they became meaningful. Before that, they were nothing- just objects without life, floating in endless cycles who lack meaning.

    One of those gods was the River.

    Rivers symbolize life- there is a reason why the early Cradles of Civilization has gathered around them. The Indus River, the Yellow River, the Nile, the twin Euphrates and Tigris- without them, humanity would have been stuck thousands of years ago. Many see in Fire the god of civilization who turned us more than beasts- but those are the water who grant wisdom. That makes the River into a god of ancient knowledge..

    And it is a god of Death too.

    The River hide many dark dangers in its depths. There is a reason why people has fed it with lives of children for centuries- the River is angry. It doesn't give without expecting for return. A cycle must be kept- there is ebb and flow, thing go up and down. Sure, the River can eat children, but with it truly wishes to eat is Knowledge- to gain what it has given, and then spread that knowledge to other place, allowing new cultures to grow on its fertile ground.

    The River is life. It is death. It is rebirth. The River gives and the River takes.

    In fact, you may say it makes the River into a.. Judge, perhaps?

    At least, that's what its Prophets claim.

    The Priest of the Crocodile God claim an ancient ancestry. They say that as long as man stoop on two feed and learned how to build and destroy, they were there. They claim to be to be the River's earliest chosen, those who judges their people for good and ill- they helped their communities to prosper when needed, and brought them down when the time was right. Ebb and flow, up and down. That was their way of maintaining the natural balance of the world. While they helped their people greatly, they were remembered for their darker acts- the River's Aspect of Death, the Crocodile. For long time, their judgment was absolute, and all feared their presence.

    Until it was no longer the case.

    They can't exactly say what happen- Oblivion is also a part of the River, and it effects even the long lasting traditions of the Prophets. All that they know is that a new Law was established, and someone changed the course of the River. Things has changed- great Empire rose and fell, like it was meant to be, yet instead of returning to the River it lingered, unwilling to vanish beneath the sands. Like a whirlpool, it forced the River to swallow itself and fall into the depths of the world. Worse, it polluted its water with filth from the bottom, creating new whirlpools in the once steady currents. Now, the River flooded where it shouldn't have and left other nations to die out. And if it wasn't bad enough, new Judges has arisen from this chaos, forcing their own will upon the River and taming the once wild Crocodile.

    That event has changed the purpose of the priests. No longer they walked with the River and helped the world prosper, and the damage was too great to fix. So instead, they had to become the River by themselves- consuming the knowledge which was gathered by themselves and purifying the dirt which wen up because of the whirlpools. There was no life anymore- only death, and the Crocodile was the only one to guide them.

    While in the modern time the group has united with many other, smaller groups around the world and shared their rites together, the core members hail from the Nile Valley. Sudan and Egypt were their home, being a small cult who gained both the respect and fear of the locals. They worked hard against the sorcerers and relic makers of that age, and even gained a certain success from time to time. However, when the Sothis called and the Arisen rose, the group became a target for their cultists. In order to hide even better, they erased their own existence and doomed their souls to the River- without a name or shadow- and turned away from priestly practices into the art of killing and assassination.

    Their turning point was during during the time of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. With Egypt being influenced by outsider nations, the Maw stood against a dilemma- from one side, they feared the change. Change is what turned the River once, and as such any new empire may endanger its currents and create an even greater mess. However, that exposure to new traditions was has lured many of them to see what new wonders that the River made could be found, and meeting new people who share their agenda. The height of that argument comes during the time of Cleopatra- with the long aged lineage of Pharaohs is on the verge of extinguish, and Rome rising to become the Great Power of the world, the elders believe their mission to be complete and that the River has finally consumed what was lost. They plan on a ritual murder and suicide, killing anyone in the Maw and erase it from the face of Earth. The younger members, however, have never felt so alive- they can see a new horizon, with so many new wonders which must be returned to the River. While they don't know about the planned massacre, they know that the elders won't ever allow them to leave. They plan a series of murders of their own, starting a long war of assassins- and all of that while the Arisen awaken again, creating ripples the the River which threat to rip the group to shreds.

    While no one knows who would win the war- the Maw would survive. Both the tendency of the Maw to hide their existence and not maintain any written records of their history make the results of that time unclear. Only those who lived- and died- during that time know for sure what happened, for the River consume everything. Even its own Maw.

    0- you have been trained under the Temple of the Crocodile and vowed to serve the River. You can buy dots in the Curses Endowment. You also enjoy 1 dot of the Occultation merit as if you were a mage in relation for tracking you down with mundane or supernatural abilities, or by using sympathetic abilities upon you.
    000- you have been trained day and night, and turned your body into a perfect machine. Gain 2 dots at Iron Stamina for free, and rise your Occultation to 2
    00000- you are at the peak of your ability after consuming thousands of Relics and sending them to the River. Add +2 to any Physical Attribute and rise Occultation to 3

    Endowment- Curses (0-00000)
    The blessing the River grants upon its chosen is the ability to consume Relics. Each member of the Maw may eat them and roll their dots in Curses+Stamina against the Relics rating. Success means the Relics has been destroyed, while Failing means the hunter throws up the Relic and suffer one level of Bashing damage (Lethal if Dramatic). While eating Relics is all good and well- the truly fearful ability of the Maw is to absorb certain effects of the Relics- the Curses.

    Each member of the Maw may hold a number of Curses equal to their dots in the Endowment. The Curse must be gained by eating a certain Relic and absorbing it, although the hunter may eat the Relic without taking the Curse. After absorbing the Curse the hunter may expand one Willpower point per Rating of the eaten Relic in order to activate the Curse upon a certain target. Use Clash of Wills to do so, with the Endowment being used as the Supernatural Resistance of the hunter. Once the Curse is activated, it lasts for one day per dot in the Endowment.

    While the hunter holds the Curse, he may "throw up" the Relic, which is then unharmed- and he also lose its Curse. In case the hunter decided to absorb the Relic, it is lost forever. The River took what it gave.
    Last edited by LostLight; 07-24-2015, 04:27 AM.

    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Those Without Life or Death
    While the way the assassins of the Maw treat Relics is pretty obvious, one may wonder how do they treat the more... animated forms of "Relics": the Lifeless and the Deathless.

    Theoretically, the Maw see little difference between stone and clay which are enhanced by Sekhem to former dead bodies enhanced by the same force. Both are places where the River gathers, which form ripples and disturb its flow. Yet, the fact is this- the priestly assassins of the Maw can not devour the Arisen in the same way they eat Relics.

    No one really sure why- some think that they just contain too much power to be digested without the help of the Sea Who Eats All. Others use the whirlpool metaphor and say that the River around them is unstable, making their abilities to devour the life of the River into meaningless. Another claim is that the Arisen simply act like magnets to Sekhem, and so are they- and like magnets they reject each other. Still, most of the hunters use a much simpler theory- the Maw calls upon the Crocodile, the River's Death, to devour Relics. The Arisen are Deathless. That's it.

    But what about the Lifelesss?

    That's a bit more complicated. First, the Amkhata- while usually mortals are powerless against them, after containing so much Sekhem in their body, the assassins are not so much human anymore. When dealing damage to the patchwork, the hunters do so as if they were mummies. The Sadikh may be Lifeless, but the power which animates them is tied too closely to the arisen to grant them the same immunity.

    And what about the Shuankhsen?

    That's when things turn a bit more spooky- for the Lifeless.

    The former slaves of Irem feeds the Devourer- the great Sea to which the River flows and from which it comes. They defile the sweet water of the River, spreading their vile salt through the water and pollute it with dirt. While the River gathers around them, it doesn't settle in- the Sea claims it as its own and let it go. It doesn't try to subject it, to force it- but to free it and separate it from the great flow of life. Before the rise of the dark Empire, the River's Death was used especially against the effects of the Sea, as the great Crocodile who could swim in both waters fought against the dark leviathan on a daily basis.

    When facing the Shuankhsen, the hunters may drain Pillar points from them as if the hunters had the Consume the Willing ability, with the hunter being the "Lifeless" and the "willing" being the Shuankhsen. The mummy doesn't need to be willing- most of them are not, after all- but the powers of the River allow them to "purify the Water" from the Sea's influence, and use the hunter's effective Sekhem as his Curses minus the mummy's Sekhem. Because of that, only the more experienced hunters of the Maw go after those Lifeless, and they seek to hunt them down when they are in their lowest. Only after all of the Pillar points of the Lifeless had been drawn, they may start to devour the victim's Sekhem, until they force it into a Descent. The same process works of the Fasad. At any case, the hunter does not gain anything from the process- any Pillar or Sekhem gain this way is moved directly to the River, with the hunter simply serving as its Maw.

    The Maw as a whole knows almost nothing about the Decieved and the more exotic forms of both Lifeless and Deathless. There River birthed many creatures and wonders, and the Maw can't and isn't willing to understand them all.

    Faithful of Shulpae- "Yeah, I've heard about those guys. Some say they are our "sister cult", who devour use Life like we use Death. That's bullshit. Let me tell you this- if you can't eat one of the gods without the Sea's help, and they eat the gods, what does it tells you?"
    Ascending Ones-"Oh, those guys are hilarious! Yeah, we usually don't keep many records- but that group is just so funny. We remember them, their sister cult and how they chased us down the streets. Sister cult you ask? Oh, you ain't going to believe it, my friend.."
    Habibti Ma-"It shows you that the gods never die. They just change their face. It can give you hope, you know?"
    Keepers of the Source-" They are on a good path- but we should let them grow a bit longer on their own before we'll approach them"
    Utopia Now-"Wait.. what? I think you need to repeat that again"

    The River is hungry. Feed it.

    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here


    • #3
      Who are next: the Kali or the Moloch worshippers?


      • #4
        still unknown- I have a test in Calculus first :P

        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here


        • #5
          Hunters of the First Turn : Eating the Scorpion
          The Cult of Sobek was there before Irem rose, and they were there after it fell. Unlike other gods, the Crocodile God was never fully accepted to the pantheon of Irem, and its priests were seen as barbarians who judged according their own primal laws. That they claimed to speak directly with their gods directly, a right reserved for the Shan'iatu only, served to magnify their heresy to the Empire.

          Still, no matter how many efforts the legions of Irem invested in destroying their communities in the empire's periphery, the cult survived, laying deadly ambushes and fighting with zeal over their faith. Eventually, they were left alone. The Crocodile Heresy was not a real threat, and the barbarians would stay barbarians. Beside, they had bigger things to deal with: like the Rite of Return.

          When Irem fell, the Prophets of the Crocodile God offered some protection. Yet their laws were so different from the ones the survivors of Irem knew, that they were never accepted as a regular members of society. Still, the priests of the River did not mind. They had a more important job, trying to reestablish the course of the River by destroying all the remains of the dark empire. And as long as most of the Nameless Empire was left underground, their job was pretty easy. Very few relics were rose to the surface, and destroying them was not an hard job.

          Abdju changed things. Not only relics were found, but also the mummified bodies of Iremite people. Sensing the Sekhem in the hill, the priests attacked the Scorpion Cult endlessly, posing such a threat that the king had to send his own soldiers to protect them and the cult was declared heretical once more. It was only after the coming of Imhotep was the verdict lifted, but the priests remained outsiders. They felt the Sekhem pouring from the followers of Imhotep and their creations, and for them they were just another target for their attacks.

          When Sothis shined once more, the Maw discovered their fears were not only true, but far worse than their greatest nightmares. The dead walked once more, bringing with them the cursed Law which tamed the River. While their bodies were perfected through the act of devouring relics, the powers of the Arisen were too great for them to handle. Direct attacks against the cults of the Deathless were no longer effective, and so they were forced to flee into the shadows.
          No matter how deep they hid, though, the Mummies still found them. And if they wished to survive their purges, they had to do more than simply hide. They had to break their own Ren and Sheut, turning from Named into Nameless.

          Now, they lurk, no longer noble priests and judges, no longer wild warriors and barbarians. Now, they are assassins, their souls forever doomed by the destruction of their own Pillars. They target relics, cultists and sorcerers, becoming bogeymen to the Scorpion Cults who roam Kemet. But the Arisen remember them as they were - weak in front of Irem's might, weak before the might of the Law, weak before the Deathless who just rose from their graves..

          All things come with time, though. Sothis now sets, and the Sekhem of the Deathless descends with it. Eventually, they would be vulnerable... and that would be the moment when the Maw would strike once more.

          You can bind the Crocodile with chains, but you may never tame it. You can steer the course of the River for a time, but you can never really bend it to your will.

          (for more information about vampires, hunters and more in the First Turn, see the Age of Azar)
          Last edited by LostLight; 03-02-2016, 04:47 AM.

          Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

          "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

          I now blog in here