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Aga Nritya [Dark Era- the Thuggee Cult]

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  • Aga Nritya [Dark Era- the Thuggee Cult]

    Fires of Kali

    [the image of Kali as a many armed dancer with terrible face, flames sprouting from two of her hands to create two small wheels above them]


    There is always an end.

    Some things take their time under the heavens. Others vanish as quick as a summer rain. It doesn't matter how time has passed- only that eventually, all would rot down and fade into the darkness. It is a cycle- things born, live and die- only to be born again. While some may claim that this cycle in endless, eventually even that infinity would come to an end: once that every single soul, every man and beast and tree and rock would close their eyes once and for all and move on. Eventually, this world would die out- in peace, and without ever looking back.

    It doesn't mean you can't help it a bit.

    Some say that the using the word "Hinduism" is a bit misleading. Presenting it that way would make the common Western person to think of it as a united religion, with a strong leadership and well defined doctrine like Judaism, Christianity and Islam- religions who, although have certain branches and divisions, could still be easily traced to a common source. Hinduism, however, seems to escape definition- it is a complex system of faith based around many different philosophies, cults and traditions all grouped together under a single, easy to spell word.

    Yet, every religion can be abused for money and power- even (especially?) one as fluid and organic as Hindu. One such example for moral corruption showed up in the form of the Thuggee Cult- murderers and criminals who killed lone travelers in the name of the wild goddess Kali- while not all have worshiped her, all have respected what she represented: untamed power and death.

    While the Thuggee were usually seen as a dark aspect of Hinduism, the truth is that like its parent tradition, the Cult was also a group name for many splinter cults and organizations. From tribes caring ancient traditions, through criminal gangs and up to Muslims who searched for power, the faith in Kali's symbolism was strong enough for those lairs, thieves and assassins to dedicate their killings to her- or maybe they have just used her as an accuse. While most of those groups dealt with the more worldly matters, one has separated itself by caring for the divine- the Aga Nritya, the Fire's Dance.

    According to the Dance's faith, Kali is not just a goddess- she is the world. While the great three represent the cycle, she represent those who transcendent it. She brings destruction not in order to destroy, but in order to release the world from its suffering and help it to evolve to an higher form. Her Fire purify everything, destroying the filth and misery which binds it to the world. While the process was meant to take thousands of years in which the cycle would repeat itself, the Aga Nritya has found a short cut- a way to advance humanity toward the finale release from the cycle. All they had to do was to kill people.

    In order to usher the Finale Age, the group has learned how to manipulate the Flames in order to influence the world- they danced with the Fire just as Kali did, bringing change and purification to the world. They talked with the Devas and the Asuras and danced with their Fire, learning secret rites no men should have ever learned, and by using that knowledge they freed many souls from their broken existence into their next level in the cycle. In the beginning they have focused their efforts around Kali's Fire alone, searching for people who were close to the finale cycle and freed them- but as time passed by, the more zealot members has took control and turned into a mob of murderers, killing any person they could. While simple slaughter would sound as a more simple option, the effects of doing so will be disastrous- they may have helped one soul, but have tainted thousands, as the flames of Kali would get out of control and defile the earth. No, their death had to be done in a certain way- the way that Kali wished.

    Yet, advancing the word was not their only objective. Some demons have learned to steal Kali's fire, using it for their own personal gain. There were also occultists who have learned their own rites from demons and angels which could make the fire dance, and they have borough to the world abominations created from souls who have escaped the cycle- only to be bound again in dead flesh. Also, as a part of the cult, they had to live in the shadows- where they met all kinds of strange monsters and terrible demons. Using Kali's gifts, they fought against that corruption- freeing their souls and returning them into the cycle once more.

    While the Aga Nritya has started as one small cult, their status among the Thuggee grew quickly. Shortly, they had connections with all of the different assassin guilds, criminal mobs and religious fanatics, making sure that the sacrifices to Kali were presented correctly and gaining many of the resources of the Cult. Yet, everything has an end- and the Cult's has started with the British Empire. The great island Empire of the West wished to strength its grip over the land, and the Cult- with their hideous acts and ever present problems- was considered as a threat needed to be took care of. The campaign was long, for while the Empire was powerful, the complex structure of the Cult made it hard to shatter them once and for all. Kill one mob, two others would show up out of no where. Bringing down the Cult has required a much more delicate work, capturing thugs and using them as informants in exchange for their life.

    The last strategy has made the life of both the members of the cult and the soldiers of the empire quit complex- the cultists were hidden in the deepest forests and furthest reaches of India. In order to hunt them down, one had to find a good guide. Many of the guides were actually cultists by themselves, which may or may not try to kill the soldiers in the first opportunity they had. That meant that in order to find a cultist, you had to find a cultist, and make sure he won't betray you. For the hunters of the time, that era was even more complicated- many monsters were hidden in the wasteland, and in order to find them they had to work with the hunters of the cult, like the Aga Nritya. Yet, they had no guaranty that those hunters won't eventually turn upon them, especially since of the cultural tension. The Dance, on the other hand, wished to continue and return Kali's Fire and defeat the demons who stole her light, yet their sacrifices were interrupted constantly because of the Europeans.

    The fight was long- but eventually, the Cult fell apart. The Dancers lost both their information and resources networks, and many of their members were captured or killed. As far as the rest of the world in concerned, the cult is dead- yet, some say that in the deepest shadows of India, the Dance is keep on going. They knew the land more than anyone else, after all, Sure, the more zealot members have been killed, unwilling to bend their head before the great British Empire- but the more moderate ones were willing to escape in order to fight in another day. Secretly, they kept working their rites- putting less emphasis on murder and human sacrifice and more around taming the Fire and perfecting the world. Monsters have became the prime sacrifices for Kali- and it seems the goddess has liked it. India has evolved, after all, becoming one of the greatest powers in the world. Some even say that the Aga Nritya has even left the forests- trowing away their filthy robes and instead wearing fancy suits and precious jewelry. They grew, died and were born again- moving to the next level in the cycle in a purer form. Their end has yet to come...

    At least, that's what the stories say.

    Status
    0- you are a new member of the Dance, committing your life for perfecting the world. You can spend merit points on the Andolana Endowment
    000- you have walked in the deepest reaches of the wilderness and learned how to survive in the harshest environments. Get the Outdoorman merit for free.
    00000- you have established yourself in the shadows of the world- both mundane and supernatural. Gain a Contact merit for 3 points which could be used for any criminal organization.

    Endowment: Andolana(1-5)
    It is all about the process. Things which were meant to be will be- apples would fall to the ground and water would turn into vapors. Yet, some things can influence that eternal movement of the cosmos, like the holy Fire of Kali. Things which are meant to take years of change would happen in minutes. Days would vanish in a blink of an eye. At least, that's what Kali can do. Her dancers can't control the flames that good- but good enough to make things go their way.

    That Endowment is divided into 2 different aspects- Utpreraka and Avarodha. The first allow things to happen faster- by calling down Kali's fire, metal erodes quickly, water boil and vanish, diamonds return to their original form. By rolling [Performance]+[Andolana], the member can choose a specific object he wish to fast forward and how to do so. That action can have a total length of one year per dot in the Endowment- so something which usually require 6 years and above to happen can't be influenced by the Endowment. Dramatic Failure would make the hunter to suffer one level of lethal damage per dot in the Endowment. Failure means the damage is Bashing. Success would make the process happen in 10% of the time it would usually take per dot in the Endowment, while Exceptional Success would turn it into 20%.

    Avarodha is similar to how Utpreraka work yet has the opposite influence- instead of increasing the speed of the process by 10% it slows it down. In an addition, the Endowment has a passive effect- it changed how to body of the hunter moves, making it unpredictable and wild. By expanding one Willpower points up to Andolana, you can add that as a Bonus to your Attack or Defense (you may divide that bonus). That bonus lasts for a Scene.

    Finally, while the range of the Endowment is limited, there is a way to bypass that- human sacrifice. For every person killed in Kali's, the hunter can effect a process which takes one year more then it is usually limited by her dots in the Endowment when it would be used next. That way, she may even go above the usual 5 years limitation- and theoretically, with enough people the whole world may be destroyed with a blink of an eye. That bonus lasts only for a single week however, and killing too many people in a short period of time may not end well for the future slasher...
    Last edited by LostLight; 01-05-2016, 03:01 PM.


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

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  • #2
    Always liked the Thuggee. I think they'd have a sort of grappling fighting style, or a teamwork strangulation one.

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    • #3
      To use timeslowing defensively, the user would have to be able to slow as many people down as are in the fight, does that sound within the purview of the endowment as you see it?

      Perhaps it should be bonus dice that can be divided against all the attacks per turn, slowing down 5 people seems to me it should be harder than slowing down one guy to me?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by nofather View Post
        Always liked the Thuggee. I think they'd have a sort of grappling fighting style, or a teamwork strangulation one.
        yeah, it really is in theme- but my head is not really built for designing fighting styles and tactics. If there are volunteers, it would be nice

        To use timeslowing defensively, the user would have to be able to slow as many people down as are in the fight, does that sound within the purview of the endowment as you see it?

        Perhaps it should be bonus dice that can be divided against all the attacks per turn, slowing down 5 people seems to me it should be harder than slowing down one guy to me?
        The active slowing effect is used against a single "process"- that is, if you want to slow someone's movement, it effects only one person. If you want to accelerate the growth of a forest, you'll have to work on one tree at a time.

        The effect that you are describing is more or less the effect of the passive effect- you enhance either you attack or defense by expanding WP. If you think that it should be harder than the Active effects, you can add both the WP price and the Roll [Performance]+[Endowment], with the added bonus being the number of success you got.


        My Homebrew Signature

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

        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          Stereotypes:
          Ashwood Abbey- "Destruction is made for a purpose. They just play with the Fire- and you know how the saying goes.."
          Knights of St George-"We had our clashes with those foreigners- they tried to force their own ideas upon us, and killed many dancers out of thought that we were "witches". I have only one word to say on the matter: hypocrites. All bunch of hypocrites"
          Lucifuge-" Heaven is not Hell, and our gods are not demons. Fire comes from many place, and they should understand that if they wish to accelerate their karmic cycle, they should ask for our help- not kill us all"
          Cainte Heresy- "They bring the dead back to the cycle. That I could appreciate. Yet, they don't seem to care so much about tainting their own soul for doing so. Some of them just need to move on... and I can help with that"
          Daeva Corporation- "What rise must fall. What's fallen will rise again. The question is when- and that's where we enter to the picture"

          Your time has come- and may this be the last .


          My Homebrew Signature

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

          I now blog in here

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          • #6
            I'm just going to note from a historic perspective the so-called Thuggee were not distinctly religious. They were as likely of Muslim background as Hindu. I'm not saying you can't have a distinct Hindu Hunter-sect in the Thuggee, but it's something to keep in mind.


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            • #7
              ammm I think I've actually referenced to it- maybe it was not clear enough, but the point is that those guys are Hindu, but Hindu Thuggees were not the only kind. I still didn't really thought if there are non Hindu members among them, but I think that as long as the hunter makes sure to respect what Kali represent, it doesn't matter if he believe in Kali herself.


              My Homebrew Signature

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

              I now blog in here

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