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Knights of the Bloody Chalice [Conspiracy, re-imagined from Dragon: the Ember]

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  • Knights of the Bloody Chalice [Conspiracy, re-imagined from Dragon: the Ember]

    notes- Dragon the Ember is one of my favorite fan made games, and it is a shame it eventually died out. While there have been some people who try to remake the Dragon's game, I've thought maybe if I could salvage some of the aspects I liked and adapt them to my games. One such case is the Knights, whom I've decided to make into Mythbreakers (how I call Beast Hunters). Anyway, hope you'll like them!

    Knights of the Bloody Chalice

    Blood of the Ancients

    [a gilded chalice covered with blood upon which an ouroboros is craved]


    Humanity has always told horror stories. Since the day language was developed and imagination was born, people has start to look around themselves and felt fear- and from that fear, stories came. People looked at the shadows and saw clawed horrors hidden among them, they looked upon the skies and saw raptors descend from the clouds toward them, they looked to the sea and saw tentacles reach out to them. They saw those primal fears and turned them into stories meant to make other careful of those hidden dangers, from the fears who haunted the edge of the human mind. Some say that those fears where the ones to give birth to the monsters they imagined to live there. Some say the monsters where always on the outside, and human stories were shaped by them. It doesn't matter who came first- only that now, the monsters are real, and the horror stories are true.

    However, even monsters tell their own horror stories of their own.

    It is not about the antagonists those beasts rise from their own horror stories- this is about something else. About monsters who prey upon the monsters, stories about how mankind took a stone, a spear, a sword or a gun and hunted down his own fears in order to become fear by himself. How he ate their heart and bathed in their blood, binding their immortal souls to its soft flesh. People who left their humanity behind, growing fat on the fear of the monsters. Again, it doesn't matter if the stories where the ones to inspire mankind or was it the other way around. All that matter is, that those horror stories are true now.

    The Knights are coming for you, and there is no shadow deep enough, no sky wide enough and no sea deep enough to hide from their dark ambition.

    No one is sure when exactly the Knights were established- the organization itself claims to always have existed, in one way or another. Some claim that they descend from a cult of personality based around an ancient Hero who slaughtered countless monsters- dragons, especially. Even after their Hero's death, the cult still kept worshiping him, and from time to time one of them rose to carry his old spirit and lead them toward glory and death. No one knows when the group found the dark ritual of Blood Bathing, using it in order to prolong their life and keep hunting the monsters in the dark. No one knows when one of them decided to use that ritual using their ancient enemies. No one is sure when did they abandoned their old duty to their patron and started to worship the very beings they killed, wishing to become more like them. No one knows for sure- except of the Dragon's Conclave, the oldest of the Knights who survived for ages by bathing in the blood of monsters and men, and they aren't talking.

    While the Knights may have started as a simple cult, today they are a very different organization- most of their members are power hungry individuals who are united by their hunger to become the very thing they were always afraid of. There is freedom in that, freedom which is sweet as wine and such as intoxicating. Some of them were once the victims of beasts by themselves, while others were simply fearful beings who were scared of their own shadow. The Dragon's Conclave recognize such potential recruits from an early stage, and is quick to offer them a choice (especially among the more powerful and influential people)- join and devour your own fear, or live forever in horror. Those who join the Knights are expected to start their first hunt immediately- after all, they should prove themselves and show that they are either Dragons in Human Skin, or dead. Plus, dragons and their kind are rare today more than ever, and each drop of blood is important in order to prolong their life and maintain their dark gifts.

    Because of their attitude and lust for power, many confuse them with Heroes- yet Beasts are quick to recognize the difference. Unlike Heroes, the Knights radiate an aura of bloodlust equal to the one of Beasts and their kin- so much that more than once one of the Begotten has confused them with a member of their Family, a confusion which turned out to be deadly. The shadow of the dragon hovers above them, spitting fire and blood, and their dreams are constant nightmares, in which the all world burns with crimson. As far as the Beasts can tell, the Knights are fear incarnated, burning with passion and hunger.

    All horror stories are true.

    And this one is just beginning.

    Status:
    0- you have just joined the Knights and passed you trail. You may buy dots in the Blood of the Dragon Endowment.
    000- you have turned your own fears into power, creating a shield against lesser terrors. You are not effected by any fear effect- both supernatural or mundane- and your dreams may not be shaped or effected by an outer power, turning into a constant nightmare. They are also considered to be Kin from that point onward.
    00000- you have hunted many beasts and became one of them, drawing thew attention of one of the Dragon's Conclave. You get one of them as a 5 dot Mentor.

    Endowment- Blood of the Dragon (1-5)
    a corruption upon heresy, the secret rite of the Bloody Chalice is a variation of the more common Blood Bathing ritual, specialized in using the blood of supernatural beings (especially beasts). The Ritual has a number of effects, which includes both the its infamous longevity effect and the ability to steal the gifts of monsters as their own- although they may only take the powers of the body and are denied of the powers of the mind (at least, that is the case for the common Knight. Many wonder if the reason the Dragon's Conclave seem to be everywhere yet no one knows where it is based is because the those ancient hunters has learned how to develop their own Lair).

    The first effect of that Endowment in Longevity. By killing someone and bathing in his own blood, the character may prolong their lifespan according to the target killed- they gain 1 year per dot in case of a human victim, 5 years per dot in case of a supernatural target and 10 years per dot in case of a Beast. While under the effects of the Ritual, they maintain their youth and don't physically age- yet in case the time pass, they automatically age to their chronicle age. While the ritual doesn't directly prevent death, it does allow a way to cheat it- the hunter may, at any point, sacrifice a single year of his life in exchange to heal a level of Lethal damage and 5 years for Aggravated Damage. Those years are usually taken from the bonus years, yet they could also be reduced from the regular lifespan. An hunter who, at any point, is found in a chronicle age which exceed his maximal age died automatically out of old age.

    The second effect allows the hunter to buy Atavisms. Usually, he may only one Atavism per dot in the Endowment, and can only use the normal effect. He also has to pay a single WP point in order to use those powers. By sacrificing a single year of his life, the hunter may use the Satiety Expenditure effect, and by sacrificing 3 years he may activate the Low Satiety effect. He may learn more Atavisms by reducing the maximal number of years he gain from the Endowment by 1 (that is, by learning a 6th Atavism, he no longer gains a year from killing a mortal, 4 years from a supernatural and 9 years from a Beast). While using Atavisms, sensitive individuals may notice the shadow of something similar to an Horror, like it happens with Beasts only that in the Knights's case, it is always the form of a dragon.

    Finally, having that Endowment has a certain disadvantage- for it fills the hunter with Hunger. The Hunter must kill a number of targets per week equal to their dots in the Endowments (not necessary bathing in their blood, but they are need to be intelligent beings). In case the hunter doesn't satisfy his hunger, his permanent Willpower is reduced by 1. That penalty is stacked, yet the WP may not be reduced bellow 1. That penalty is removed once the hunter fulfill his Hunger for the current week. Killing a Beast is considered as all of the killings for that week.


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  • #2
    Stereotypes:
    Cheiron Group- "It looks like those guys what we do- just from a different angle. I wonder if long time ago, we both were both one- that is, until we found the ritual"
    Loyalists of Thule- "They record all kinds of old stories, and some of those stories may be useful. While they sometimes lend us some help, if you become more Dragon than Man, there is a good chance they'll send someone after you"
    Netwrok-0 -"Always watch their site. It is a useful tool for gathering information about potential targets, especially in case your Hunger takes hold. They don't actually do much, but they do their part and I do mine"
    Lucifuge- "the proof that power flows in the blood. I tried the ritual upon one of them, once- it worked better than what I've expected it to be, but it burned and reeked of of brimstone. I don't know about you, but I seek to become a dragon, not a demon"
    Navio de Tolos- "the wild card, who could either disrupt or save our hunt. They don't seek killing the monsters as much as they just roam in their lairs and do as they wish. Sometimes, they even save the monsters from us- claiming it would "end the story too soon". While they are trouble, I prefer to avoid rather to engage- beware of their captains, and don't ever go on their ships"

    "Tell me just one thing- what is your biggest fear?"


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

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    • #3
      I think the Endowment drawback is a bit severe, because it means that powerful Knight have to be almost constantly killing. The cost of their immortality and the way they must spend stolen years to heal or enhance their power seems pretty steep already.

      However, I like them having a Hunger, but I'd rather it be an actual Beast Hunger instead of just a need to kill, with dots in the Endowment counting as an effective Lair rating. When the time winds down and they'd lose a Satiety, that's when the Willpower reduction and the need to hunt kicks in.


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      • #4
        well, I don't think that the ability to use stolen lives in order to enhance their power or heal wounds can be called "steep"- sure, when compared to a Beast it does seems like a big cost, but those abilities they are not compared to what a Beast can do, but to what a mortal can do: and the ability to heal a gunshot in a blink of an eye or enhance powers which are usually meant only for the Children of the Dark Mother (which they can always use the regular version without wasting their lifespan) sounds ok to me. The same is the "cost of their immortality"- the price of their immortality means maintaining the Vigil and killing things. Sure, they need to carry the dead body to someplace where they can bath in its blood, but people have done worse for immortality. You may, however, decide you enhance the lifespan they gain from a single bath if you feel that it is too harsh (like doubling or tripling it).

        The same is about their Hunger- I've knowingly decided that instead of giving them any Hunger for their liking or turning their Endowment into a Lair like trait all of them share a single Hunger which motivates them to hunt. And yes, that makes the oldest, most powerful knights into killing machines who may even have to murder in order satisfy their Hunger. It is both fluff wise (like how all of them share the same "Horror") and mechanics wise (I want you to play or use an hunter, not just a mini-Beast). Beasts are individuals, each follows its own desire- while the Knights are united together by their hunger and bloodlust, bound to the hunt by their unholy powers. However, I've also felt that the way it works may be too binding for PCs, making them to kill to many beings in too short time. Changing the duration from a week to a month could work, or turning it around- instead of killing a number of targets equal to your dots in a fixed time, you only need to kill a single target but the time to do so gets shorter as you rise in power- you start with 5 weeks fir a single kill and ends up killing one target per week, which should be enough time for an experienced hunter to find a proper target.


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        • #5
          how much bashing damage do you heal for giving 1 year of your life

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          • #6
            anything less than Lethal damage is considered to be Lethal as for the purpose of healing- the blood magic of the Knights is powerful, but you shouldn't just use it for any scratch and bruise you suffer from during battle.


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            • #7
              can healing be used at wil or only in the ritual

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ameraaaaaa View Post
                can healing be used at wil or only in the ritual
                at will (10 more characters to post)


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                • #9
                  Hmm.

                  Say, which of the existing Dark Eras (in both books) would fit well for these guys? I got a few ideas for that, but nothing concrete yet.


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                  • #10
                    Considering that they are Beast hunters first and foremost, I would assume that the Reconstruction Era would be trivial. As they are blood bathers, Fall of Isireion is a possibility, although their mythology feels a lot more north European than Mediterranean. Speaking about Scandinavia, the Wolf and the Raven is a good option for them, especially since the Tales of the Dark Eras use it as the Beast Era. And of course, as Hunters, they have their place in the hunter eras- especially Doubting Souls, as all of the fear and paranoia would undoubtedly feed the Knight as much as it would feed their prey, although Fallen Blossoms may also be an option- the Dragon's Conclave has a global reach after all, and people who bath in the blood of great yokai to become like them does sounds in theme.


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