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  • Strains of the Cursed Blood

    just something that I've thought about while reading Dark Eras.

    I remember that when Beast's preview was out, I've simply thought about the Otodo as a local version of the Lucifuge- the names may be different, but their powers and nature is the same. However, Fallen Blossom's preview has clearly made it look like it was not the case- or at least, not exactly (I remember Kingsraven interpretation, that the Lucifuge are "royalty" while the Otodo are "commoners"). Things got even more interesting after I finally got Hunter's Dark Eras- The Lucifuge see the Otodo as a some sort of mystery in Fallen Blossoms, while the Lucifuge are seen through European lens in Doubting Souls even from the native hunters' point of view. That made me think that perhaps, the Lucifuge are not a global phenomena- that they spread together with their blood, and that the original birth of that lineage was somewhere in Europe, perhaps during the fall of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the Dark Ages. The only way you could get further is by tying them to Judaism, at best to Lilith and Samael, or maybe even Moloch if we go all back to "Book of Judges" Era, which I'm not sure could work- the Lucifuge just don't feel that old. But I'm drifting- the point was that it all has started with one, single lineage, and as the culture in which it was birthed spread, so did they.

    But what about other lineages?

    There are many demons out there, after all- with the fallen angels of Christianity and the club wielding Oni are just a small part of Hell. Yet, not all such demons have given birth to earthly offspring- or if they did, those lineages has died out before organizing themselves- but others may survived. Pazuzu ruled over wind and plague, and those dark winds may have laid with women to give birth to their spawn. The Asura are addicted to their passions, and people may reborn as them if they weren't restrained in their former lives. The Daeva could be interpenetrated as psychological terrors, which sound a bit too similar to the demons from Inferno. The Yaoguai from China, the Yakseya from Sri Lanka, the Wekufe from South America- with some liberties, we could even get Egyptian and Mesoamerican lineages. While some of those lineages could survive into the modern era without a significant change- like the Indian or Chinese lineages- others may require a certain adjustment to their myths in order to find place in the world. The plague bearing children of Pazuzu, for example, may have embraced Islam and ties themselves to the court of Iblis. Mesoamerican lineage may have taken a Christian facade after loosing many of their kind for the diseases they suffered after the Spanish came to their land. On the other hand, some may have kept a low profile through the ancient times in order to survive- the children who were given to Moloch still banish demons in the Holy Land. Maat is still protected by those touched by the serpent's venom. And the best of all? Not all of them need to be descendant from Inferno! There are many demons out there, and each may spawn a different bloodline.

    And what about the L'Enfant Diabolique?

    Where the different families may keep to themselves, the L'Enfant may truly be a satanic conspiracy- they find 7th Generations from all around the world and breed them together. They embrace the demonspawn of any demons, of any hell. In their blood, mix the genetics of millennia of evil. They accept anyone, no matter who your parent is and from which hell you were spawned- as long as you commit to the satanic agenda. They are your family- and they want you home.

    so- any thoughts about the subject?


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  • #2
    That actually made me consider how to present those of demon blood as a minor template.


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    • #3
      Actually, my direction is quit the opposite- it is not about a single template, but instead each such group is a separate bloodline on its own, unrelated to the others just as the different vampire clans and the different shapeshifter breeds don't share a common origin. The different lineages are, well, different- and when the two meet it rise a mix suspicion and intrigue.


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      • #4
        Personally I think it's a mistake trying to track down any sort of hard origins for Lucifuge and Otodo. Sometimes supernatural beings, be they Spirit, Fae, God Machine, Supernal or some other origin, get freaky with some mortals and those mortals have kids. Sometimes this results in minor templates sometimes the magic is buried deep in the children's souls for generations until it eventually bursts forth.

        The folklore of Europeans (and the colonial territories of) saw these beings and their descendants as demons which shapped the form of the Lucifuge, just as in Japan they were Oni and the Otodo. In the various Dark Ages there might have been many other small localized conspiracies of people with supernatural bloodlines but by the time of the present day Chronicles of Darkness the Lucifuge has enveloped most of these factions into itself. So a modern day Lucifuge hunter of say Native American descent can just as easily claim ancestory from Windigo, a Skinwalker or Coyote as they could Satan and no one would bat an eye.

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        • #5
          There are two problems with the Lucifuge assimilating other bloodlines, I believe- the first is the way they react toward the Otodo. The fact that they don't recognize them as part of them and see them as an oddity shows that having other bloodlines around is not a common knowledge. The second is their number limit- the Co7G are 666 in number, yet the Otodo are not ruled by that law: they don't limit the number of Lucifuge, and they are not limited by them (or by each other). They also gain less longevity, which shows a different genetics- which is kinda the key point in here. Being born to one such bloodline is genetic, so having a Lucifuge only where their member had a chance to "make more of their own" makes sense. Also, I'm actually not sure how well the Lucifuge would treat one of them who doesn't accept Lucifer and Hell- it may be like a Malleus who don't believe in God. Maybe a there is a cell of those out there, but it is not something which is accepted among most members of the conspiracy. After all, there is an whole faction revolving around redeeming Lucifer in the conspiracy. He seems to be an important factor in how they view the world.

          Anyway, exploring other possible bloodlines and their differences from the major conspiracy sounds like fun. Here are those lineages I've thought about, even if just for a "Dark Era" setting-

          Al Rih al Asuad- a Mesopotamian bloodline which tracks its origin to Pazuzu, and have powers over plague and wind. By modern time, they have converted to Islam and operate in the Middle East.

          Avici Sutra-a Indian group who believe themselves to be sinners reincarnated as Asura and seek to redeem their souls for the next life.

          Usij-a Iranian group who sees themselves as a legacy of the priests of the Lie who were birthed by Angra Mainyu and now wish to stand against their maker.

          Benei Topheth-children who were given to Moloch in biblical times yet survived the fire, and who has turned against their evil patron and its cult

          Tiansheng-strange devils who were birthed by the Yaotguai in China and use their shapeshifting abilities to hunt evil spirits

          Hrt Iseft -a Egyptian group who were scarred by the venom of Apep to serve as its living grave

          -Mapuche kalklus who are able to enslave the Wekufe, giving them power upon the dead- both the quite and those are are not so much.

          Burya Storozh-dragon children of the Zmajeviti who fight the weather demons known as Ala, who as since joined the protection of the Orthodox Church.

          -demons birthed from human parents who gained Wesamuni's mandate to punish law breaking demons

          Tartaruchi -Greek lineage originated from the Erinyes, who may or may not be connected to then Lucifuge, who use their demonic powers to punish the wicked in hell's name.

          Nemontemi- the star children of the Tzizimimeh who once offered blood in order to satisfy their dark parents and has since took a Christian outlook and now outright banish the horrors of mad gods.

          Tatau o te Po- maori bloodline descendant from the dead who fight for its survival against the powers of Whiro

          thoughts?

          EDIT- more possible bloodlines are a descendants of Germanic water demons, abasy offspring from the Turkic people, people who lived with the Tibicena since childhood and witches who turned against Rangda from Bali.
          Last edited by LostLight; 01-18-2017, 04:47 AM.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Darkblade View Post
            Personally I think it's a mistake trying to track down any sort of hard origins for Lucifuge and Otodo. Sometimes supernatural beings, be they Spirit, Fae, God Machine, Supernal or some other origin, get freaky with some mortals and those mortals have kids. Sometimes this results in minor templates sometimes the magic is buried deep in the children's souls for generations until it eventually bursts forth.

            The folklore of Europeans (and the colonial territories of) saw these beings and their descendants as demons which shapped the form of the Lucifuge, just as in Japan they were Oni and the Otodo. In the various Dark Ages there might have been many other small localized conspiracies of people with supernatural bloodlines but by the time of the present day Chronicles of Darkness the Lucifuge has enveloped most of these factions into itself. So a modern day Lucifuge hunter of say Native American descent can just as easily claim ancestory from Windigo, a Skinwalker or Coyote as they could Satan and no one would bat an eye.
            If this was the case I would expect their abilities to reflect it. I would not expect a descendent of a Spirit to get stronger with low Morality (well not most Spirits), but 1E Lucifuge do.


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            • #7
              I wouldn't consider the Enfants the result of infernal crossbreeding, according to Inferno after all, power wise "each of its members is unique, born of a singular bloodline."

              So sure there could be all sorts of demonic families in the cofd, but since Enfants don't share powers there isn't much point making those lineages part of the Enfants, which actually explains why the Lucifuge find the Otodo so weird.

              They share powers, unlike the Enfants, but manifest as a bloodline, unlike the Lucifuge, who come from the exact same families as the Enfants according to Inferno.

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              • #8
                well, it was just a bit of musing about the Enfants- something to make them feel a bit more "bastard like", with them having 666 members is the result of deliberate choice, instead of a natural process. Again, just musing and brainstorming.

                Still, what I really want to explore are the other possible lineages touched by Hell. For now, I have the strongest concept for Pazuzu's offspring, called the Black Wind. I may post them a writeup sometime.


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                • #9
                  I think Hunter groups benefit from being more specific than general/archetypal (well, I think all the game lines' factions do, but Hunter more than most); which in the case of demonic blood puts me in the camp of different conspiracies.

                  Indian group who believe themselves to be sinners reincarnated as Asura (or were Asura in former lives) and seek to redeem their souls for the next life.
                  The Asuras have a different conceptual space from Hell demons. In a sense, opposing the gods is what they "should" do, though they might do it by being even more virtuous. Those descended from Asuras might have converted to Sikhism - seeing it as a superior spiritual path than those promulgated by their or their forbears' enemies - or a way to connect with the human side of their heritage. Hunting monsters might be almost orthogonal to that - Sikhs have a duty to defend their community, and the descendants of Asuras have more capability to do that against the creatures of the night. I don't think Sikhs believe in Asuras as such, but I presume to this conspiracy, Asuras and Devas would be two sets of powerful spirits. Endowment-wise, epic physical prowess is a likely component.

                  Iranian group who sees themselves as the offspring of the Usij, the priests of the Lie who were birthed by Aka Manah and now wish to stand against their maker.
                  Cool. One thing I've always wanted a Zoroastrian compact or conspiracy to have (I'd probably say compact and make this their only trick) is that they alone can tell when a demon is lying.

                  Children who were given to Moloch in biblical times yet survived the fire, and who has turned against their evil patron and its cult.
                  The interesting thing about this group is that unlike the Lucifuge, Asuras, Pazuzu, or Usij, the cult of Moloch would likely have been the authority in the area where this happened - their rebellion against it is the transgressive act, even if it's a transgression we'd approve of in the here and now. That affects a lot about how the group would develop. It might mean they concentrate on monsters and cults who occupy positions of power, and who appear to be beneficient (or even are beneficient when paid in horror). It's also a group that doesn't necessarily need a blood component - they could recruit new sacrifices, literal or figurative.

                  [Also, I think you've hit on a possible Dark Era for Deviant characters here]

                  Egyptian group who were scarred by the venom of Apep to lure evil toward them for all eternity.
                  I think you should substitute chaos for evil here. If for no other reason than the monsters that do the most evil aren't always the ones who make the most chaos - cf Prometheans - and navigating that would be an interesting piece of atmosphere for the group. Either way, it seems like their power would be to disrupt things and break them down.

                  Mapuche kalklus who are able to enslave the Wekufe, giving them power upon the dead- both the quite and those are are not so much.
                  According to Wikipedia, Wekufe also refers to people who are deceptive. Putting that together with a cosmology that includes a "complex notions of spirits that coexist with humans and animals in the natural world," their descent might be from Hisil spirits, and their primary focus against spirits, urged, and claimed. Maybe their powers let them steal the influences and numina of spirits.

                  Dragon children of the Zmajeviti who fight the weather demons known as Ala, who as since joined the protection of the Orthodox Church.
                  What would be the Ala be in this case? The obvious guess would be storm spirits. Anyway, this is a region that's pretty rich in figures getting power from ill sources then using them for good (apart from being the homeland of the dhampir, it's also the homeland of the Scholomance, whose nine surviving students were regarded as benificient figures, despite learning their magical arts from the Devil himself). If there is a conspiracy that's welcoming to different bloodlines, this is probably the one.

                  Demons birthed from human parents who gained Wesamuni's mandate to punish law breaking demons
                  Again, according to Wikipedia, Wesamuni forbids demons from killing humans, so they operate through plagues and shit. A group like this could descend from Wesamuni, and be his instrument in punishing demons who break his laws, or they could be descendants of the lesser demons, intended as a way to get round the limits on their behaviour, but they pledge to Wesamuni instead and oppose their fathers. Or both as different factions (perhaps with some mistrust between the two). Rejigging some of the powers to take account of a Sinhalese worldview, this group seems like they'd be one of the most like the Lucifuge.

                  Greek lineage originated from the Erinyes, who may or may not be connected to then Lucifuge, who use their demonic powers to protect the innocents and punish the wicked.
                  These would differ from the Lucifuge in that - in the latter at least - they're fully aligned with their ancestors' function. Not even like the faction of the Lucifuge who think their actions will redeem Lucifer, but serving the Furies on Earth. Even if they have a connection to the Lucifuge via the Inferno, that makes them a different group. It also suggests they'd be a group that's very likely to extend their definition of monstrosity beyond the supernatural.

                  The star children of the Tzizimimeh who once offered blood in order to satisfy the Smoking Mirror and has since took a Christian outlook and now outright banish the horrors of mad gods.
                  I'd almost be tempted to say they still offer blood, but now they hope the blood of monsters will be enough. Or they offer blood, but specialise in vampires, since one vampire contains the blood of many victims.

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                  • #10
                    I really like your interpretations for those groups, and it gives me a lot of things to think about- but I still think that the Aztec strain won't keep on the blood sacrifice thing for a simple reason: imagine that, through all of your life, you were taught to accept a certain way of life telling you that it is meant to save the world. And it was ok- you are an inhumane monster after all, descendant from dark beings from beyond existence. You had a role in society, a part of existence. Then, a bunch of strangers come and claim your way of life heretic. You ignore them, trust your gods and forefathers to protect you. When those foreigners destroy your temples and kill your people, and you keep trusting your gods to protect you, waiting for them to show their displease and destroy the true heretics. However, it doesn't happen- the invaders win, the sacrifices are stopped. You know what is going to happen, now- with no human blood to feed the Sun, it would turn black and would be destroyed once more, just as it happened in the past. It may be not today, not tomorrow, but it would. And so you wait, day after day after day, praying that while you may die together with the whole world, at least you could laugh at their face one last time, telling them that you were right just as the earth quakes and the Sun would die once more...

                    Only it doesn't happen. Your gods have lied to you. You forefathers has lied to you. The world kept going, like nothing changed. All of the blood you spilled through the ages in the name of the monsters you call parents didn't changed a thing- didn't meant a thing. Your sacrifice was useless. And that means that all the blood you spilled didn't meant you served some divine roll- but just acted as the monster you always knew you are. You were deceived, and thrown away once you weren't needed any more.

                    It's time for payback.

                    (mechanic wise, I envision them as an Abyssal bloodline, considering the Tzizimimeh as "star demons", and just because I think it could be cool. Again, everything in the concept is subject for change, including making them into maintaining the old Aztec tradition to keep the world alive)


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                    • #11
                      Maybe the ones who continue to serve their parents are treated like the Lucifuge treats L'Enfants?

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                      • #12
                        sounds good to me


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                        • #13
                          I think that some inspiration from the Greek bloodline could come from this

                          After giving it some thought, I think I have the strongest concept for the Mesopotamian, Iranian, Indian, Molochite, Slavic, Greek and Aztec bloodlines, while I think that a Chinese one should be a thing considering the mere size of the said region. A South American bloodline could come from either the Wekufe or from Supay, and I must say I'm fond of the witches turning against their goddess from Bali. Any ideas about the sugnature powers and themes of each of those groups? The Black Wind, for example, would probably have abilities connected to plagues and storms, the Ala hunters would probably have things like dragon form and weather manipulation, the Chinese group could have shapeshifting of some kind and the Aztec line are going to have connection with the Abyss and Masks.


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                          • #14
                            Sounds about right, power wise.

                            How far afield are you willing to go for other ideas?

                            For example, I can't help but think that the viking dark era could use a group of giant blooded who are out to delay ragnarok, but I admit that might not be demony enough.

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                            • #15
                              more than willing. Everyone should feel free to suggest their own ideas Also, "demony" is a relative term- anything which could be seen as antagonistic, corruptive or primordial could be described as demonic, I believe


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