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  • The Nemontemi [Strains of the Cursed Blood- Mesoamerica]

    [I waited for the Dark Era to write those guys- so here they are!]

    The Star Children

    [the Aztec symbol for the Black Sun]

    It was when the sun turned black over the land, and the people run away with fear. They hid in their homes, locking the doors and whispering desperate prayers for the sun of their era. In their temples, the priests has given away sacrifices to feed the gods and help them in their war against the great chaos from beyond the world. It was a time of silence, of darkness, of isolation- for no one wished to draw their attention to the world, no one wanted them to come.

    Yet they did.

    They flew from the distant stars through the blackened skies, both beautiful and terrible. Their skeletal features shined like polished obsidian, their black dresses flap like the wings of a moth. They descended to the ground and moved swiftly through the land, their claws cut through everything which came in their way and their fangs yearn for fresh blood. No one was able to escape their terror, and they left a trail of of spilled blood and slaughtered bodies behind them. While they butchered everyone they could find, for some the end was not that easy- some of those individuals were captured before their death in their delicate hands and kissed by their mouth less face. The stars shined in their eyes as they loved them, and that fire eventually consumed their lovers flesh and soul. They could have continued with their cycle of death and love until the whole world would die under the black sun- but even the brightest star is banished by the lord of the day. The sun breached through the moon, and the priests sang songs in the glory of the gods, seeing the success of their sacrifices. Burned by the bright sun, the starry maidens left back to their lonely existence- but not before their left something behind. The seed of their existence, the fruit of their love. Babies, no older than few months, were left at the doors of the great temples, their eyes shine with the starry light of their terrible mothers. Those children would not be given as sacrifices for the gods, for they don't belong to them- their blood didn't belonged to anyone who lived under the sun, but for the distant stars.

    They didn't kiss them for goodbye. They didn't hug them for farewell. They only whispered to them- and even then those were not words of love.

    "remember us" they said "remember our hunger and lust. Remember your parents as they shine in the dark void. Give us what we yearn for, and we would not return. As long as blood would decorate our lips and burn in our bones, the world would be safe. Give us the life we lust for so much, and your world would be protected forever and ever"

    And then, they left- and their children knew what had to be done. Human were meant to feed the sun- and they exist to feed the stars.

    During the time of the Aztec Empire, the Nemontemi served as part of the priesthood- officially being a part of the priesthoods of fire, war or maze, they officially gave sacrifices to the great gods and spilled blood in their name. Only the highest of priests knew their true origin- the children of the Tzitzimimeh, the terrible goddesses of stars and fertility who wished to devour the world. While they took part in the official ceremonies of the priesthood- especially the New Fire Ceremony- they also practiced their own sacrifices, alone in secret temples and hidden altars. There, they spilled blood and glorified their mothers, feeding the night so it won't seek to eat the day. Wearing the faces of their gods and victims, they sang songs and danced around the fire in borrowed skins. They didn't did it out of blood lust or desire for murder- they did it because it was necessary. They were the children of their mothers, and by acting in their place the stars won't descent once more upon the earth. They were divine, they were blessed. They brought gifts to mankind- and by keeping the sun burning and the stars satisfied, they protected the world from terrors. While humans were usually the preferred sacrifice for their parents, sometimes, a more.. desirable treat was required. During those times, they hunted for those who were more than mankind, those with a soul more shining or dark than the rest. Be them the restless dead, the transformed beasts of the jungles or even the members of their own priesthood who walked in different skin- they would hunt them down when the stars were right, and gave their hearts to the darkness which lies beyond them.

    For years, the Star Children has followed their ancient duty. Under their steward, they managed to push the end of the world by each passing day. Listening to the song of stars, they spilled blood to feed the Sun and satisfy his eternal enemies.

    Until the day the Cortes came.

    Like the rest of the priesthood, the Nomentemi recognized Spaniard as the descendants of the great Quetzalcoatl. While some are suspicious of the fair skinned strangers, they exist to please the gods- especially the kindest one among them. When the cross was placed in the temple, they recognized it as another form of sacrifice, another way to give blood to the gods. When dreams start to plague the diviners of the empire, the Nomentemi start to wonder if perhaps it was the wrong choice. Then, the plague strike the land, and then the massacre of the nobles, and then the war. When Cuauhtemoc vanish without trace, they are among those who are sure he would return, carrying divine might with him and strike the invaders down. Clearly the gods didn't forsaken them. They, who gave so much for their ever hungry gods, for the demons who gave birth to them, for the many strange beings who walked their forests. They won't let them down. They won't let the world end. They would not lose.

    Cortes defeated the capital of the Aztec Empire, and later conquered all of Mexico. The sacrifices has stopped. Blood no longer covered the alters. The leadership of the Nomentemi was butchered together with the nobles and other higher ranked members of the Aztec society in the many wars and rebellions. Those members who were left just sat down, waiting eagerly for the prophesied doom to come and cover the earth. Without new blood, the gods would weaken, the demons would grow hungry and the sun would die of. That would be their last revenge against the outsiders who didn't understood their culture and grand place in the cosmos- that without constant sacrifices, the world would end.

    And so they waited- for one day, and another week, and another month, but the sun kept rising. They waited for the five cursed days which their name they carried, knowing that their mothers would attack once the New Fire Ceremony would not take place- but nothing happened. Still, they didn't stop believing- even when others has accepted the mantle of Christianity, they kept their faith, until finally the faithful day has come- shadow covered the sky, the moon devoured the sun and the stars shined in the darkness. At every moment, their parents would come down and destroy the world...

    And then the eclipsed passed, and nothing happened. That was when the finale realization came to them.

    They were deceived.

    Their sacrifices meant nothing. Their gods cared not about them. Their mothers simply used them. All of their life, their existence and place in the cosmos, any justification for the acts they preformed in the name of saving the world became null and void. All of their life were a lie- and for the first time since their creation, they looked at the smoking mirror and saw a starry eyed monster looking back.

    They were lied to- and that was the time to strike back.

    Since that day, the Nomentemi has changed their ways- they accepted Christianity with fever, although that zeal was only a part of their outlook. The old gods has failed them, after all. Why would stop the new one from doing the same? Under the guise of the foreign religion, the Star Children walked among their people, destroying ancient relics of powers and killing the monsters which were created by their parents's powers. They hunted down after old portals to the otherworlds, inhuman beings who still served the old order and other horrors which came from beyond the stars. From time to time, some of them has failed their duty and returned to their old habits of human sacrificing- and those individuals were hunted down and killed by the rest of the conspiracy. Slowly, they regained their influence over whole of Mexico. Later, they have started advancing toward South America. Today, they have strong presence through the whole continent and beyond it. They still search after relics of their fallen culture and similar acts, and they ward against and banish any servant of the old gods, any demon who lie in disguise and any horror which lurk behind the stars. They still do terrible things in the name of their goal, but it is ok. After all, they are monsters.

    They just don't lie to themselves about that anymore.

    Status:
    0- the stars shined when you were birthed, and marked you with the starry eyes of your lineage. As such, you were accepted to the conspiracy and trained to hunt the demons you once named as gods. You can buy dots in the Xayacatl Endowment. You can also expect to live up to 160 years.
    000- you have banished horrors of the old age and destroyed cults which still serve the blood gods who gave birth to you, and as such you become trained at fighting terrors must can't understand. You get the Slayer merit for free. Your lifespan also extends to 200 years.
    00000- you have stopped countless monsters and perhaps even fought head on against the star beings who gave birth to you and survived. Your strength of soul becomes greater than the most- you may add your Integrity to any roll made to resist supernatural effects. Your lifespan is now 300 years, more or less (probably less)

    Endowment: Xayacatl (0-00000, special)
    Xayacatl is the mask the Star Children once wore when preforming their sacred sacrifices, and now use when upholding the Vigil against those gods who enjoyed said sacrifices. Each Xayacatl is a single, 1-5 merit represented as a physical mask. Traditionally, it was made of human skin, but all but the heretic members of the conspiracy has changed the material for something more friendly, like wood or metal (some even use plastic). The hunter may not have more such masks than her Integrity, although losing one or having it destroyed is falling under the benefit of Sanctity of Merits and could be replaced with either a new Xayacatl (but not another merit). Creating a new Xayacatl requires 24 hours of enchanting the mask and inflicting one level of Lethal damage (notice- self inflicting the damage is not necessary, but may rise suspicion if done too regularly).

    Each Xayacatl hold its rating's worth of Dread Powers, which may be accessed by the hunter when wearing it. Activating any of its powers requires expanding Willpower or inflicting a level of Lethal damage (again, not necessary self inflicting). Also, while wearing the mask, the hunter recognize her true nature as a monster, which allows her doing certain things a lot easier. As long as she wears the mask, she is treated as having an effective Integrity of Integrity-[Xayacatl in use] (no lesser than 1) in terms of determining Breaking Points. For that reason, most of the Star Children make sure to wear their masks when hunting after monsters, although they must spend 1 Willpower point or inflicting a Lethal damage (again) to keep that benefit. For that reason, many hunters has confused them with slashers of the Mask Undertaking- and the fact that many of the fallen members of the conspiracy does eventually take that Undertaking does not help their reputation.


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  • #2
    Do the Xayacatl resemble the gods, or do the Nemontemi use other appearances now? (Saints? Monsters? Nothing specific?)

    I like them, anyway. And both they and the Al-Rih al Asuad are coming across as very different to the Lucifuge.

    Comment


    • #3
      Technically, there is no limitation for how a Xayacatl may look like- however, there are common themes which the conspiracy used through the ages. During the Aztec Empire, images of the gods would be popular, and the hunters would probably correspond the god they channel and the Dread Powers of the Xayacatl in question. Modern members would probably prefer the images of saints and angels as they adjust christian motifs into their traditional rituals. There should also be more than enough Xayacatl made in animal form or even abstract designs, not to mention those who literally use the face of another person (a common practice during the Aztec Era, not so much for modern members)

      Anyway, glad you like them! One of my goals at Strains of the Cursed Blood is to make sure each conspiracy would feel "different", and just "Lucifuge of another culture"


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      • #4
        Stereotypes:
        Long Night: "I look at them, and see familiar faces- we also once believed our gods would come and destroy the world. They will learn"
        Malleus Maleficarum: "They don't trust us, and I can't blame them. Many of them are too clever to be fooled by our masks- and if one of them digs too deep, we may have to take some undesired actions.."
        Knights of St George: "Oh- those guys are good at what they do. Lie, that is, up to the point even they believe in it. But we know the truth- and we would bring it to them"
        VASCU: "Their work is important, and they save many life by stopping deviations such as we once preformed. However, why can't I ignore the fact they make me so.. uncontrollable?"

        "What you worship is no god- it is an abomination. Believe me, it takes one to know one"


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        On a Dragonlance-reading break. Surprise homebrew may still happen :P
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        • #5
          Reviving this thread with a question. Is it feasible to imagine some/many of the Nemontemi as possessing the Skinthief Merit in addition to the Xayacatl Endowment?

          Balance issues aside, I can see that happening in situations similar to those that give rise to the cihuatlactah. Especially if no Nemontemi were allowed to become nahualtin during the Aztec Empire's heyday. After Cortes' arrival, though, the practice might perhaps become more widespread within the conspiracy?
          Last edited by Deionscribe; 12-20-2016, 10:48 AM.


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
            Reviving this thread with a question. Is it feasible to imagine some/many of the Nemontemi as possessing the Skinthief Merit in addition to the Xayacatl Endowment?

            Balance issues aside, I can see that happening in situations similar to those that give rise to the cihuatlactah. Especially if no Nemontemi were allowed to become nahualtin during the Aztec Empire's heyday. After Cortes' arrival, though, the practice might perhaps become more widespread within the conspiracy?
            mechanically, the Nemontemi are just like any other hunter- that is, a mortal with access to Supernatural Merits. While their case may be a bit special, like the Lucifuge, as long as you do not consider beings like the Lucifuge as a non-mortal supernatural template, there is nothing to stop them from acquiring new supernatural merits from outside their conspiracy any more than any other mortal (although things may be a bit trickier if both them and skin thieves are considered as "micro templates". I don't have access to Hurt Locker, so I'm not sure about the details)

            Anyway, if the spanish invasion has influenced in any way a practice of skin-walking among the conspiracy, is to reduce it even further. The Nemontemi believe that their gods has lied to them, and as such they work to destroy their legacy and the relics of their empire. The act of skin-thievery is, in their eyes, nothing more than such a relic- and as such, should be forsaken.


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            • #7
              Children of the Lie

              For as long as they have existed, the Nemontemi have been feared by witches and sorcerers. These willworkers draw upon higher realms to impose changes to the world around them, and their power is so extensive that there is little that cannot be done within its scope. However, they find that their spells often twist or unravel near a Star Child, as if a poison devours them from within. This leads many to delve into this occult mystery and attempt to find out why it occurs.

              And when they do find the answer, they are horrified by it.

              Awakened sorcerers who make contact with the Nemontemi quickly relate them to the Abyss, a hellish realm of impossible concepts and neverborn entities. They claim that the star gods who sired their lineage are counted among the many beings that seek to twist reality as humankind knows it. For them, it explains how hunters of the conspiracy could clearly witness the full splendor of their magic, while still tainting it with their very presence. This aspect of a Star Child's nature often leads him to be looked upon unfavorably by the witches they cross paths with, and even placing him in situations where he must defend himself against them.

              Some sorcerers who come to know of the Star Children are somewhat more tolerant of their existence, but most inevitably seek to exploit them in some manner. Indeed, many Nemontemi throughout the conspiracy's history have been sought out by witches seeking to use their powers against other sorcerers. A few are targeted for more insidious roles. Some are seduced (or forced) by dark magi to consort with the demons that lurked between stars. Others fall prey to liches and soul reapers, their life essence drained to further their esoteric pursuits.

              The Nemontemi, for their part, clash with the Awakened. They are drawn to the relics of the old empire, and use their magic to defend them against those Star Children who wish to see them destroyed. So frequent are these conflicts that the conspiracy has earned the grudges of several mystical cabals and covens. And they have at times brought the entire lineage to the brink of destruction.

              The greatest threat, however, comes from their own demonic forebearers.

              Most of the Nemontemi treat their Vigil as a quest for vengeance, one that began when the Aztecs' fall exposed the lies sown by the Tzitzimimeh. Yet while the conspiracy is ruthless in hunting down any and all servants of the goddesses, their efforts do not leave them unscathed. Every demon slain costs them in blood, and some merely languish for a time in Mictlan before they return to plague the world once more. Sometimes, they return in forms different from the ones they bore at the moment of destruction, briefly throwing the hunters into doubt and confusion.

              And doubt and confusion are the greatest weapons of the Tzitzimemeh and their dark brethren. More than a few Nemontemi slip back to the old ways due to their urging whispers. Some succumbed because they came to believe their Vigil to be a futile endeavor, doomed to fail in the end. Others were overwhelmed by the demons' compulsion, becoming little more than puppets of their madness.

              Then, there were those who embraced their monstrous aspects so strongly that they readily embraced the void's call. These individuals are perhaps the worst of the Nemontemi Slashers, as they grow callous of the people around them and come to hold a nihilistic view of the world. They come to forget who they truly were, and embrace the Xayacatl as their true identity.

              Perhaps the Tzitzimimeh did not lie about their warning. Perhaps the world has been ending, slowly but surely marching to its doom. And when it comes, they will truly darken the skies as they descend upon humankind to feed.

              And their children will be the ones to guide them out of the void.

              Optional Rules:

              Sleepwalker Paradox -- Nemontemi are considered Sleepwalkers for the purpose of witnessing and remembering Awakened magic. However, while they do not suffer from Quiescence, they can still have a detrimental effect on a Mage's power. All Star Children increase the risk of Paradox as if they were Sleepers, and they can spend Willpower to consciously inflict Dissonance for a scene.

              Void Blood -- All Abyssal entities treat a Nemontemi as having the Resonant Condition. Furthermore, the Nemontemi are considered to have Honorary Rank towards acamoth and gulmoth equal to half their Status dots, rounded up. For the highest ranking members of the lineage, this allows them to strike down most lesser emanations with ease.
              Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-18-2017, 12:42 PM.


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

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              • #8
                Beneath the Skin: Flight of Black Butterflies

                Blood is food for the gods, and the Aztecs shed theirs each day as a sacrifice to their own. It gives them the strength they need to war against their enemies in the heavens, and it keeps the Sun nourished in his daily journeys across the sky.

                It also keeps darker and more terrible entities from bringing death and destruction to the world.

                The citlalcoconeh occupy a nebulous niche among the Aztecs. Officially, they are all priests that govern the many different aspects of society. Most of the men especially flock to the ranks of the priesthoods of fire and war, while the women are among the most studious priestesses of the maize.

                However, the high priests and their foremost disciples know who they really are. They know they descend from the greatest of Tonatiuh's foes, and that they form a priesthood which sacrifices tlacah and tecuanimeh to sate their hunger and push back their descent. Their deeds and nature make them virtual outcasts, but their lineage ensures that they would not be slain upon the altars as offerings.

                Nevertheless, they are closely watched, and the nahuatlin are especially vigilant of their actions. The jaguar priests are the only priesthood fully aware of what the citlalcoconeh are. They hunt them out of hatred as much as they do so out of duty, for several of their number have been taken before to serve as sacrifices to the dreaded Tzitzimimeh. Such incidents have nearly brought the two groups to war, despite the elder jaguar priests forbidding the total destruction of the sect.

                The citlalcoconeh are not easily bested in battle or trickery, though. They can match the skins of the nahualtin with the powers of their masks, and a few even learn to become skinthieves themselves by pilfering the rituals from the jaguar priests and the warrior societies. Some female citlalcoconeh learn such knowledge as cihuatlactah, women who don the skins of men to practice professions they were otherwise forbidden to practice.

                Yet despite the conflicts they have with the nahualtin, the duties of the citlalcoconeh are no different from theirs. They kill so that their world survives, and most mortals slain by them were already marked for death by a nahualli for one transgression or another. And when they must hunt for a supernatural offering, their marks are often the true 'wild beasts' of the land. Vampires are a common choice, given their nature as parasites, and more than a few werewolves and their lesser cousins have been given to the Tzitzimimeh. But a citlalconetl stands to earn great prestige should he bring something rare. The First Sun People are especially prized, as are the fish-men of Lake Texcoco.

                And then there are, of course, the itzpapalomeh.

                Known to the Maya as the Camazotz, and the wolf-people as the Suthilu, the black butterflies share their name with the highest of the Tzitzimimeh. They are regarded with awe and fear by the citlalcoconeh, for they are believed to be the elder progeny of their mothers, lesser demons that flocked alongside them when they first descended from their dark realm. Each drank deeply from their victims, savoring the taste of their blood before they moved on to kill more. When the Sun's light vanquished the Tzitzimimeh, though, many of these malignant spirits burned, crumbling into ash and dust on the winds. Those itzpapalomeh that survived were forced to hide in caves untouched by neither sun nor moon.

                Trapped in the mortal world, cut off from their dark mothers, they quietly grow in numbers and strength. They still hunger for the blood and pain of the People of the Fifth Sun, and are quick to take flight whenever they're given opportunity to hunt.

                Indeed, their hunts contribute to the danger posed to those traveling between the cities. The jungle offers much shade for an itzpapalotl to hide during the day, and any given mortal could find himself hollowed out to be used as a skin to evade Tonatiuh for a time. And when pale Tecuciztecatl shines in the heavens or a storm is blown to the land by Tlaloc, they may hunt further from their haunts.

                But the worst time for them to be fought is when the world is truly bathed in darkness.

                When the moon's shame is too great for him to show himself, or when the sun darkens at the coming of their mothers, the itzpapalomeh truly soar in great numbers. They slip effortlessly through the shadows, overcoming even the most powerful wards maintained by the priests. Even the nahualtin can do little to stop them, as they are helpless regardless of whatever form they take. Left unchecked, the itzpapalomeh would decimate the Aztecs as they prepared the world for the returning Tzitzimimimeh.

                However, the days of the black sun and the nights of the dark moon are the times when the citlalcoconeh hunt their elder siblings.

                Born of the void of distant stars, they do not fear the darkness. And they readily brave it to do battle with the black butterflies. Some perish in these struggles, but most survive each night to drag the strongest of their wayward kin back to the temples. For though they were born of the same mothers, the itzpapalomeh act against the sacred duty enforced by their younger siblings.

                And just as they spilled the blood of mortals to sate their hunger, so shall their blood be offered to the Tzitzimimeh so that the world endures in the days to come.

                [For more information on the Suthilu, a creation of Cinder, see here.]

                Mystery Cult Initiation [Nemontemi] (o to ooooo)
                Effect: The stars shone when you were born, marking you with the birthright of the Tzitzimimeh. While this entrusted a sacred duty in the days before Cortes, it is now simply a curse that your more seasoned kin hone in their constant war against their progenitors.

                (o) -- You were accepted to the conspiracy, and are trained to hunt the demons your ancestors once named as gods. You gain the one-dot version of Trained Observer, and can purchase dots in the Xayacatl Endowment with exerience. You may also expect to live up to 160 years.

                (oo) -- As one of the Star Children, you are taught not to hold back in the hunt, especially when faced with creatures of the void. You gain a dot in the Killer Instinct Merit.

                (ooo) -- You have banished horrors of the old age and destroyed cults which still serve the blood gods. As such, you have become trained at fighting terrors most can't understand. You gain the Slayer Merit, and your lifespan also extends to 200 years.

                (oooo) -- A true monster when driven to violence, you have picked up more than a few tricks that allow you to kill your adversaries faster. You gain three dots to allocate to any of the following Fighting Styles: Disabling Tactics, Kino Mutai, or Relentless Assault.

                (ooooo) -- You have stopped countless monsters and perhaps even fought head on against the star beings who gave birth to you and survived. The strength of your soul becomes greater than most. You may add your Integrity to any roll made to resist supernatural effects, and your lifespan is now 300 years, more or less (probably less)
                Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-18-2017, 12:41 PM.


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                • #9
                  Temptation of Masks

                  Though they've long rejected the old gods, the Nemontemi still hold a cautious respect for the Xayacatl. Members of the conspiracy are taught to never craft or hold more than a handful of the masks in pursuit of their Vigil. And whenever a Star Child begins to hear them speak, he or she is urged to pass some to a fellow hunter. Those who cannot (or will not) part with any Xayacatl choose to destroy them instead, to avoid the risk of them falling into the wrong hands.

                  There are two reasons for why the conspiracy is so prudent with the handling of its Endowment. One is a taboo aimed to protect its hunters from temptation, while another is a fiercely guarded secret.

                  The Xayacatl are not mere items of power. They are imbued with a touch of the void that the Tzitzimimeh call home, and they have acted as mediums for their ceaseless whispers ever since they were first banished by the sun. The Nemontemi - being their children - can resist the voices. But as their souls grow weak from corruption and trauma, even the protection granted by their bloodline begins to fade, with fewer Xayacatl needed for the Star Children to hear the call of their mothers.

                  Most of the conspiracy thus maintains a policy of limiting the number of masks in its possession, distributing and destroying them as needed to stave off the Tzitzimimeh's influence. Some, though, refuse to cower from the dark whispers. They see the Xayacatl's power as being too great to diminish out of fear, and see breaking this taboo as an open challenge to the demons of the void. Few of these hunters survive long with their hubris, but those who do are among the best of their lineage even as they pose a risk to its stability.

                  While the danger posed by flaunting the Xayacatl may be great, it pales when compared to when they fall into unworthy hands. For in the generations that followed the old empire's collapse, the Nemontemi have discovered that their masks can be wielded even by those who lack the blood of the Tzitzimimeh. They are still the only ones who can craft the masks, yes, but anyone can invoke the dark powers they hold if they are strong-willed enough and choose to shed their own blood as payment.

                  While this seemed promising to them at first, the Star Children quickly came to prevent such knowledge from being widespread. Mortals not marked by their bloodline risked being overtaken by any Xayacatl they dared to wear. The more powers were imbued in a given mask, the more likely a would-be pretender ended up losing his soul to it.

                  Because of the dangers that stemmed from abuse and misuse, the Nemontemi are fiercely protective of their masks. And this, in turn, has contributed to the conflicts between them and several other groups. The Aegis Kai Doru, in particular, has lost many members in its attempts to claim a number of Xayacatl for themselves. Similarly inquisitive groups like the Cheiron Group and the Loyalists of Thule have been met with the same response.

                  This isn't likely to change anytime soon. The Nemontemi will continue to oppose them, for they allow cannot their insidious parents to gain another foothold into the world through the actions of naive fools.

                  Optional Rules:

                  Whispers of the Void -- A Nemontemi has no limit in the number of Xayacatl he can carry. However, if he holds too many, he hears them tempt him in hushed tones to do unspeakable things. He suffers from the Whispers Condition as long as he has more Xayacatl than his dots in Integrity.

                  Tzitzimitl's Embrace -- A mundane character (one who isn't a Star Child) suffers a far worse fate by attempting to wear a Xayacatl. He must roll Resolve + Composure, penalized by the Xayacatl's dot rating, upon putting it on. If he succeeds, he may access the mask's powers, but must succeed in further breaking points in addition to paying the usual costs. He also does not reduce his effective Integrity for the purpose of determining breaking points.

                  If he fails a breaking point tied to the mask, the character falls under the star gods' influence. He is subject to the Possess Manifestation, with the Storyteller rolling the Xayacatl's dots in place of Power + Finesse. If he has been Possessed enough times, he may become Claimed at the Storyteller's discretion.

                  A character wearing a Xayacatl suffers the Whispers Condition, and any attempt to remove it must succeed in a breaking point (again, penalized by the Xayacatl's dot rating). Failure causes him to be Possessed (or Claimed) by the mask, in addition to losing a dot of Integrity.
                  Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-19-2017, 02:59 PM.


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                  Age of Azar
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                  • #10
                    Hey, thanks for mentioning me and my Bat Host. It's always nice to see your work being used by others.

                    Keep up with the great stuff people, these are awesome and I'll keep them ready if my game set in the Mesoamerica Dark Era ever manages to get started. I might be biased, since as LostLight probably knows, I toyed with the same sources of inspiration you're using here, but I personally love what you wrote so far.


                    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
                    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps".

                    Hopes to write about monsters, shapeshifters and soulless abominations someday. If you have criticism that can help me improve, I'm always here

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                      Hey, thanks for mentioning me and my Bat Host. It's always nice to see your work being used by others.

                      Keep up with the great stuff people, these are awesome and I'll keep them ready if my game set in the Mesoamerica Dark Era ever manages to get started. I might be biased, since as LostLight probably knows, I toyed with the same sources of inspiration you're using here, but I personally love what you wrote so far.
                      Well, the only thing I can think of for the Nemontemi, now, is a sidebar for playing them in a "Handful of Dust", but I am debating how that would play out.


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

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                      • #12
                        A Handful of Dust: Fertile Wastelands

                        If one had to name a point in North American history that brought about great despair and the worst in humanity, he or she might pick the 1930s. The Dust Bowl left the American Midwest a desolate landscape, and the Great Depression that came hand in hand with it left thousands of people exposed to the elements, bereft of their homes and jobs. Some would even go so far as to believe that the drought and storms that occur in these years were signs that the world was ending.

                        The Nemontemi do not think so, but they quickly learn that the influence of their mothers grows during such lean times.

                        In the wake of the Revolution, the Star Children are entrenched throughout Mexico. They hold a degree of influence in their homeland for the first time in centuries, and this continues to grow as the years pass. Some have used this newfound prosperity to shift their attention to neighboring countries, where servants of the Tzitzimimeh have likely hidden themselves from the vengeful conspiracy. Many of these hunters venture south to Guatemala and the countries beyond it, while a few look north towards the increasingly barren United States.

                        Indeed, the lands affected by the Dust Bowl come to be plagued by strange things. Many are vampires and werewolves who stalk and feed upon those mortals displaced from their homes. Some are half-living and soulless corpses that most hunters would come to call the Reanimated. A few, though, are agents of the star gods, and they prey on the hardship of humankind while contributing to the conditions they suffer through.

                        As descendants of cursed blood, the Nemontemi fare better than most hunters in this era. The magic of the Xayacatl arms them against the tricks of their mothers, and they are no strangers to poverty and violence thanks to what they endured for hundreds of years. When those of the lineage who had settled in the U.S began to sense the Tzitzimimeh's influence at work, they did not hesitate to venture out into the dust storms in order to purge it.

                        However, the Dust Bowl is not the only thing they must adapt to their Vigil. The Great Depression brought out the worst in many Americans. Mexican immigrants and their descendants faced harsh treatment from the "white" population. In addition to food shortages and unemployment, they also had to fear being deported against their will. Indeed, hundreds of thousands were sent back to their home country by the government, and even people born and raised in the US were counted among them when they were suspected of being Mexican. A sizable number were Mexican farmworkers, and their departure from the nation was a terrible reversal of their relative prosperity a decade ago. Some were secretly Nemontemi.

                        Despite such hostility, the Mexican Americans who avoided deportation (and the Star Children among them) would eke out a living. Some would take up a nomadic lifestyle and travel the highways in search of work. Others found a measure of stability in migrant work camps, where they banded together as communities to secure their jobs and create safe havens. The latter group would come to pave the way for the labor movements which give rise to the Union in succeeding years.

                        By the end of the decade, Mexican Americans would be a well-entrenched minority in the American Southwest, and the Nemontemi hiding among them would spread alongside them in their hunt for the star demons. The arrival of the rains further weakens their enemies' hold in the mortal world, as they had descended in forms meant to exploit the ravages of the Dust Bowl.

                        However, the Star Children will soon find themselves fighting a new wave of demons, drawn from the void by the bloodshed of war.


                        Strange Alchemies: While it is a remnant of their hated past, some Nemontemi wield a form of alchemy that was practiced in the Aztec Empire. This tradition belonged to a select group of fire priests who turned their knives to the sacrifice of the Reanimated (or Created, as they called themselves), and harnessed the flames which burned within them to channel the gods' favor and power. In the 1930s and subsequent decades, the conspiracy has long used it as another weapon alongside the Xayacatl, divested of its religious nature.

                        An alchemist in the conspiracy is as likely to be a cautious practitioner as he is to be counted among the Insatiate. While the Star Children do not shy away from their monstrous natures, they still struggle to retain some of their humanity in order to avoid falling back to the old ways. That a black alchemist with sociopathic tendencies can cause as much damage as a Slasher only reinforces this point.
                        Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-26-2017, 11:54 AM.


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

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