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Tartaruchi [Strain of the Cursed Blood- Balkan]

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  • Tartaruchi [Strain of the Cursed Blood- Balkan]

    The Kindly Ones

    [a triangle made of the wings of three feminine figures, with a flame in the middle]

    Three sisters sat beneath the mountain on thrones of basalt, looking upon the world beyond their touch. Once, they were not contained to such lowly place- but traveled freely, ruling men as herd and guiding them by the primal laws of the world. Those times were wild, and violence was the only tool in their hand to teach the masses about right and wrong- there was no reward, only punishment, and that punishment was enough so its lacking would be a reward of itself. Blood cover their skin like cloths, dresses of shining crimson and dry brown. Their scourges were quick, and found every law breaker once a crime was committed. That time has passed, however- new kings and queens rose and overthrew the tyrants of old. They took the mountain as theirs, creating a kingdom of higher values than crime and punishment. As beings of law, they accepted their rule- and left, making the depths of earth as their new kingdom.

    Three sisters sat beneath the mountain holding their scourges with displeasure. New laws were made under the heaven, and they followed them accordingly. From tyrants they became judges, from rulers they became executioners. They watched oaths, they followed promises- and when the laws of the gods were broken, they came to punish the transgressors. Before them, many came to justify their acts or claim others for breaking their words. They listened to each claim carefully, and if they found that a crime was committed, the punishment came accordingly. Their laws of heaven were absolute, and those who broke them were given to hell as its due.

    Three sisters sat beneath the mountain as hunger and spite burned in their guts. Too many crimes were done by man yet their halls were empty- for gods did nothing to stop them. Heaven was corrupted, and by claiming glory and honor sinners were able to escape their clutches. Hell demanded what was its, yet the gods ignored- leaving the three to rot in their thrones as crime prospered. Trapped below the mountain, there was little they could do- leaving their scourges to rust with dry blood. One day, one sister suggested an idea- for if only sinners, demons and the dead were allowed in their realm, wouldn't those who are alive, human and innocent would be able to go out? If they'll give birth to newborn, and bound them by their words to serve Hell by Heaven's laws, wouldn't they be able to feast on corrupted souls once more?

    Seeing the wisdom in her words, the two agreed to their sister's suggestion. Hiding beneath the mountain, each came to the lowest among sinners and took him as her own, a punishment as was theirs to preform by right. Each took the sinner's seed to herself, and each gave birth to three children- their flesh is soft and warm like human born, yet their blood burning with the fire of hell like demon. Being human, alive and innocent like only a newborn could, they had no place in hell- and as such were free to got out from beneath the mountain. Yet before they did, their mothers came to them and made them promise before hell and heaven to follow their duty- crimes were to be punished, and the souls of sinners are to be given to their hungry mothers.

    Years has passed, and three mothers still sit beneath the mountain. No longer their halls are empty, no longer their scourges rusted. For every crime was punishment, and sinners were given to hell as it was promised. Their children still walk the earth, bound by oath and blood to their mothers. Forced to punish the wicked, they had no place for them among mortal men, and their very life has turned into hell- yet no one of them would say bad word on their mothers. They are kind, they'll say- for their words were bound by oath, and hate one's own parents is a crime of itself.

    And as they well know, every crime has to be punished.

    Once, the Kindly Ones were a power to reckon with- they roamed the lands of Ancient Greece, punishing any person to break the laws of man and god as they were bound by oath. They were called as the Fire of Tartarus during those early days, although no one dared to call their name openly. They were the Kindly Ones, just like their mothers, for people were afraid to draw their attention and hoped that by treating them with respect, they would also gain their mercy. Mercy, however, is reserved for Heaven alone- and for them, was only punishing sinners as the law demands. Many offenses were light, and the punishments were given accordingly- yet some sins were worse than what the mind can even imagine. Sometimes, the acts were not crimes by themselves, for the acts were not done by man but by monsters, ones which were forced to act as such by nature. Such beings suffered only minor punishment, if any, by the Kindly Ones- for those were not sins in heaven's eyes. But when those acts were done by man- then Tartarus's fire truly brunt, and the screams of the wicked filled the night as a warning for future sinners.

    As Greece grew, so did the influence of the Kindly Ones- and during Alexander's reign their reach crossed continents. Yet, while Alexander was a great man, he was also a sinner- and as such no one among them was surprised when he was punished accordingly, and his empire dissolved as quick as it was establish. Only when Rome rose and took its place on the world's stage they gained the same range of influence. For years the governed the city, stalking both slaves and senators in search for hidden sins and monstrous acts- until eventually, the empire was weakened, a Jewish carpenter was crucified and a new religion shook the land with zeal.

    At first, they didn't gave those events much attention- they so empires rise and fall, and many of them has expected that. The sins of Rome were many, and they have demanded a punishment to be preformed. What they didn't noticed at time was the rise of a new power in the chaos, one which was birthed from the blood of lost light and the death of an innocent to save the sinners. Hell has changed, new kings made themselves thrones from ash and bones and a daughter defied her father's will. And from that mess of the Middle Ages, the Lucifuge came- holding fire and brimstone against Hell and its spawn.

    Those were wild times for the Kindly Ones- not only they had to adapt to the new religion, but also had to fight against the new demon children. Some claimed them to be a rebellious branch of the Tartarus, while others believers they are a new strain created by different demons- yet still guilty for not accepting their role as messengers of Hell. Eventually, the two lines has warred against each other for years, as the Lucifuge recognized the diabolical influence over the Kindly Ones and named them as slaves of the Morning Lord. Eventually, as Europe was divided, so did the lines- the children of Fury kept themselves to Byzantium and the Orthodox lands, while the Lucifuge were based at the lands of Catholicism in Western Europe. Slowly, the Kindly Ones accepted the mantle of Christianity themselves, which influenced their faith- no longer Hell was no longer thought as a place were the wicked are punished, but as a mirror for one's sins reflected in the divine. The wicked create their own doom by their sins, and the punishment is a reflection of their own crime. They, who were granted the sight of one's sins, were given the authority to punish the wicked. Still, some signs of their origin has remained- their leadership was always a trio of women, their scourges were wet with blood and the images of three figures created a perverted image of the Holy Trinity- three hellish personas who share the same essence. Punishment.

    That moment, the Tartaruchi were created- those who throw sinners to hell. Following their duty, they found murderers, heretics and anyone who broke the laws of God and brought him the hell he deserved. While they embraced their new mantle with zeal, with the fall of Byzantium they fell from grace and never recovered. At their moment of weakness, the children of morning raided their ranks and killed many of their numbers or kidnapped their children in order to "educate" them. It is said among them that the Lady herself killed two of the three Sisters, and that the last was scarred by the act. True or not, the last Sister doesn't say- but she is the only one of the three to wear a silver mask on her face, and her scourge is marked with every Lucifuge agent she killed.

    Nowadays, the Tartaruchi are a small, yet influencing, family in Greece. Based in Athens, they take an active part in the shadow life of their country. Where once they presented a choice for each child whether to take the oath to hell and join their ranks or not, now they force them all- they need their numbers, after all. Some of them has took part at the local national movements, thinking that by getting Greece out of the EU they would be safer from their old enemies. Others, especially the Silver Masked Sister, actually support the EU. In fact, recently, she herself has sent ambassadors to Milan in order to "unite their lines" and "find understandings among each other". She may talk about peace, but the rest of the Tartaruchi are not that sure- her voice may be calm, yet her face are hidden, and as every Kindly One knows- for each crime, there is punishment.

    And the Lucifuge's is already long in due.

    Status
    0- you have reached the age of 15, and took the oath to give no rest for the wicked. You get Unseen Sense (Sin), which triggers every time someone preforms a "sin" as considered by Christianity (or your personal ethics), an oathbreaker of some kind or when a "wicked creature" is around (that is, creatures who stray from the natural course of things. Drauger, the Mad, Slashers, Magaths, Infernals and similar beings are all valid targets). You can also buy dots in the Scourge Endowment, and you can expect to live as if you were Lucifuge.
    000- You have sent many sinners to Hell and showed your duty to your mothers. Hell is mirrored through you, and the sinners are lured to your presence. Every time you meet someone who recently fulfilled her Vice (in the same Scene), you enjoy +1 with her for all social rolls. Every time you meet someone with Integrity lower than yours, you get the difference between yours and hers as modifier instead.
    00000- You are truly your mother's child, and you are respected for you commitment to your oath. As a result, one of the Sisters takes a special interest in you- you get her as a 5 dot mentor.

    Breaking your Oath would immediately remove your Status benefits and access to your Scourge's abilities until getting punished in a way the Sisters see fit.

    Scourge (0-00000)
    Since the ancient days where the original Kindly Ones walked the earth and devoured wicked souls, they carried their signature weapon- and their children carry it in their name. A Scourge is a single weapon, traditionally taking the form of a whip of some kind- although as time evolved it took new forms appropriate to the culture. It is always a melee weapon, requiring the Kindly One to see the face of her victim and know the person she send to hell. While she doesn't have to make the Scourge herself, she does need to enhance it, requiring her to deal herself one level of Lethal Damage once getting it. While the Scourge takes a physical form, it is actually an extension of the hunter's spirit- and in case she lose it, she could freely enhance a new one by dealing the blood price. Doing so would make the former Scourge stop functioning, and she can't have more than a single Scourge active at the same time.

    The Scourge itself has two uses- the first is, true to its nature, as a weapon. The Scourge deals damage as the weapon it takes the form of- however, its damage is always Aggravated, and can harm both material beings and beings in the state of Twilight. That damage is doubled is the target is considered to be a "sinner" as by the Unseen Senses or has fulfilled her Vice or equivalent in the last Scene. In case the character is not a sinner and has fulfilled her Virtue instead, she suffers only from half the damage.

    The second ability granted by the Scourge is using Castigations- unlike the Lucifuge, however, she doesn't need to learn them. Instead, the Kindly One improvise those ceremonies as she channels the image of her mothers. Doing so requires a single Willpower and rolling for Scourge + Status. In the case of Failure, her mothers show their displeasure and burn her with He'll fire, dealing a single Bashing Damage. Dramatic Failure would turn that damage into Lethal and make her Scourge stop working for a Scene. Success would transform the hunter with the powers of hell- tattoos cover her skin, fire erupts from her back while smoke and ash cover her like shadow. While in that form, she gain a number of Castigations equal to her Scourge and gain a +Scourge modifier to any attack roll against sinners. That "Form of Fury" lasts for a sin.

    A soulless person is never considered to be a "sinner" for the purpose of the Scourge.
    Last edited by LostLight; 09-01-2016, 06:07 PM.


    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Stereotypes:
    Lucifuge: "Betraying one's legacy is a grave sin. Their punishment would be quick and painful"
    Ashwood Abbey: "They claim that by reserving their perverted lusts for inhuman beings, their acts are justified. While their so called parties disgust me- by technicality, they are right. Dura lex, sed lex"
    Loyalists of Thule: "Everyone fall once in a while- but rarely people take responsibility for their actions. I have no need to punish those who punish themselves. They are honorable people"
    VASCU: "They are loyal to their work, but their laws bind them. They are people of heaven, no doubt- but hell has its own sense of justice"
    Pythian Oracles: "Punishment is decided by the past, not the future. They are tainted with innocent blood which they proudly wear, and they should burn for it in the depths of their own Hell"
    Los Inocentes: "No one is innocent"

    "No rest for the wicked, they say? In that case- run"


    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here

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    • #3
      Interesting...are they all women? Or are they mostly women?

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      • #4
        their leaders are women, but there is nothing which stops men from being born or taking the oath. Perhaps at earlier times there was a stigma against male hunters- but nowadays, when they are so desperate for members, they don't have such luxury.


        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
          Is their a failsafe to their "Scourges" if they fall into some one else's hands?

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          • #6
            not really- but the hunter could as quickly enchant a new weapon and render the old Scourge powerless. Other people, however, won't be able to take the form of a Fury and use Castigations, leaving only the aggravated damage benefit.


            My Homebrew Signature

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

            I now blog in here

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            • #7
              Fantastic!

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