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Example Deceived Cult: The Black Monastery

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  • Example Deceived Cult: The Black Monastery

    I've been sitting on these guys, a Deceived cult of evil kung fu monks. I wanted to see if a concept that gonzo could be done seriously, and I also wanted some Mummy bad guys for East Asia. I hope you like!

    Many among the Deathless feel drawn to remain among the old borders of the Nameless Empire, spending the ages in North Africa and the Middle East, while others have followed the paths of colonial power and influence, moving to Europe and North America in order to influence the world at large. Yet a rare few mummies look instead to Asia, towards lands unknown to Irem and largely untouched by their kin. The past few decades have seen many Cults make inroads towards places like Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo, in an attempt to be on the forefront of global power. These interlopers would be surprised to find rivals that have dwelled there for a thousand years.

    A pair of Deceived, one a servant of The Dancer and the other sworn to The Keeper, arose and shunned their former homeland, traveling further and further East with each return to life. They attempted to influence the people that would one day be known as Chinese, but were driven into the remote countryside by local sorcerers and other, stranger forces, and on the periphery they watched the rise of strange philosophies. To these immortal twins, Taoist belief in wu wei (natural, effortless action in tune with the natural world) sounded oddly familiar to the words of their temakhs, and they studied under a great mortal scholar until they understood it fully before devouring his flesh and burning his school to the ground. With stolen wealth, they founded a new monastery in the wilderness of Henan province, carved of black stone and hidden by great sorceries from the outside world save for those called by Fate to study under them.

    This nameless school is focused on martial arts and the superiority of the flesh over the mind, and over hundreds of years grew to train generations of monks. From Immortal Dancing Dragon, they learn the 42 sacred poses, with seamless transitions between them creating a divine fighting style unknown beyond their school's black walls; from Immortal Screaming Tiger, they learn to submerge the individual conscious mind and act purely on instinct. Once these two lessons have been mastered, the monks become creatures of muscle memory, weapons of flesh capable of piercing metal with their hands and ignoring deadly wounds at the cost of the complete destruction of the self. Their teachings are a blasphemous perversion of Taoism that any outsider would find repellant, but it serves the two well in creating an army of fearless, unthinking cultists.

    The last time the outside world had contact with the blasphemous monastery was in the late 1800s, when monks were sent to instruct fighters of the Boxer Rebellion in the ways of their unholy techniques. Powerful spells have shielded the school from attention and intrusion over the last century, allowing it to go unmolested by the Cultural Revolution and the progress of the modern world. As more Arisen move into China to leverage the political and technology sway available there, Immortal Dancing Dragon and Immortal Screaming Tiger are starting to wonder if now is the time to storm their enemies' tombs with an army of degenerate monks.

    As a merit for Deceived: Cult 10 (Conspiracy, Reach 0, Grasp 5, Blasé, Obedient, Ritualistic, Wrathful)

    As a mortal: The Cult of the Black Monastery is unfit for player characters, as its monks have abandoned all personal identity; most are incredibly low on Integrity and they suffer no Breaking Points for inflicting harm or murder. They suffer no wound penalties from damage and never need to roll to resist unconsciousness. Their unarmed attacks do Lethal damage, and many have training in archaic weapons and obscure Fighting Styles. All of them have one dot in the Deceived Cultist merit.


    Call me Regina or Lex.

    Female pronouns for me, please.

  • #2
    Wow. These guys are definitely interesting Hmm. I am sorely tempted to try my hand at giving them a Dark Era writeup unless you already have ideas for it?


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

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
      Wow. These guys are definitely interesting Hmm. I am sorely tempted to try my hand at giving them a Dark Era writeup unless you already have ideas for it?
      Feel free! I've had the idea of "pulpy evil Shaolin temple" for ages, but the Deceived gave the idea the oomph it needed to become reality. What Dark Era are you thinking of?

      Also, this is one of five Example Cult threads I've started, but this is the only one with a comment on it so far!


      Call me Regina or Lex.

      Female pronouns for me, please.

      Comment


      • #4
        The Three Kingdoms one. I actually wonder which side/s the Cult would take in the conflicts, if ever. Plus, I can see them working great as antagonists for local Sin-Eaters as well as the Directional Courts.

        On a semi-related note, I am also debating whether or not this Cult could have somehow reached the shores of Yamatai (see the associated link in my signature).

        Could you also link me to your other Sample Cults?


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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
          The Three Kingdoms one. I actually wonder which side/s the Cult would take in the conflicts, if ever. Plus, I can see them working great as antagonists for local Sin-Eaters as well as the Directional Courts.

          On a semi-related note, I am also debating whether or not this Cult could have somehow reached the shores of Yamatai (see the associated link in my signature).

          Could you also link me to your other Sample Cults?
          Other Cults: superstitious geomancer among China's elite, an FBI task force that doesn't know what they serve, a bunch of burnout New Age hippies who've stumbled onto the real deal, an invitation-only circle of professional criminals, and a support group for veterans that will soon fight again.


          Call me Regina or Lex.

          Female pronouns for me, please.

          Comment


          • #6
            Flashback moment: The Boxer Rebellion

            The late 1890s saw increasing unrest in China as many chafed under the control of colonialist European powers, boiling over into outright open conflict in 1899 as many bandit groups and martial arts societies (with covert or even overt support from local government officials) attacked foreigners and Christians. Known as 'Boxers' to the foreigners, they claimed to have incredible powers and led bloody fighting for the next two years. Despite their incredible claims, the Boxers were simply mortal men, and died just as easily as any other when faced with Western guns; the rebellion's back was broken, its leaders executed, and the nation buried under further concessions and reparations for decades later.

            Yet some of those Boxers were not mere mortals, and were not Boxers at all. The Deathless masters of the Black Monastery caught wind of the imminent revolt and saw through the politics of the living to see Arisen hands pulling the strings. Asia, long-ignored by the Guilds for its remote location and protective local supernatural powers, was finally recognized as ripe for the taking by the time of the Victorian Era, and it was a trifling thing to send cultists among the foreign troops and dignitaries. A small handful of the Black Monastery's students were sent to train the Boxers and largely found them wanting in discipline and strength, but still shrugged off fire from massed ranks of Westerners and cleaves through stone walls with their fists and sharp-edged Dao blades. Ultimately, they failed to alter the course of history... but were still terrors on the battlefields of China, and brought valuable information back to their unholy teachers.

            Plot Hooks:

            -Your Cult is based largely in the British military, and raise you from the death-sleep of henet when they receive orders to sail for China. When they report back tales of men that refuse to die and can kill with their bare fists, it comes time to investigate personally. How do you take to the fighting without being noticed by mortal authorities - or do you care if they see your godlike glory?

            -A dealer of curiosities has returned from the Orient with all manner of artifacts for you to peruse, and all of them are the dusty garbage mortals seem to produce in ever-increasing quantities as the ages go on... save for the Relic spear engraved with scorpion iconography and Iremite names written in archaic Chinese. What does it mean to see something so clearly of the Nameless Empire from a land they never touched, and will you cross the Pacific to investigate its place of origin?


            Call me Regina or Lex.

            Female pronouns for me, please.

            Comment


            • #7
              Any ideas for how to put the Black Monastery in a Dark Era setting? Specifically Three Kingdoms of Darkness?


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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                Any ideas for how to put the Black Monastery in a Dark Era setting? Specifically Three Kingdoms of Darkness?
                I honestly don't see them changing too much; the Black Monastery has been around for a very long time and doesn't really interact much with the outside world other than training more monks. Truth be told, I'm not super familiar with the Three Kingdoms period, but they might be sending monks out to try and infiltrate the various armies (or possibly rallying the normal people tired of constant war?) in order to grow new recruits.


                Call me Regina or Lex.

                Female pronouns for me, please.

                Comment


                • #9
                  With the Qing setting coming along, I figure this might be worth bumping for all y’all.


                  Call me Regina or Lex.

                  Female pronouns for me, please.

                  Comment

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