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  • #16
    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

    Bravo. I'd like to thank you for providing the perfect internet answer: cryptic, instructive, hinting at elusive avenues for definition--yet on-point and enabling.

    There are hooks here that should enable detailing out the sparrows with enough robustness to perform chin-ups on them.

    What if the rumored vampires of Britain lurking at the edges of society with golden eyes haven't a clue what you speak of when the "owls of dis" are brought up?

    Or ask back "Don't you mean the hounds?", for example....

    What does a vampire do when the face it stares at in a broken mirror, the one that should be its own, shows eyes that glow golden and speaks with its voice but words not its own?

    There's much that may lurk at the edge of shadows - or be nothing beyond a trick of the light. That's for the brave - or fateful - to find out. Or die trying.

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    • #17
      I would like to note, on the subject of sparrows, that in Requiem's Beijing setting the sparrows (as part of Mao's "four pests campaign"), the sparrows were heavily hinted to be related to the strix.


      My Homebrew Signature

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

      I now blog in here

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

        Or ask back "Don't you mean the hounds?", for example....

        What does a vampire do when the face it stares at in a broken mirror, the one that should be its own, shows eyes that glow golden and speaks with its voice but words not its own?

        There's much that may lurk at the edge of shadows - or be nothing beyond a trick of the light. That's for the brave - or fateful - to find out. Or die trying.
        What does a vampire do when it wanders into the ring of stones and feels a sharp, fluttered thrashing pressing insistent, wetly against her eyeball--and wakes for the first time to a chirpy voice suggesting "let's go back to the houses!"

        Do the shadows they cast grow sets of wings and yellow eyes?

        Sparrows long ago learned that the homes of men are best for them as well. They found much food and shelter from the wet. Their ancestors who refused to domesticate and jump amongst human dust are all gone. Passed away into memory. Only the wild spirit of those torn without shelter may survive. Do they look on with jealousy, and crave undying houses of their own?

        Edit: and here we circle back to the Unholy. Sparrows and other flocking birds are, by themselves, cunning and a little mean perhaps. In groups they act strategically, able to respond in ways that even sacrifice a part of the group to accomplish their objectives. They are, in other words, a more whole, intelligent malicious Entity.

        So what the flocking manifestations of Strix are the same? If its them in a group that creates the problem, more?


        --Khanwulf

        PS. I have a strange NPC already established: a great wolflike spirit-thing of shadow and smoke, set with two pairs of glowing yellow eyes and sporting two pairs of wings across its back. It is... not necessarily malevolent, but may very much be what happens to a quite old vampire when things go wrong and its body can't take it.

        PPS.
        I'd be friends with the sparrows ...
        and the boys who shoots the arrows
        If I only had a heart.


        Last edited by Khanwulf; 10-07-2019, 04:36 PM.

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        • #19
          On a little aside, the "Wednesday’s Children" pack, the keepers of order and one of the leading groups among the overcrowded Forsaken in the city of Sheffield, has Watching Owl as ​their Patron.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
            On a little aside, the "Wednesday’s Children" pack, the keepers of order and one of the leading groups among the overcrowded Forsaken in the city of Sheffield, has Watching Owl as ​their Patron.
            Condensed version with very minor edits and formatting:

            The story of Blodeuwedd is one of the legends belonging to the Mabinogion, a famous collection of old Welsh legends. Her legend is part of the Fourth Branch of Mabinogi legends. Although full of magic, myth (and a bit bizarre in places) it is still one of the most interesting legends of the Mabinogi.

            A woman named Arianrhod had two sons, one whom was named Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Although she went lightly on her eldest son, she put three curses on Lleu: that he would not receive a name unless it was given by her, he would not receive his armour unless from her, and the last curse was that he would never be allowed to marry a mortal woman.

            After hearing of the last curse, two wizards, Gwydion and Math, thought they would be able to help. They created a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes out of flowers and gave her the name Blodeuwedd, meaning ‘Flower Face’. Blodeuwedd was beautiful and innocent; immediately Lleu fell in love with her and the two were married.

            Not long after the marriage, Lleu had to go and meet his uncles, and left Blodeuwedd alone in their castle at Tomen y Mur. As she became bored and lonely, she suddenly heard sounds nearby and looking from her castle, she saw a hunting party approaching the castle. The leader of the party was Gronw Pebyr, the lord of nearby Penllyn. He told Blodeuwedd that his party was looking for somewhere to stay and Blodeuwedd did not hesitate to let them inside the castle. Almost immediately she fell in love with Gronw Pebyr and the two began an affair. They decided that because they wanted to be together, they would kill Lleu.

            This wouldn’t be easy, as Lleu couldn’t be killed in any normal way. When Gronw and his hunting party left and Lleu returned, Blodeuwedd asked him what was the method used to kill him, appearing to be worried and sympathetic. Lleu told her the following, difficult, method in which someone could kill him:

            He could only be killed before he was about to take a bath on the banks of a river. One foot must be on the bath and the other on the back of a goat, and he could not be either indoor or outdoors. The only thing that would kill him then would be a spear, which had been worked on for exactly a year. After hearing this from Lleu, Blodeuwedd went to Gronw Pebyr with the news, and he began working on a spear immediately.

            Exactly a year later, as Lleu was able to take a bath underneath a thatched roof along the banks of a river, Gronw Pebyr threw a spear into Lleu’s side. Because Lleu had one foot on the side of a bath tub and the other on the back of a goat, Gronw’s plan was successful. But what Lleu had not told Blodeuwedd was that he could not be killed; instead, as soon as the spear hit him, Lleu burst into an eagle and flew away to a forest.

            After hearing the news, Gwydion set out to find Lleu. Luckily he found him in a tree in the forest nearby, living off the meat of a wild boar at the trunk of the tree. Because of his magic powers, Gwydion was able to turn Lleu back into a man. Finally after some time, Lleu was back in the form of a human and he set out to find Gronw Pebyr and Blodeuwedd. Lleu killed Gronw Pebyr, but in fear Blodeuwedd had run to the forest. She was not lucky, though: Gwydion managed to corner her and as punishment for what she had done, he turned her into a [shadowed] owl, telling her that every other bird would fear her [golden eyes] and thus she would have to live the rest of her life in solitude.

            Welsh legends are a hoot.

            --Khanwulf

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

              Condensed version with very minor edits and formatting:

              The story of Blodeuwedd is one of the legends belonging to the Mabinogion, a famous collection of old Welsh legends. Her legend is part of the Fourth Branch of Mabinogi legends. Although full of magic, myth (and a bit bizarre in places) it is still one of the most interesting legends of the Mabinogi.

              A woman named Arianrhod had two sons, one whom was named Lleu Llaw Gyffes. Although she went lightly on her eldest son, she put three curses on Lleu: that he would not receive a name unless it was given by her, he would not receive his armour unless from her, and the last curse was that he would never be allowed to marry a mortal woman.

              After hearing of the last curse, two wizards, Gwydion and Math, thought they would be able to help. They created a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes out of flowers and gave her the name Blodeuwedd, meaning ‘Flower Face’. Blodeuwedd was beautiful and innocent; immediately Lleu fell in love with her and the two were married.

              Not long after the marriage, Lleu had to go and meet his uncles, and left Blodeuwedd alone in their castle at Tomen y Mur. As she became bored and lonely, she suddenly heard sounds nearby and looking from her castle, she saw a hunting party approaching the castle. The leader of the party was Gronw Pebyr, the lord of nearby Penllyn. He told Blodeuwedd that his party was looking for somewhere to stay and Blodeuwedd did not hesitate to let them inside the castle. Almost immediately she fell in love with Gronw Pebyr and the two began an affair. They decided that because they wanted to be together, they would kill Lleu.

              This wouldn’t be easy, as Lleu couldn’t be killed in any normal way. When Gronw and his hunting party left and Lleu returned, Blodeuwedd asked him what was the method used to kill him, appearing to be worried and sympathetic. Lleu told her the following, difficult, method in which someone could kill him:

              He could only be killed before he was about to take a bath on the banks of a river. One foot must be on the bath and the other on the back of a goat, and he could not be either indoor or outdoors. The only thing that would kill him then would be a spear, which had been worked on for exactly a year. After hearing this from Lleu, Blodeuwedd went to Gronw Pebyr with the news, and he began working on a spear immediately.

              Exactly a year later, as Lleu was able to take a bath underneath a thatched roof along the banks of a river, Gronw Pebyr threw a spear into Lleu’s side. Because Lleu had one foot on the side of a bath tub and the other on the back of a goat, Gronw’s plan was successful. But what Lleu had not told Blodeuwedd was that he could not be killed; instead, as soon as the spear hit him, Lleu burst into an eagle and flew away to a forest.

              After hearing the news, Gwydion set out to find Lleu. Luckily he found him in a tree in the forest nearby, living off the meat of a wild boar at the trunk of the tree. Because of his magic powers, Gwydion was able to turn Lleu back into a man. Finally after some time, Lleu was back in the form of a human and he set out to find Gronw Pebyr and Blodeuwedd. Lleu killed Gronw Pebyr, but in fear Blodeuwedd had run to the forest. She was not lucky, though: Gwydion managed to corner her and as punishment for what she had done, he turned her into a [shadowed] owl, telling her that every other bird would fear her [golden eyes] and thus she would have to live the rest of her life in solitude.
              Cool story bro. That said, i ask myself if the fact Lleu could not be killed and turned in a bird might relate somehow to vampirism.
              Or Blodeuwedd's children believe it does and for this track their steps, trying to find out this time the right spear or arrow.

              Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
              Welsh legends are a hoot.
              Ouch.

              All this talk of owls, sparrows and their arrows also lead to this.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 10-08-2019, 01:05 PM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                Cool story bro. That said, i ask myself if the fact Lleu could not be killed and turned in a bird might relate somehow to vampirism.
                Or Blodeuwedd's children believe it does and for this track their steps, trying to find out this time the right spear or arrow.



                All this talk of owls, sparrows and their arrows also lead to this.
                Will have to check the video later.

                And hey! --I'm not the one writing the Mabinogion. The fourth branch is particularly trippy and complete with animal- and gender-bending of characters (who subsequently conceive and give birth). Those Welsh, let me tell ya!

                Your interpretation of Lleu's characteristics as sufficiently parallel to vampirism is intriguing and as workable as anything. The challenge with British/Welsh legend is NOT attributing it to Faerie action. If Lleu is "cursed" by his mother (should I put quotes around that? read his origin story!) then perhaps she could be accused of being his sire, wielding tynged through blood sympathy to prevent his fulfillment as an ancillae acting in his own right.

                There might be some allegory here--or not. Depends on if the tale is being told among the British Kindred.

                In any event, it's hard not to interpret the spear as a staking attempt against someone denied their dodge bonus....

                The "Children of Blodeuwedd" sound like a pre-Circle faction in Britain to be sure. Perhaps answering to a shadowy Crone figure in their Cruac that looks on with yellowed eyes, urging them to an ancient hunt.

                Similarly that would map well onto a pack name with an owl totem made of flowers....


                --Khanwulf

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

                  Will have to check the video later.

                  And hey! --I'm not the one writing the Mabinogion. The fourth branch is particularly trippy and complete with animal- and gender-bending of characters (who subsequently conceive and give birth). Those Welsh, let me tell ya!

                  Your interpretation of Lleu's characteristics as sufficiently parallel to vampirism is intriguing and as workable as anything. The challenge with British/Welsh legend is NOT attributing it to Faerie action. If Lleu is "cursed" by his mother (should I put quotes around that? read his origin story!) then perhaps she could be accused of being his sire, wielding tynged through blood sympathy to prevent his fulfillment as an ancillae acting in his own right.
                  His origin is indeed most interesting, though the "blob-like entity" part makes me think of clay to be molded and Danse Macabre's gargoyles perhaps.
                  No, no, i'm a fool - Blodeuwedd would be a gargoyle, Lleu is Pijavica! Check 2nd edition and Thousand Years of Night.
                  About tynged - check the Moirai in the Mekhet clanbook and the Cutting of the Strings & Manteia devotions....

                  Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                  There might be some allegory here--or not. Depends on if the tale is being told among the British Kindred.

                  In any event, it's hard not to interpret the spear as a staking attempt against someone denied their dodge bonus....

                  The "Children of Blodeuwedd" sound like a pre-Circle faction in Britain to be sure. Perhaps answering to a shadowy Crone figure in their Cruac that looks on with yellowed eyes, urging them to an ancient hunt.
                  Or an epithet for those that are not the Birds of Dis, as all that glitters is not gold.
                  Last edited by Baaldam; 10-08-2019, 08:11 PM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                    His origin is indeed most interesting, though the "blob-like entity" part makes me think of clay to be molded and Danse Macabre's gargoyles perhaps.
                    No, no, i'm a fool - Blodeuwedd would be a gargoyle, Lleu is Pijavica! Check 2nd edition and Thousand Years of Night.
                    About tynged - check the Moirai in the Mekhet clanbook and the Cutting of the Strings & Manteia devotions....
                    I'm still partial to assuming that Blodeuwedd her/itself is a "bird of dis" forced into a body originally made of flowers and such. There are strange bargains at work, there, and I'm stiff-arming any Changeling presumptions. If you're a vampiric blood sorcerer you get your spiritual motivating force from wherever you can, no?

                    Lleu would be perfect for a Pijavica: it's obvious now that you say it.


                    Or an epithet for those that are not the Birds of Dis, as all that glitters is not gold.
                    Note that in the legend Blodeuwedd didn't HAVE any children... so claiming childhood kinship both loops back to the essential role of the female in society of that time and assumes the family mantle of her--what is inherited in terms of blessings, curses and obligations.

                    Aside from hunting Lleu (and his progeny?), what might such a pact entail?

                    --Khanwulf

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

                      I'm still partial to assuming that Blodeuwedd her/itself is a "bird of dis" forced into a body originally made of flowers and such. There are strange bargains at work, there, and I'm stiff-arming any Changeling presumptions. If you're a vampiric blood sorcerer you get your spiritual motivating force from wherever you can, no?
                      Me i'm partial to twisted things, where the patterns we expect to see are broken down and take new forms.

                      Like how the "modern" strix brewing trouble around might not be the original "real" thing, but an ironic byproduct of some crazed "Gangrel/Julii/Ventrue/whoever made the Unholy" twisted propriation rites giving form to what they would supposedly keep away.

                      How the Cihatuateteo change from an elusive two-clan bloodline/shadow cult in Shadows of Mexico to a group of mortal almost immortal blood witches in Wicked Dead. But both things might be true if every Cihuateteo vampire was an spontaneous risen dead Cihuateteo witch, their "clan" an artifact of which entity, Jaguar or Whore, was their patron/mentor. From mortal to self-made "ghoul" witch to sireless vampire.

                      Or alternatively, sparrows that might train and tame the bale hounds, whose twisted nature in death generate Bethlehem Beasts/Hellhounds that terrorize places of atrocity and fear in death, sometimes messing their human prey so badly those that die from fear rise back as worms of sorts, undead things made fat on fear themselves.

                      Who's to say a gargoyle could not be made of flowers. Or that something else could rise from its shredded (deflowered?) carcass. And do not many plants reproduce and spread their by getting undone and thrown to the four winds?

                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      Lleu would be perfect for a Pijavica: it's obvious now that you say it.
                      Once the image gets in it's hard to unsee indeed.


                      Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                      Note that in the legend Blodeuwedd didn't HAVE any children... so claiming childhood kinship both loops back to the essential role of the female in society of that time and assumes the family mantle of her--what is inherited in terms of blessings, curses and obligations.

                      Aside from hunting Lleu (and his progeny?), what might such a pact entail?

                      --Khanwulf
                      Seeking someone to be her new Gronw Pebyr perhaps? Maybe that's part of the point with the kindred - not being the progeny of Lleu per se, but seeking that one partner that will join her in undoing him, this time the right way.
                      Last edited by Baaldam; 10-09-2019, 12:50 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                        Me i'm partial to twisted things, where the patterns we expect to see are broken down and take new forms.

                        Like how the "modern" strix brewing trouble around might not be the original "real" thing, but an ironic byproduct of some crazed "Gangrel/Julii/Ventrue/whoever made the Unholy" twisted propriation rites giving form to what they would supposedly keep away.
                        Fair enough. For harmony: I like to mash together WOD characters and plotlines with CofD. So the Invictus origin MAY include strong elements of Mithraic adherents and their oaths MAY draw from the cult and its avowed-god head, who may himself have been quite involved in facilitating the obliteration of the Camarilla as the only other source of Kindred legal tradition.

                        Or alternatively, sparrows that might train and tame the bale hounds, whose twisted nature in death generate Bethlehem Beasts/Hellhounds that terrorize places of atrocity and fear in death, sometimes messing their human prey so badly those that die from fear rise back as worms of sorts, undead things made fat on fear themselves.
                        Fat. And tasty worms.

                        You can dance around in the dust of human sorrow, but it's still better... concentrated.

                        And vampires? Vampires ruin everything.

                        Who's to say a gargoyle could not be made of flowers. Or that something else could rise from its shredded (deflowered?) carcass. And do not many plants reproduce and spread their by getting undone and thrown to the four winds?
                        Fair enough. I don't know CofD Gargoyles rebooted, and am only familiar with their WOD counterparts and have some bad memories of a certain player's fascination (and abuse) of them.


                        Once the image gets in it's hard to unsee indeed.
                        A "lump of flesh" dropped by the woman, scooped up and stuffed away until it turns back into human form? One can only assume periodic ministrations of blood left dripping into the containing chest. For years.



                        Seeking someone to be her new Gronw Pebyr perhaps? Maybe that's part of the point with the kindred - not being the progeny of Lleu per se, but seeking that one partner that will join her in undoing him, this time the right way.
                        Despite being dishonored for her betrayal and cast out she was never formally divorced. So she's wedded to Lleu and to his line and--more broadly, to the Kindred. She needs a new partner--one willing to break betray custom and let her take root in him, so she can whisper how to destroy her enemy and they can be together. Forever.

                        --Khanwulf

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                        • #27
                          Lovely idea that of a connection between Mithraic mysteries & oaths and the Invicuts roots, with some sabotage of the Camarilla mixed in.
                          I would be tempted to mix elements of both "Blood of the Bull" and "The Blood Gods" chapters of Mythologies in that tale, both some common elements (Aeshma, the name of one of the blood gods, also comes from persian religion, both share strong sacrifice & obedience imagery and the "men & animals spawned from the dead god's flesh could relate to the mithraic cult's ranks) that could be fun to play with.

                          [In my own games i used this bit about beings spawned from a god's dying pangs and remains to make a bunch of cthonic Ur-vampires beasts, the Nonnatii, the Neverborn, with shadow cults of their own and using some monsters from Predators to portray them]

                          About bad experiences with them, you mean VtM/DaV's Gargoyles or something else? Because the Requiem ones, fully described in Danse Macabre, are something altogether different, maybe closer to Prometheans in some aspects might be said.
                          Last edited by Baaldam; 10-09-2019, 03:25 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                            Lovely idea that of a connection between Mithraic mysteries & oaths and the Invicuts roots, with some sabotage of the Camarilla mixed in.
                            I would be tempted to mix elements of both "Blood of the Bull" and "The Blood Gods" chapters of Mythologies in that tale, both some common elements (Aeshma, the name of one of the blood gods, also comes from persian religion, both share strong sacrifice & obedience imagery and the "men & animals spawned from the dead god's flesh could relate to the mithraic cult's ranks) that could be fun to play with.
                            There's a lot there to work with, for sure. I've only stepped back far enough to define the edges of such an origin story with broad strokes. How it worked and how outright Mithraic cultists handle the transition to "modern" Invictus orders and oaths, is another matter. I imagine the effect is a bit like going from the Morrigan as a vampire (which she *partly* is in WoD, for example) to Childer of the Morrigan to Circle of the Crone, in which we circle back and acknowledge that the Crone is part of the triune Morrigan.

                            So there's an explicit assumption in here that somehow a "blood god" can absorb the sympathetic will of its followers sufficient to return actual power through Vitae magic. What might happen to someone who pulls that off is debatable, but probably in line with what happens to a Mage who ascends or close to it.

                            [In my own games i used this bit about beings spawned from a god's dying pangs and remains to make a bunch of cthonic Ur-vampires beasts, the Nonnatii, the Neverborn, with shadow cults of their own and using some monsters from Predators to portray them]
                            There's a lot of space to fill the dark corners of Vampire with things that only rhyme as Kindred.... Things that have a sort of fellowship. A seeming, so to speak, until... pushed.

                            Calling back to the OP, the Unholy may very well be such a creature, if not one that was embraced in a very non-traditional manner by The Morrigan/Crone herself!


                            About bad experiences with them, you mean VtM/DaV's Gargoyles or something else? Because the Requiem ones, fully described in Danse Macabre, are something altogether different, maybe closer to Prometheans in some aspects might be said.
                            I mean VtM/DaV Gargoyles. Danse Macabre is... somewhere, but I'm sure I haven't read it fully or I'd remember more details on gargoyles. Might you elaborate on what they are for Vampire? A vitae-spawned Promethean that sheds such a forced marriage of magic and matter as a chrysalis on the way to shadowed soul-stuff is ... intriguing.

                            --Khanwulf

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
                              Might you elaborate on what they are for Vampire? A vitae-spawned Promethean that sheds such a forced marriage of magic and matter as a chrysalis on the way to shadowed soul-stuff is ... intriguing.
                              The Children of the Stones are part blood sorcery, part inanimate ghoul. They're most commonly made to defend their creator's haven, but more specialized creations might be made as messengers, spies, distractions, hunters, and so on.

                              You essentially gather a bunch of Vitae and materials appropriate to the thing you're making, conduct an extended ritual in complete solitude, and cause the components to form into an unliving automaton that reflects its purpose and master. More powerful gargoyles take longer to make, require more Vitae in upkeep, and require a higher Blood Potency and more Vitae to create. Some types of gargoyle can only be created by certain clans, like the Daeva-exclusive Clockwork Mockingbirds, the Gangrel's Grave Markers, or the Discarded Ones particular to the Nosferatu.


                              Resident Lore-Hound
                              Currently Consuming: Hunter: the Vigil 1e

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                              • #30
                                Satchel pretty much sums it up.

                                Here's what the intro in the book gives us:

                                Originally posted by Danse Macabre, pg. 209
                                Gargoyles are homunculi birthed from vampire blood and told of in ancient esoterica. They’re not strictly composed of Vitae-animated stone, but can be created from nearly any conceivable material in addition to a certain blood price. They may be artfully constructed from glass, bone, metal, discarded rubbish, wood, or even flesh. As a result, Children of the Stones come in a vast array of shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of gargoyle and the Kindred that creates it, it might vaguely resemble a human, demon, angel, inanimate object, animal, or some form that is entirely alien and unrecognizable. Some speak, and some do not. Some are extremely powerful allies or adversaries that act as prized instruments of their creator’s will. Some are expendable, weakly assembled ragdolls intended to fall to shambles after completing a single task. With the exception of rare, rogue gargoyles, Children of the Stones loyally and unquestioningly obey their master’s commands.
                                So, one might describe VtM's gargoyles as something between Prometheans and a Fetch constructed by fae to pass for human beings they kidnap, one might say. Or maybe i exagerate things a bit, but i do feel the comparison is a valid one and so brought it up.Certainly worth the read.

                                Specially when one considers how different heritages, like being Pijavica or having supernatural merits particularly tied to blood or fertility like of Rose & Thorn or Undead Menses among others, might add new factors to the equation.
                                Last edited by Baaldam; 10-09-2019, 06:03 PM.

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