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  • DubiousRuffian
    started a topic Is The Unholy Claimed?

    Is The Unholy Claimed?

    With the recent action on the Spilled Blood thread I was thinking about the Brood.

    In Secrets of the Covenants there's the ritual Pledge to the Worthless One. It specifically references Beliel, so I'm assuming this ritual is how one gets Claimed.


    The Pledge has a number of effects that fit with The Unholy.
    • You get all the advantages of being in frenzy. Claws of the Unholy come out whenever you frenzy.
    • You get a witch mark. She's got chicken-skin arms.
    • You get a familiar. Apparently she's always got crows around.

    The theory is contradicted by the fact that the blog mentions that Claimed only embrace larvae, and The Unholy embraced a dude in Chicago. Also, The Unholy never seemed like a joiner to me. But maybe the Brood is a political faction made up of Claimed, and she's simply Claimed.

  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Live Bait View Post
    Since we’re already safely off topic I feel safe returning to the earlier debate about whether or not the Strix created Crúac by pointing out that if the theory that they come from some lower depth without life then creating a form of magic that requires sending life to their home makes perfect sense.
    Come from vs assumed residence within.

    Create a form of magic vs co-opt a form of magic.

    The Strix do possession and transformation. What if that kind of pattern is mapped onto other elements of the Strix? They don't seem like a creative force in the (dark) universe, after all.

    But yes, they would have an interest in directing a stream of life-energy into their hollow plane of "home". Though again they also seem distinctly comfortable hanging around the regular plane of existence.


    --Khanwulf

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  • Live Bait
    replied
    Since we’re already safely off topic I feel safe returning to the earlier debate about whether or not the Strix created Crúac by pointing out that if the theory that they come from some lower depth without life then creating a form of magic that requires sending life to their home makes perfect sense.

    Leave a comment:


  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

    It doesn't even have to be OD sorcerers - check out the Vedma bloodline (ironically, in the OD book), for a group of kindred that i can imagine (re)creating by accident (or ill-intent) something akin to the Strix.
    Sure. I was actually making a thinly-veiled reference to the Tremere story in WoD, and how the Omen War progressed.


    Now i'm imagining a vampire with the Of Rose & Thorn merit - that let's you use Animalism to influence/enhance plants - making a "flower/wicker gargoyle" with materials harvested of mandragora garden. Damn, i have a Gangrel elder (of late Priscus and OD Primogen) who might do exactly that if something ever happened to his bruxa (daughter of phobos) wife....
    Mandragora maiden of flowers and thorns? Damn she could probably suck the blood out of you from a hug.

    It's like Pet Cemetery with plants (and loved-ones). What could possibly go wrong with combining your mandragora garden and the burial ground "wyrms nest" that Ordo fop keeps harping on?


    --Khanwulf

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

    Well clearly there is now at least enough wiggle room for these things to be made into whatever kind of antagonist or even faction that the Storyteller needs, with only minimal hand-waving. Vampire used to be quite deterministic: you put in the blood, you get out the effect (Embrace, ghoul). Now the factors involved amount to such a nuanced expression of will and circumstance that not even an elder can count on what may happen.

    This is fine.

    As an example, if you want an early version of Ordo Dracul sorcerers to set up shop in East-Central Europe and go to war with the resident Pijavica, now they really can develop a "race" of semi-living guardians empowered by the Blood. I'm sure nothing will go wrong. Nope!
    It doesn't even have to be OD sorcerers - check out the Vedma bloodline (ironically, in the OD book), for a group of kindred that i can imagine (re)creating by accident (or ill-intent) something akin to the Strix.

    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    To your specific point on the "limits" the book provides, I've increasingly become convinced that the way to push the envelope is to issue supernatural merits to PCs/NPCs and let them whilly-nilly do what they want... assuming there is enough in-game excuse, of course.
    Now i'm imagining a vampire with the Of Rose & Thorn merit - that let's you use Animalism to influence/enhance plants - making a "flower/wicker gargoyle" with materials harvested of mandragora garden. Damn, i have a Gangrel elder (of late Priscus and OD Primogen) who might do exactly that if something ever happened to his bruxa (daughter of phobos) wife....

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

    Pretty much that. They are divided in ranks, that affect their complexity, power and cost, but there's room to play with ideas in the samples. The book defines a ceiling of max rank = half the master's BP, but frankly i feel this is unecessarily stringent for what you actually get out of them. Don't think max rank = master BP (up to 5 without actual blood magic) would terribly unbalance things based on the samples given.



    No, unfortunately no disciplines or merits that i can see in the samples, but they do have Supernatural Aspects, dread powers of their own so to speak, some inspired by disciplines, other quite independent. Playing by RaW their intelligence is limited and have no will of their own but the fluff in the rolls does open room for the posssibility of greater self-awareness and/or volition (or at least malice toward the master or its designated allies).



    Indeed. I ask myself what bringing the threnodies from Blood Sorcery might or not add to the mix.
    Well clearly there is now at least enough wiggle room for these things to be made into whatever kind of antagonist or even faction that the Storyteller needs, with only minimal hand-waving. Vampire used to be quite deterministic: you put in the blood, you get out the effect (Embrace, ghoul). Now the factors involved amount to such a nuanced expression of will and circumstance that not even an elder can count on what may happen.

    This is fine.

    As an example, if you want an early version of Ordo Dracul sorcerers to set up shop in East-Central Europe and go to war with the resident Pijavica, now they really can develop a "race" of semi-living guardians empowered by the Blood. I'm sure nothing will go wrong. Nope!

    To your specific point on the "limits" the book provides, I've increasingly become convinced that the way to push the envelope is to issue supernatural merits to PCs/NPCs and let them whilly-nilly do what they want... assuming there is enough in-game excuse, of course.


    --Khanwulf

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  • Baaldam
    replied
    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    Thanks Satchel! So is the means for creating them tied to a ritual that falls within a certain sphere of blood magic? Or is it Devotion or Merit-based?




    Right. Ok, so the impression I get is that they are fully customizable servants, limited only by the imagination of the creator and their time and materials available (mostly Vitae, presumably).
    Pretty much that. They are divided in ranks, that affect their complexity, power and cost, but there's room to play with ideas in the samples. The book defines a ceiling of max rank = half the master's BP, but frankly i feel this is unecessarily stringent for what you actually get out of them. Don't think max rank = master BP (up to 5 without actual blood magic) would terribly unbalance things based on the samples given.

    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    I can see quite a few parallels to Birthing the God in Cruac. Do Gargoyles get instilled with various supernatural powers (Disciplines, Merits, whatever) on creation? Are they potentially sentient in the sense of being playable?

    To this last question, I suppose the clarifying point is "do they self-generate Willpower, implying en-soulment has occurred?"
    No, unfortunately no disciplines or merits that i can see in the samples, but they do have Supernatural Aspects, dread powers of their own so to speak, some inspired by disciplines, other quite independent. Playing by RaW their intelligence is limited and have no will of their own but the fluff in the rolls does open room for the posssibility of greater self-awareness and/or volition (or at least malice toward the master or its designated allies).

    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    In addition to Pijavica, supernatural Merits, fertility rites (you could stop at Cruac if you wished) and Dhampir-spawning conception, I can imagine a combination ritual that forms and "births" a Gargoyle in... um... more traditional configurations--at least to external understanding.

    People get creative when they understand a bit of occult lore....
    Indeed. I ask myself what bringing the threnodies from Blood Sorcery might or not add to the mix.
    Last edited by Baaldam; 10-10-2019, 12:44 PM.

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchel View Post
    It's an extended Resolve + Occult + Blood Potency roll that theoretically any vampire with Blood Potency 2+ and access to the appropriate resources for their target creation can attempt.

    Wow. So basically if you know how to do this (Occult) have the will to do so (Resolve) and the supernatural uumph, then you can stamp out a servant critter. Interesting.

    That means Animalism's ability to do something similar with an undead familiar is a specialized and simplified application of the principle. We can then very easily extrapolate to necromancy, for example, or even to endowing figments of Nightmare with great agency--if only within the target's mind.

    --Khanwulf

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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post
    Thanks Satchel! So is the means for creating them tied to a ritual that falls within a certain sphere of blood magic? Or is it Devotion or Merit-based?
    It's an extended Resolve + Occult + Blood Potency roll that theoretically any vampire with Blood Potency 2+ and access to the appropriate resources for their target creation can attempt.

    Leave a comment:


  • Khanwulf
    replied
    Thanks Satchel! So is the means for creating them tied to a ritual that falls within a certain sphere of blood magic? Or is it Devotion or Merit-based?


    Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
    Satchel pretty much sums it up.

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

    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.
    Right. Ok, so the impression I get is that they are fully customizable servants, limited only by the imagination of the creator and their time and materials available (mostly Vitae, presumably).

    I can see quite a few parallels to Birthing the God in Cruac. Do Gargoyles get instilled with various supernatural powers (Disciplines, Merits, whatever) on creation? Are they potentially sentient in the sense of being playable?

    To this last question, I suppose the clarifying point is "do they self-generate Willpower, implying en-soulment has occurred?"

    In addition to Pijavica, supernatural Merits, fertility rites (you could stop at Cruac if you wished) and Dhampir-spawning conception, I can imagine a combination ritual that forms and "births" a Gargoyle in... um... more traditional configurations--at least to external understanding.

    People get creative when they understand a bit of occult lore....

    --Khanwulf

    Leave a comment:


  • Baaldam
    replied
    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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  • Satchel
    replied
    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.

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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    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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  • Baaldam
    replied
    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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  • Khanwulf
    replied
    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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