Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Dark Angel Syndrome [Mekhet Supernatural Affliction]

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Dark Angel Syndrome [Mekhet Supernatural Affliction]

    (Because why let only Ventrue and Nosferatu have all of the fun? Also, the name itself is a reference for Masquerade, as both Malkavaia and the Nicktuku Strain are also such references)

    Something dead approaches. It rises from the blackness of night, from the shadows of the world, from the darkness which lurks beyond the fire. You can't hear it, you can't see it, but it is there. It yearns for something you can't understand, it needs something you can't give. All around you, the world is going mad- or maybe you are losing your mind? You can't sleep, you can't close your eyes- because once you'll do, the darkness would come- and your guardian angel would come to devour you.

    The Dark Angel Syndrome (or angeli atri, as some vampire scholars call it), is a special affliction which targets the Mekhet. Its origin is not very clear- the Shadows say that from all of the Clans, they are the ones which are the closest to the primordial darkness and the world of the dead. After all, the Hollow seem to have been the original form of the Clan before they "became Kindred", which suggests that the Mekhet are more similar to ghosts than actual vampires. Others simply suggest that the Syndrome is a result of the Mekhet's curiosity and tendency to poke at things which are better left undisturbed, and that perhaps long ago the founder of the Clan have looked too deep into the Twilight and the worlds beyond- and something stared back, and it keeps watching them ever since. Few even talk about strange legends, like getting cursed by a powerful witch, or making a deal with the strix or other entities of pure darkness. Whatever the truth may be, it doesn't change the fact that the Dark Angel Syndrome is something that the Mekhet do not like to talk about, and an eternal reminder that sometimes, what is found in the dark better stay in the dark.

    Still, for most Mekhet, the Dark Angel Syndrome is nothing but an urban legend- a cautionary tale about being too obsessed in picking around the secrets of other people. The reason is that while infectious, the Mekhet can walk, talk, touch and even breath near someone who carries the curse without ever getting afflicted by it. Things change if and only if the Mekhet decides to peer into the vampire's soul- for like the basilisk from the famous thought experiment, it is only when you see the darkness that it can see you. And once a contact between the curse and the Mekhet is being established- well, that's when the real fun begins.

    When the Shadow sees the curse for the first time, they generally don't understand what they stumbled upon- those who have seen the Syndrome usually speak about some strange cloud of darkness which hovers above the carrier, or that some parts of the afflicted get replaced with shadow instead of flesh. Some even claim that the darkness has spoken to them, or mocked them, or tried to tempt them to join it. All of the time, however, the voices that the darkness use are... familiar. They are the voices of loved ones, or lost ones, or hated ones, or even yourself. The darkness, as it seems, has no voice of its own, and as such it borrows whatever voice the Mekhet chooses to give it. Those who manage to resist the pull of the darkness speak about it as if they had to fight over their own souls in order to escape the pull of that black hole of nothingness. Those who don't... well, they probably won't speak much to anyone anymore.

    The Dark Angel Syndrome is a form of a powerful occult compulsion- a combination of unhealthy obsession while the Shadow becomes more and more afflicted by banes. Among the Clans, the Mekhet are the ones with the greatest affinity to the strange, and the Syndrome gets that affinity out of control, making them less and less like Kindred and more like the residents of the Twilight. Slowly, the afflicted discover that their own body betrays them, consuming itself as long as they are far from their beloved ones, while the whispers in the dark become stronger and stronger. Eventually, the Mekhet clings to anything which could stop the darkness from whispering, turning into a dark version of the classical "guardian angel"- giving the Syndrome its name.

    While the Mekhet can try and control the Syndrome by keeping close to their objects of interest, one can't stop time from moving- the Mekhet can try to fight it, desperately attempting to stop the world from moving and keep things unchanged, yet eventually, life would carry on, leaving the Dark Angel alone, slowly to fade away into the darkness.

    And the darkness will be waiting for them.

    Mechanics

    The main vector for the Dark Angel Syndrome is the use of Auspex. Any time someone uses the Discipline to target a carrier, they must roll Humanity + Resolve. In a case of a Success, the vampire is safe from the affliction, while Exceptional Success makes them immune to any future encounter with it. In the case of Failure, the vampire becomes clouded by the darkness, gaining the Dark Angel modified template, while a Dramatic Failure adds an immediate bane. As a rule, only Mekhet actually suffer from the curse- the others are just carriers, even though the ST can allow certain exceptions. While Auspex is defined as the Syndrome's vector, the ST can decide the other powers which interact with "uncovering secrets" around the afflicted (like Mage Sight) could also apply- even though that again, other types of monsters should remain as only carriers for the curse.

    Once afflicted with the Dark Angel Syndrome, the afflicted gains the following traits-

    - Burdened With Curses: the Mekhet are said to have a strange similarity to beings of ephemera, and the Dark Angel Syndrome emphasis that connection. The number of banes that the vampire can suffer from is increased to 3 + half of their Blood Potency (rounded up). In addition, every time that they fail a Detachment roll, they must gain a new bane. After the vampire suffers from 3 banes, however, they start to adjust themselves to their new situation- the modifier from Detachment rolls increases from -3 to -4 only at 5 banes, and to -5 only at 8 banes.

    - Anchored to the World: similar to the ghosts of the dead, the Mekhet also discover that they too develop strange ties to those they care about, for better and worse. Regardless of their Humanity score, every night they spend without having at least one hour in a line of sight with their Touchstones, they go through a Detachment roll. In addition, if they were to spend their day sleep in a place which is further away in a distance of 10*(10 - Blood Potency) meters from their Touchstone's "prime residence" (that is, the place where the Touchstone spends most of their time), they lose all of the Vitae in their system as if they were revenants. That "prime residence" place is decided through the Touchstone's "residual spiritual energy", and could be determined by the Dark Angel by rolling Wits + Auspex. The Dark Angel can not gain new Touchstones if they'll lose their current ones after being afflicted by the Syndrome.

    - See the Twilight: the affinity of the Dark Angel to the macabre is not merely a symbolic one. Those who suffer from the Syndrome discover that they can see and commune with beings found on the ghostly frequency of the Twilight. Doing so requires the vampire spending a Willpower point in order to commune with the dead for a Scene. The ghosts, however, recognize the Mekhet as one of their own, and would constantly try to commune with them or gain their attention, whether they are interested in it or not.

    - Whispers in the Dark: once the Shadow got touched by the darkness, it never lets go- clinging into them like a mass of hate, fear and sadness, constantly trying to drive them into destruction. All of the Dark Angels suffer from the persistent Whispers Condition, with the dark constantly trying to lead them into a path of self destruction. That usually leads to Mekhet into constantly talking with themselves, arguing with an invisible being which uses the voices of those the once knew- which leads scholars to view it as a representation of the Mekhet's own dark urges instead of an occult being. Whether the darkness is the Mekhet's dark side or something else entirely, there is only one way to temporary silence the whispers- for as long as they are in a 10 - Blood Potency meters from their Touchstone, the Condition is temporary resolved until they leave the range.

    Condition: Whispers (Persistent)
    You have a demon inside of you. Perhaps it is a shadow of your passion given life. Perhaps it is in your very blood. Perhaps it is a being from another dimension bound to your flesh and soul. Perhaps it doesn't even exist- just a fake voice imagined by your broken mind. Whatever the case, that voice is there to stay- slowly corrupting and devouring your mind. While under this Condition, every time you suffer a Detachment roll, you get a -3 modifier for that roll. In an addition, once per Chapter the Storyteller may call for a Composure + Resolve roll as the demon tries to force its will upon you. In a case of Failure, you must do whatever the demon wish you to do.
    Possible Source: getting afflicted with the Dark Angel Syndrome, making a pact with a demon, failing a Detachment roll.
    Resolution: going through an exorcism, ritual or therapy meant to silence the "demon".
    Beat: the character fails a Detachment roll because of the Condition or is forced to preform the demon's desire.

    - Dark Angel Panoply: while the Syndrome has its fair share of burdens, it also grants certain benefits to the Dark Angel. The afflicted gains a number of Numina equal to 10 - Humanity, which can be powered using Vitae as if it was Essence. The vampire can also replace every two Numina with a dot in an Influence of their choosing, even though those Influences must be related to death, darkness, blood, murder and other themes which are appropriate for vampires.

    - Lost in an Eternal Night: once a Dark Angels lose all of their Touchstones, they discover that their terrible burden has just became unbearable- the darkness sings in their ears, while Vitae keeps getting drained from their body. That's, however, not the worst of it- for when those Touchstones are gone, the Mekhet discovers that a clock has started ticking, counting the moments for their own doom. If a Dark Angel which have lost all of their Touchstones falls into a day sleep or torpor with their Willpower pool empty, they are lost in the darkness. No one knows what exactly happens to them- only that the moment someone takes their eyes off them, their body vanishes, leaving no traces behind. If someone is to keep a watch over them, once they'll look away or blink, the vampire will be gone. Even if a camera were to record their sleep, the picture would eventually flicker, leaving no trace of the Dark Angel. The vampires, of course, are aware of that eventual doom (the darkness love to tell them that), which leads them to go through desperate means just to make sure they will not fade into nothingness. While no one knows where those Dark Angels go to, the Mekhet have their share of theories- some say that the Mekhet are absorbed into the primordial darkness, becoming those entities which are known as "Nowhere Men". Others say that they instead become ghosts, or that like ghosts they fall into the Underworld, or perhaps to the shadowy realm from which the strix came from. Some just say that without anything to tie them to the world and no will to live, the Dark Angel simply cease to exists, and that all of the Mekhet are just illusions sustained by their own despair with the Syndrome simply opening their eyes to the truth. Wherever the afflicted go to after being consumed by the darkness, no one has found any trace of their existence, and any attempt to track them down using Auspex only leads for the investigator to get afflicted by the Syndrome by themselves- which serves as a reminder that some questions are better left unanswered.
    Last edited by LostLight; 03-17-2021, 03:12 PM.


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Twists of Blood

    So let's say that you find the whole "ghostly Mekhet getting obsessed with their Touchstones" cool, yet you don't want it to be an infectious curse which slowly crumbles at the Mekhet's sanity. Say no more! Just like how Malkavia and the Nictuku could work as Bloodlines, here is a quick conversion for the Angeli Atri as a Bloodline of bound, hidden guardians, using the followed mechanics:

    Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Nightmare ,Obfuscate

    Bloodline Bane: (the Anchored Curse) the Angeli Atri are bound to those who they deem as their proteges, and are haunted by the fear of letting them out of sight. In case they spend their day sleep away from their Touchstone's "main residence" (as determined by rolling Auspex + Wits), they lose all of their Vitae as if they were revenants. The minimal distance from the Touchstone is given by 10*Humanity meters from the residence.

    Favored Attributes: Composure or Wits

    Bloodline Gift: Numinous Presence the Dark Angel are related to the world of the dead more than the common Mekhet. They can buy Numina as if they were Discipline point, yet can only have a number of Numina equal to half of their Blood Potency. In case their Blood Potency drops, they regain the spent experience.

    In case you have access to Spilled Blood, the variant Mekhet Bane of Ayanda could be a better fit for the Angeli Atri than the regular one, making the Dark Angels into a Bloodline of that variant strain of the Clan. If you have access to Bloodlines: the Resurrected, switch Nightmare with Necromancy, and allow them to learn Numina as if they were Necromancy Rituals.
    Last edited by LostLight; 02-19-2021, 01:46 PM.


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

    I now blog in here

    Comment


    • #3
      This is really cool!

      Also, you're going for the OWoD reference, obviously, but Angeli Ater should be Angeli Atri (the adjective has to agree with the number of the noun in Latin).
      Last edited by Yossarian; 02-13-2021, 08:20 PM.



      Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

      Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
      Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
      Storytellers Vault: Author Page

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Yossarian View Post
        This is really cool!

        Also, you're going for the OWoD reference, obviously, but Angeli Ater should be Angeli Atri (the adjective has to agree with the number of the noun in Latin).
        Thanks! I had the idea buzzing in my head since I read the Nicktuku writeup, and I really like how it eventually came out.

        (Also- damn you Google Translate! You fooled me again! I trusted you!... Oh well, at least it is not in the title so I can edit it away. Thanks for pointing it out!)


        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

        I now blog in here

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Thanks! I had the idea buzzing in my head since I read the Nicktuku writeup, and I really like how it eventually came out.

          (Also- damn you Google Translate! You fooled me again! I trusted you!... Oh well, at least it is not in the title so I can edit it away. Thanks for pointing it out!)
          No worries! I've been on a "checking White Wolf Latin" kick lately, and Google Translate is WRETCHED for the grammar. I know enough to translate names and nouns.



          Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

          Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
          Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
          Storytellers Vault: Author Page

          Comment

          Working...
          X