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Eight Pure A-Weeping

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  • #31
    I'll close the vote when I check in come the morning, then start on whichever is the winner


    - Chris Allen
    Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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    • #32
      B just about wins it, with 13 votes to 12!

      ​Will set to work on it soon.


      - Chris Allen
      Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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      • #33

        Sorry this took a while! I was definitely not distracted playing Stardew Valley...

        ​The Mourners
        ​Claws of Samsara, Mercykillers, Sin Eaters

        Months since the First Change have done nothing to calm his sleep. Each night sees the same maelstrom of nightmares and a sense of lurking fear chewing at the corners of his awareness. He stirs from slumber, but the figments of his dream seem to have chased him right into the waking world; a looming shadow, perched at the end of his bed, remains resolutely real. "I'm so sorry," it says, heavy with grief. "For all of this. But we can still save you." Just like his nightmares always did, it ends in swift motion, then blood.

        The Mourners are the newest incarnation of an old Lodge, a lineage of self-martyring and sin-eating cults that has cropped up round the world over and over again under different names, the tenets a little different each time. Like their forebears, the Mourners focus their hunt upon what some would see as easy prey - newly fledged Forsaken, the freshly Changed in their early months or years before their spirits are carved under a tapestry of renown. The so-called Mercykillers' hunt is not one of savage glory; even as they wring necks and cut throats, they weep for those they slay. Mourners are prone to fits of overt self-punishment and mortification, girding themselves for the hunt with guilt over killing other Uratha and staining themselves with sin so that others need not.

        ​The public face of the Mourner creed has it that a young werewolf's soul can be saved, but that those who have committed many deeds in service to the Moon, and hence been branded deeply by it, cannot find redemption with their souls so marred. Outsider Pure are often confused as to the exact nature of Mourner beliefs - whether they believe in a wheel of reincarnation, or that 'pure' souls not deeply marked by the Moon will pass on to strengthen the Wolf instead, or various other theories. Regardless, to the Mourners, their homicidal approach to lesser Forsaken is a necessity born from the fact that most Urdaga​ will never turn to the Pure regardless of torture or persuasion, and that every day a Forsaken remains in the moon-faith they creep closer to their souls being forever lost. The Mourners, for their part, believe they act as scalpels to cut away the spiritual purity that can yet be saved, killing out of kindness. Each Mourner accepts that their actions cost their own soul - but better that a scant few Mercykillers are condemned, if many times that number of Forsaken are cleft from the moonlight before it taints them forever.

        Mourners usually prefer stealth, infiltration and covert activity, isolating victims rather than seeking direct confrontation. To the Forsaken, Mourners are like bogeymen - murderous assassins insane or self-delusional enough to pretend sorrow even as they slay kin in violation of the Wolf's laws. To the Pure, Mourners are often a problem - they clash with Fire-Touched preachers trying to convert the Forsaken, their self-martyring manner and the lowly nature of their chosen prey disgusts many, and there are lingering suspicions they hide deviant beliefs behind their outwardly fanatical façade. Still, Pure warlords value them as adept killers who have overcome qualms against killing other Uratha, particularly the lesser and less-threatening Forsaken that many Pure footsoldiers may hesitate to actually slay - making Mercykillers valuable agents of terror. Mourners also sometimes serve as sin-eater priests for other Pure on their deathbeds, and they have some appeal to Pure packs who want the moral comfort of shifting the guilt for killing Forsaken onto a willing recipient.

        ​With less than a decade since the current incarnation of the Lodge formed, it is small and has only eight members across north America and east Asia. Half are Fire-Touched; the others are Tribeless Pure, scourged of their Auspices but unaffiliated with any Firstborn. These Ghost Wolves are devoted entirely to the Lodge, and possibly nurture dreams of future Tribehood. New candidates are being considered for the Lodge's ranks; the Lodge offers rationalisation and purpose to Uratha who feel self-loathing for what they have become or the terrible things they have done since their First Change. Most of the potential new Mourners are Fire-Touched or Purified Ghost Wolves, and the current adherents vet for inclinations towards the sort of careful, deadly approach to 'freeing' the new Forsaken that suits the Lodge's tenets. However, an Indian branch of Ivory Claws recently came into contact with the Mourners and, noting similarities to an older and extinct Indian Lodge that self-destructed spectacularly over a century ago, have become suspicious. Tzuumfin​ agents are investigating to see if their concerns are legitimate; one is petitioning for membership. Her elders think she is going to serve them as a double-agent; she's actually trying to dupe both sides, hoping to resurrect the older Lodge that her own grandparents were among the final adherents of.

        Totem: Imprisoned-By-Self
        ​The totem of the Mourners is an old and canny spirit of guilt called Imprisoned-By-Self; it appears as a writhing knot of figures bound in shrouds and tangled lengths of prayer-flags. Born of self-loathing and guilt that foamed from a colony of self-denying religious zealots in some past era, Imprisoned-By-Self has waxed and waned with the passing centuries and knows how to bide its time. This is not Imprisoned's first rodeo - it has served as totem to a chain of Pure Lodges for around a millennia.

        ​The problem is that the spirit is its own worst enemy, driven to such depths of nauseating misery and hatred of itself that it drives each cult to self-destruction every time. As soon as the Mourners grow in size enough to be a significant force and gain ground in the Pure cultures they mingle with, it will begin to unravel the Lodge in a meltdown of self-sacrifices, infighting, betrayal and purges; Imprisoned ​literally cannot avoid this​. It is simply part of its nature.

        ​Until Imprisoned's guilt catches up with it and it begins to hate what it has created, the spirit's main agenda is to use the Mourners to foster feelings of guilt and fear of sin amongst the Pure. The fabric of Anshega​ society is fertile ground for this sort of thing as it is; the Mourners will become a magnet for the excesses of such, drawing more Pure into their ranks and intensifying their attempts to purge the newer and lower tiers of the Forsaken. The totem does not actually care what​ the Mourners believe, as long as they feel sorrow and guilt in the process; it is deeply uninterested in the specifics of their tenets and strictures beyond the seeds that it sows to start the cult anew each time, although it obviously pretends a more sacred attitude to the whole thing.

        ​The constant to the Lodges that Imprisoned-By-Self fosters is that they target the Forsaken. Murder is not always the goal; one cult forced the Forsaken to undergo purification regimes wherein the adherents would take on the Forsaken's sins directly while the most recent, the Indian splinter, used persuasion and mental influence to crush the Urdaga​ under the weight of their own guilt and encouraged Forsaken victims and Pure adherents alike to burn themselves as sacrifices to the totem. The reason for this focus on the Forsaken is that Imprisoned-By-Self swore such to a powerful Forsaken in the 700s; saved from destruction by a Blood Talon during a dangerous occult twist to the iconoclasm of Constantinople in that age, it agreed to indulge his guilt at his own lack of lasting contributions to the Urdaga​. Imprisoned-By-Self has done its best to honor the deal, stirring up its adherents to act against the Forsaken directly and thus always offer a challenge and test to the Forsaken so that they might not fall into complacency; whether the Blood Talon had something like the Mourners in mind is questionable, and it is likely that both Pure and Forsaken would take poorly to the revelation behind Imprisoned-By-Self's intentions.

        ​The totem's self-absorbed nature is also serving it poorly with this current batch of recruits. It has not paid close enough heed to the ambitions of the Ghost Wolves, who are entertaining shucking the Lodge of its current patron and seeking something more grand in line with their aims. The things they believe are also swerving away from simply the self-punishment of guilt and to a more extreme belief system that doesn't mesh with the spirit's own nature. Soon enough, either Lodge or totem will take the initiative and destroy the arrangement, one way or another.

        Bonds
        Blessing:​ When an adherent touches another character (including through a successful Brawl attack), they can either inflict the Guilty Condition on the target, or transfer an existing Guilty Condition from the target onto themselves. As long as the adherent is subject to the Guilty Condition, whenever the adherent spends a Willpower point to raise a Resistance trait by 2, the trait is increased for the remainder of the scene; Willpower cannot be spent to raise it further, but can be further used to raise other Resistance traits for the scene duration.

        Aspiration:​ To try and soothe one's guilt through actions that address its source.

        Ban:​ A Lodge member must call out guilt that they sense in others. This is not an invitation to jester-like mocking - though a Mourner could potentially practice it that way - but rather a cruel-to-be-kind attempt to make others confront their guilt, understand it and act consciously on it rather than hiding it away and pretending they do not feel it.

        The Sacred Hunt
        ​The Lodge Sacred Hunt grants your character the ability to frighten and befuddle Uratha prey who have a combined total Renown dots of between 1 and 7. Upon declaring the Sacred Hunt, the target receives the Shaken Condition; the first perception or Stealth-based roll that the prey fails during the hunt is automatically converted to a Dramatic Failure for them. If such an Uratha prey is slain, your character immediately receives the Guilty Condition and regains a number of expended Willpower points equal to 8 - the target's total Renown dots.

        ​Tools
        ​Mourners have access to the Lodge Armory Merit.

        ​Guilt Harvest (Wolf Rite ••)
        ​This rite invokes spirits of emotion to stir up deep-seated guilt and frailties, strengthening the spirit through expurgation - and providing a crop of self-reproach to be harvested.

        Symbols:​ Guilt, eating, bitterness, blood

        Action​: Extended (10 successes; each roll represents five minutes)

        ​Success:​ At the rite's culmination, all Uratha present other than the ritemaster gain the Guilty Condition. In addition to the Condition's usual effects, each character affected by the rite will also regain a single point of Willpower when the Condition is removed, concludes or resolves - including if it is supernaturally removed, such as by a Mourner's Lodge blessing. Additionally, all spirits of guilt that are present regain a single point of Willpower. A character, whether participant or spirit, can only benefit from the bonus Willpower granted by this rite once per week.

        Secrets of the Mercykillers
        ​A number of elements of the Lodge's practices and capabilities are kept as closely guarded as the adherents can manage:
        • The title of 'sin eater' is literal. Where they can, Mourners steal away the actual bodies of slain Uratha - of either faction - who they believe burdened by guilt but whose souls might be freed of its weight, and cannibalize the remains.
        • ​The cult believes this world is, in fact, an actual hell for Uratha. Once it was the paradise of Pangaea, but that was broken and corrupted into this nightmare. Every Uratha is already dead - a being migrating from a prior life lifted up through their deeds into this state-of-purgatory, turned by Luna into a trap to catch souls within it under the weight of their sins. Only through purification, expurgation and the shedding of sins can they move on from this hell once more.
        • Mourners don't only kill Forsaken. The Urdaga​ are certainly the greatest duty they have, but sometimes there are young Pure who show such a stark potential for acts that the Mourners consider to be unholy or sinful that the Mercykillers will carefully prune the ​Anshega​ of a possible future corruption. Perhaps surprisingly, the Mourners are actually quite good​ at this assessment; they've ended up tangling with Bale Hounds on several occasions. If the cult gathers enough strength, it will try to entirely purge what Maeljin cults it encounters, root and branch.
        • ​Mourners are strongly averse to killing normal human beings, who they see as being the baseline state of souls who are striving for improvement in their next reincarnation. Mourners can contact their totem by making offerings that are part of any actual human funerary event they are taking part of where there are mourners who feel genuine guilt or sorrow, but this power is violated if they have slain a human being in the past week. Furthermore, the Lodge encourages adherents to seek connection to baseline humanity through these practices, talking to those who have experienced loss and grief and guilt over words unspoken and deeds undone, offering guidance or consolation and reaffirming the werewolves' link to the Flesh in the process.
        • ​A Mourner who performs the Guilt Harvest rite and absorbs the guilt of a Pure werewolf who has at least eighteen dots of Renown can, within the hour, spend 10 Essence to vomit up a Rank 1 guilt spirit from the churning energy in their guts. The spirit will then relay to the Mourner all the guilty secrets of the Pure in question, after which it becomes independent and is free to do as it wishes. For obvious reasons, the Mourners keep this ability - and the resulting folio of secrets and blackmail material - very quiet indeed.
        • If another werewolf eats any of a Mourner's flesh - such as devouring a mouthful during combat in order to cause a grievous wound - they establish an occult link that the Mourner can sense and exploit. Once per day, when the Mourner would be subjected to a Tilt, Condition, or supernatural curse or malison in another form, the Mourner can spend 1 Willpower point to shunt it to the connected werewolf instead regardless of distance. The link remains for up to a week.










        - Chris Allen
        Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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        • #34
          Note that the Secrets Of section was a potential replacement for the story hooks for Lodges in The Pack; I came up with the idea for the Secrets Of late in development and we discussed whether to put them in, but Stew reasonably enough didn't want to change things up (though he did like them). I have full Secrets write-ups for each of the five Lodges in The Pack; some of it crosses over with what went into the story hooks, but some of it is entirely new stuff. It generally covers particularly weird shit, things that make the cult more cultic or more blasphemous to Uratha mainstream, hidden elements, etc etc.


          - Chris Allen
          Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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          • #35
            The Secrets Of section is really cool. I especially like the loose expansions on mechanics like the rite.

            The lodge is depressing. It's well written and I like it, they're just so sad. And the idea that they believe the world is Uratha hell is like a cherry on top of it. Incredibly bleak, very appropriate for Eight Pure a Weeping.

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            • #36
              Unrelated to the marvelous tragedy-

              What do you call tribeless Pure?


              Sean K.I.W. Steele, Freelance Writer
              Work Blog Coming Soon
              The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.-Keiichi Sigsawa, Kino's Journey

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
                Note that the Secrets Of section was a potential replacement for the story hooks for Lodges in The Pack; I came up with the idea for the Secrets Of late in development and we discussed whether to put them in, but Stew reasonably enough didn't want to change things up (though he did like them). I have full Secrets write-ups for each of the five Lodges in The Pack; some of it crosses over with what went into the story hooks, but some of it is entirely new stuff. It generally covers particularly weird shit, things that make the cult more cultic or more blasphemous to Uratha mainstream, hidden elements, etc etc.
                Sooooo... which spirit do we need to appease in order to get access to those?


                CofD booklists:
                Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by ArcaneArts View Post
                  Unrelated to the marvelous tragedy-

                  What do you call tribeless Pure?
                  It's a good question that I don't think there's really an answer to as yet.

                  ​Tribeless Pure are a bit different to Ghost Wolves; Ghost Wolf is a 'default state', after all, whereas Tribeless Pure have specifically taken the step of shedding the Auspice and heeding Pure ideology, but not signed up with a Tribe. Most Pure are probably briefly Tribeless, after they are flayed of an Auspice but before they then join an intended Tribe, but I figure there are some that stick Tribeless for specific reasons - or because the local Pure Tribes won't actually take them (less of an issue with Fire-Touched around, but moreso with Predator Kings and particularly Ivory Claws).

                  Originally posted by Second Chances View Post

                  Sooooo... which spirit do we need to appease in order to get access to those?
                  ​Originally Stew hoped to get them up as a blog post; I'd still like for that to happen.


                  - Chris Allen
                  Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post


                    ​Originally Stew hoped to get them up as a blog post; I'd still like for that to happen.
                    Any word on a new Forsaken developer?

                    Would you take the job if Rich offered?

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                    • #40
                      The Pure seem to lend themselves more to the idea of turning lodges to Tribes, if only because they're willing to go along with the ideas of powerful and dangerous spirits. Between the Fire-Touched Shadow-religion and the Predator Kings wanting a world of hunters you have a lot of very aggressive options out there from time periods and sorceries to ancient beasts and occulted mysteries. You even have celestial things, and Earth once having more than one moon, what better way to stick it to Luna than make an entry in the barrier she keeps up, or to serve the ancient thing she absorbed?

                      So I could see a lot going tribeless but otherwise full-throttle with the Pure angle, in the hopes of a new tribe being born and ideally helping shift balance against the Forsaken.
                      Last edited by nofather; 01-09-2018, 08:06 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Any ideas as to where in India the last Mourners cycle would have been localized? Or would it have been a more general spread since the Lodge was large at that time?

                        Also, this is complete headcanon, but 100 years ago means the Lodge splintered just before or after WWI. You could have some fun with that.


                        CofD booklists:
                        Beast I Changeling | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire

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                        • #42
                          It does say over a century ago, which gives you a lot of room. The Thuggee weren't quite 200 years ago, for instance. That would probably be my go but that's one of the few things I know about India so I'm not working with much. They did sort of self-destruct spectacularly, for a secret society everyone seemed eager to turn each other in and give up any secrets.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by branford View Post

                            Any word on a new Forsaken developer?

                            Would you take the job if Rich offered?
                            ​I presume that Rich will make any news known as and when OPP are ready to! I hope you don't mind me refraining from answering the second question; how OPP decide to handle Forsaken development going forward is very much up to them, and I wouldn't want to be seen as trying to impinge on or influence that, or making assumptions about how they should proceed.

                            Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                            Any ideas as to where in India the last Mourners cycle would have been localized? Or would it have been a more general spread since the Lodge was large at that time?

                            Also, this is complete headcanon, but 100 years ago means the Lodge splintered just before or after WWI. You could have some fun with that.
                            ​I honestly haven't given too much thought as to where exactly in India, or to what extent the Lodge may have stretched across India and into neighbouring regions.

                            Originally posted by nofather View Post
                            It does say over a century ago, which gives you a lot of room. The Thuggee weren't quite 200 years ago, for instance. That would probably be my go but that's one of the few things I know about India so I'm not working with much. They did sort of self-destruct spectacularly, for a secret society everyone seemed eager to turn each other in and give up any secrets.
                            ​I'd personally veer away from the Thuggee; they tend to be a bit overdone in media, plus they didn't really match the guilt aspects of the Lodge.


                            - Chris Allen
                            Freelance Writer, Deviant: the Renegade / The Pack / Dark Eras / Werewolf: the Forsaken 2nd Edition / Idigam Anthology / Fallen World Chronicle / Trinity Aeon

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