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Mister Sparkles - Sample Claimed

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  • Mister Sparkles - Sample Claimed

    Someone asked me to write up a Claimed animal, so here you go

    Mister Sparkles, Guilt-Claimed Pet
    Everyone in the neighbourhood knows its name – Mister Sparkles – but they’d be hard-pressed to say exactly what it is. A small, skinny black dog, or a black cat, maybe, or a few more outre comments that it’s something exotic, or a black rat of huge size. It was the pet of the couple who lived in the house on the corner a few years ago, that much they can say for sure. Of course, everyone knows what happened there. Mister Sparkles doesn’t have owners any more. Presumably, they say to each other, it’s managed to survive hunting vermin or being fed by kindly sorts since, one more stray on the streets.

    But the thing is, Mister Sparkles isn’t just another stray, is he? Look at the lines on their faces as they mention the pet in passing, then quickly hurry on to a different topic. Watch the little tells when they come across the scrawny thing—the more religious mutter prayers or mark mudras of holy signs with a hand, the rest avert their eyes and stride on and pretend they didn’t see it. It used to be, when a pet got mauled or mutilated, the owners would be up in arms about it and telling all and sundry about the outrage—but now, see how they just mutter disconsolately and look away from where Mister Sparkles sits on the fence at the end of the yard, and how they usher the surviving pets inside and do their best to keep them there. And that’s not to mention what happens to the people.

    Everyone knows what it means when Mister Sparkles starts to lurk outside a house. They don’t say it, of course, but everyone knows. It’s a dark sign, like the stench of a rotting corpse tells you there’s something dead nearby. The stray is drawn to the reek of guilt, and his presence only fans the flames. Whispers worm through the community, all innuendoes and not-quite-said-explicitlies, that someone there has done something, committed an act they are ashamed of, and so too does the victim know that now everyone else knows. Mister Sparkles’ vigil is a brand of guilt, indicating it for all in the community to see. And so the vile little thing squats and writhes and lurks at the edge of vision, menacing their existence with its presence, as their sense of guilt fattens and coils within their gut until it is a fat, bloated, sickly thing that chokes their throat with nausea.

    The lucky survive. They hide away. They sit and drown in the thoughts of whatever they’ve done – and it isn’t always serious, because Mister Sparkles responds to a sense of guilt, not to the magnitude of the crime – even as the tide rises higher in their mind through the little horror’s influence but, eventually, it wanes. They get over it. Mister Sparkles eventually moves on, sated, and spends its time torturing other animals or breaking small childrens’ fingers until the scent of more alluring guilt reaches it.

    The unlucky fold under the weight of the guilt. Some break; they survive, but are lessened, scared, scarred. Some confess to crimes, not always ones they’ve actually committed, or flee the area entirely. Others die. Some kill themselves. Some do something stupid; suicide by cop, risk-taking that leads to fatal accidents, that sort of thing. A few, though, externalize their self-loathing on Mister Sparkles. They come to see it as a sign of their crime, an unwanted and constant reminder of what burdens them. In a back yard, or in an alley, they see the little thing—always watching, always staring, always judging—and something snaps. A few steps, a thought to lash out, to kick, to hurt, to kill the blasted little beast of ill omen broadcasting their wrongdoings to all. And it never, ever works. They’re later found dead. Suicide, of course.
    Mister Sparkles
    Guilt-Claimed Animal of Indeterminate Type
    Int 4 Wits 4 Res 3 Str 1 Dex 5 Sta 1 Pre 3 Man 4 Com 3
    Athletics 2, Brawl 1, Empathy 5, Intimidation 3, Stealth 3, Survival 3
    Size 2 Health 3 Willpower 6 Defence 6 Speed 10 Initiative 8 Essence 15
    Influences: Guilt 2

    Dread Powers: Chameleon Horror, Hunter’s Senses (Guilty), Reality Stutter, Treacherous Guilt
    New Dread Power – Treacherous Guilt: Whenever a character with the Resonant Condition for guilt makes an attack against the entity, it may reflexively spend 1 point of Essence to cause the character to instead target themselves. Once they have launched the attack, they are unable to stop their body from turning it against themselves even if they try and fight it; they gain no Defense against their own attack and, furthermore, must spend 1 Willpower each subsequent turn or they will attack themselves again, up to and including seizing nearby weapons to make their attacks more effective. Should they manage to escape the perception of the entity, or should it target another character with this Dread Power, the suicidal impulses disperse.
    Last edited by Acrozatarim; 06-06-2018, 04:37 PM.

    - Chris Allen, Aberrant Line Developer, Freelance Writer

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  • #2
    Yikes. Really, yikes (in a good way, of course)

    I must say that I do like the fact that everyone seems to know that there is something really wrong about Mister Sparkles- they just prefer to look the other way, fearing it might target them next. It doesn't try to hide- it doesn't need to. Everyone just accept that they live in a messed up world, and that bad things just happen to people and they have no power over it. Really nice, I must say- especially since it feels like the Claimed could also be used by a Pack, and not just be hunted by it (unless they are Storm Lords, of course)

    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

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    • #3
      Wonderful work as always.

      It's a perfect example of how a unknown horror that doesn't feel compelled to hide its existence can be glossed over by mortals. It's the local ghost story, it's the odd little habits people take on, not to be spoken aloud, but implicitly known by everyone who lingers too close to it's feeding grounds.

      Treacherous Guilt is a nice bonus, too.

      Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Seraph du Salomon, Voice on the concordance. Unsubtle man reluctantly participating in the business of Magi. Awakening 2E homebrew


      • #4
        ... yep I love this creep.