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  • #16
    So this one's technically kinda Requiem stuff but it's for the Bangkok setting in The Pack and involves idigam shenanigans, so what the hell


    The Red Prince
    A king needs a court; a kingdom must be stocked with nobles and thrones, just like a good larder. The Red Prince is a fabrication, a victim plucked from obscurity and turned into the imperial scion of a nightmare monarchy – designated heir apparent to a crown that cannot be inherited. He’s a horrific monster of ghastly appetites and sadistic inclination, even as he’s just another toy, just another gleeful prop in the insane entourage of the Broken Majesty, idigam and would-be ruler of Thailand’s Shadow.

    The Red Prince is—or rather, was—a vampire. He wasn’t much of anybody, just another leech hanging out in Pak Kret, out where the really nasty leeches—the ones in the water, the Kha-Yawk and the Ukusgualu—can’t easily reach. Now, the Red Prince, he wasn’t much of anybody, true, but he wanted to be somebody. He wanted to be an up-and-comer, making something of his new unlife in a way his actual life had never been. The equivalent of the Prince in Pak Kret, well, they’d been having all those problems with the Lamprey Hosts, hence why the kindred in Bangkok didn’t have much of a toehold and had been forced, and this lick, he thought he saw an opportunity in that. He began maneuvering against the weakened vampire boss; sure, he wasn’t much himself, but why should the locals bend knee to some bloodsucker who couldn’t even keep hold of the city centre, with all their money and their fancy home and ghouled guards, and who now had to scrabble around like the rest of the refugee vampires? Why not look to a down-to-earth local who could do the kindred better, who knew their struggles better? So he engineered his little coup, and it went quite badly wrong; he and his ragtag pack of wannabes were outnumbered, overpowered, and generally heading straight for the chopping block.

    But the Broken Majesty, oh, it intervened, in a night of madness and melting bones and towering, leering flesh, and once it was done, it’d made that no-hoper lick into someone who really did mean something, a real prince to serve the king it wanted to be, and at one and the same time condemned him to never be anything more than its slave.

    Why did the Broken Majesty choose him? Did it see the fires of ambition and consider them a desirable trait for a servant prince? Did it see the craven opportunism and the weak mind behind them, combined with the power of the Curse, and deem that a perfect combination? Not even the Red Prince knows. He’s an utter monster now, so distant from humanity, but the Broken Majesty is more alien yet. He serves but he does not understand. If he is as a wolf to the human sheep, so the Broken Majesty is the mountainside upon which he dwells, that gives him shelter, and that might claim him with the crashing fall of its stones at any moment.

    The Red Prince, now, is a towering terror, a little mirror to the immensity of his idigam master. He’s had a dozen spirits crammed into his body; it was an easy process for the Broken Majesty to hollow him out and shove new denizens into his mind and flesh, since vampires have little soul left that needs scraping out. A small mercy, at least, is in the fact that the idigam chose spirits resonant with his nature to forge into a Hive-Claimed; their affinity for what he is means that some basic level of synthesis has formed between his mind and theirs, rather than simply being annihilated beneath the screaming madness of so many fellow prisoners in his thoughts. There’s bats and darkness, blood and the hunt, all packed together in his Vitae and his Beast. Sometimes the Beast roars and thrashes and lashes around within him. The spirits just laugh and choke it down, then start howling and thrashing at each other instead.

    No-one in this partnership could really be deemed sane.

    The overflowing power of the Blood and the Claiming has turned the Red Prince into a grotesque form. He looms tall, but rather than his flesh bloating and bulging, it has been turned more sinewy, and lean; his arms and legs are unnaturally long, his body thick with muscle, his skin mottled and toughened and furred like a bat’s. His face is a twisted mixture of wolf, bat, and man, his eyes entirely jet black. He looks like a vampire throwback, a huge primeval terror.

    Of course, he’s not called the Red Prince for nothing. He’s a slave, but also a ruler. The Broken Majesty has gathered quite the little court of Hive-Claimed, each controlling their own little fief on the idigam’s behalf. The Red Prince rules the vampires of Pak Kret. They might have laughed once, but now they tremble with fear and obey. Their new Prince is a cruel one, with little patience, a hair-trigger temper, and a tendency to hallucinate wildly. Still, in some ways he’s a more potent leader than they’ve had for a while. The bickering has stopped; the rowdy have fallen into line. The war against the blood-drinking Hosts of Bangkok has begun to turn. The Red Prince is not only relentless in his desire to rule, he’s also declared open season on Embraces; he wants more footsoldiers, and the freedom to sire is one of the few things he can offer that will build ties of loyalty.

    It’s not the only thing he can offer, of course. The Red Prince doesn’t just hold sway over a court of vampires and the significant mortal resources they control; he’s also a lord of the Shadow, spreading the Broken Majesty’s influence through the hisil and gathering a cavorting cavalcade of spirits of blood, darkness, and fear in his wake. He’s slowly building a cadre of Claimed vampires, picking the most dedicated or malleable and persuading them to accept the ‘blood rituals’ that he claims will greatly empower them.

    Things aren’t all going the upstart’s way, of course. His presence draws Uratha opposition to the vampires, where previously they were happy to mostly leave Kindred alone. The Lampreys have realized the game has changed, too, and are changing tack; they’re accelerating their corruption of the Gauntlet up the river and into Pak Kret, hoping to stymie Kindred use of spiritual allies and turn the vampires to bloody-visioned madness. The Red Prince may have suppressed the treacherous proclivities of the vampires in his court, but plenty of Kindred still exist outside his reach—particularly the local version of the Circle of the Crone. These Circle vampires are carefully, quietly preparing to move against the monstrous blood-drinker, who they see as a colossal offence to their own faith, a blood-god invented and imposed by a mad monstrosity that does not really care anything at all for the sacred nature of the Kindred. They’re laying the foundations for a major Cruac ritual; first, though, they need the blood sacrament that’ll tie their terrible curse to the false lord. They need the Red Prince’s own sire, and the precious blood bond of sympathy to him that she possesses. The Prince isn’t yet aware of the problem, but as soon as he becomes such, he’ll extend his reach beyond Thailand as he tries to track down his errant sire before anyone else finds her.

    And, of course, there’s the burbling Broken Majesty, the mad would-be king of Thailand’s Shadow with its contradictory commands, its lack of comprehension of the Red Prince’s daily existence and need for blood, and its gathering court of squabbling Princes who all think themselves at least the Red Prince’s equal, if not his superior. Already the Black Prince’s hollow wolves threaten to push into the Red Prince’s hunting grounds, while the White Prince and his soulless sorcerers mock the Red Prince as ‘least favoured of the court’.

    The Red Prince would never have been anyone, really. Then he became someone, became a monster above all monsters, and somehow he feels like he’s back where he was before; a nobody, a frustrated wannabe, for all his power. And so he lashes out and screams and crushes dissent out of mad insecurity, even as the choir of spirits all bicker in his head, urge him on, or twist his thoughts in ways that aren’t his. Where does he begin? Where do the spirits end? How much longer before the whole psychic coalition of entities just comes apart at the seams and paints Pak Kret red in one final rampage before the dawn ends it all?

    Red Prince
    Hive-Claimed Vampire
    Clan: Ventrue
    Covenant: Unaligned
    Int 4 Wits 4 Res 4 Str 10 Dex 3 Sta 9 Pre 5 Man 5 Com 3
    Academics 1, Animal Ken 1, Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Crafts 1, Empathy 2, Expression 3, Investigation 1, Larceny 1, Occult 3, Persuasion (Diverting Blame) 3, Stealth 2, Streetwise (Opportunities) 2, Subterfuge (Cons) 3, Survival 2
    Merits: Allies (Claimed Vampires) 5, Iron Stamina 3, Resources 4, Retainer (Claimed Bodyguard) 5, Status (Pak Kret Vampires) 5
    Humanity: 3
    Disciplines: Animalism 1, Celerity 1, Dominate 4, Resilience 3, Vigor 1
    Dread Powers: Armoured Hide 1, Blood Spray*, Natural Weapons 2, Venomous Ichor, Wall Climb
    Influences: Bats 1, Blood 2, Darkness 2, Fear 2, Predators 1
    Blood Potency: 3 Vitae: 12 Essence: 22
    Size: 9 Corpus: 18 Willpower: 7
    Defence: 6 Speed: 18 Initiative: 6
    New Dread Power – Blood Spray: The Red Prince may discharge a spray of scalding Vitae as a ranged attack of up to fifteen yards range with the autofire trait. The spray uses Dexterity + Athletics as its attack roll; prey do get their Defence unless grappling the Red Prince. The spray deals +0L, but should it deal any damage at all, it also afflicts the target with a stage 1 blood bond and forces them to test for Vitae addiction just as if they had drunk some of the Red Prince’s blood.


    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

    Comment


    • #17
      The Indurate Pavane
      It begins as a twitch in the foot or the thigh, a shiver running through the muscles of the arm, an involuntary tilting of the head to catch the faint whisper of music echoing just beyond hearing. It spreads slowly, winding its way through muscle and engram; it becomes an unconscious and gentle swaying when standing at ease, a distracting chord that briefly jars the ears and leaves one, afterwards, wondering if the sound was real or merely the product of imagination. The song and dance takes deeper root as the days progress, the pavane’s call sinking ever further into the victim’s being.

      Soon enough, the pavane has hold, and another dancer added to the processional worship of a ruined god. They sway and cavort in machine-like obedience to the chords that now echo through their mind, until their feet break and unpeel to mark a crimson history of their movement upon the ground, or the indurate power of the god takes hold and preserves them in eternal, silent screaming.

      What was the pavane, before? Is it the last cry of a god denied heaven, echoing through the foundations of reality and finding resonance in the minds of the vulnerable? Is it divine spite, lashing out with malice, or the mindless psychic turmoil of a lobotomised power? Does the pavane seek to rebuild its ruined self through this torturous harvesting of worship, or is it following new instincts burned into its immanence after its fall?

      Some Uratha believe the indurate pavane to be a half-dead demon, one of the bestial gods whom Father Wolf struggled before the Sundering. Unlike the Spinner Hag or Plague King, though, the pavane’s parlous state isn’t the result of Wolf’s terrible fury; rather, when the Sundering broke the worlds apart, the pavane was either outside of the Border Marches, or otherwise escaped that interstitial realm as it collapsed. If the pavane was a native of that lost world, then it clearly could no longer find the metaphysical sustenance needed to maintain its divinity; the Sundering left it adrift, marooned on the shores of the Flesh as the symbolism of its being withered away. Perhaps it adapted. Perhaps it died. Perhaps it just screamed and screamed and screamed until there was nothing left but the haunting melody of the pavane rustling through the membrane of reality. Maybe all this horror is nothing more than a dirge to something long since passed, no more purpose or meaning to it than that.

      The Dance Macabre
      The indurate pavane is a phenomenon of the Flesh, but it does not easily take root in the manifest and physical. It first needs a medium, a resonance through which it can infect. It first needs a vessel.

      The vessel is usually a musician, although in recent years these initial victims have begun to include scientists and researchers looking into strange frequencies to find the uncanny cadences that lie therein. The process is simple enough; the vessel accidentally stumbles upon—or, very rarely, intentionally delves into—a series of discordant sounds that match the pavane’s echoing notes. The vessel is in a receptive state of mind, feeling intense guilt or melancholy or defiance. Last of all, there’s another element to the process, one that’s not quite clear; as far as any Uratha who have investigated it can tell, this hidden factor is something contextual, something of the environment. It might be due to the vessel experiencing the connection on haunted ground, or perhaps a resonance with sins they have committed, or perhaps the stars must be right. Maybe it just requires the pavane to be close, and paying attention.

      Regardless, after the vessel hears the sounds that serve as key to the pavane, they then experience the whispering echo of the ruined god’s song. Most ignore it, shaking it off as an auditory phantasm, a product of stress, or simply don’t notice it over other distractions. A few, though, hear and follow that thread of sound, strain ever harder to pick up the echo, and attempt to recreate it. And so the pavane breaks them.

      The patient zero of a pavane outbreak is, sometimes, also the last victim, confining the maddening call of the dance to themselves and never sharing it with another. Unfortunately, serving as a vector for the pavane is easy; all the vessel needs to do is share whatever discordant song they create with others. A musician composes and plays the song for her fellows or fans; a scientist puzzled at the weird subquantum noises bubbling up into the new detector array shows it to his co-workers. A luckless vessel happily whistles the new, inspiring tune lodged in their head, and so snares the minds of those they pass in the street. The worst outcomes involve fervent vessels broadcasting the pavane over loudspeakers, radio, or tv. The sole comfort here is that a pavane outbreak has a physical limit as to its reach; a vessel broadcasting the pavane across a whole nation will still only affect those within a mile or so of their presence.

      And within a few days, the song takes hold.

      A Merry Dance
      Those caught by the song soon find themselves in its clutches, humming or twitching as if to dance even when otherwise occupied. It doesn’t take long for the compulsion to override all other concerns; the affected have a week at the outside. Victims dance, dance until their feet bleed and their bodies shudder with the exertion. If there are other victims nearby, whether dancers or indurate, they’ll seek each other out and dance together, all following the same unheard melody and moving in unison. Since the pavane is sedate and steady, it takes a while for physical damage to cripple or kill the dancer, and mere fatigue isn’t enough to halt the process; early on, dancers will sometimes pull free of the compulsion, confused as if emerging from a fugue, and go to seek rest in a haze of confusion before returning to the procession.

      Restraining a dancer stirs irritation at first, soon blooming to angry desperation, hyperventilation, and psychotic breakdown. Dancers want to dance, and they want to find other dancers; if prevented from doing this at all, the mental consequences are severe and sometimes lasting, although a handful will emerge from the condition with their wits recovered and a deep, chilling sense of revulsion at the sound of music. Dancers who have briefly broken from the pavane to rest have only foggy recollections of what they’ve been doing, and a belief they need to return to the procession. Even when the pavane inflicts grievous physical damage to feet, or the fatigue threatens to lead to collapse and death, the dancer must continue on with rictus expression, eyes expressing the agony and the pain but unable to act for the cessation of such. For every dozen dancers who end up screaming, unable to dance further on their bloody stumps, or lie wide-eyed like marrionettes with cut strings as their bodies shut down utterly from the exertion and lack of sustenance, one or two will become indurate.

      The indurate stiffen, their movements in the dance losing grace to become jerky and machine-like. Their skin hardens, calcifies, until it is like bone scarred with red, fleshy ruts; it grows out, coral-like, over clothes and polishes away features, submerging eyes and nose and mouth. Over a day, the indurate lose the ability to move at all, coming to a halt mid-dance, turned to poised statues of organic matter. The feet take root in whatever the indurate stand upon, and thread-like extrusions worm out into the substrate thereof. An indurate is still alive, but trapped. Left alone, one will remain in this state indefinitely – unable to move, unable to die, the mind filled with the discordant sounds of the pavane. Other dancers will stumble and whirl around them still, ignoring their plight. The bony skin is tough enough to withstand bullets, but a sledgehammer or other heavy-duty tool might topple or crack them apart. Within the bony case, the flesh has turned to fibrous profanity, a vermillion mass of tendrils that spills out and falls apart into the release of death if the indurate is broken open.

      Those worming roots, though, are already at work. They crawl through the stone or wood or whatever else the floor is made of, threading together with the roots of any other indurate forged by the pavane, then bubbling up in a blister of bone, a cocoon of cartilage that emerges wherever the indurate roots meet. Within the frozen statuary of the indurate troupe, all caught in their final poses, this new figure begins to rise up and take form—a monstrous leader of the nightmare festivity.

      The cocoon remains silent until the troupe is disturbed by someone other than a new dancer. When that happens—when someone comes to try and drag dancers away, break the indurate, or approach the cocoon—it fractures and falls away to reveal the half-made god beneath.

      The pavane’s appearance is bizarre and unearthly. At its least potent, it looks more humanoid; like a freshly-cast figure of glistening red, flesh peppered with budding fronds that raise up crimson stems like a gory mimicry of botanic fecundity. Greater manifestations become less human; they are agglomerations of bony carapace and red sinew, of plant-like growths that form vegetal spines and stems reaching for an unseen sun. The mightiest of the pavane’s forms begin to collapse visual recognition; segments do not connect to each other or follow impossible lines to form the greater whole, portions replace crude meat-matter with shivering symbols, and its many lumbering limbs knot and twist around one another in ways that should not work. All forms are pockmarked with holes and channels through its form, though, and through these openings come the echoing sounds of the pavane, a discordant burbling amplified by its conduits of gristle and cartilage and strange, hybrid vegetation.
      The power of the pavane revealed depends on the number of indurate who have fed their screaming adoration into its cancerous emergence. The more caught in the pavane’s grasp, the greater the godling that emerges into the light. Once forged anew, the pavane acts to protect its troupe and consolidate its hold on the immediate location. Past that, however, the godling acts in ways that are hard to predict. Desecrated by the Flesh, it pursues aberrant purposes; the mutilated, lessened divinity follows holy protocols that are not easily understood by lesser minds, and may indeed be so utterly broken as to essentially be nonsensical even by the standards of its own kind.

      Only the initial vessel can spread the pavane through recreating the sounds therein for others to hear; infected dancers cannot do so directly, although they may be able to coax fellows to come to the gathering point of the troupe, and anyone foolish enough to dance with the dancers risks falling to it. Since the vessel is usually the first to perish or become indurate from the pavane, this gives most outbreaks a limited duration; the mad dancing occurs then burns itself out. Unfortunately, if any indurate occur and the pavane manifests, the ruined god can directly inflict the pavane on new victims.

      The Pavane Ephemeral
      Any human being directly exposed to the pavane by a vessel must spend a point of Willpower *and* succeed at roll of Resolve + Composure – the vessel’s Expression. Failure or inability to pay the Willpower cost turns them into a dancer; repeat exposure requires further rolls, and indeed increases the penalty suffered by one each time. Supernatural beings cannot be turned into dancers; animals and other lesser creatures are not usually affected by the pavane, but a few Uratha claim to have seen troupes that did include birds, dogs, or other hapless beasts caught in its malign music. A human who comes across the assembled troupe as it dances, and who willingly dances with the troupe for a scene, must roll to resist the pavane as if exposed to the vessel directly.

      A dancer gains the Madness Condition, and is treated as if suffering a fugue under the Fugue Condition. They are compelled to seek out others to form a troupe—usually convening in a metaphorically appropriate place, such as a theatre, dance hall, or sacred location. There they dance; the dancer may spend a point of Willpower once exhausted to temporarily end the fugue and seek rest, although they do not regain Willpower from resting in this way. Otherwise, they dance until they die or become indurate. A dancer hears the sounds of the pavane regardless of any actual audible source; uninfected humans can’t hear it, but supernatural beings in the presence of the dancing troupe *can* hear it as eerie, ghostly strains echoing in the area. A dancer can apply their Defence against firearms attacks, uses the highest of their Wits or Dexterity to calculate their Defence, and cannot be Beaten Down.

      An indurate is permanently immobilized. They gain Armor *and* Durability equal to their Stamina; their health track converts to a structure track, and they are treated as objects rather than people for the purposes of damage etc.

      The Pavane Manifest
      The manifested godling draws its strength from the number of indurate fed into its creation. A single indurate creates a Rank 1 manifestation; two to three create a Rank 2 manifestation; four to eight create a Rank 3 manifestation; nine to fifteen create a Rank 4 manifestation; and sixteen or more create a Rank 5 manifestation. Theoretically, a Rank 6 manifestation may be possible, but would presumably require hundreds of indurate and might even permanently change the nature of the divinity to fully adapt to its new existence.

      The pavane has Power, Finesse, and Resistance, and derived traits calculated as per an ephemeral being of appropriate Rank. It has twice the usual Essence pool and a Size of 4 + the number of indurate fed into its creation. Although it uses the ephemeral rules, the pavane lacks Manifestations and is not actually an ephemeral being; it is a native of the Flesh now.

      The pavane loses Essence equal to its Rank each day, but can draw a point of Essence from each of its indurate by touch each day as well. It assigns its Influence dots among Air, Dance, Earth, Flesh, and Plants; each manifestation can have entirely different allocations, and there’s no requirement for a manifestation to spread dots equally among these Influences. The pavane possesses Dread Powers rather than Numina; it always possesses the Armor and Natural Weapons Dread Powers at some rating, and may also have others depending on the manifestation.
      The manifestation suffers neither Ban nor Bane.

      The pavane also possesses the following special rules.

      Divine Bleed: The first time in a scene that it suffers Corpus damage, the manifestation may reflexively use the Awe or Hallucination Numina for free, even though it does not normally possess these Numina. If of at least Rank 3, it may also create a Rank 1 horror from its substance once per turn in which it suffers damage. These horrors tend towards twisted forms of filaments of muscle, fronds of bone, and tendrils that sway as if to an ephemeral breeze.

      Overwhelming Presence: A mortal human who encounters the pavane manifestation after it emerges from its cocoon suffers an Integrity breaking point. If this roll is failed, the character gains the Madness persistent condition.

      Pavane: By spending a point of Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force a target it can perceive to pass a roll of Resolve + Composure – manifestation’s Rank or suffer a fugue-like trance, forced to dance for a scene. Humans affected by this must roll to resist the pavane infection at the end of the scene; other characters lose their Defence while dancing, and their Speed is reduced purely to their Strength value. Worse, the manifestation can force the dance to greater speed and intensity, inflicting a point of bashing damage on the target each turn they continue to dance.

      Song of Loss: By spending a point of Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force all who can hear its mournful song to succeed on a roll of Composure + Primal Urge or suffer the Demoralized Tilt for a number of rounds equal to the manifestation’s Rank.

      Sway In The Wind: The manifestation’s physical attacks automatically inflict the Knockdown Tilt. By spending 1 Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force all those it can perceive to succeed at a roll of Stamina + Athletics – the manifestation’s Power or be knocked down immediately.


      - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

      ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

      Comment


      • #18
        The Pavane is great, I've been reading a lot of 80s horror lately and it makes me think of them, with British folk horror mixed in. Though could easily fit somewhere else.

        And I know it's been a while but I still love the Red Prince.

        Comment


        • #19
          I'm really glad I spontenously clicked this thread in a subforum I never usually visit – the Indurant Pavane is pretty great.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
            The Indurate Pavane
            It begins as a twitch in the foot or the thigh, a shiver running through the muscles of the arm, an involuntary tilting of the head to catch the faint whisper of music echoing just beyond hearing. It spreads slowly, winding its way through muscle and engram; it becomes an unconscious and gentle swaying when standing at ease, a distracting chord that briefly jars the ears and leaves one, afterwards, wondering if the sound was real or merely the product of imagination. The song and dance takes deeper root as the days progress, the pavane’s call sinking ever further into the victim’s being.

            Soon enough, the pavane has hold, and another dancer added to the processional worship of a ruined god. They sway and cavort in machine-like obedience to the chords that now echo through their mind, until their feet break and unpeel to mark a crimson history of their movement upon the ground, or the indurate power of the god takes hold and preserves them in eternal, silent screaming.

            What was the pavane, before? Is it the last cry of a god denied heaven, echoing through the foundations of reality and finding resonance in the minds of the vulnerable? Is it divine spite, lashing out with malice, or the mindless psychic turmoil of a lobotomised power? Does the pavane seek to rebuild its ruined self through this torturous harvesting of worship, or is it following new instincts burned into its immanence after its fall?

            Some Uratha believe the indurate pavane to be a half-dead demon, one of the bestial gods whom Father Wolf struggled before the Sundering. Unlike the Spinner Hag or Plague King, though, the pavane’s parlous state isn’t the result of Wolf’s terrible fury; rather, when the Sundering broke the worlds apart, the pavane was either outside of the Border Marches, or otherwise escaped that interstitial realm as it collapsed. If the pavane was a native of that lost world, then it clearly could no longer find the metaphysical sustenance needed to maintain its divinity; the Sundering left it adrift, marooned on the shores of the Flesh as the symbolism of its being withered away. Perhaps it adapted. Perhaps it died. Perhaps it just screamed and screamed and screamed until there was nothing left but the haunting melody of the pavane rustling through the membrane of reality. Maybe all this horror is nothing more than a dirge to something long since passed, no more purpose or meaning to it than that.

            The Dance Macabre
            The indurate pavane is a phenomenon of the Flesh, but it does not easily take root in the manifest and physical. It first needs a medium, a resonance through which it can infect. It first needs a vessel.

            The vessel is usually a musician, although in recent years these initial victims have begun to include scientists and researchers looking into strange frequencies to find the uncanny cadences that lie therein. The process is simple enough; the vessel accidentally stumbles upon—or, very rarely, intentionally delves into—a series of discordant sounds that match the pavane’s echoing notes. The vessel is in a receptive state of mind, feeling intense guilt or melancholy or defiance. Last of all, there’s another element to the process, one that’s not quite clear; as far as any Uratha who have investigated it can tell, this hidden factor is something contextual, something of the environment. It might be due to the vessel experiencing the connection on haunted ground, or perhaps a resonance with sins they have committed, or perhaps the stars must be right. Maybe it just requires the pavane to be close, and paying attention.

            Regardless, after the vessel hears the sounds that serve as key to the pavane, they then experience the whispering echo of the ruined god’s song. Most ignore it, shaking it off as an auditory phantasm, a product of stress, or simply don’t notice it over other distractions. A few, though, hear and follow that thread of sound, strain ever harder to pick up the echo, and attempt to recreate it. And so the pavane breaks them.

            The patient zero of a pavane outbreak is, sometimes, also the last victim, confining the maddening call of the dance to themselves and never sharing it with another. Unfortunately, serving as a vector for the pavane is easy; all the vessel needs to do is share whatever discordant song they create with others. A musician composes and plays the song for her fellows or fans; a scientist puzzled at the weird subquantum noises bubbling up into the new detector array shows it to his co-workers. A luckless vessel happily whistles the new, inspiring tune lodged in their head, and so snares the minds of those they pass in the street. The worst outcomes involve fervent vessels broadcasting the pavane over loudspeakers, radio, or tv. The sole comfort here is that a pavane outbreak has a physical limit as to its reach; a vessel broadcasting the pavane across a whole nation will still only affect those within a mile or so of their presence.

            And within a few days, the song takes hold.

            A Merry Dance
            Those caught by the song soon find themselves in its clutches, humming or twitching as if to dance even when otherwise occupied. It doesn’t take long for the compulsion to override all other concerns; the affected have a week at the outside. Victims dance, dance until their feet bleed and their bodies shudder with the exertion. If there are other victims nearby, whether dancers or indurate, they’ll seek each other out and dance together, all following the same unheard melody and moving in unison. Since the pavane is sedate and steady, it takes a while for physical damage to cripple or kill the dancer, and mere fatigue isn’t enough to halt the process; early on, dancers will sometimes pull free of the compulsion, confused as if emerging from a fugue, and go to seek rest in a haze of confusion before returning to the procession.

            Restraining a dancer stirs irritation at first, soon blooming to angry desperation, hyperventilation, and psychotic breakdown. Dancers want to dance, and they want to find other dancers; if prevented from doing this at all, the mental consequences are severe and sometimes lasting, although a handful will emerge from the condition with their wits recovered and a deep, chilling sense of revulsion at the sound of music. Dancers who have briefly broken from the pavane to rest have only foggy recollections of what they’ve been doing, and a belief they need to return to the procession. Even when the pavane inflicts grievous physical damage to feet, or the fatigue threatens to lead to collapse and death, the dancer must continue on with rictus expression, eyes expressing the agony and the pain but unable to act for the cessation of such. For every dozen dancers who end up screaming, unable to dance further on their bloody stumps, or lie wide-eyed like marrionettes with cut strings as their bodies shut down utterly from the exertion and lack of sustenance, one or two will become indurate.

            The indurate stiffen, their movements in the dance losing grace to become jerky and machine-like. Their skin hardens, calcifies, until it is like bone scarred with red, fleshy ruts; it grows out, coral-like, over clothes and polishes away features, submerging eyes and nose and mouth. Over a day, the indurate lose the ability to move at all, coming to a halt mid-dance, turned to poised statues of organic matter. The feet take root in whatever the indurate stand upon, and thread-like extrusions worm out into the substrate thereof. An indurate is still alive, but trapped. Left alone, one will remain in this state indefinitely – unable to move, unable to die, the mind filled with the discordant sounds of the pavane. Other dancers will stumble and whirl around them still, ignoring their plight. The bony skin is tough enough to withstand bullets, but a sledgehammer or other heavy-duty tool might topple or crack them apart. Within the bony case, the flesh has turned to fibrous profanity, a vermillion mass of tendrils that spills out and falls apart into the release of death if the indurate is broken open.

            Those worming roots, though, are already at work. They crawl through the stone or wood or whatever else the floor is made of, threading together with the roots of any other indurate forged by the pavane, then bubbling up in a blister of bone, a cocoon of cartilage that emerges wherever the indurate roots meet. Within the frozen statuary of the indurate troupe, all caught in their final poses, this new figure begins to rise up and take form—a monstrous leader of the nightmare festivity.

            The cocoon remains silent until the troupe is disturbed by someone other than a new dancer. When that happens—when someone comes to try and drag dancers away, break the indurate, or approach the cocoon—it fractures and falls away to reveal the half-made god beneath.

            The pavane’s appearance is bizarre and unearthly. At its least potent, it looks more humanoid; like a freshly-cast figure of glistening red, flesh peppered with budding fronds that raise up crimson stems like a gory mimicry of botanic fecundity. Greater manifestations become less human; they are agglomerations of bony carapace and red sinew, of plant-like growths that form vegetal spines and stems reaching for an unseen sun. The mightiest of the pavane’s forms begin to collapse visual recognition; segments do not connect to each other or follow impossible lines to form the greater whole, portions replace crude meat-matter with shivering symbols, and its many lumbering limbs knot and twist around one another in ways that should not work. All forms are pockmarked with holes and channels through its form, though, and through these openings come the echoing sounds of the pavane, a discordant burbling amplified by its conduits of gristle and cartilage and strange, hybrid vegetation.
            The power of the pavane revealed depends on the number of indurate who have fed their screaming adoration into its cancerous emergence. The more caught in the pavane’s grasp, the greater the godling that emerges into the light. Once forged anew, the pavane acts to protect its troupe and consolidate its hold on the immediate location. Past that, however, the godling acts in ways that are hard to predict. Desecrated by the Flesh, it pursues aberrant purposes; the mutilated, lessened divinity follows holy protocols that are not easily understood by lesser minds, and may indeed be so utterly broken as to essentially be nonsensical even by the standards of its own kind.

            Only the initial vessel can spread the pavane through recreating the sounds therein for others to hear; infected dancers cannot do so directly, although they may be able to coax fellows to come to the gathering point of the troupe, and anyone foolish enough to dance with the dancers risks falling to it. Since the vessel is usually the first to perish or become indurate from the pavane, this gives most outbreaks a limited duration; the mad dancing occurs then burns itself out. Unfortunately, if any indurate occur and the pavane manifests, the ruined god can directly inflict the pavane on new victims.

            The Pavane Ephemeral
            Any human being directly exposed to the pavane by a vessel must spend a point of Willpower *and* succeed at roll of Resolve + Composure – the vessel’s Expression. Failure or inability to pay the Willpower cost turns them into a dancer; repeat exposure requires further rolls, and indeed increases the penalty suffered by one each time. Supernatural beings cannot be turned into dancers; animals and other lesser creatures are not usually affected by the pavane, but a few Uratha claim to have seen troupes that did include birds, dogs, or other hapless beasts caught in its malign music. A human who comes across the assembled troupe as it dances, and who willingly dances with the troupe for a scene, must roll to resist the pavane as if exposed to the vessel directly.

            A dancer gains the Madness Condition, and is treated as if suffering a fugue under the Fugue Condition. They are compelled to seek out others to form a troupe—usually convening in a metaphorically appropriate place, such as a theatre, dance hall, or sacred location. There they dance; the dancer may spend a point of Willpower once exhausted to temporarily end the fugue and seek rest, although they do not regain Willpower from resting in this way. Otherwise, they dance until they die or become indurate. A dancer hears the sounds of the pavane regardless of any actual audible source; uninfected humans can’t hear it, but supernatural beings in the presence of the dancing troupe *can* hear it as eerie, ghostly strains echoing in the area. A dancer can apply their Defence against firearms attacks, uses the highest of their Wits or Dexterity to calculate their Defence, and cannot be Beaten Down.

            An indurate is permanently immobilized. They gain Armor *and* Durability equal to their Stamina; their health track converts to a structure track, and they are treated as objects rather than people for the purposes of damage etc.

            The Pavane Manifest
            The manifested godling draws its strength from the number of indurate fed into its creation. A single indurate creates a Rank 1 manifestation; two to three create a Rank 2 manifestation; four to eight create a Rank 3 manifestation; nine to fifteen create a Rank 4 manifestation; and sixteen or more create a Rank 5 manifestation. Theoretically, a Rank 6 manifestation may be possible, but would presumably require hundreds of indurate and might even permanently change the nature of the divinity to fully adapt to its new existence.

            The pavane has Power, Finesse, and Resistance, and derived traits calculated as per an ephemeral being of appropriate Rank. It has twice the usual Essence pool and a Size of 4 + the number of indurate fed into its creation. Although it uses the ephemeral rules, the pavane lacks Manifestations and is not actually an ephemeral being; it is a native of the Flesh now.

            The pavane loses Essence equal to its Rank each day, but can draw a point of Essence from each of its indurate by touch each day as well. It assigns its Influence dots among Air, Dance, Earth, Flesh, and Plants; each manifestation can have entirely different allocations, and there’s no requirement for a manifestation to spread dots equally among these Influences. The pavane possesses Dread Powers rather than Numina; it always possesses the Armor and Natural Weapons Dread Powers at some rating, and may also have others depending on the manifestation.
            The manifestation suffers neither Ban nor Bane.

            The pavane also possesses the following special rules.

            Divine Bleed: The first time in a scene that it suffers Corpus damage, the manifestation may reflexively use the Awe or Hallucination Numina for free, even though it does not normally possess these Numina. If of at least Rank 3, it may also create a Rank 1 horror from its substance once per turn in which it suffers damage. These horrors tend towards twisted forms of filaments of muscle, fronds of bone, and tendrils that sway as if to an ephemeral breeze.

            Overwhelming Presence: A mortal human who encounters the pavane manifestation after it emerges from its cocoon suffers an Integrity breaking point. If this roll is failed, the character gains the Madness persistent condition.

            Pavane: By spending a point of Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force a target it can perceive to pass a roll of Resolve + Composure – manifestation’s Rank or suffer a fugue-like trance, forced to dance for a scene. Humans affected by this must roll to resist the pavane infection at the end of the scene; other characters lose their Defence while dancing, and their Speed is reduced purely to their Strength value. Worse, the manifestation can force the dance to greater speed and intensity, inflicting a point of bashing damage on the target each turn they continue to dance.

            Song of Loss: By spending a point of Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force all who can hear its mournful song to succeed on a roll of Composure + Primal Urge or suffer the Demoralized Tilt for a number of rounds equal to the manifestation’s Rank.

            Sway In The Wind: The manifestation’s physical attacks automatically inflict the Knockdown Tilt. By spending 1 Essence as an Instant action, the manifestation can force all those it can perceive to succeed at a roll of Stamina + Athletics – the manifestation’s Power or be knocked down immediately.
            When I described this briefly to a friend, I said, "Imagine R'lyeh had a dance studio. It's kinda like that."

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Demigod Beast View Post

              When I described this briefly to a friend, I said, "Imagine R'lyeh had a dance studio. It's kinda like that."

              Not a bad description


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              • #22
                For Every God, A Prophet: Limusmurmak, Masquerade of the Gods

                Report: Current understanding of repetitive immanence channel ‘Limusmurmak’, aka. Masquerade of the Gods, aka. Thousand Faces of God, aka. Watcher at the Threshold, aka. Eternal Sentinel of the Black Desert

                Current Situation Summary: Limusmurmak is the uremehir name attributed to a spiritual manifestation-phenomenon of considerable power and concerning nature. At its core, Limusmurmak appears to be an extremely powerful spirit, serving as the avatar for an even more potent power of the Shadow to extrude its will into the world. Indeed, initial encounters with the monolithic entity were repeatedly mistaken for simply being such a ‘royal avatar’--a terrifying but thankfully rare event. However, upon cross-referencing between accounts, it has rapidly become clear that Limusmurmak is serving as royal avatar to a different spirit-god each time it appears, maintaining various consistent traits across its appearances but varying in the immanence upon which it draws each time. It is unclear at this time as to whether each Limusmurmak is a different but identical entity, or whether we are observing the existence of a single being that simply moves between patrons—or divine ‘employers’, if you will. Some accounts report the utter destruction of the Limusmurmak involved, yet another reappears some months or years later, under the direction of a new patron. No accounts are simultaneous—we have no evidence of two incidents of Limusmurmak existing at the same time. We do have some, limited evidence of the existence of Limusmurmak when not currently ‘employed’ by a patron—see Appendix A, and the dubious provenance of the information in question.

                Recorded Manifestation Appearances: Observers were initially alerted to the unusual nature of Limusmurmak through its distinctive appearance. In every incarnation, the ‘Lion with a Thousand Faces’ takes more or less the same form. The manifestation is a huge rendition of something akin to the classical sphinx—a vast, lurching body rearing up to a forefront that is somewhere between leonine, human, and alien in aspect. It appears decorated with extensive, ritualistic garb wrought from strange patterns, exotic metals, and folded bands of spacetime and light; the overall panoply is extremely difficult for observers to focus on or remember due to its reality-warping nature. While accounts vary as to whether its flesh or the ceremonial battledress that garbs it consist of granite, gold, marble, bone, twisting letters ‘that are alive’, or ‘light that has been murdered’, observers hearing another observer’s account will find the description familiar, even if it does not use the same terms or claims of materials that they themselves made. The Lion is capable of crushing a vehicle under one appendage, but exact heights are hard to calculate because of the avatar’s strange nature; an extremely reliable observer reported that the Limusmurmak was at one point the size of a house, and at another point reared high over the whole city.
                The Masquerade of the Gods does have some additional variance in its appearance, depending on the greater power that it serves at a given time. This variance is usually a subtle ‘wrongness’ to its appearance that reflects the patron. For example, when in apparent service to a divinity of light (poss. Luna?) observers reported that bands of wan light squirmed beneath its skin ‘like worms’.

                Implications and Recommendations: We cannot be certain whether the Limusmurmak is a powerful but servile spirit (or collection thereof), or whether it is some other form of phenomena that various powerful Shadow denizens are exploiting. Forming a ‘royal avatar’ is said to be costly and taxing, even for such entities—is the Limusmurmak some sort of ‘mercenary’, selling itself to greater powers so they do not have to risk a portion of their own divinity? Is it a serial apostle, driven to seek out gods to serve until they no longer need it? Is it a metaphysical loophole, some sort of latent schema or trick that spirits can forge their avatars in the form of in order to lessen the effort involved? What price do such potent entities deem worth paying for this entity’s loyal service? The Limusmurmak seems to make it easier, in general, for some deities of the Shadow to affect the world via a royal avatar that might otherwise require greater cost or risk than they are willing to expend. As such, it should be considered a threat—something we should engender to diminish or remove. At the same time, by channeling their efforts into one duplicate form, one that we can learn the flaws and tendencies of, it may make dealing with such divine interference easier; the Lion with a Thousand Faces has but a single bane, for example, which we already know. Additionally, we suggest extreme caution in any dealings with the Lion; it is not necessarily immediately evident who this monstrous herald is serving upon any given encounter, and see Appendix A for suggestions that Limusmurmak may have an independent existence and possibly an independent agenda.
                Appendix A: Vision of the Black Desert

                The subject [REDACTED] Drinkers of the Well. The [REDACTED] so decision was taken to [REDACTED]. Ultimately, shortly before expiration, the subject rendered accounts of visions or experiences that have been termed the ‘Black Desert’, the ‘Dead God’, and the [REDACTED].

                In the ‘Black Desert’ account, the subject claimed that the expanded awareness afforded them by [REDACTED] had allowed them to perceive a point in spacetime that was not in spacetime—a contradictory statement the subject reconciled through the idea that they had perceived a place and a time that was simply not adjacent to our own experienced existence. In this place and time, they saw a bleak expanse, referring to it repeatedly as a ‘black desert’ despite, under questioning, stating that it had no sand, nor was it black. In this desolation, the subject experienced a gnawing emptiness stirred, they claimed, not by a lack of anything, but by a sense that they should feel lack and so, dutiful to the domain’s nature, they did so.

                There, they witnessed a parade under a lightless sun; a capering charivari of faces, ‘people who were hollow’, and [REDACTED]. These festivities wound between the immense appendages of a sphinx-like creature of colossal aspect, with ‘flanks of bone marble’ and ‘eyes of murdered light’. This sphinx dominated the landscape, inasmuch as the desolation had such a thing. At the same time, the subject claimed, the sphinx also hung, lifeless, among echoes of itself, described rather crudely by the subject as ‘like you’d hang a power-tool in the shed’. The subject felt the sphinx was an empty shell, but that it simultaneously reached beyond the immediate existence of the Black Desert, and that in that lifelessness the subject nevertheless felt a lingering sense of purpose and anticipation.

                After some time in the Desert, watching its grotesque and seemingly pointless cavalcade of insensate entities, the subject became aware that the ‘masked one’ was watching them intently. The subject says they they entered dialogue with the lifeless shell, and that it told them it had counted them and weighed their presence, and judgement would be due. They reported a sense of peaceful acceptance upon this announcement, though they could not explain why. Following the accounting of this vision, the ‘Dead God’ vision, and the [REDACTED], the subject said that the Limusmurmak was present—using the uremehir name despite not speaking First Tongue nor having mentioned it prior to this present—and then immediately fell insensate. Observers were unable to perceive the force that caused this, but confirmed that the subject’s energy matrix which we associate with the ‘soul’ had been extinguished.


                Limusmurmak, Masquerade of the Gods
                Rank 5 Vessel of Spiritual Power
                Power 15 Finesse 15 Resistance 15
                Corpus 45 Willpower 10 Essence 50
                Initiative 30 Defence 15 Speed 45
                Ban: If the Lion of a Thousand Faces approaches within a distance roughly equal to a little under 3 miles of a timepiece or clock driven by the power of flowing water, it halves all of its attributes for as long as it remains.
                Bane: Stone or metal taken from an icon or statue of a faith or ideal, of which the civilization or people who revered that faith or ideal are extinct or destroyed as of at least 248 years ago.
                Manifestations: Twilight Form, Discorporate, Reaching, Gauntlet Breach, Shadow Gateway, Materialize
                Influences & Numina: The Limusmurmak possesses 7 dots of Influence and 7 Numina in accordance with the nature of its current Rank 6+ patron.
                Deactivation: If slain with its Bane, the Limusmurmak does not discorporate. Instead, the wreckage remains where it is; if in the Shadow, it turns the area around it into a Barren, and also inflicts the Barren’s effects on anyone who can perceive the remains. If in the Flesh, it rapidly collapses into an archaic or ancient amalgamation of ruins, rewriting the timeline so that, in that spot, a nascent civilization perished several thousand years ago. Uratha studying the Limusmurmak’s nature are concerned that several significant archaeological sites may be corpses of the entity, and that it might be possible to *re*activate them.
                Entropic Drain: When targeted or caught in the effect of a supernatural power that requires an activation roll, the Limusmurmak can reflexively spend Essence to reduce the successes rolled by 1 per point of Essence spent. It can do this even if unaware of the power’s activation. Should it reduce an activation to 0 successes in this way, the roll is treated as if it were a dramatic failure. Using this power afflicts the dreams and portents of anyone sensitive to such things within several miles of the scene, causing them to experience visions of dreadful darkness and the quiet, cold death of all things.
                Perspective: The Limusmurmak has a variable Size, and can change it from scene to scene, or as an Instant action if it spends 1 Essence. It can be anywhere between Size 10 and Size 200. This does not change its Corpus or its Speed, but may allow it to achieve feats such as crushing an entire scene beneath one claw, or entering a building that it previously towered over. Additionally, when a character attempts to target the Limusmurmak via perception, it may spend 1 Essence to treat the distance between the character and the Limusmurmak as wider than the starry void of the universe.
                Last edited by Acrozatarim; 05-24-2020, 03:33 PM.


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                • #23
                  Well, Limusmurmak looks amazing- I am probably going to spend a lot of time trying to fit words into the [REDACTED] parts of the writeup :P It also gave me the opportunity to catch up with some of the older posts, and I must say that the pavane is absolutely terrifying, and I would really want to see a Pak Kret writeup one day. It feels like a very insidious dark mirror to Tokyo, only that where in the later we had the Envoys for the Others who were meant to serve as some sort of a crossover communication channel, the Princes of the Broken Majesty are a common threat which subjects and twists the local powers. Full of good things, overall.


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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
                    For Every God, A Prophet: Limusmurmak, Masquerade of the Gods

                    Report: Current understanding of repetitive immanence channel ‘Limusmurmak’, aka. Masquerade of the Gods, aka. Thousand Faces of God, aka. Watcher at the Threshold, aka. Eternal Sentinel of the Black Desert


                    Current Situation Summary: Limusmurmak is the uremehir name attributed to a spiritual manifestation-phenomenon of considerable power and concerning nature. At its core, Limusmurmak appears to be an extremely powerful spirit, serving as the avatar for an even more potent power of the Shadow to extrude its will into the world. Indeed, initial encounters with the monolithic entity were repeatedly mistaken for simply being such a ‘royal avatar’--a terrifying but thankfully rare event. However, upon cross-referencing between accounts, it has rapidly become clear that Limusmurmak is serving as royal avatar to a different spirit-god each time it appears, maintaining various consistent traits across its appearances but varying in the immanence upon which it draws each time. It is unclear at this time as to whether each Limusmurmak is a different but identical entity, or whether we are observing the existence of a single being that simply moves between patrons—or divine ‘employers’, if you will. Some accounts report the utter destruction of the Limusmurmak involved, yet another reappears some months or years later, under the direction of a new patron. No accounts are simultaneous—we have no evidence of two incidents of Limusmurmak existing at the same time. We do have some, limited evidence of the existence of Limusmurmak when not currently ‘employed’ by a patron—see Appendix A, and the dubious provenance of the information in question.

                    Recorded Manifestation Appearances: Observers were initially alerted to the unusual nature of Limusmurmak through its distinctive appearance. In every incarnation, the ‘Lion with a Thousand Faces’ takes more or less the same form. The manifestation is a huge rendition of something akin to the classical sphinx—a vast, lurching body rearing up to a forefront that is somewhere between leonine, human, and alien in aspect. It appears decorated with extensive, ritualistic garb wrought from strange patterns, exotic metals, and folded bands of spacetime and light; the overall panoply is extremely difficult for observers to focus on or remember due to its reality-warping nature. While accounts vary as to whether its flesh or the ceremonial battledress that garbs it consist of granite, gold, marble, bone, twisting letters ‘that are alive’, or ‘light that has been murdered’, observers hearing another observer’s account will find the description familiar, even if it does not use the same terms or claims of materials that they themselves made. The Lion is capable of crushing a vehicle under one appendage, but exact heights are hard to calculate because of the avatar’s strange nature; an extremely reliable observer reported that the Limusmurmak was at one point the size of a house, and at another point reared high over the whole city.
                    The Masquerade of the Gods does have some additional variance in its appearance, depending on the greater power that it serves at a given time. This variance is usually a subtle ‘wrongness’ to its appearance that reflects the patron. For example, when in apparent service to a divinity of light (poss. Luna?) observers reported that bands of wan light squirmed beneath its skin ‘like worms’.

                    Implications and Recommendations: We cannot be certain whether the Limusmurmak is a powerful but servile spirit (or collection thereof), or whether it is some other form of phenomena that various powerful Shadow denizens are exploiting. Forming a ‘royal avatar’ is said to be costly and taxing, even for such entities—is the Limusmurmak some sort of ‘mercenary’, selling itself to greater powers so they do not have to risk a portion of their own divinity? Is it a serial apostle, driven to seek out gods to serve until they no longer need it? Is it a metaphysical loophole, some sort of latent schema or trick that spirits can forge their avatars in the form of in order to lessen the effort involved? What price do such potent entities deem worth paying for this entity’s loyal service? The Limusmurmak seems to make it easier, in general, for some deities of the Shadow to affect the world via a royal avatar that might otherwise require greater cost or risk than they are willing to expend. As such, it should be considered a threat—something we should engender to diminish or remove. At the same time, by channeling their efforts into one duplicate form, one that we can learn the flaws and tendencies of, it may make dealing with such divine interference easier; the Lion with a Thousand Faces has but a single bane, for example, which we already know. Additionally, we suggest extreme caution in any dealings with the Lion; it is not necessarily immediately evident who this monstrous herald is serving upon any given encounter, and see Appendix A for suggestions that Limusmurmak may have an independent existence and possibly an independent agenda.
                    Appendix A: Vision of the Black Desert


                    The subject [REDACTED] Drinkers of the Well. The [REDACTED] so decision was taken to [REDACTED]. Ultimately, shortly before expiration, the subject rendered accounts of visions or experiences that have been termed the ‘Black Desert’, the ‘Dead God’, and the [REDACTED].

                    In the ‘Black Desert’ account, the subject claimed that the expanded awareness afforded them by [REDACTED] had allowed them to perceive a point in spacetime that was not in spacetime—a contradictory statement the subject reconciled through the idea that they had perceived a place and a time that was simply not adjacent to our own experienced existence. In this place and time, they saw a bleak expanse, referring to it repeatedly as a ‘black desert’ despite, under questioning, stating that it had no sand, nor was it black. In this desolation, the subject experienced a gnawing emptiness stirred, they claimed, not by a lack of anything, but by a sense that they should feel lack and so, dutiful to the domain’s nature, they did so.

                    There, they witnessed a parade under a lightless sun; a capering charivari of faces, ‘people who were hollow’, and [REDACTED]. These festivities wound between the immense appendages of a sphinx-like creature of colossal aspect, with ‘flanks of bone marble’ and ‘eyes of murdered light’. This sphinx dominated the landscape, inasmuch as the desolation had such a thing. At the same time, the subject claimed, the sphinx also hung, lifeless, among echoes of itself, described rather crudely by the subject as ‘like you’d hang a power-tool in the shed’. The subject felt the sphinx was an empty shell, but that it simultaneously reached beyond the immediate existence of the Black Desert, and that in that lifelessness the subject nevertheless felt a lingering sense of purpose and anticipation.

                    After some time in the Desert, watching its grotesque and seemingly pointless cavalcade of insensate entities, the subject became aware that the ‘masked one’ was watching them intently. The subject says they they entered dialogue with the lifeless shell, and that it told them it had counted them and weighed their presence, and judgement would be due. They reported a sense of peaceful acceptance upon this announcement, though they could not explain why. Following the accounting of this vision, the ‘Dead God’ vision, and the [REDACTED], the subject said that the Limusmurmak was present—using the uremehir name despite not speaking First Tongue nor having mentioned it prior to this present—and then immediately fell insensate. Observers were unable to perceive the force that caused this, but confirmed that the subject’s energy matrix which we associate with the ‘soul’ had been extinguished.


                    Limusmurmak, Masquerade of the Gods
                    Rank 5 Vessel of Spiritual Power
                    Power 15 Finesse 15 Resistance 15
                    Corpus 45 Willpower 10 Essence 50
                    Initiative 30 Defence 15 Speed 45
                    Ban: If the Lion of a Thousand Faces approaches within a distance roughly equal to a little under 3 miles of a timepiece or clock driven by the power of flowing water, it halves all of its attributes for as long as it remains.
                    Bane: Stone or metal taken from an icon or statue of a faith or ideal, of which the civilization or people who revered that faith or ideal are extinct or destroyed as of at least 248 years ago.
                    Manifestations: Twilight Form, Discorporate, Reaching, Gauntlet Breach, Shadow Gateway, Materialize
                    Influences & Numina: The Limusmurmak possesses 7 dots of Influence and 7 Numina in accordance with the nature of its current Rank 6+ patron.
                    Deactivation: If slain with its Bane, the Limusmurmak does not discorporate. Instead, the wreckage remains where it is; if in the Shadow, it turns the area around it into a Barren, and also inflicts the Barren’s effects on anyone who can perceive the remains. If in the Flesh, it rapidly collapses into an archaic or ancient amalgamation of ruins, rewriting the timeline so that, in that spot, a nascent civilization perished several thousand years ago. Uratha studying the Limusmurmak’s nature are concerned that several significant archaeological sites may be corpses of the entity, and that it might be possible to *re*activate them.
                    Entropic Drain: When targeted or caught in the effect of a supernatural power that requires an activation roll, the Limusmurmak can reflexively spend Essence to reduce the successes rolled by 1 per point of Essence spent. It can do this even if unaware of the power’s activation. Should it reduce an activation to 0 successes in this way, the roll is treated as if it were a dramatic failure. Using this power afflicts the dreams and portents of anyone sensitive to such things within several miles of the scene, causing them to experience visions of dreadful darkness and the quiet, cold death of all things.
                    Perspective: The Limusmurmak has a variable Size, and can change it from scene to scene, or as an Instant action if it spends 1 Essence. It can be anywhere between Size 10 and Size 200. This does not change its Corpus or its Speed, but may allow it to achieve feats such as crushing an entire scene beneath one claw, or entering a building that it previously towered over. Additionally, when a character attempts to target the Limusmurmak via perception, it may spend 1 Essence to treat the distance between the character and the Limusmurmak as wider than the starry void of the universe.
                    Holy crapballs! This is awesome!

                    Nice tie in with your new tribe! My personal opinion is this report is written by the HAST/'Ur' people.

                    Furthermore, Limusmurmak resides in Duat, doesn't it? The "masked one" is a Jusge. The Masquerade of Gods is some sort of peace-offering to the Shadow Realm? Perhaps part of some alien and complex non-aggression pact?
                    Last edited by Demigod Beast; 06-27-2020, 04:32 PM.

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