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New Lodge - The Legion of the Marked

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  • Acrozatarim
    started a topic New Lodge - The Legion of the Marked

    New Lodge - The Legion of the Marked

    Figured I'd get these folks up on the forums at last!
    The Legion of the Marked

    Ahrimanites, Legionnaires, Vectors

    The Legion of the Marked are somewhere between war-cult, franchise, and spiritual disease. They’re an upstart splinter sect within the Pure, all that hatred and Shadow-worship turned cancerous. Legionnaires believe now is the time, the end of days, wherein the world will be cleansed through a revolution of spirit and flesh. So far, so Pure, but the Legion of the Marked isn’t concerned with respecting traditional chains of authority or boundaries of pack and totem. They spread their influence through the Shadow via the malevolent power of their totem, manifesting itself as an ephemeral infection that bonds ever greater numbers of spirits to their cause. The Legion is a plague; if it isn’t burned out, it’ll spread like wildfire.

    The Pure werewolves in the Legion of the Marked have a hybrid role of overseer, disease vector, and officer. The Lodge sees holiness in the alignment of spirit and flesh; not just crude synthesis of Claimed and other horrors, but through the perfect unison of action between werewolf and spirit. Legionnaires seek to become further attuned to the very nature of their spiritual allies and minions, letting the Essence that courses within rule their instincts. Unsurprisingly, the internal harmony of the Marked is often wildly out of balance towards spirit, but they actually embrace the trappings of such spiritual degradation.

    Almost all Legionnaires are Pure, with a smattering drawn from Ghost Wolves swayed to the cause. Unlike the spirits who the Legion infects with the Mark, werewolves cannot be spiritually conscripted; they have to willingly embrace the Lodge’s creed. Originally, before the aberrant nature of the Legion became fully clear and they seemed like just another war-cult, another frothing sect that would bring greater fervour and fanaticism to the wars of the Pure, the Anshega were happy to tolerate their existence; during this time, most of the initial ranks of the Legion came from the Fire-Touched, with a significant minority of Predator Kings. The very core, however, were Ivory Claws, the werewolves who actually founded the Lodge in the first place and engineered what was to come. Now, as the cult becomes increasingly persona non grata among the Pure for their norm-breaking activities and their proclivity to infect and overrun the spirit-courts that the Pure totems rule over, those who come to the Legion are usually the absolute dregs or extremists of Anshega society.

    Legion hostility is primarily driven against the Forsaken—probably the only reason it is tolerated in any manner by the remainder of the Pure—and adherents see the extirpation of the Forsaken as the most holy of callings. The Lodge espouses an apocalyptic creed stating that the end is indeed nigh, listing various signs as indicating a final day approaches, and that to ensure the return of Taga Dan the world must be cleansed of the vile taint of the Forsaken—or else night will fall forever, and the dark queen Luna will chain the world to her will. Where an Anshega combine allows the Lodge to remain, they usually seek to exploit its cultists as the front-line of the struggle with the Forsaken, trusting the conflict to bleed the Lodge of its vigor. Unfortunately, the manner by which the Marked can infect and recruit spirits means that, once they gain a foothold, their power begins to expand at an alarming rate—something that the Pure are now realizing, as ancient totems stir from their lofty contemplation of the War With The Moon and demand the Anshega deal with this contagion before it gets out of hand.

    Totem: The Mark
    The totem of the Legion isn’t a spirit, as such. The Ivory Claws who founded the Legion thought the power they were binding was more of a spiritual presence, an underlying thread of the Shadow’s laws. They sought to twist this malevolent strand of ephemeral compulsion into a chain by which they could bring packs or entire armies of spirits together to fight in unison, creating an army far greater than the Lodge’s own ranks. The Tzuumfin envisaged a blessing for the courts of the Pure. What they got was a curse.

    The Mark manifests itself on the spirits the Lodge corrupts. It’s a twisted parody of Renown brands, a crawling sigil that slithers around its victims and threads through their Essence, opening their will to the Legion’s orders. It’s far from a distant master to the werewolves of the Legion, either; the sigil will spill from wounds and crawl across a werewolf’s skin to burn brightly with fresh orders that will inflict terrible pain on those who disobey. Sometimes it manifests as an evil thought echoing in the back of the skull, whispering of the end of days and the need to act, to spread, to sear.

    The Lodge is entirely subverted to the will of the Mark, following its dictats to assimilate spirit courts into the ranks of the Legion’s growing army. While the Mark directs the Legion against the Forsaken, it also acts as a parasite on the courts and broods of the Pure totems, stealing away their servants to its own ranks. It has yet to ensnare any of the ancient and monstrous totem-lords themselves, but it’s trying.

    The Forsaken, realizing the danger the Lodge presents, assume the Legion to be the work of Bale Hound corruption. They may be right—the Mark certainly resonates with the nature of the Maeljin—but some loremasters wonder if it isn’t something else entirely. It may be the result of Ivory Claw experimentation just gone horribly wrong, tapping into an ancient power they couldn’t truly control—or it may be something quite new, a contagion or mutation of Essence spawned by a more recent change in the world. Perhaps the Mark is right; the end of days really is coming, and it is but a harbinger of the apocalypse, or even an early warning system given occult form. If that’s the case, what other heralds of doom might come crawling from dismal realms in these final nights?

    Bonds
    Blessing: When an adherent attacks a target, the prey suffers twice the usual penalty to Defence from the adherent’s attack when calculating Defence against attacks by allied spirits during the remainder of the turn.

    Aspiration: To spread warnings of impending threats.

    Ban: Adherents cannot attempt to ambush or surprise prey in conflicts, whatever form they take; Lodge members must clearly indicate and warn of their intent.

    Sacred Hunt
    The Lodge Sacred Hunt grants your character the ability to spread the contagion of the Mark. When your character hunts and defeats a spirit, instead of consuming the prey’s Essence they may transmit the Mark to it. The Mark is essentially a persistent Condition for the afflicted spirit, opening them to the Mark’s influence and rendering them strongly inclined to follow and obey the commands of the Legion. The spirit always has a Perfect impression towards Lodge members and has its Doors reduced by 2 on social maneuvers by a Lodge member. Furthermore, it can transmit the Mark onwards to other spirits by defeating them and consuming all but 1 point of their Essence.

    Secrets of the Legion
    • Bale Hounds thrive in the Legion’s ranks, whether or not the entire Lodge was originally a Bale Hound effort. Such Asah Gadar engineer major confrontations between the Lodge’s spirits and the spiritual forces of rivals and foes, hoping the mass spiritual slaughter will warp and damage the Shadow and create Wounds.
    • The Mark has universal and direct awareness of all of its tainted spirits and Uratha adherents. It can convey this information to its subjects, although this takes time—the Mark seems to only possess the same focused attention as any lesser being. Should a spirit minion be attacked as part of an ambush on a Lodge lair, for example, the Mark will notice the attack in real-time and take seconds, if not minutes, to start whispering in the minds or spilling onto the flesh of the unaware Lodge cultists who will soon fall victim to the ambush.
    • While they have a very hard time locating such interstitial terrain in the first place, the Legion prize the strange powers of Infrastructure and are able to subvert it by transmitting the Mark much as they can infect spirits. Corrupted Infrastructure rapidly begins to transmit a strange static through the spiritual frequency of Twilight, threatening to infect nearby spirits currently intruding in the Flesh with the Mark.
    • Cultists arrange their infected spiritual vassals into war-bands, forming huge extended packs. Through an agonising ceremony that ends in the adherent wounding themselves with silver and surrendering to death rage, they can cast forth their fury as a totemic force that properly bonds such a spirit-army together. The adherent remains lost to the throes of rage—and is usually secured in some sort of cage or prison for the duration—but, in the meantime, may instinctively use Reflected Facets to activate the powers of their Gifts through any of their spiritual minions.
    • The Legion does not use many Claimed. This is because contact with a human soul seems to wash the Mark away from a spirit; Claiming a victim frees it from the Mark’s influence.

    Tools of the Legion
    Adherents of the Legion of the Marked have access to the Lodge Armory Merit.

    Icon of Invasion (Fetish ••••)
    This icon is a battle standard of stark appearance, a metal staff set with sharp and jagged glyph-plates that jangle and clatter as if caught in a strong wind, regardless of how still the air may be.
    Effect: By planting the icon into the ground and willingly suffering a point of aggravated damage to feed its furnace of power, the werewolf may create a beachhead from the Shadow for a week. The immediate area, no more than fifty yards across, no longer causes Essence bleed for spirits of Rank equal to or less than the werewolf’s honorary Rank, until the end of the effect’s duration.

  • Master Aquatosic
    replied
    Love it as always, though that Aspiration seems pretty easy to achieve.

    "Hi, me and my friends here are the Legion of the Marked. You know our schtick."

    Aspiration Achieved!

    EDIT: keeping this post because it's funny, but I just read their ban again and realized this was as intended.

    Leave a comment:


  • Korogra
    replied
    Time to call in the Crucible Initiative, we gotta bust out those Spirit Nukes like its the Week Of Nightmares And we are trying to kill us a Zapathasura!
    Last edited by Korogra; 12-30-2019, 03:21 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • nofather
    replied
    Presumably curing yourself would go against the general desires of the Legion, and the Mark would send an alert to others nearby to fall upon and tear apart the betrayer unless it decided that getting rid of a troublesome or useless member was worth it.
    Last edited by nofather; 12-29-2019, 08:21 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • LostLight
    replied
    I wonder what happens if a lot of spirits discover in the same time that Claiming could save them, and they would all jump on the opportunity and try to Claim the first person they see- creating an Hive Claimed of terrible might. A fight between a tribe of giants and what seems to be Lodge contagious spirits and Pure. That is going to be fun! :P

    Leave a comment:


  • Primordial newcomer
    replied
    so Claiming can cleanse the Mark. now THAT is interesting. very cool plot hooks

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  • nofather
    replied
    Interesting, I was thinking about something like this and wondering how the corruption transmission would be mechanically represented.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nicolas Milioni
    replied
    Love those guys! I'm a actually very proud I requested them of you chris. And you really did a great job

    Leave a comment:

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