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Viskthaigilu- the Moth Host

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  • Viskthaigilu- the Moth Host

    [used this for the name]

    Among the many Hosts, those who know about the rare Viskthaigilu consider them as an exotic breed. They tend not to draw attention, flying silently in the night or crawling between the shadows of the trees. They are also quite beautiful- their wings are colored with enchanting eyes and complex patterns, and not two individuals are the same. Each is its own masterpiece, a magnificent creation which makes people adore them- that is, until they start feeding. Even then, they are considered beautiful- and some who watch their feedings claim that they victims don't look like they are in pain, but in bliss. More then one werewolf was about to destroy one of them- yet stopped himself just before crushing the Host, can't bringing himself to destroy such perfection. A did he was regretting for later.

    More then all, the most fascinating fact about the Viskthaigilu is their life cycle. Unlike most other Shartha, the Viskthaigilu have to go through their life cycle not once, but twice. The reason is that when a young Shard just hatches from the bloated corpse upon which it was laid, it doesn't show up in its final form- instead, it shows up as a caterpillar, small and vulnerable. Unlike the majestic adult form, while in that form the Viskthaigilu looks quite disgusting- they are furry and bloated, images of bloody eyes cover their body and they leave a trail in green or crimson. Once hatched, the caterpillars (who are sometimes confused as a whole different type of Host) start eating- first the corpse upon they were laid, then any left overs they can find. If they can do it, they would eat each other, growing in power and becoming lumps of black and brown fat. While in that form, that is their drive- eat, eat and keep eating. While they usually prefer eating the dead (for they are too weak to fight for a real prey in that form), they'll eventually have to start turning their attention toward the living. Else, they would stay as caterpillars forever.

    In order to possess a body, the Viskthaigilu waits for when a person would be close enough for it digging under their skin. Once entering the body, it would start eating its way toward the brain, consuming any organ which stands in their way. After taking command upon the body, they'll start using it to feed better- they'll eat everything, hoarding tons of calories inside the tissues. Eventually, after a time which usually takes months of obsessive eating, right after their host grew so fat that it can barely move, the caterpillar turns its body into an hybrid form.During that state, the bloated monster can keep on eating- and this time, there are really no limitation on what it can eat. It spends all of its time at devouring anything around it, growing bigger and bigger at every meal it consumes. It doesn't do it out of primal compulsion or inner drive. It does it becomes it is going to need all of that energy for a single act.

    The metamorphoses.

    Once consuming enough, the Viskthaigilu would weave a cocoon around itself. During that state, its is extremely vulnerable- for while the cocoon itself is strong, it is extremely flammable- and those who know about the Shartha are quick to burn them or boil them in hot water, for their silk is known as having protective abilities against mind controlling effects. For that reason, the Viskthaigilu seek after a remote and safe place to weave their cocoon- and then, they need to wait silently for around three weeks, depends on how much they have eaten. Those who has eaten twice or three times of what they should have finish the process in a week. Those who didn't managed to consume enough food can't get out of their cocoon, stuck forever in a form between life and death. Yet, most of them hatch.

    And then the magic begins.

    First, the Shard scatter itself- from each cocoon one could get 10-50 different Hosts. Those Shards won't start searching for human hosts at first- instead, they would fly without any real reason, usually for around a month, drinking nectar and devouring small insects and animals. If a human or an Uratha would notice them, they would usually try to escape, or would use their powders to making them fall asleep. They roam freely around human communities, moving mostly at night. It all changes when the night of the New Moon comes- for once it does, they have up until the next New Moon to finish their cycle, or else they would die.

    They desire which motivates the Viskthaigilu is the drive to anesthetize- and they do so by using their mental abilities and the drugs created from their wings. Those who are exposed those the mystical chemicals produced by them quickly fall asleep, suffering from hallucinations and nightmares which torment their souls. Those effects don't influence only living beings- spirits are also effected, and so are ghosts and other monsters. They seek to escape the harsh reality in the embrace of the darkness, losing themselves into the endless madness. While they spread their toxins, they Viskthaigilu start seeking for their new host- like the Halaku, the Viskthaigilu don't kill their victim. Instaed, once they find an "appropriate vessel", they cling themselves on it and make it sleep walking, using it as a puppet. While they touch the victim, they have the ability to see their inner dreams and fears, and manipulate him into making each and every of his nightmares to come true. The reason is that they feed upon fear- they drink the adrenaline of their host as nectar, and the more they drink the more beautiful they become. Once they drain him enough, the Shard would move on- usually leaving the victim alive, wide awake in the middle of his worst nightmare.

    After drinking the fears of dozens of victims, the second phase begins- a group of Shards gathers together and move as a swarm, devouring and poor bastard who falls in their way. They use their poisons to paralyze their victim and manipulating his senses, allowing him feel pain while representing it as pleasure. It is not to say that the victim doesn't feel the pain- it is simply so those who look on them won't notice it. As the month would start coming to its end, the whole swarm would turn upon itself, eating each other until only a single shard would remain. Then, it would search for a final host and fuse with it, creating an hybrid form.

    And like anything else the Viskthaigilu does, it would be beautiful.

    The result is a slim figure, almost skeletal, covered with the shining, black exoskeleton and and colorful wings covered with eyes which move and react to the environment. While in that form, its manipulative abilities are at their best- it can quickly force large groups into a sleep and move them like puppets which it use to feed or just to torment. It flies every night, spreading its powders upon tens of people at once- giving it a big range of targets at once. Eventually, when the New Moon rises again, it would search for a single victim and force it asleep, laying its eggs under the skin of the victim- and then it would die out and turn to dust. Few nights later, the eggs would hatch and the cycle would start anew.

    As you can guess, the reason for the rarity of that Host is the complexity of their life cycle- so many different criterion must be answered and so many levels must be passed that only one out of 10 Shards manages to finish it- but from the Viskthaigilu's point of view, it worth it. You either do something beautifully, or you shouldn't do it at all. It is all or nothing, for you only live once- and those who waste their one opportunity deserve their fate.


    suggestion? thoughts?
    Last edited by LostLight; 03-16-2015, 06:32 PM.


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  • #2
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    suggestion? thoughts?
    Okay Lost, I'll bite!

    The idea behind the Moth Host seems pretty cool.
    I have toyed with an idea of similar hosts myself (Butterfly hosts).
    Seeing yours I would say you have a clear idea about what you want your Moth-Host to resemble.
    I still think the idea here might be a bit clearer to you as the writer, than to me as a reader (and potential user of your material)

    Looking at the text you have written here this is mainly fluff for the reader.
    I would like to see systems on how this works in the game.

    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    They are also quite beautiful-
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    Each is its own masterpiece, a magnificent creation which makes people adore them- that is, until they start feeding. Even then, they are considered beautiful-
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    And like anything else the Viskthaigilu does, it would be beautiful.
    We got it, they are hot. :-)
    I feel the description here is a bit vague. Saying "pretty" and saying "the specifics of why you would find it stunning" are two very different things.
    The descriptor "Beautiful" tells me very little. How is it beautiful? In what way? How does all this beauty work in game?

    Does this mean they have striking looks? Do they have a power or an illusion that make them the way they are?
    You say each one is a masterpiece, but how do they differ (technically speaking, in game).


    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    - and the drugs created from their wings...
    I like how this is written but:
    You cant just tease that!
    How does this power work tech-wise? How do I roll it?

    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    The result is a slim figure, almost skeletal, covered with the shining, black exoskeleton and and colorful wings covered with eyes which move and react to the environment.
    And this one is interesting, but again it has no systems or functions for the game.

    Sum up:

    There are several times when I read the material you have shared I stop, and want to find the systems for how this works in game.
    This is just descriptive text with no solid rules to it.
    I would like to see rules, and also a sample character for it to make sense.

    At this pont I can't be sure how this thing should be played in any game of mine. Merely that it looks pretty and has some weird powers.

    Rarity really annoys me: It seems to be so rare, then why would they show up in a game? Every time something is rare or unique I normally stop and wonder why. Why hunt it if you know it is hardly a threat?
    A shartha (in my opinion) should be useable to the ST as a tool that gives the players a clear Siskur-dah. Something they want to hunt. Shartha = Siskur-Da.

    This Shartha does not really strike me as a host, but more as a unique host-creature. I think it is cool as something for a monster of the week kind of thing, or as a story-based monster maybe connected to another antagonist/threat?

    If they were portrayed more as the hungry hosts in the book Predators they would most likely end up in my game. I don't want them to be = Azlu. but I want them to have a reason to live and to breed (like crazy obviously).

    My tip:

    *Aspects: You might want to add some of those for this host, or make your own. I would say this is the most important thing to make this playable in a game right now. When creating the Moth-hosts: Do they operate under the same rules as other hosts? Do they have their own?

    *Story hooks for how these creatures would show up? Why would they show up in a Werewolf game (or any other Wod game for that matter) ?

    *Maybe a sample character or a base for an antagonist? Something for the ST that are using your stuff to base ideas off?

    *Shartha are diverse. They are scary because there are so many of them. think of them as a physical manifestation of a disease. if you dont nip it in the bud, they could turn into epidemic terrors that destroy not only territory but bars off areas that normally are accessible.



    Thats my feels on this one.
    Hope to see more about the Viskthaigilu
    Last edited by Ephraim; 03-19-2015, 05:26 AM.

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    • #3
      Interesting!

      My foremost question would be if you have any notions for them interacting with or affecting the Gauntlet in any way?

      One of the major problems the Hosts present to the Uratha, and the reason the Meninna are so focused on hunting them, are that they tend to wreck territory where they appear, defiling or damaging it extensively either spiritually or physically. Do you see a role for the Viskthaigilu to present such a threat?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ephraim View Post
        -snip-
        yeah- sorry I didn't posted mechanics for them. I planned working on it, but the university is eating away my life- I do have a clear image of what powers they should have, I just need to translate it into mechanics. They should have two sets of Aspects (or Dread Powers, as it is in Se if I'm not mistaken)- one for their caterpillar mode, and one for their moth form. Their "beauty" is something similar to Majesty, which they can manipulate better using the different powders and drugs they create. The eyes on their wings are actually functional, allowing them to see the world in 360 degrees. Their main ability is making people asleep- yeah, I know I still don't have mechanics, but I am going to work on it :P
        Interesting!

        Originally posted by Acrozatarim
        My foremost question would be if you have any notions for them interacting with or affecting the Gauntlet in any way?

        One of the major problems the Hosts present to the Uratha, and the reason the Meninna are so focused on hunting them, are that they tend to wreck territory where they appear, defiling or damaging it extensively either spiritually or physically. Do you see a role for the Viskthaigilu to present such a threat?
        Well, I did gave it some thought. Using their theme, I think their effect on the Gauntlet should make it "sleepy" somehow- the most obvious idea was making it harder to pass through it- but the Spiders already do it. That made me think about something else- maybe when they make the Gauntlet fall asleep, it doesn't becoming thinker- but heavier. It starts falling down on both worlds of Flesh and Spirit, crushing everything in its path- some sort of huge wave of spiritual pressure which knocks most people unconscious and make spirits fall into a death like sleep. Beings who are more "spiritually aware" and powerful spirits are more resistant to that effect, but most end up as either the Moth's plaything or an incubator for their eggs. Again, I'll need to think about mechanics for that.




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        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Well, I did gave it some thought. Using their theme, I think their effect on the Gauntlet should make it "sleepy" somehow- the most obvious idea was making it harder to pass through it- but the Spiders already do it. That made me think about something else- maybe when they make the Gauntlet fall asleep, it doesn't becoming thinker- but heavier. It starts falling down on both worlds of Flesh and Spirit, crushing everything in its path- some sort of huge wave of spiritual pressure which knocks most people unconscious and make spirits fall into a death like sleep. Beings who are more "spiritually aware" and powerful spirits are more resistant to that effect, but most end up as either the Moth's plaything or an incubator for their eggs. Again, I'll need to think about mechanics for that.
          I was wondering if you couldn't do something with the concept of moths being attracted to bright lights and have them flock to loci? Perhaps they are drawn to loci and build their cocoon there and then, when they hatch, the swarm of shards feeds off the locus, destroying it?


          Eric Christian Berg
          Onyx Path Freelancer
          Promethean: The Created Second Edition, Dark Eras Companion

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          • #6
            Nice writeup.

            Another idea could be something like infusing the Gauntlet with their drugs. They fly for that, to expand their sleep disease not only in humans and spirits alike, but to fill the Gauntlet too, making the travellers appear at the other side with less and less willpower/essence, and eventually becoming unable to cross to the other side, forever trapped in the Gauntlet, forever dreaming. If you go with the idea of them being attracted to loci, like Eric said just above this post, you could maybe make the loci change their natura and resonance to nightmarish, and eventually develope a Wound there.
            Last edited by Phersus; 03-21-2015, 05:28 PM. Reason: Edited for a little more detail


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            • #7
              Originally posted by eberg View Post
              I was wondering if you couldn't do something with the concept of moths being attracted to bright lights and have them flock to loci? Perhaps they are drawn to loci and build their cocoon there and then, when they hatch, the swarm of shards feeds off the locus, destroying it?
              I was also proposing Loci as Gauntlet problem of this race. I would see Viskthaigilu as "sleeping Loci" (and other "Places of Power"), that when they concentrate or making cocoon, they stop cycle for natural creation of Locus Essence - "putting it to sleep", so to speak. When Uratha find out that giant moths are making their Locus goes inactive, one by one, I suspect Siskur-Dah is totally in order.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by LostLight View Post

                yeah- sorry I didn't posted mechanics for them. I planned working on it, but the university is eating away my life- I do have a clear image of what powers they should have, I just need to translate it into mechanics. They should have two sets of Aspects (or Dread Powers, as it is in Se if I'm not mistaken)- one for their caterpillar mode, and one for their moth form. Their "beauty" is something similar to Majesty, which they can manipulate better using the different powders and drugs they create. The eyes on their wings are actually functional, allowing them to see the world in 360 degrees. Their main ability is making people asleep- yeah, I know I still don't have mechanics, but I am going to work on it :P
                Im looking forward to see more on them. When mechanics are up I might steal/borrow some of this from you.

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