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  • Suthilu, the Bat Host

    I'm back, ladies and gentlemen, and I've started writing stuff again. To begin, I figured starting from the oldest project was the right thing to do, which brings me here. After expanded rules for Snakes, Locusts and Leeches and my very own Bee Host, the Bats are the first I make using Second Edition rules.


    Suthilu, the Bat Host
    "...And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
    In human gore imbued."
    Edgar Allan Poe, "The Conqueror Worm"


    There's an old legend few Uratha know about an ancient and powerful being, an entity of darkness and unbridled passions, who fought a crusade against the Celestines, raised an army to delete them from the heavens, only to burn under Helios gaze and fall from the sky. Defeated, the charred creature tried to put an end to its existance by ripping its heart from its own chest and throwing it away, right into a bottomless chasm from where it could not be retrieved. As blood erupted from the wound and fell trough the darkness along the heart, the entity discovered that killing itself would not be so easy. Its life continued, crossing Father Wolf's path, leaving this planet and flying across the cosmos, but that's another story.

    This story is about what she threw in that chasm.

    Werewolves know well that among the spirits nothing really disappears. The fundamental law that everything is transformed applies far too well to the inhabitants of the Shadow. What happens then when something strong enough to be a threat to the Celestines diminishes herself by renouncing to a great part of its powers? Into the lightless depths of the earth, the heart of the mighty creature was making its last beats. Moved by an eternal hate towards Helios, Luna and Father Wolf, animated by a burning desire of vengeance towards its unkind fate and scarred by the pain of the ordeal it experienced, the heart stopped and died. Yet, a new race was born from the remains of the blackened organ, an horror which received its unholy baptism from the blood which fell from the sky. The monsters of that fanged horde spawned from the darkness opened their mouth in unison and drank, savoring the pain and desperation of their progenitor. From that act, they gained sentience and a purpose. Born from blood, suffering and rage, they spread their leathery wings and flew through the darkness moved by the burning desire to inflict their own torment on the world. Now, not many Werewolves know this story and even fewer can offer an explanation for it but, when asking to the Hunter in Darkness, they will quickly explain it is talking about the Suthilu, the Bat Host.


    The Suthilu are less well-known than other Hosts for a series of reasons. Unlike the Azlu and the Beshilu, they tend to shy away from civilization. The peculiarities of their nature impose this. First of all, the Suthilu are harmed by sunlight. A toll dictated by the circumstances of their birth, the Bat Host still suffer the same pain of their progenitor whenever they are exposed to the Sun. When they are in the first form of their life cycle, the shards can hide inside an human body and walk around in the daylight for a while but, even then, it's still unpleasant and risky. In their hybrid form, they lose any form of protection for the power it grants them. This makes the strictly nocturnal creatures. Other sources of light are not directly harmful to the Bat Host, but they'll try to avoid them (or destroy them) if given a chance. During the day, most Suthilu sleep in underground colonies, most often referred to as Pits by those who hunt them. Their istinct guides the Bat Host towards caves and subterranean galleries. It's not like a colony of Suthilu won't never take residence in a city but, the superior safety and isolation offered by a natural underground complexes makes a Bat Host infestation a distinctly more rural phenomenon. The Suthilu hide and sleep, rarely surfacing except to feed or if provoked. Their colonies are subjected to cycles of hybernations that alternates between years of quiescence and outbreaks of frenetical frenzy. Historically, this has made them deceivingly harder to spot and root out before it was too late. As the Meninna's stories can attest, an active Bat Host colony can have catastrophical consequences over the surrounding area. Uratha's expeditions into the depths of established Pits tend not to have an happy ending which limits the number of witnesses as well.


    The Bat Host have no influence on the Gauntlet per se. They do have a degree of power over it, but it does not modify the Gauntlet's strength. Rather, if the physical location from which they try to cross or try to get to is shrouded in darkness (something they istinctively perceive), the Suthilu can go through the Gauntlet as if they were in a Locus. This might not seem much but it makes hunting the Suthilu, when done on their terms, a severely disavantaged undertaking at best. This, combined with the fact that stronger Suthilu can sometimes use their powers to turn off lights or spread supernatural darkness over an area, clearly explains their predilection for living underground. That said, when awake, a Suthilu colony drastically alters the local Shadow's landscape.


    The Bat Host are guided by the hate and pain of their conception and their only desire is to make the world bleed. Like many Host, they follow this imperative on an istinctive level but every single Suthilu also feels it on a rational level with an edge other Shartha tend to lack. They want to spread suffering both because that's the point of their existence and because they genuinely like it. It's not easy to spot this difference between the Suthilu and other Hosts but those who saw the Bat Host in action can often attest it. As a whole, their race possess a brand of viciousness that's clearly distinct from that of others. How this translates to a practical level? To be blunt, the Suthilu do everything in their power to create Wounds. It's not an exact science and it takes a lot of effort but, what the Bat Host make up for what they lack in finesse with sheer enthusiasm. The Bat Host cause these Wounds to open then lap on the negative Essence that comes through. The ultimate goal of the Suthilu is to gorge themselves on the ilthum born from the Wounds, but they enjoy every aspect of the process, draining Essence from the bodies of everyone caught in the midst of it. The Bat Host tend to be relatively stealthy while most of the colony is still asleep but, figuratively and literally speaking, blood calls for blood and soon, when the number of active Suthilu increases, they'll want to feed, as quickly and as much as possible. The type of negative resonance the Bat Host inflict on the Shadow is not the poisonous one made from deception, hidden impulses and treachery; it's something brutal spawned from blood, screams and gore. While this means that at this stage the Uratha will undoubtedly notice that there's a problem, if they did not before, it also means that the aftermath of a Bat Host infestation is something the survivors would rather forget. We're talking about streets drenched in blood and people impaled on trees, their skulls removed and carved out to be used as macabre decorations. We're talking about missing children and still-beating hearts ripped out from chests. Of gleeful torture and laughing fangs that shine in the darkness. That is the consequence of letting the Suthilu live, with all the effects it entails on the spiritual world.


    It goes without mention that the Uratha won't stand idle in front of this. A colony does not go back to sleep unless stopped. The story only ends when enough Suthilu are killed, at which point the surviving Bat Host will flee away or return to their tunnels to hide. The Uratha, especially those not familiar with this race of Shartha, sometimes take this as a victory and do not take the risk to follow the Suthilu. To be fair, finding a Pit is not always easy, even when aware of its existance and the Uratha could be forgiven for focusing their attention on the resanation of the local Shadow, which at this stage is probably severely damaged. Wise Hunter in Darkness will often object that this means letting the Suthilu rebuild their forces and that the problem will only resurface sooner or later. They would probably try to organize a proper hunt and the consequent descent in the depths of a Pit, but that's an insanely dangerous feat even under ideal circumstances. Few can really tell how many Suthilu hide inside the labyrinthine bowels of the earth (not to mention their strength). When put in front of a menace that may take years to manifest again and one that is upon their heads right now, most Uratha will grudgingly postpone the hunt for the Bat Host. Left on their own, even devoted Hunter in Darkness don't have much choice. This is not a given and in the past many, many Pits where destroyed before the Suthilu could rebuild them, but that's just the sad truth of how things go. Not to mention the number of times when triumphant packs went after the Bat Host never to return, their fate best left untold.


    Other Werewolves have no love for the Suthilu as well. Soon or later, even Ghost Wolves and the Pure will have to deal with the fact that the Bat Host presence is something extremely deleterious that is not going to stop. It's worth mentioning, though, that the Bale Hounds often try to cover the Suthilu's presence and distract the attention of other werewolves away from them, for obvious reasons. The Bat Host have no allegiance with the Maeljin at all but, in the end, their actions still tend to benefit them. A Bale Hound will have to be very careful on those occasions. The rewards for helping the Bat Host openining a Wound are great, but the risks are even greater: the Suthilu make no distinction between the servants of the Maeljin and others. For the Bat Host, they're all preys waiting to be drained.


    As mentioned before, the Suthilu go through the same life cycle most Hosts do. In the first phase, the shards, called Xikaba, resemble an unusually vicious bat, more often than not larger than one would expect. Their autonomy is limited by their weakness to sunlight, which means they'll rarely move during the day until they find a human host. Most Bat Host look out for sleeping victims, so that they can feed safely. Like vampire bats, the bite of the Suthilu does not allow blood to coagulate, meaning that they can inflict deceivingly nasty wounds without much effort. A Suthilu that's trying to enter a human opens a hole in the flesh of the victim through which it ventures into the ribcage. Here, it drains the heart and lungs and carves itself a nest within the bones. A human host rarely lasts much when infested by the Bat Host. The Suthilu lack the restraint needed to take care of it. Both twitchy and restless, Bat Host are are less subtle than Azlu and Bharsalu. Their lips, fingers and skin ruined from costant biting and scratching (to the point they start to bleed) human hosts become progressively paler, until it becomes clear that something's wrong. If it has not already left the body, a Suthilu will abandon it as soon it becomes too damaged to provide protection against sunlight.


    The Bat Host are not trying to rebuild their progenitor, since the creature that spawned them is still alive somewhere, but they do devour each other to grow in power, their social attitude notwithstanding. Even in the Pits, the stronger thrives on the weak. Whether by eating enough shards or draining werewolves, a Suthilu begins the transition into hybrid, known as Khyzozt, by retreating in a dark place, most preferably underground. If there's a Pit in the area, it will go there. Lacking tunnels or caves, a Suthilu hides himself in an enclosed space, as soon as it is never touched by the sun, like a closet or a basement. It's not the best option but it works. Before starting the process, the Bat Host feeds as much as possible, often by bringing live victims to drain right into its hideout. Then, the Suthilu goes to sleep in a fetal position, agitated yet eager. Over the course of several days, the body mutates. Patches of fur begin to grow here and there, the eyes change, often becoming almost useless. The skin becomes leathery and the bones change to accomodate the new form. Most Suthilu also grow a membranous structure from their arms which will end up becoming a pair of wings but, while this patagium works most often than not, sometimes it's only vestigial. Some others grow wings on their back. The being that emerges from that tormented sleep is a mostrous hybrid of man and bat, a nightmarish creatures that prowls the night. Khyzozt feed mostly on blood, but they also eat raw meat . Their favourite meal is Essence, with a predilection for that of Werewolves and negative Spirit, but it's not always easy to get, especially when alone. A slained Khyzozt discorporates in a swarm of screeching bats, which then proceed to fly away.


    The hate of the Suthilu is not focused on the werewolves, but rather on the Celestines, especially Helios. While the People are the most common enemies of the Bat Host, Luna and Helios are the ones that shine their light in the darkness that the Suthilu love so much. Anytime the Suthilu have the occasion to slain a Lune or a Helion, they will do so. Spirits associated with other forms of light, like fire or artificial lighting, are fair game too. The Bat Host are vulnerable to their powers but, as the Pure can attest, hate is a strong motivator. It goes withouth saying that killing these spirits also alters the local Shadow in favor of the Suthilu, which is a nice plus for them. In their unstable sleep, the Bat Host see a world without sun, where they are able to fly undisturbed. The strongest of their race dream of a Black Sun that irradiates darkness, herald of an age of unparalleled prosperity for the Suthilu. The Khyzozt who have this kind of dreams are rare, the stuff of cautionary tales, but they act upon them. They galvanize entire colonies with stories about obsidian butterflies and a darkness so deep that light cannot escape it, about a way to discover hidden patterns alien to this world and put and end to their suffering once and for all. When this happens, legions of winged fiends emerge from the earth and together become an engine of death and violence almost impossible to stop. It only happened once in recorded history and it took the combined effort of Uratha, Pure and the other skinchangers of half a continent in order to stop it. By the time it was over, the stench of blood covered entire regions for weeks, on both sides of the Gauntlet.



    Mechanics

    Sunlight Bane: Any turn a part of the body of a Suthilu is exposed to sunlight, the creature suffers a point of aggravated damage. Only complete and accurate coverage can avoid this damage. It does not matter how much of the body is exposed to the rays of the sun: Helios despises the Suthilu and is sure to make them notice. If sunlight comes in contact with a Bat Host, it will take that damage.

    - Innate Dread Powers:

    Blind Gauntlet: whether it's the place they're trying to leave or the one they're trying to get to, if the location on the material side of the Gauntlet is shrouded in darkness, the Suthilu can try to Reach as if they were in a Locus, with all the relative modifiers. Bat Host istinctively perceive if this is the case, making them extremely elusive when fought in the shadows.

    Echolocation: the Suthilu "see" perfectly in the dark. Their senses are never obstacled by sight impairing circumstances such as darkness, for or smoke and ignore any kind of penalties associated with them. Even supernaturals powers that deprive the victim of their sight have no effect, as the Bat Host do not rely merely on their eyes to perceive their surrounding, but rather on a complex system of sonic schreeches and sonar-like senses.


    - Additional Dread Powers:

    Blackout: This Dread Power enables theSuthilu to darken an area, blotting out all light sources, and leaves the field in pitch blackness. The Power requires 2 Essence and a successfullManipulation + Occult roll. By default, a one success cloud is five feet in diameter, and causes a -1 penalty to all sight-based actions for all those found within. Once rolled, allocate additional successes to add five feet of diameter to the cloud, or thicken the cloud and add an additional -1 penalty to all sight-based actions. Additional Essence can be spent and additional rolls can be made to increase the area and potency of the space. The Suthilu often combine their efforts to spread darkness over a vaster area.

    Rabid Bite: a Suthilu that manages to bite another living being might spend 1 Essence point and taint the blood of the victim with a temporary disease resembling a virulent form of rabies. The Suthilu rolls Stamina + Presence versus the target's Stamina + Composure + Primal Urge. If the Suthilu wins, the victims fall into a violent frenzy and attacks all those nearby, unable to distinguish between allies and enemies. She gains the Berserk condition. On animals, this is permanent but humans and other beings regain control after a scene. Werewolves, instead, succumb to Death Rage (the Basu-Im, to be specific), the duration of which is determined by their Primal Urge as usual.

    Sonic Shriek: stronger Bat Host can emit a blood-curling scream that can shatter glass and rupture ears. This Dread Power requires 1 Essence and a successfull Strength + Expression roll. Everyone (aside from other Suthilu) within a number of yards equal to the successes rolled suffers its effect. The shriek ignores armor and inflicts 1 lethal damage per success. If successes are more than the victim's Stamina, she is also deafened for the remainder of the scene
    Last edited by Cinder; 07-04-2018, 05:57 AM.


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  • #2
    yes. yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssss. I waited for those guys for so long! I'm an happy person


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    • #3
      Sorry about that, it's been an handful of really rough, no-Internet connection months. Let me know if you like them!
      Last edited by Cinder; 01-24-2016, 03:39 PM.


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      • #4
        oh- they are awesome! just what I wanted from the Bat Host!

        (on another note- when did you expanded the Leech Host?)


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        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          (on another note- when did you expanded the Leech Host?)
          Old forum, I have not brought them over because unlike Snakes, which I consider my best work on Hosts so far, and Bees which are, well, mine, I'm not much proud of the final result

          Glad that you liked that first part of the Bats, though
          Last edited by Cinder; 01-24-2016, 04:38 PM.


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          • #6
            EDIT: Moved the Mechanics above
            Last edited by Cinder; 07-03-2018, 06:35 AM.


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            • #7
              Damn. This is one of the most terrifying Shartha I've seen so far. Excellent work

              On a semi-related note, would you mind collaborating with me for conceptualizing Scorpion Hosts? It's something that LostLight suggested we cover for a homebrew crossover setting (primarily Mummy and Vampire) that we are doing with another guy here.


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              • #8
                You know what the first thing I thought of was? The "Furies" in the new Shannara TV series. That and Marcus Corvinus from Underworld and the Subsiders from Daybreakers


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

                  On a semi-related note, would you mind collaborating with me for conceptualizing Scorpion Hosts? It's something that LostLight suggested we cover for a homebrew crossover setting (primarily Mummy and Vampire) that we are doing with another guy here.
                  Sure, I'm always glad to have a word when it comes to Hosts. Do you guys already have some ideas about them?

                  Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
                  You know what the first thing I thought of was? The "Furies" in the new Shannara TV series. That and Marcus Corvinus from Underworld and the Subsiders from Daybreakers
                  Oh, those Furies are great. I was curious about the series but their appearance in the third episode definitely grabbed my attention. I take that as a compliment.

                  My most direct inspiration are the vampires from Mike Mignola's Baltimore, which I find really cool, and the Black Spiral Dancers, in yet another shot-out to Apocalypse stuff I make when writing for Forsaken. I simply put them together and the Suthilu came out. Luckily, vampire imagery from across the media offers tons of inspiration for these guys. Both the Subsiders and Corvinus are great example of the sort of monstrous hybrid we're talking about here.


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                  I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                    Sure, I'm always glad to have a word when it comes to Hosts. Do you guys already have some ideas about them?
                    Not yet. Though if we had to start somewhere, it would have to be a name, as well as terms for the specific life stages of the Scorpion Host.

                    And with regards to the Life Cycle, I was thinking that they could probably create their hybrids by stinging them? The Shartha injects its Essence into its victim via its tail, and then the poison inflicts the painful transformation as it circulates throughout the body.

                    The end result could probably be along the lines of this and this.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                      Sure, I'm always glad to have a word when it comes to Hosts. Do you guys already have some ideas about them?
                      my original idea was using Her as a source of inspiration, because this is an egyptian setting and all. Anyway, I think that if we discuss them, it should be in PMs or on its own thread- the Bats should enjoy their own place without being distubred by the Scorpions.

                      About the Bats, I may actually use them as a part of a setting for a future Aztec "Slashing Conspiracy" (or Cabal, as it seems to be called in 2E). Why do I have so many things to do, with so little time?


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                      • #12
                        Ok, I have posted the fiction part I promised in my fiction thread, so I can keep it all organized in a place. If you like it, if you don't or if you anything else to say about it, feel free to comment


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                        • #13
                          Rasing this thread from the dead while checking on my past works.

                          I'm not sure about what can be done with the Bats, since they have their Dread Powers and description, but the more I look at them, the more I feel like they're lacking something. Perhaps it's just a matter of me writing them a while ago when I was barely familiar with the Forsaken's 2nd Edition, perhaps something else, but I'd like to know if there's something you think that could be done to improve them. I asked the same while updating my Bee Host and the suggestions helped me a lot.

                          So, anything you'd like to see me doing with my Bats? Either corrections, new stuff or anything else. No wrong answers here, just shoot.

                          And thanks!

                          EDIT: For starters, I can try to check what I wrote and clean it up a little, that's for sure.
                          Last edited by Cinder; 07-03-2018, 07:12 AM.


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                          I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot

                          This is what I'm working on

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                          • #14
                            A sample enemy entry, like the ones for Rats and Spiders in 2E core, or a character entry like the ones you wrote for the Bees?


                            MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 21C Hermit View Post
                              A sample enemy entry, like the ones for Rats and Spiders in 2E core, or a character entry like the ones you wrote for the Bees?
                              Might be a good idea


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                              This is what I'm working on

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