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Gisilu: The Ant Host.

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  • Korogra
    started a topic Gisilu: The Ant Host.

    Gisilu: The Ant Host.

    Hey all, it's been awhile since I have offered content to the Werewolf forum, and I felt that you all would appreciate these little monsters; they have taken a great deal of my time on and off for the past couple years, but now I feel like I definitively has gotten them to a point that I am comfortable in sharing what I do have with all of you. Enjoy! Like always, don't be shy in letting me know what you think!


    Gisilu- The Ant Host.
    "A single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen. And, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotting tree stumps, sucking life out of death. This forest eats itself and lives forever." Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible.

    Ants are one of the most populous creatures on the planet, outnumbering humanity many, many times over. It is both fitting and terrifying, then, that one of the most dangerous and aggressive species of shartha is borne from them. Gathering in massive colonies that extend across both sides of the Gauntlet, the Gisilu exist for a singular and self destructive purpose: the indiscriminate eradication of living creatures and other spirits in order to render the Hisil and the World of Flesh barren and lifeless- at least until a new world of their own design comes into being. With the ability to co-opt the spiritual energies of loci into their cycle of reproduction and the alarming tendency to produce hybrids at a faster rate than nearly any other Host, if left unchecked the Gisilu very well could overrun the earth and choke the planet in a endless tide of nightmarish abominations in a matter of decades.

    Despite this incredibly violent instinctual imperative and their large numbers in comparison to many other Hosts besides the Azlu and Beshilu, the ant shartha are not that well known among the People - thanks in great part to the efforts of the Hunters in Darkness. The Meninna in those parts of the world that possess large populations of Gisilu are relentless in their extermination of the ants, waging an almost endless campaign of genocide in order to keep their numbers to manageable numbers and limit their spread, for the ant-Hosts possess methods of reproduction that nearly defies what many Hunters know about the shartha in general - a fact that sets those who know of this species of Host on edge immensely. As a result, the Gisilu are largely limited to a few regions around the world, safely contained in the few colonies and nests that are carefully watched, barricaded, or destroyed without mercy- for if this status quo were ever to change in favor for the ants there would be little the Meninna, or the Uratha as a whole, could do to stop them.

    Origins- A War Without End.

    The current state of affairs has certainly not been the case in the past, and this semi successful culling of the Gisilu only began several centuries ago in response to one of the greatest disasters in the history of the People native to South America, when three gigantic colonies of ant-Hosts came in contact with each other and attempted to consume the others - a stalemate that is rumored to continue to this day. The Hunters in Darkness endeavored to ensure that such colonies would never again emerge, and through extensive use of long lost rites, spirit couriers, and apocalyptic songs sung to the Lunes themselves in the hopes that Luna's servants would carry their message to others ( they did, surprisingly), this warning was spread to the tribe as a whole in order to prepare them for the dangers the ant shartha represented - a warning that has been well heeded ever since by many protectorates.

    But the origins of the ants extend much further back like all Hosts do - with Pangaea and the fury of Mother Wolf.

    In the time where Gods walked upon the earth and spirits were more free stalked a Pangean of great power, a symbol of warfare, destruction, and rebirth who reveled in the relative chaos of the primordial world. This creature waged war on it's fellows and their lesser spirit vassals and destroyed a great many lives in it's wake for eons; but where it wrought death it also brought forth new life. This Pangean was an engine of renewal, tearing down that which was old and overgrown and offering fledgling life to flourish and take root. To better facilitate this task the great Warrior spent most of it's time as not one entity, but a legion of them; many hundreds of bodies all directed and controlled through one titanic will and anchored to a central form to maintain cohesion and retain identity.
    And for a time all was well, the Warrior continued it's ways within the borders set by the God of Hunters, Urfarah, and was largely left alone save for those who resisted against it, and everything was as it should be. Unfortunately all good things will come to an end, and the end came several ages later as the great Warrior noticed a small, yet notable imbalance beginning to gain momentum in the universe. The tiny beings known as man had long been a source of resonance for Essence to accumulate around as did all things, but as time passed and humanity grew more numerous, what had been an abnormally potent influence upon the world of gradually became greater and more severe in it's alteration of the shadow world that was Pangaea and its inhabitants, and the Warrior did not like that at all. While sustained through acts of war and carnage, the Warrior was also a spirit of regrowth and rejuvenation, but as the humans gathered in greater numbers and their wars became larger and fiercer, the time the world and creatures to recover grew longer – which of course caused mankind to fight with new vigor in order to secure new resources, which in turn delayed the growth of new life even longer and so on.

    Humanity was still disperse and their numbers still comparatively small, meaning that it would require generations upon generations of mortals to overtly affect the Warrior in a negative fashion despite their greater influence upon that which was ephemeral, but to a particularly lucid immortal such as the Warrior, it began to feel the first inkling of an alien emotion brush against it's thoughts: fear. In the Warrior's mind if left unchecked, this upstart species would utterly devastate the equilibrium that it represented and thus endanger it's existence, so the Warrior made a decision. The world was not solely dependent on man to persist, and the Warrior itself had been around since before the mortals had even crawled out of the mud, therefore it decided to nip the problem in the bud and destroy humankind forever – it was the only way to preserve the world as the Warrior knew it, for better or for worse. And so for the first time in it's memory the Warrior crossed the Border Marches in order to unleash it's fear fueled wrath upon any and every tiny village and proto-city it's legion of bodies could find, and many of the mortals perished between the Warriors' thousand jaws and beneath innumerable blade- like legs.

    This was a mistake.

    Almost immediately the God of Wolves and his Firstborn descended upon the Warrior with unmitigated fury. Urfarah was not yet weakened by the siring of his Uratha children and the mortals still were a hunter-gathering people by a vast margin, thus the Great Hunter was near the pinnacle of his virtually unlimited strength. Likewise the Warrior was similarly mighty; it was not some wayward spirit to be chased and harried like a hapless deer- it was a God. Thus where others would turn and flee, driven before Mother Wolf towards inevitable slaughter, the Warrior stood it's collective ground and instead charged to meet Urfarah in a clash like no other before. Fangs and claws that could sunder mountains and dredge up new seas collided with steely mandibles and razorsharp limbs that could do much the same. Flesh was torn open and great clumps of fur and fat joined shattered chitin and fell scattered upon the earth like obscene snow or hail, only to be washed away again and again by by torrents of hot blood and viscous ichor as Father Wolf and his brood savagely battled the vast host that was the Warrior. It is unclear how long the Warrior and Urfarah were locked in deadly combat; years, centuries, millennia, or possibly only a few short days – what is known is that the Warrior ultimately could not prevail. Despite it's immense strength and advantage of numbers thanks to it's constitute bodies the Warrior in essence was still only one being, while the God of Wolves had an entire pack-army of divine offspring at her flanks, always ready to exploit any weaknesses presented to them.

    So after an eternity, or perhaps only a mere moment of battle, Urfarah and his children cornered and tore the primary body of the Warrior apart- thus shattering the keystone that held the gestalt that was the God of Ruin and Rebirth together. And for any other being that would have been the end of it; the prey would be dead and Urfarah would move on to engage in another Hunt, but something unusual happened. The few bodies that were not destroyed by the Wolf God and her cubs in their haste to strike at the Heart of the Warrior did not die with it, but rather lost cohesion and dissolved, spreading their life essence among and lying dormant within the creatures the Warrior most resembled: ants. Whether or not Urfarah attempted to hunt down and destroy these lingering remnants before they unraveled is unknown, for it is said that Luna soon began courting the Wolf God not long after the Warrior was defeated, leading to the genesis of the Uratha and the beginning of the Great Hunter's own undoing.

    Other creatures would similarly escape Urfarah's judgement, two of the most well known being the Spinner-Hag and the Plague King, and after Mother Wolf died and the Gauntlet was raised the end of Pangaea lead to the the birth of the Hosts. Alongside spiders and rats, shards of the great and powerful Warrior awakened within a certain number of queens among ant colonies around the world – though instead of being united by a single will a chorus of nascent minds emerged, all of them consumed by a all-encompassing imperative:

    Tearing the now doomed world apart and starting over from scratch.

    Thus began the existence of the Gisilu, and ever since they have been striving towards the mad goal of finishing what their progenitor started, and anyone or anything that stands in their way best either get the fuck out of it or at least have the courtesy to die screaming along with everyone else – for the ant shartha are relentless. The never tire, they will never retreat, and they will not stop until every last living creature on earth is dead or the Gisilu themselves are utterly destroyed.

    It's already too late for this world, but the next one will be better.

    So the ant Hosts promise.

    A Mad Purpose- To Bring About Extinction.

    The Hosts, one and all, possess some sort of alien drive that urges them to do what they do. Spiders weave, Rats gnaw, Snakes are said to sleep( among many other things) and Locusts are rumored to eat. The Ants have a similar purpose: They destroy. Imagine for a moment a colony of African or South American legionary ants: long columns many hundreds of feet long composed of hundreds of thousands to millions of ants inexorably moving forward. They sweep over anything in their path and everything unfortunate enough to be caught by these massive trains of insectoid death are pulled down and torn apart with unfeeling efficiency to feed the colony and more importantly the queen – leaving behind nothing but bones or other inedible husks. The Gisilu do much the same, they are an engine of death and ruination that if it had its way would march across the whole of the Gurihal and the Hisil until nothing was left, wiping the canvas clean for.. something new, something better. At least that is what the Hosts say in their chittering tongue and bloody droning. It is thanks to the Hunters in Darkness and many other creatures that populate this world that the ant shartha are still a long way from accomplishing this nihilistic instinctual imperative, though that does not bother the Gisilu overly much. Steady, inexorable advance is the way of the ants; no matter how long it will take or how many shards are lost or subsumed, sooner or later the ant shartha will march over the corpses over all who try to stop them from completing the purpose their half forgotten progenitor began. To the Gisilu, to hold back their colonies is like trying to hold back the ocean's waves with one's bare hands- sure one can obstruct a pitifully tiny amount of water for a moment.. but in the end the tide will still wash over and around them. The Hosts are that tide, and the Uratha who think they can keep the Gisilu at bay forever will someday will be washed away like all the rest, all that is required is patience – something the ants possess in spades.

    As terrible as the desire to kill every thing that walks, flies or swims is, this desire is not borne from any true malice. The Warrior began it's campaign of slaughter against the humans not out of hate, but out of fear and a desire, however right or wrong, to maintain a status quo for it's existence and the rest of the world by proxy – a sort of twisted sense of duty to preserve the harmony of the universe. This is true for the Gisilu as well; they really do believe that what they are doing is right, that they are correcting an imbalance that only the ants can rectify. To these shartha, the world has been slipping further and further away from what it should be and that drastic measures are needed to set things right. Unfortunately the Gisilu also believe that simply returning the world to how it once was before the loss of Pangaea is impossible; and the only true way to bring balance to this diseased world is reduce everything to a zero sum, all beings in the world of flesh must die and every spirit must be destroyed – it is the only way the world can be rebuilt anew, free of the weight and corruption that plagues the current planet. Do the ants realize that this will more than likely end in their destruction as well? Yes. Do the ants know that the world really will be reborn after their task is finished? Not entirely, though their queens do have some sort of nebulous plan to ensure that it does.. maybe. Regardless of whether or not they can bring about new life to Earth is ultimately irrelevant; the Gisilu cannot be anything other than destroyers any more than the Azlu can resist thickening the Gauntlet or the Beshilu can resist tearing it to bloody tatters. Destroying is what they do, and they will continue to do so until there is nothing left in this world to destroy.

    It must be noted that despite their lack of malice concerning the slaughter of living things and spirits, where Uratha are concerned they are a solid exception. The Warrior's last moments were locked in a hopeless, disastrous conflict with Urfarah that directly lead to it's death, it's thoughts consumed with anger and hatred towards the God of Wolves and her blind stupidity. Did she not see how dangerous those fleshy things known as men were? Did she not feel how the ebb and flow of Essence warped and changed like quicksilver in response to the actions of the mortals? But no, Father Wolf would rather turn his fangs upon the Warrior instead of humanity, who were the truest violators of the Border Marches- the injustice of such obliviousness giving birth to impotent rage and hatred in the Warrior's million hearts. Pointless objections to be sure; Urfarah could not deny his nature any more than the Warrior could, but the sheer unfairness of the particulars of it's defeat burned itself into the fractal soul of God of Ruination and Rebirth.

    As a result like with all Hosts, the Gisilu possess an instinctive hatred and fear of the Great Hunter's bastard descendants, and the normally unemotive ants will employ surprisingly brutal and cruelly imaginative ways to make the werewolves suffer whenever an opportunity presents itself- all with a mask of false impassivity. It is not uncommon for the Gisilu in a pack or protectorate's territory to almost exclusively attempt to wear the faces and bodies of friends and family, to force the Uratha to make a sadistic choice: either tear apart the now dead husks of people they knew in order to stop the ant shartha, or be hounded by their former loved ones until no more remain or the werewolves are driven off or killed. It's only fair, Urfarah cruelly destroyed the Warrior and doomed the world, the Uratha should be made to pay for her crimes. So when the end finally comes, the werewolves will be the last to finally go.. though the ants will make sure the Uratha do not leave the mortal coil without screaming in agony and misery.

    The only exceptions to the Gisilu's all-consuming need to kill and raze everything around them ( however temporarily) are their fellow Hosts. This is not some sentimental kinship or fondness on the ant's part – it is pragmatism. Like how some species of ants will capture and effectively enslave competing colonies, the ant shartha will attempt to do the same with non ant Hosts. Spiders and Rats are the most numerous shartha aside from the ants, and possess abilities that manipulate the Gauntlet in ways the Gisilu find useful – having a very stunted ability to alter it themselves aside from Reaching. Azlu can spin webs to thicken the spiritual barrier, an perfect way to make it more difficult for their enemies to cross it, and the Beshilu can gnaw gaping holes within it so the ants can easily move between worlds. The Rat Hosts are frenzied and psychotic creatures, but at their core they are ultimately frantic cowards; so though the Beshilu invariably resist initially the superior strength of the ants combined with the promise of a continued existence all but ensures cooperation with the Gisilu – however temporarily until the madness of the rat shartha overwhelms their ability to be useful to their conquerors.

    While it is no great challenge in coercing and bullying the Beshilu into gnawing the Gauntlet to tatters ( in fact the Gisilu have no problem semi peacefully convincing the rats to do so, the Gauntlet is just one more aspect of the world that needs to go from their perspective) for ants' benefit, the Azlu are another matter entirely. Being more powerful and more solitary, the Azlu are fiercer and far more aggressive that the fearful and paranoid Beshilu are in battle – blind panic can carry one far, but fury is a quality the rats possess little of in comparison to their arachnid cousins. One would think that the fact that Azlu congregate in smaller numbers and are less likely to run when confronted would make them easier to isolate and force into service, but this is not the case. Azlu are virtually perfect ambush predators and are masters of misdirection and subterfuge( to a point at least), traits that the blunt and linear thinking Gisilu are sadly lacking aside for their queens. This coupled with the greater willfulness of individual Azlu and their natural abilities to thicken the Gauntlet and entrap those attempting to pass through it turns what should be an easy conquest into a grueling guerrilla war that can wear on even the tireless ant Hosts. On occasions some Gisilu colonies are capable of simply pushing into Azlu territory and forcing their cooperation like with the rat shartha, but the effort involved more often than not either destroys the Azlu in question or robs the ant shartha of their own hybrids that could have been better used elsewhere – either option depriving the Gisilu of the prize they were seeking. More often, the queens of most colonies wishing to make use of the Azlu rely on a different tactic: Negotiation. As such the relationship between the Azlu and the Gisilu, when it isn't violent, is very much like a contractual business agreement in determining how and where the Spiders will spin their webs for the ever advancing machine of the Ants – though the odds of the Azlu turning on or abandoning their “partners” are highly likely should the children of the Spinner-Hag decide they no longer will be bought by “lesser” creatures.

    It is unclear how the Gisilu make use of the other lesser known Hosts, they typically being of much smaller numbers and often infesting areas the ants themselves currently do not, but should they encounter their rarer cousins, it is likely they would attempt to make use of them in some fashion or another.


    Upcoming: Explanations detailing the Gisilu's life cycle and the establishment of their colonies, as well as how a ant-shartha infestation operates.
    Last edited by Korogra; 05-07-2016, 06:06 PM.

  • Korogra
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

    It totally is! It’s like the pinnacle evolution of the three kids on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat idea!
    I think you could say that about all Hosts

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  • Korogra
    Originally posted by Aleksay View Post
    I'd rather suppose that ant host should have ruling impulse: to build. And their dread power allowing them to gnaw out pieces of Gauntlet in one place (lowering it's Strength here) and attach them to other (strengthening it there). They also can walk on Gauntlet strengthened this way even if they are in open spaces (watchers from the Flesh can see it as walking on air) or move through areas witn no Gauntlet left even if they are in solid matter (effectively moving through walls). By this they build giant and strange constructions, making secret rooms in Gauntlet and even digging tonnels to other bizarre planes.
    That is a pretty interesting idea, though if I had difficulty working out my original Gauntlet Idea... I have even less idea how to make this work mechanics wise xD

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  • Eldagusto
    Originally posted by Korogra View Post

    It is a really cool visual isn’t it?
    It totally is! It’s like the pinnacle evolution of the three kids on each other’s shoulders wearing a trench coat idea!

    Leave a comment:

  • Korogra
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Man I love the Hosts as an idea. And lately reading Kith's of Arcadia I realized I need more Ants wearing human skin.
    It is a really cool visual isn’t it?

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  • Eldagusto
    Man I love the Hosts as an idea. And lately reading Kith's of Arcadia I realized I need more Ants wearing human skin.

    Leave a comment:

  • Aleksay
    I'd rather suppose that ant host should have ruling impulse: to build. And their dread power allowing them to gnaw out pieces of Gauntlet in one place (lowering it's Strength here) and attach them to other (strengthening it there). They also can walk on Gauntlet strengthened this way even if they are in open spaces (watchers from the Flesh can see it as walking on air) or move through areas witn no Gauntlet left even if they are in solid matter (effectively moving through walls). By this they build giant and strange constructions, making secret rooms in Gauntlet and even digging tonnels to other bizarre planes.

    Leave a comment:

  • Korogra
    While this is a major necro, I was thinking that to make the Gisilu more Host like, they should have a unique effect on the gauntlet like their cousins. For a long time I couldn’t figure out what sort of effect it should be, and then I was struck by inspiration.

    As the Ants exist to dismantle the world around them and bring Ruin to Flesh and Shadow alike, I imagine their Essence can instill this animosity into the Gauntlet itself, causing the barrier between worlds to become become inhospitable or caustic to those traveling through it, as well as accelerating the physical deterioration of objects and living things on the physical side of the Gauntlet.

    Not sure how to stat it out yet, but I should have something soon. Suggestions are welcomed as always!

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  • Korogra
    Hey guys! Now I think this is the final part of my Gisilu write up ( unless you want a fiction/roleplay sameple section, let me know if that is the case), detailing a Hidden Queen - really the only quintessential Host in a colony. I briefly thought about doing a write up for the other castes, but quickly decided that would take too long and was more or less unneeded ( Again unless you want me to add those). So here we are, the ( hopefully) final section of the Ant Hosts! Like always let me know what you think, and have a wonderful day!!


    Imperial House- Sample Gisilu

    Cesa, The Empress

    " You still think you can destroy my colony? Silly dog.. this entire Continent is my palace, every nest you have ever seen have been nothing more than individual anthills leading to the cavernous realm below. Be a good mongrel and bow before your Queen, and I might decide to not feed you to my Fodder."

    Intelligence 6 Wits 5 Resolve 5
    Strength 4 Dexterity 7 Stamina 8
    Presence 4 Manipulation 5 Composure 6

    Academics 4 Crafts 3 Investigation 3 Occult 5(Hosts) Politics 4
    Athletics 2 Brawl 4( natural weapons) Survival 3 Weaponry 1
    Animal Ken 3 Empathy 7(Hivemind) Intimidation 4 Persuasion 3 Subterfuge 4

    Merits( The levels of the merits are undecided for me, apologies)
    Danger Sense Iron Stamina, Allies, Contacts, Safe Place, Eidetic Memory, Retainer Multi Limbed Combat

    Virtue: Curiosity
    Vice: Vengeful

    Willpower: 11
    Cohesion*: 8
    Essence: 30
    Size: 10
    Health: 15
    Defense: 5
    Initiative: 12
    Speed: 17

    Dread Powers: Acidic Spray, Armored Plates, Burrow, Devourer, Toxic Bite, Infest Locus, Channel Essence, Control Lesser Shard, Poison Locus, Spawn Nursery, Hivemind, Regenerate 3

    Description: Cesa is quite unique among Hidden Queens in that instead of merely remaining in her basic form, a queen ant, she decided to reach for greater things; to merge with a human. While doing so made it increasingly more difficult to infest loci, she finds the advantages of mobility and the capacity to enjoy the more visceral plights and pleasures of this world to be a fair trade - all to more easily tear it down once she has sated her curiosity. As a result, the hybridized form she has worn for nearly a century is both a nightmarish and twisted mockery of both man and ant as well as possessing an alien feminine allure, not unlike that of some deadly predatory animal.. or a paramour that one knows is bad news - yet cannot help but lie with. Cesa's form greatly resembles that of a Fodder in many respects, with a humanoid torso connected to a large abdomen, along with two pairs of legs stemming where the two sections meet - though the differences come to the fore quite quickly. First and foremost, the Empress is massive compared to Fodders, her abdomen alone is easily as large as a minivan and her legs being almost long as the average human, if not a bit longer. Her torso (technically thorax if one was to be accurate) is quite slender and feminine, though it lacks breasts or other such female mammal anatomy, and sports two sets of arms- they and the rest of her body covered in pale, almost immaculately smooth fleshy chitin. The greatest thing that sets her apart from her children aside from her size is her face. Whereas Fodders or Bone-Breakers are either horrendously mutilated by their transformation or insectoid, Cesa's face is an almost painfully beautiful woman's face, easily the most human aspect of her entire visage save for the solid blood-red orbs that rest in their sockets. Why the Empress chose to look this way is unknown, though some speculate that she did so in order to both unnerve and reassure potential victims/allies, giving them a face to behold that was not as alien as her children in order to establish some semblance of similarity.

    Background: Not much is known about the Hidden Queen aside from the fact that she seems to be the oldest and most powerful Queen in North America, having built numerous nests and raised several colonies which have terrorized Uratha territories for easily over a century. What most Uratha don't know is that Cesa is not only the strongest matriarch of the ant-hosts in the United States; she is the only Hidden Queen in the country. How this happened was due to a an equal level of Initiative and carelessness on the part of the Meninna. Concerned with a large spike in Gisilu activity in the early 1900s, the Hunters in Darkness launched one of the largest coordinated inter-pack campaigns seen prior to the Brethren War and the subsequent sneak attack by the Pure during said conflict with a level of competency not seen for several decades. The results of this Great Hunt were both dramatic and impressive; within just a few weeks every single Hidden Queen was cornered and killed in the US - save for for an infant Cesa. Spawned by a desperate Hidden Queen mere hours before her death at the hands of a particularly powerful pack lead by a Hunter in Darkness named simply Runningbear, the drone bearing the nascent shard that would become Cesa was bore far from the slaughter to develop in a remote, tiny Locus many dozens of miles away in a national park. And there she grew and developed for years, building a a small colony that was never found by the participants of this Great Hunt. As a result the Uratha breathed a sigh of relief, thinking that the Gisilu menace had been exterminated- at least in their backyard.

    But disappointment is a fact of life in the Chronicles of Darkness, as slowly but surely the Ants began appearing again in small numbers. Packs would destroy these colonies whenever they would find them, but strangely enough they could never find a Hidden Queen, only Nurseries. This was because Cesa knew what happened to her fellow shartha. Each Hidden Queen is essentially the focal point of a new independent hivemind at the moment of their birth, but for a short period of time they still possess a lingering connection to the synaptic web of their progenitor. It was through this fading connection that the infant Gisilu learned of what the Uratha did to her people - and it shocked and horrified her. She desperately did not want to fall to the same fate of her sisters, and was so hellbent on preventing that outcome that she did what few of her kind had ever done; she took a mortal Host. While bereft of the ability to easily merge herself with a locus, the ability to freely walk and defend herself allowed Cesa to quickly establish large numbers of smaller, semi autonomous colonies in order to fulfill her burning biological need to work towards the Ruination of the spirit and flesh sides of the Gauntlet while acting as proxies and red herrings in equal measure - the most terrifying thing about this strategy is that it worked. The Uratha were baffled; Gisilu nests were appearing everywhere it seemed and yet they could find no central colony, no Queen to slay in order to curb the spread of this epidemic. So packs all over did what they could; they destroyed these inexplicable “orphaned” colonies as often as possible, few scions of Father Wolf ever coming to the conclusion that perhaps there was a frighteningly mobile Hidden Queen stalking the innocuous places of the nation, sowing small nests here and there as she grew ever stronger – all the while taking great pains to avoid the Uratha she so despised.

    Now in modern nights Cesa has very little need to be so cautious, but she still prefers to remain mobile and continue to create colonies here and there – all the better to keep her enemies spread thin while her children continue to grow in number. Through this method of nest building even though the Uratha are able to more easily exterminate local infestations, it has become something of a herculean endeavor. Like cutting off the head of a hydra, for every one of these proxy-colonies that are destroyed; three more seem to take their place, and while the overall numbers of Gisilu remain quite low nation wide the ever increasing number of these “orphaned” colonies has begun to spark a flame of unease in the Elder Meninna, and the name Cesa has started to earnestly reach the ears of said elders. This suits the Empress just fine, she wants them to know her name, to see what she was trying to do while being unable to stop it. For soon, very soon according to those few ant shartha who are interrogated before being destroyed, Cesa will finally drive the Uratha from her kingdom and all that resist will be naught but food for a new generation of Queens who will bring the land around them to ruin.

    Whether or not this is the case remains to be seen, but for those very rare few Forsaken who have met Cesa and survived tell that she is a being that is supremely confident that she is able to take what she wants, when she wants and those who try to stop her quickly learn that she is far from unable to make it so. Her hatred for Uratha still runs deep, though for reasons unknown she will inexplicably send her children to capture Uratha in order to just.. talk, among other things. From the scarce reports that exist, the Empress is curious about the monsters that killed her ancestors and wants to learn about them, so she experiments. Just what these experiments entail is probably better off unsaid, but either way it goes without saying that whatever she does with these unfortunates is.. unpleasant to say the least. As a result, there are rumors that the Hunters in Darkness are planning to attempt to form a Silver Crusade in order to destroy this monster once and for all, though it is unclear on whether or not such an undertaking is even feasible during such a time where the dread Idigam are rampaging wantonly and the Pure are achieving superiority in the United States. Despite the danger she poses, most werewolves agree that the threat Cesa represents is simply not dire enough for so many to leave their territories, and perhaps they are right. This line of thinking is more poisonous than one may immediately realize, however, as such inaction may indeed give the Empress the opening she is looking for..


    * I had given thought and personally believe that not only should Hosts possess a power stat, instead of Rank it should be similar yet different from Primal Urge; like how Shadow Potency mirrors Blood Potency for Strix. So I decided to come up with Cohesion. Where as Primal Urge represents the strength and the closeness to Urfarah's legacy a werewolf possesses.. Cohesion is the measure of how "Whole" the Host is ( i.e. how close they are to effectively " becoming" their progenitor in a sense). Mechanically I don't see it as overly different from Primal Urge, though I would say there would be no focus on Kuruth nor would there really be any feeding restrictions until their Cohesion stat grew high enough, representing a need for greater consumption of Essence. Coincidentally, Uratha flesh is an excellent source of Essence...
    Last edited by Korogra; 08-06-2016, 11:47 AM.

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  • Korogra
    Hey all and holy shit I can't believe I've neglected this for so long. I apologize for necro-ing this thread, but I have finally gotten around to finishing the Dread Powers for these Shartha. Again I deeply apologize for taking so long and I hope you enjoy them!! As always, let me know what you think and offer constructive criticism!

    Tools of Conquest- Dread Powers

    Innate Dread Powers: Discorporate, Hive Mind ( Gisilu Only) , Infest Locus ( Hidden Queen Only)

    Common Dread Powers: Armored Hide 1-3, Burrow, Devourer*, Earth Elemental, Home Ground, Natural Weapons, Toxic Bite

    Common Gisilu Dread Powers: Acidic Spray, Amplified Strength 1-3,Living Architecture, Nutrient Spray, Pheromone Trail

    Hidden Queen Dread Powers: Channel Essence, Control Lesser Shard, Poison Locus, Spawn Nursery

    Infest Locus (Hidden Queen Only)
    This Dread Power is the Key to an entire Gisilu Infestation, without this ability a Hidden Queen cannot spawn spirit shards. The Hidden Queen wishing to Infest a locus must burrow into the earth within it's radius on the Shadow side of the Gauntlet and Roll Stamina + Potency- The Locus Rating , spending three points of Essence. Upon success the Hidden Queen spends the entirety of the following day suffusing the Locus with her presence. Once fully settled, the Hidden Queen benefits from the following advantages:

    Masked Essence - The Essence of the Locus and the Hidden Queen become so intermingled they are indistinguishable from each other. Attempts to locate the Hidden Queen by tasting or scenting her Essence is penalized by 5.

    Enriched Wellspring- The Hidden Queen's presence is quite beneficial to the integrity of the Locus. Attempts to alter the resonance of the Locus are penalized by a combination of the Locus rating and the Infesting Queen's Potency Score. In addition, the Locus generates more Essence than a font of it's strength normally does, generating an additional number of Essence points per day equal to the Hidden Queen's Potency.

    Generate Spirit Shards- The Hidden Queen is able to utilize the spiritual powers of the Locus in order to spawn her monstrous offspring. Once per day, the Hidden Queen may spend five points of Essence in order to generate a number of spirit shards equal to the rating of the Locus. Alternatively, the Hidden Queen may instead create one shard every scene. These spirit shards are true Shartha, with their own personalities and varied levels of intelligence - save for an inviolable and near fanatical loyalty towards the Queen who spawned them. In addition, The Queen is able to essentially "design" aspects of the shards she creates, choosing which Dread Powers her children will manifest and what Attributes and Skills the lesser shartha begins play with - though these shards can grow and develop independently afterwards.. should their Queen allow it.

    Channel Essence
    With this Dread power, the Hidden Queen is able to utilize her Dread Powers while controlling one of her children. In addition to the Dread Powers of the controlled Gisilu, the Hidden Queen may elect to instead channel one of her powers through the creature at an -2 penalty. Infest Locus cannot be utilized by the Controlled Ant Host.

    Control Lesser Shard
    This Dread Power is greatly feared among Shartha Hunters as it is an ability that allows the Hidden Queen to directly take part in battle where as normally her unique form of host-body makes combat nearly impossible. The Hidden Queen chooses any lesser shard connected to her through the Hivemind Dread Power and focuses a greater portion of her presence into this individual with a Manipulation + Empathy + Potency Roll. Upon success the Hidden Queen's consciousness overrides the target shard's for the remainder of the scene, and she is capable of making use of their abilities as if they were her own. There are downsides to this, however. While the Queen is connected to all of her children and can communicate, there does lie a level of disconnection, a sort of psychic "Cushioning" that shields the Hidden Queen from excess sensation and emotions - the most intense of which occurring at the moment of a shard's death ( however temporary said death may be). Should a Gisilu the Queen is controlling die while she is doing so, the Hidden Queen suffers a psychic backlash as all that Ant's pain and fear wash over her, inflicting a -3 penalty to all mental rolls for the remainder of the scene. In addition, this intense connection to a single lesser shard drowns out the voices of her other children somewhat, inflicting a -2 penalty to the benefits of the Hivemind Dread Power.

    Poison Locus
    The destruction of Flesh and Shadow alike is the overall goal of all Gisilu, and depriving the many, many, MANY enemies of the Ant Hosts of Essence is but one step of the journey towards completing it. The Hidden Queen is able to allow her toxic blood to mix with the spiritual essence of the locus she has infested ( or other loci with use of Channel Essence), making the essence flow poisonous to non-ant shartha. While the Queen and her children can still feed from these fouled loci, other creatures and spirits who attempt to do the same instead suffer like mortals do when Essence is introduced to their systems, causing them to sicken and waste away, suffering a point of lethal damage every hour per point of tainted Essence in their system until destruction or until the rancid Essence is expended. tainted Essence can be used for all of it's primary functions save for healing actions. This taint remains within the Locus permanently unless cleansed, and there are various rites of healing and purification that can easily burn away this corruption.

    Spawn Nursery
    This Dread Power allows a Hidden Queen ( or another shard she is controlling thanks to Channel Essence) to regurgitate a fist sized living mass of flesh that quickly anchors itself to wherever it was deposited, after which other Gisilu then place bits of meat from previously slain prey in order to allow it to grow until it is roughly the size of a man – a Gisilu Nursery. From then on until it is destroyed every so often a small number of ants emerge from the mass, more sisters ready to carry out the Queen's will. This fleshy pile possesses the ability to absorb Essence that is “fed” to it and use said Essence in conjunction with its physical mass/flesh to produce Shards at a rate of 1 Shard per every five points of Essence every hour until it's store of Essence is depleted – after which it wastes away. As a result, Hidden Queens often place these disgusting biological factories within Loci, in order to ensure they always have access to a steady supply of Essence, though in desperate times the Queens will simply have her slaves create an sustain Nurseries in odd, far off locations.

    These Nurseries require more than just just Essence to remain functional, and once per week an amount of living or dead flesh equal to the Nursery's Size must be “fed” to it in order to provide it with the material needed to create the shards physical forms. The Nursery has a number of health points equal to it's size and is completely defenseless aside from the shards it generates, and therefor is highly vulnerable to attack if left unguarded.

    Hivemind ( Gisilu Only)
    This ability is what truly makes the Ant Host so effective and how they are capable of presenting such a danger to enemies. Each ant host colony has it's own self contained gestalt consciousness that stems from their ruling Hidden Queen. Through this Hivemind, each Host is able to communicate with it's siblings or Queen at no cost, though with the expenditure of a point of Willpower the Host can transmit things it sees or hears to the rest of the colony for the remainder of the Scene.

    In addition, the Hivemind Dread Power allows the Gisilu to work together with exquisite harmony. Gisilu gathered in groups of 10 or more gain a +4 bonus to teamwork rolls and combat rolls, gaining an additional +1 for every additional five Hosts in the swarm, capping at +10.

    This Dread Power is not without it's drawbacks. Once a colony grows to a certain size, usually at 100 members or more, it becomes more difficult for the Queen to direct her children or for individual Gisilu to effectively communicate with each other, imparting a -3 penalty to the bonuses provided by this Power ( though should a colony possess enough Bone-Breakers, at least one for every 25 shards, this penalty is removed as the Bone-Breakers alleviate the strain on their synaptic web).

    Acidic Spray
    This basic Dread Power often developed by Fodders and some Bone-Breakers, this ability allows them generate and spray a potent bio-spiritual acid at foes. The Gisilu spends a point of Essence and rolls Dex+ Athletics + Potency – target's Defense and/or armor. The Spray has an effective range of a number of yards equal to the Host's Potency and acts as a 0A weapon.

    Amplified Strength 1-3
    Ants are famed for possessing incredible strength for their minuscule size, and the Gisilu mirror this strength to great effect. This Dread Power possesses three levels, level one grants a permanent +2 bonus to the Hosts Strength Score, level two grants a +4, and Three grants a terrifying +6. Unfortunately this Dread Power's higher levels can only be purchased by certain castes of Ants. Unaltered host bodies can only benefit from Amplified Strength 1, Fodders may only purchase up to the second level, while the feared Bone-Breakers being allowed to purchase the final level.

    Living Architecture
    This Dread Power is held almost entirely by the Worker caste of Gisilu, and serves them well by allowing the ants to work together to becoming essentially living pieces of infrastructure, though larger Hosts may retain this power for greatly upscale ( and at times grotesquely comedic) effect. By gathering in groups of twenty or more with each spending a point, Gisilu are capable of interlocking their bodies together in order to form living equipment or architecture. A number of example pieces of Living Architecture are as follows, though the Storyteller is free to design new ones as they see fit.

    Conveyor/pulley systems
    Living Wells

    In addition, any composite piece of a Living Architecture configuration may spend an additional point of Essence and a point of Willpower to add their Stamina score to the objects' Durability. As the saying goes, every chain has a weak link, and should any section suffer a number of lethal damage exceeding the highest present Stamina score the Living Architecture breaks apart into the individual Shards.

    Nutrient Spray
    This Dread Power is a non combat version of the Acidic Spray Dread Power, and is another common ability for Forages and Fodders. Nutrient Spray allows the Gisilu in question to douse a fellow Ant Host or any other target capable of utilizing Essence with a viscious, energy rich substance. The User spends a point of Willpower and rolls Dex+ Athletics and on success transfers a number of points from their Essence pool to the target equal to the successes rolled with a range equal to the Host's Potency score like with Acidic Spray.

    Pheromone Trail
    Ants commonly make use of pheromones to communicate with each other and navigation, and so do the Gisilu. By spending a point of Essence the Ant Hosts are capable of exuding a chemical spore trail that imparts a +3 to rolls regarding navigating an unfamiliar area that persists for a number of days equal to the user's Potency. Consequently the pheromones can be quite useful for enemies as well should they be detected – a perfect weapon to lure meddlesome Uratha or other creatures into traps if need be, assuming the ant shartha do not unintentionally leave a spore trail in the wrong( or right) place.

    * While Devourer is considered to be a Idigam Dread Power, i find that there are plenty of spirits and other gribblies that possess themes where this power would be perfectly fitting ( like a Devourer Hound possessing this Dread Power - signifying it's hunger that transcends madness. So I figured that the Gisilu would also be able to develop Devourer as it fits their theme of how they think that the entire world must be dismantled, both Spirit AND Flesh - so they have it as a common Power XD.
    Last edited by Korogra; 08-06-2016, 12:00 PM.

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  • Korogra
    Hey guys, Now again I apologize for this delay.. things always have a habit of jumping out at me and taking up most of my time, not to mention distracting me... but as promised, here is the final part of the Trembling Earth, and Holy shit I am finally glad to be finished with it! With this piece I will FINALLY be done with their basic background and how they do shit, and then I can finally move on the the mechanical meaty bits for you guys ( which will fortunately take far less time, thank GOD). I'm sorry that I've taken so long with this, and I hope you enjoy this section! As always, let me know what you guys think about these monsters I have been lovingly building for you!


    Methods- The Trembling Earth (Part 3)

    How these functions are performed mark just how damn effective and implacable these monsters are; their unique characteristics compared to the other Hosts, their high levels of aggression, and their objective oriented mindset and knack for strategic and tactical actions capable of giving even experienced packs pause – all of these facets come together to create a race of creatures that could very easily overwhelm the initial infested area and ( much, MUCH further) beyond if allowed to grow powerful enough in both numbers and strength of individual shards. Patient and thorough to extents that go past what is often thought possible, an area besieged by a local colony of the ant-shartha will not be left alone until everything in it has been torn apart and fed to their Queen - regardless of how long it may take. The Gisilu are not known to simply stop after scouring an area clear of life – both material and ephemeral – though, and once one location is rendered barren and lifeless, the Colony moves on to another to repeat the process again ad infinitum unless stopped by an outside source like a pack of Uratha or ( worse case scenario that thankfully hasn't happened yet) until there is nothing left in the world to kill or break.

    But the question that one would probably ask is how an infestation achieves this, and what sort of things happen during such a terrible event. In a word: systematically. As stated before, the Gisilu are patient and thorough; a Hidden Queen is more than happy to move slowly for weeks to even months or years if she believes that the area she has made her current home is too dangerous to immediately announce her presence. So she waits and carefully breeds her worker-soldiers as few at a time, sending them out to discreetly secure resources and fortify the home base before taking more.. assertive action. Once a Queen determines it safe enough to be more bold, she sends her Foragers out to start earnestly taking human hosts in order to be more useful to her designs; killing minor threats, collecting food and other required materials, scouting out potential foes/prey – these are all what the human possessing Foragers do and more in the service of their queen. Even at this stage the ant-shartha are still quite “docile” Save for a few ( anger fueled) exceptions from time to time, the Gisilu shards do what they can to avoid the attention of more dangerous creatures or failing that, doing everything possible to misdirect these foes in order to fool them into focusing on areas far away from the Queen - making them search everywhere the shartha are not while the colony quietly grows in power all the while. This isn't to say that these diversion tactics are always successful, but a few days or even hours of leading enemies like the Uratha who are instinctively predisposition ed to give chase to those who prove a challenge along on what is essentially nothing more than a wild goose chase to stall for time can prove invaluable, as it distracts the enemy from their larger priorities just long enough to let the rest of the colony to properly prepare – the advantages of a hive-mind being put to good use.

    This behavior is mirrored on the Shadow side of the Gauntlet as well, and in fact is often more important to the colony in the first few weeks on an infestation as the Hisil is where all the Essence collects and saturates the spiritual world around it- a perfect place to quickly build strength while remaining hidden from the prying eyes of mortals and more physical threats. This is not without downsides , however, as while the Hisil is not as saturated with overflowing numbers of beings like in the world of Flesh, at least over there the natives are less likely to pay attention to small knots of ants moving and working with a strange semblance or purpose. Not so in the Shadow, for while few spirits have much love for the bastards of Father Luna and Mother Wolf, but they will gladly run off to tattle on the gisilu should they feel threatened. This means that the lesser shards must be extra careful with how they move or what they attack while in the shadow, for one never knows who may be watching from the darkness or who they serve. Being ever resourceful though, the ants have devised a strategy that circumvents many of these dangers for the most part: operating within the day. As most spirits are either sleeping or sluggish, and the Uratha rarely attempt to enter the Hisil during the day unless they possess no choice, the shartha have a great deal more freedom of movement than one would expect, and they can accomplish a hell of a lot of work in a few short hours of daylight much more quickly than they can at night.

    Shartha hunters who are wishing to make the Gisilu their prey must be extra vigilant then, as the ants are more than happy to do their bloody-minded work no matter the time of day on both sides of the Gauntlet, and this two pronged approach to what they do can put great strain on a packs time and resources even when the ants are not actively working to make things miserable – yet. The constant back and forth between worlds to keep tabs on these monsters can quickly eat through a pack's time and distract from other matters that would demand attention, sometimes fatally so, and has the added problem of occasionally agitating spirits who are.. less than friendly towards werewolves – something that can only benefit the colony. As a result, unless one is prepared to neglect every other aspect of maintaining one's territory in favor of hitting the gisilu with everything they have ( and hitting them quickly in the beginning in order to prevent them from gaining too much momentum), essentially performing a long and protracted Sacred Hunt at the exclusion of everything else for the days or possibly weeks it would take to eradicate the colony, the only really meaningful reprisal a a single pack of Uratha can make while still taking care of their other important responsibilities would be attacking the colony piece meal in order to occasionally destroy a large number of shards from time to time in order to slow the Gisilu down and thin their numbers until circumstances permit a more permanent solution – though this tactic is only truly viable while the colony is still relatively small ( as the tactic is intended for; keeping the ants from gaining truly problematic numbers for as long as possible). If the local infestation has been able to subsume several loci, or one or more greater loci, then the time has come to either leave the territory and find a new home or ( if one truly means to live up to the sacred vows they have taken as scions of Urfarah) commit oneself to a grueling guerrilla war- while hopefully getting as much help as possible in order to destroy or contain the threat that the ants have now gained the ability to represent.

    Once the colony gains the capability of regularly producing hybrids, all the sneaking about and carefully poking and prodding the area and it's defenses rapidly begins to come to an end. Humans start to go missing in greater numbers that are quite noticeable to mortal authorities, and while this in all likelihood bring unwanted attention to a pack's territory at first, what will come next makes the tender ministrations of law enforcement officials and possibly monster hunters seem like a pleasant ( if boring) and friendly family social gathering in comparison. They begin appearing slowly at first; horrid monsters that resemble obscene man-ant abominations that come skittering from the most unlikely of places on their many insectile legs, ruined mouths chittering mangled First Tongue threats and litanies that hurt the ears and cause the Wolf within to recoil in disgust and fury, mandibles clacking and swollen eyes bulging grotesquely with each jittery step. These things are almost never encountered alone, and while at first they seem to do little more than rush at their victims with little in the way of purpose other than to rip apart anything in their away and carrying the chunks back to their siblings and Queen, as time goes it becomes sickeningly apparent that they are not nearly as mindless as they appear to be. Ambushes, sophisticated examples of coordination between different groups, and impressive small unit tactics that can rival that of even modern military/polices forces or the pack oriented manuvers used by many Uratha it is quite obvious ( if it hadn't been made so before hand) that these things are far more resourceful and dangerous than many other monsters that an Uratha might face. All the while these creatures, the Fodders do their damndest to kill anything that breaths and tear down whatever may be whole with little to no regard for their individual lives – so long as the collective they are part of achieves it's goals. But as bad as these hybrids are, they are but the first flakes of disturbed snow at the head of an avalanche, and whatever destruction these Fodders wrought they are merely the advanced scouts.. and what's coming next will be so much worse.

    As vicious as these initial attacks are, they are at least somewhat containable( should one act quickly) – for a time. The Fodders strike in large groups yes, but it is rarely more than one group in a given area at a time and even when they coordinate with others it is mainly to heard enemies from one ambush site to another, where two or more groups will briefly work in tandem to destroy threats too strong to be taken down by single foraging groups, but once the target(s) is destroyed, or a large enough number of Fodders are killed ( admittedly nearly all of the hybrids involved in the battle, the Queens do not care about the loss of a mere one or ten Fodders after all), then the groups will disperse, looking for more easily taken targets while covering as much ground as possible - to better find other living things to kill or dismantle as well as leading particularly foolhardy enemies on merry chases than invariably lead to ever more ambushes. Such is the opening moves of the ending stages of a Gisilu infestation, and while difficult the only real methods of dealing with the bunches of horrid man-ants are regrettably stopgap in the beginning.. though it can only be expected should a pack allow events to become this dire.

    And then the Bone-Breakers start appearing.

    A few days after the Fodders begin appearing in force marks the end of these small, guerrilla tactics and strategies and sees the beginning of the iconic phenomenon so well ingrained into the minds of those Hunters who know of the Gisilu; the March. A March is exactly what most would expect from hearing the word: a huge mass of Ant-Hosts sweeping from their various nests and converging into one massive column, which in turn swarms over anything in it's path and tearing it to minuscule pieces. This is admittedly somewhat misleading, as the March does not make use of merely one giant column of warrior ant hybrids, but two: One column that handles things on the Flesh side of the Gauntlet and another that does the same on the Spirit side ( or possibly even more if the local packs REALLY fucked up and let the gisilu's numbers grow into the several hundred range – something thankfully so rare it's almost non-existent in the modern day, save for in South America and possibly even Africa).

    As stated previously, the Bone-Breakers are the frontline attackers during the March. living battering rams which smash into the toughest resistance and, ideally, utterly breaking those sources of resistance down as their fellows tackle the less.. challenging threats. In the beginning of a March the Bone-Breakers care very little for finesse, relying on their herculean strength and their durable chitin to see their objectives through in the most direct and destructive manner possible – after all when the entire world is naught but nails, it doesn't matter where the Hammer strikes. Needless to say, once March happens there is often very little one can do to end it aside from making sure it never happens to begin with, or possessing the numbers and strength to fight the ants on more or less equal footing – a daunting task indeed for the Uratha or any other supernatural being, but hardly impossible if one is lucky. Once the March finishes tearing the serious opposition apart, supernatural or otherwise, the columns move to create a perimeter around the entirety of the area the colony has infested, and then turn around and work their way back towards the center, systematically destroying everything and anything that had survived the initial outward push. It is during this time that the Bone-Breakers behavior changes subtly and they switch from being simply living wrecking balls to commanders and squad leaders for the Fodders in their Queen's stead, directing their lesser brethren during the lengthy process of mopping up the creatures and structures that remain, and so the gisilu then return to smaller unit tactics – now with Bone-Breaker support and oversight.

    This process is quite time consuming and can take days, weeks or even months – during which time the ants will literally leave no stone unturned ( in fact they will likely eat the stones and their corresponding motes and spirits) until everything is utterly consumed. It is at this point that the colony will finally move on to find a new area, usually an area right outside of the own they have just rendered barren and will repeat the process again – this time with likely far more success.

    And so the cycle continues on and on for the ant shartha, as their colony grows ever more powerful and more difficult to destroy until there eventually comes a point where it cannot feasibly be stopped without the most drastic of measures, and even then it is likely the queen will survive to begin this process all over again, and again.. and again. Thus is the danger of the gisilu, for they are a species of patience and blood-minded determination that creates nothing but tragedy and death in it's wake.

    But this is assuming that a colony is able to grow and spread smoothly with no serious setbacks, which is very rare in the modern day. Which leads to the greatest vulnerability of the Gisilu, a weakness that no other ( currently know) breed of Shartha possesses – and that is the Hidden Queens. While undoubtedly the most protected shard of a colony and the one host that the average shartha hunter is unlikely to ever encounter, or even get close to – should a Queen die and she has not had the time to create an “heir”, her destruction will spell the end for the colony. Every shard that is descended from that Hidden Queen will eventually die, some instantly ( like Workers and weak Foragers), others a few days afterwards ( such as stronger Foragers, Fodders, and Bone-Breakers) – their spiritual shards fading away into oblivion with their matriarch. There are two exceptions to this; If the Queen had successfully created a Queen shard before her death the colony may attache themselves to the infant Hidden Queen and survive, or if that is not possible the surviving lesser shards may attempt to locate an unrelated colony and allow themselves to be absorbed into it – bringing their unique characteristics to the new colony and helping it grow more diverse. Either way, this is the only way to definitively destroy a gisilu colony, and many Hidden Queens have fallen to the teeth and claws of the Meninna and other creatures over the recent centuries.

    The Hunters in Darkness have done a beautiful job ensuring that the ants haven't been able to gain such numbers as a whole in a very long time. And even though they have been unable to exterminate the ants, they have at least accomplished something that they have never been able to do with any of the other hosts, and that is ( more or less) containing them – which is no small feat by any standard. It may only a fleeting victory in the long run, but for the time being it is safe to say that it unlikely that the ants will achieve their biological imperatives any time soon.. hopefully.

    Up Next- Dread Powers of The Gisilu.
    Last edited by Korogra; 06-10-2016, 05:42 PM.

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  • Korogra
    As promised, here is the second half for you guys!! I will confess something though, I have had to break up the Trembling Earth into three parts, as I felt that combining the hybrid forms with the particulars of a late stage infestation would simply be too long for a single section, and my work schedule this week does not afford me that kind of time. Having said that, I will hopefully be adding the third part of this section up during the weekend or possibly early next week. In the meantime; enjoy these horrible monstrosities!! As always ( and especially for this part), let me know what you think and offer whatever constructive suggestions you can! Thanks and have a beautiful day!

    Methods- The Trembling Earth ( Part 2)

    Just as the Gisilu are separated into a number of distinct castes, it is no surprise that the hybrid forms of the ant-shartha would also be divided into more than one variation in order to accomplish specific tasks. This makes the Gisilu rather unique among hosts as while the hybridized forms of other shartha share characteristics, it is rare for any two hybrids to appear fully alike or even possess the same sets of skills and evolutionary adaptations. Now there are exceptions ( such as the Red Ministers' ability to essentially craft the soul-shards of their brethren to their own mad designs) to this, though they are quite rare in comparison to the almost.. manufactured hybrid forms of the Gisilu. Designed for highly specialized roles, there is comparatively little variation between two hybrids of the same type unless the Queen decrees that there is need for more diverse adaptations for any specific goal. This makes the Gisilu predictable and fearsome in equal measure, for while it is very likely that if one particular hybrid in a group possesses a certain supernatural gift it's comrades will possess it also, should any of the hybrids possess highly dangerous powers it very well could lead to disastrous consequences. The insectile nature of the Gisilu also lends a level of strength that can rival or even surpass the primal power of the killing form, and more than one Uratha has entered the Garu state thinking that it's savage fury will win the day only to be torn apart and reduced to nothing but raw essence – more fuel for the warmachine that are the ant-hosts.

    This isn't to say that the path towards evolution is without effort or accumulation of power, but thanks to the unique reproductive characteristics of the Gisilu and their utter loyalty to their Hidden Queens once enough lesser shards have been born it is only a matter of time before they are commanded to devour each other in order to meld together en mass – though in small clusters to allow for multiple stronger shards than simply one or two very potent shartha ( Such shards have their place on occasions, but as a famous Russian dictator once said; “Quantity has a quality all it's own.”). Just as Worker shards can be merged together to form Foragers, Foragers can either merge together to form proper warrior shards or instead may attempt to possess a human body and transform them into a fusion of man and insect that is the expendable worker-soldier hybrid caste, a Fodder.

    To do this, a sufficiently powerful Forager first infests a mortal and then finds a safe place in order to begin the metamorphosis. Ideally the Forager will return to one of the colony's nests in order to properly pupate, as they often possess special Essence rich incubation pits for the Foragers to immerse themselves in, greatly accelerating their evolution. For those who are less fortunate and unable to reach the safety of their nests the process is more lengthy and carries greater risk and in response they normally will either attempt to find a secure subterranean space such as a basement or storage cellar, a windowless room, or will simply burrow into the earth and hope that nothing will find them during the transition period – at which point they will construct a makeshift cocoon of whatever physical or spiritual detritus is available and fall into a comatose state once fully enshrouded.

    Regardless of which process is followed, the result is the same. After the incubation period ( two days for a Forager caught outside of it's nest, a frighteningly quick 12 hours for a host within a incubation pit) the newborn abominations open their eyes and tear themselves free of their now sodden cocoons, stretching newly altered appendages and shaking themselves awake, ready to do the Queen's bidding. Despite Fodders being relatively low in spiritual power in comparison to the warrior hybrid caste, their appearance is much more ant-like than humanoid. The basic body structure of a typical Fodder hybrid is a horrific union of a roughly humanoid upper body and the abdomen of a man sized ant – complete with four insectoid legs and spindly, mostly human arms. This gives the Fodder a very low profile, almost entirely horizontal, though they are able to “stand” upright for short periods of time like a invertebrate centaur. If that were not vile enough, the Hybrid Gisilus' visage still retains recognizably human characteristics, though they are nightmarishly twisted by the hybridization process: Pallid antennae sprout from the creature's forehead and their eyes have bloated and swollen obscenely, nearly taking up a third of the poor victim's face while remaining disturbingly human-like. The Hosts' mouth remains largely normal, though their cheeks have ripped open to allow room for a pair of large and bony mandibles. Fodders and other hybrids are covered in a chitinous exoskeletal layer that is often either an ashen variation of the human victim's original skin tone, a grey-white, or a shiny brown or black – typically being stronger that its relative thin appearance suggests.

    While ungainly seeming, Fodders are frighteningly quick and monstrously strong for their stature, capable of performing feats of strength and agility far beyond what would be possible in an unaltered human corpse. The Gisilu's innately aggressive nature seems to be amplified in their new form, as they will attack and kill ( or try to kill) most non ant-shartha on sight unless ordered otherwise by their Queen, and will even try to attack other shartha breeds with very little provocation. Needless to say, Uratha are even more hated than they were while the Fodders were mere Foragers, and the desire to kill the children of Father Luna and Mother Wolf is nearly strong enough to override a Hidden Queen's ability to control them – almost. This doesn't mean that the Fodders are stupid. Yes they are essentially expendable soldiers who are meant to wear down and choke enemies with their numbers, but they are surprisingly intelligent and strategic when it comes to the act of slaughtering the enemies of the ants. Fodders work seamlessly in tandem with their siblings and in groups the Gisilu employ tactics complex enough to give even seasoned packs of Uratha pause. It is not uncommon for Fodders to lure enemies into a false sense of security with their apparent bestial ferocity, cleverly leading arrogant opponents on for an extending period of time before springing traps and ambushes of breathtaking genius.

    Fighting and killing are imperatives heavily ingrained into the psyche of a Fodder, and this fearless drive serves them well in their purpose. Fodders are soldiers of the colony, but they are also expendable; the swiftness of their incubation period and the sheer numbers of shards who are chosen to assume this hybrid state means that for the first few days that a colony is able to produce hybridized monstrosities Fodders are tirelessly working to destroy weak targets and wearing down stronger threats until the Gisilu are ready to March out and decimate anything that is in their way- no matter how many Fodders are ripped apart in the process.

    But these are only the hybrid forms of the Foragers, powerful as they are, and they are but faint reflections in comparison to the other recombiant horrors the Gisilu are capable of creating. As stated before like Workers, Foragers are capable of melding together in order to essentially “ evolve” into a higher caste of worker-soldier. These warrior ants differ from their fellow shards in a number of small, yet notable ways. The first being rather a small clump of ants like Foragers and Workers, these stronger shards manifest as a single legionary ant the size of a cockroach. The second divergence from the former order of things is that these ants are quite dangerous even outside of a host, their mandibles strong enough to cut deeply into flesh and stings poisonous enough to seriously sicken even Uratha, inflicting the Poisoned Tilt. Unlike normal poisons however, this venom is supernatural in nature and can only be properly be treated through magical means, though mundane medical can help mitigate the effects somewhat. Finally, what makes these shards so different from previous “versions” is that they are capable of autonomous actions not dictated by their Queen. They are unable to disobey their mother any more than the weaker shards can, but they are much more intelligent and possess far greater freedom and personal initiative in comparison to their only moderately cognizant brethren. These traits are highly valued by the Hidden Queens; the ability to quickly adapt to unexpected situations and act accordingly without requiring the Queen to make micro-adjustments to her orders in response. This allows for far greater tactical and strategic fluidity that Fodders, Foragers, and Workers cannot easily perform, while sacrificing none of the instinctual loyalty and devotion towards the Queen ( Again to reiterate; this isn't to say that the other castes are mindless automatons. They are intelligent beings, they can be incredibly intelligent.. though their biological programming towards uncompromising loyalty and their linear, aggressive personalities make it somewhat difficult to recognize that intelligence.). This isn't an entirely seamless affair; the greater level of intelligence and ability to analyze orders, coupled with a broader capacity of interpretation can occasionally lead to these warriors to question directives, however benignly at inopportune moments – such is the price for superior soldiers.

    Regardless of any minor hiccups, these warriors are highly effective weapons, and their genesis often marks the beginning of serious expansion and the first steps towards eradicating anything that offers even a token resistance. But in order to be of use the ants must first acquire bodies in order to warp and malform with their vile presence. These warrior ants infest mortals in much the same way as their weaker siblings, and the preparation of their stolen bodies is likewise similar- though it takes several days longer ( four days without the aid of an incubation pit, one whole day with it.). The difference lies in the outcome. The man/ant monstrosity that emerges from the cocoon is a far different beast than a Fodder, though it is just as alien and horrifying.

    Whereas Fodders possess the body structure and posture of natural ants, these warrior-hybrids are much more human-like, being huge bipedal ant men. With two long legs and four chitinous arms, the hybrids already seem more suited for combat than their brethren, capable of engaging in the familiar bestial fury of the Fodders and more refined forms of battle more favored by humans and other sapient creatures. The other ant like features of these monsters are more natural – as ironic as that may sound – and fluid, blending aspects of ant and human more smoothly. The head, while still nightmarish, is more ant like: long antennae gracefully emerge from the forehead and a great pair of compound eyes dominate a large portion of the face, blood red and ( mercifully) inhuman. Razor-sharp, tong-like Mandibles grow from insectoid mouth parts, their edges glinting with a strange metallic sheen. Completing this monstrous and formidable ensemble are a relatively small abdomen growing from the creature's lower back and a sturdy, pale flesh colored exoskeleton. Another most obviously alien characteristic of these hybrids is that they are massively tall; easily the size of an Uratha in Garu form if not a little larger. Though tall, these creatures lack the hulking mass of the killing form, being freakishly slender and spindly, almost appearing to be stick like in comparison to the ultimate form of the Uratha – which also serves to make them appear to be even taller. Despite looking almost comically fragile and frail these Gisilu are anything but; they possess immense power and fearsome durability and endurance, just one of these creatures are easily a match for any single werewolf, possibly even a pack if one is not careful. These are the true soldiers of a Gisilu colony; living weapons of such terrifying strength that even the most powerful Rahu of the Hunters in Darkness would wisely hang back and combat from a distance – These are the Bone-Breakers.

    When the time has come from the Gisilu to put subtly aside and finally fulfill the purpose they are born to perform, the Bone-Breakers are the spearhead of every conquering swarm, the hammer that smashes through the heaviest of resistance in order for their siblings to pour through the gaps and finish off the twitching remains of anything unlucky enough to have survived the initial March. They are the commanders of hunting columns, directing their fellows in their Queen's stead, acting as much need intermediaries for the burgeoning Hivemind as the number of shards reaches critical mass. And above all Bone-Breakers are the ant hosts' greatest weapons against the children of Father Wolf, living avatars ( however faintly) of the splendor that was the Warrior at it's peak. And when the Uratha come in force to vainly attempt to crush the now rampant colony well.. they best bring lots of friends along with them, for all it takes is one lucky grab for a Bone-Breaker to rend a poor werewolf to pieces with laughably little effort.

    These two are not the only variations of Hybrid forms among the Gisilu, there are often many different types utilized for different purposes within the colony, often formed from the corpses of animals or humans unfit to become Fodders or Bone-Breakers. Nevertheless these two types are the “default” evolved forms of Gisilu shards and the primary instruments for destructive and constructive purposes that the ant-shartha employ, and they perform their functions very well.

    Next Time- The later stages of an infestation and the March.
    Last edited by Korogra; 06-06-2016, 01:47 PM.

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  • Korogra
    Though it's very much overdo, here is the second part of the Gisilu write up! I apologize for the delay, life decided it wanted to be very bitchy to me for awhile as it often does for many people, but hopefully this makes up for the long pause! It's a little shorter, but that is because this section is actually very, very long.. and I am not entirely done with the second half. But anywhooo, here it is for you guys, like always left me know what you think and offer constructive advice!

    Methods- The Trembling Earth ( Part 1)

    The life cycle of the Gisilu is in many ways similar yet different from many of the Hosts werewolves are familiar with. Similar in how the ant shartha begin as mere creatures who, should they survive long enough may meld with a human vessel and mutate it into a hideous hybrid monstrosity and when their vessels are killed they dissolve into tides of vermin – ants in this case. They can merge with other shards to grow stronger and require incredibly rare “brood mothers” in order to reproduce like other Hosts – it is in the details that the Gisilu begin to diverge from what the Hunters know about the Hosts.

    It is known by some Uratha ( most of those being elder Meninna who know their shit concerning their Sacred Prey) that the Shartha can reproduce, but it is typically only the oldest, most powerful, and vilest members of the species possess that terrible ability. With the ant-Hosts this is fact is inverted, in a fashion. While the Gisilu's methods of reproduction are limited to only a incredibly small number of their race, those individuals possess the ability to generate new shards from the time they are born to the time they die. These individuals, also known as Hidden Queens by those Hunters who know of them, are the keystone that the entirety of the species depends on for continued existence – logically making them very high priority targets in areas that are infested by the ants. This coupled with their small numbers and the fact that new queens are only conceived when an existing Hidden Queen has reached a certain age and level of power has helped lead to the current successes of the Meninna in keeping the ant shartha under control – for now.

    As important Hidden Queens are, in the beginning of an infestation it is very difficult to even notice that one's territory even plays host to one of these monsters. The Queens fittingly begin life as a shard that is carried by a different caste of Gisilu that exist for the sole purpose of depositing it's precious cargo to a new Locus, allowing for the species to propagate and expand as it continues it's quest of omnicidal aggression. These drones ( for lack of a better term) are small, flying ants with enlarged abdomens, and once they reach a locus sufficiently far enough away from other Gisilu colonies ( which would prove to be a grave threat to a newborn Queen) they then deposit the larva shard and quickly die, providing energy for the infant shartha to burrow into the shadow side of the Gauntlet. Once there, the Queen quickly builds a small nest for itself somewhere in the radius of the locus – ideally near the epicenter – and then creates a cocoon of saliva, dirt, and Essence in order to pupate.

    The pupation process lasts an entire day and during which the Queen's own Essence reserves intermingle and entwine with the font of spiritual power that is the Locus in an insidious manner that is frighteningly similar to the methods Hosts as a whole utilize when infesting a human or animal, though unlike with such mortal hosts a Locus is not destroyed by this merger. The affected locus essentially becomes the queen's body in a limited fashion, and while at first this would seem to be a surefire way to announce to the world that the locus has become infected by a demonic ant monster, the opposite is true for several reasons. The first reason being is that this infestation is actually incredibly subtle; the Queen is essentially immobile and possesses virtually no ability to manipulate the locus aside for using it's energies for reproductive purposes, so for the initial few days or even weeks of melding with the locus, the Hidden Queen's presence is so minimal it is almost non existent. Second, the act of melding her Essence to that of the Locus effectively masks and diffuses it, making it's resonance indistinguishable from the resonance of the font itself while allowing the Queen to remain largely unaffected by said resonance, though not entirely ( leading each Queen, and therefor each colony of Gisilu to develop unique minor characteristics related to the spiritual resonance of the Loci the Queen is tied to.)- a particularly aggravating characteristic to those who foolishly believe they can discover the ant-shartha matriarch through scenting her Essence alone, as they are for intents and purposes the very Loci they infest.

    As stated before, the process of melding with the Locus does not destroy it, in fact such a process does not even damage it's ability to collect Essence. In fact the presence of a Hidden Queen is ironically beneficial for a Locus. Just as mundane ants aerate soil and help it maintain cohesion and nutrient content, a Hidden Queen lends a level of strength and resilience to it's Resonance, making it more difficult for the Locus to be shifted to a new resonance or negatively affected by outside influences. For those who know what to look for this resiliency is a notable, if subtle sign of the beginnings of an ant-host infestation, but for most this increase of resonance strength is only slightly noticed. Spirits embody concepts related to the resonance gather in more numbers than normal, typically not in amounts that are overly harmful, and should a Uratha pack lay claim to the locus they might find this alteration to be quite beneficial to whatever territory shaping project they may try to implement – complacency that at first appears to benefit all parties involved until the ants start appearing.

    While the Hidden Queens have little ability to overly affect Loci themselves, they are more than able to make use of this spiritual power in order to spawn new shartha. Many, many new shartha. How this process works in not well understood by the Hunters in Darkness, but from what has been learned through careful and life threatening study, it has been learned that a Hidden Queen relies on a steady flow of Essence and the metaphysical strength of the Locus itself. The potency of a locus relegates how many shards that a Queen may spawn per day, and the more powerful the a locus is the greater the danger a Gisilu infestation poses – should the ants be left alone from too long the odds of destroying all of them or killing their queen grow slimmer exponentially to the point of becoming practically impossible.. if one is truly foolish enough do sit by and do nothing. Though this process of reproduction rarely leads to a locus being drained to a point where it cannot support a colony, many Queens are surprisingly strategic when it comes to spawning new shards; many who expect that the Hidden Queens simply generate shartha mindlessly, acting as nothing but biological factories are woefully disappointed. While the ending stages of a Gisilu infestation may indeed see the birth of dozens of shards daily; in the beginning the matriarchs of this race are much more discreet, spawning shards carefully in order to first to secure a stable colony, the assembly line style of spawning occurs only when resources and territory permit such frivolous action.. or if the Queen is in danger.

    Out of all the Gisilu race, the Hidden Queens are easily the most intelligent and self-cognizant of their kind and possess a very pragmatic, almost nonchalant view regarding their fellow Gisilu, other shartha, and all life, both spiritual and material. Everything must be torn apart and ground to nothing in order for the new world to come into existence, save for themselves. Therefore it doesn't matter how many of the lesser shards are lost or how many allies or enemies die, they are merely stepping stones and building blocks for the great Ruination. As long as the slate is clean for for the Queens to bring about new life, any act or strategy is permissible.

    But this is but just one variation of the species, as integral as the Hidden Queens are, and likely to never be seen by any but the must devoted Shartha hunter. No, the most common Gisilu any pack will likely encounter are one of three ( actually four, but more on that later) worker-soldier castes : The Workers (Unil), Foragers(Theghul), Fodders(Ezthum), and Bone-Breakers(Hirfathra-Dunfathul). When an infestation begins to take root, it is the Workers who are spawned first, harbingers of the unending tide to come. Where as some Hosts manifest as single creatures or large swarms of vermin moving as a coherent whole, Workers are instead a small clump of a dozen or so ants acting in rough concert with each other, often walking single file one after the other from one destination to the other. For the most part the Workers stay in this base form, carefully excavating and building extensions onto the initial nest the Hidden Queen dug for herself as well as carrying Essence that they consume to her in order to supplement her diet. Eventually these ants will turn and devour other Worker clusters at the Queen's direction in order to meld together, leading to the next caste of Gisilu: the Foragers.

    Foragers are the caste that the Gisilu rely on in order to truly add momentum to a colony's expansion. Slightly more powerful and willful than the near mindless Workers, Foragers are the shartha who carry out the Queen's will on a much, much larger and ambitious scale than her tiny eyes physically see, and are the initial Hosts who are true to their namesake – possessing humans for the purpose of forcibly collecting materials and sustenance for an ever growing colony. Like other Hosts the Foragers will locate a human ( preferably sleeping or likewise prone and unmoving, but not always) and will burrow single file into the potential host, making their way to the heart, Once there, the dozen ants will then release a potent toxin that quickly kills the human in question in a matter of seconds, after which they then settle into every valve and chamber of the vital organ. Over the course of several minutes hundreds of ants begin streaming from the heart; using blood vessels like pathways throughout the entire body, infesting the host's musculature. Finally the now infested human open's it's eyes, regarding the world and all it's wonders with an expression of bored neutrality.

    The Gisilu, Foragers or otherwise, are poor at playing the part of the people they possess. Gisilu are not emotional creatures by nature and at best are seen as either being blunt and humorless at best or emotionally stunted and sociopathic at worst, their interactions with people being rigid and almost robotic in comparison to all but the most jaded and sedate human. Compounding this is the fact that the Gisilu are not adept at displaying non verbal examples of emotion either; The ant shartha infected hosts gaze upon the world either with a thousand yard stare or a dour scowl – a rare expression hinting at the natural aggression of their species. Another problem that makes social interaction a challenge is the difficulty of recognizing individuality among humans. Though every shard is an individual being, the Gisilu are a communal, hive-minded species where each and every shard of a particular colony is connected to each other and their queen, and as a result the ants see mortals in terms of their role in a group rather than a discreet individual. These factors are very clear indications that something is not quite right with the individual, though few would ever attribute this wrongness to the fact that the person the host used to be is long dead and their corpse is being puppet ed by hundreds of ant demons.

    Unfortunately, despite their external lack of emotion the ant shartha are incredibly quick to resort to violence should they find themselves confronted with situations in which they are not intellectually equip to deal with through non-violent methods. Should an ant-host warn a human to leave them be and to stop speaking to them, it is highly unlikely that the same warning will be given a second time – instead the Gisilu is much more liable to cave that person's head in with a brick ( or their bare hands) and then calmly walk away. This is especially dangerous as should an ant-host decide that it is better to simply kill a problematic individual, they will do everything in their power to make sure that person or creature stops breathing – and no amount of fighting, begging, or reasoning will deter them. There are rare exceptions to this violent behavior, though they are almost invariably due to the Queen ordering them to pursue differing actions.

    This isn't to say that violence doesn't have it's uses. As stated before, Foragers are the caste that performs much of the heavy lifting in a Gisilu colony. They are the ones that prepare the mortal side of the Gauntlet for the upcoming storm. They are the ones who collect corpses and living people as food and puppets for their sisters and Queen, the ones who work to weaken the surrounding area in order to allow for later waves to more easily crush resistance. An most importantly of all, they are the ones who are the first to scout out the strength and disposition of any Uratha packs that may be in the area.. and the ones who often waste little time in making the hated bastards of Urfarah pay by possessing their loved ones and throwing their corpses upon the claws and broken bodies of the wolves. They will fight tooth and nail without hesitation nor remorse, only retreating to find more humans to puppet in order to continue the fight or to carry their precious soul shards back to their nest in order to merge with more siblings in order to become stronger for future battles.

    Combat against Foragers ( or the Gisilu in general for that matter) is not a pleasant affair. For one they very rarely are encountered alone unless they are scouting new sections of the territory their Queen claims, and will attack in large groups with an alarming ferocity that belies their calm voices and disinterested expressions, seeking to tear any enemy they can get their hands on limb from limb. In addition while weaponry use is not an uncommon trait amongst Hosts in general, the ants are unafraid of using any advantage they can get their hands on in a life or death situation. Pipes, shards of glass, knives, vehicles, automatic weapons- all are freely utilized in order to destroy opposition should they be avalible. Like the Hidden Queens, the lesser Gisilu shards are firm believers in that anything and everything is permissible when it comes to accomplishing the colony's goals.

    But even then, there is only so much the human form can offer the ants on it's own. There eventually comes a point where mere mortal meat-puppets cannot benefit the Queen or her colony, and instead more drastic measures are required. More shards must be consolidated together and host bodies must be improved in order to be useful. Eventually the warrior-workers of the Gisilu must.. evolve.


    Next up: Evolved/Hybrid forms and examples of later stage infestation.

    Hopefully the next section will take much less time to write and put up here for you guys. I can't make promises of an exact day, but I am shooting for later in the week.. hopefully!
    Last edited by Korogra; 09-25-2018, 03:05 PM.

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  • Korogra
    Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
    I'd like to point out that you can also given them a hive-mind through Telepathy 5 + the Aggressive Meme, Seek and Pathfinder Numina. They would get a discount on the Essence/Willpower required to activate them if they are contacting each other. Other Hosts might be able to intercept their communications with a Clash Of Wills.
    Useful, but I already have a hive mind Dread Power for them. I like it though.

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  • GibberingEloquence
    I'd like to point out that you can also given them a hive-mind through Telepathy 5 + the Aggressive Meme, Seek and Pathfinder Numina. They would get a discount on the Essence/Willpower required to activate them if they are contacting each other. Other Hosts might be able to intercept their communications with a Clash Of Wills.

    Leave a comment: