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[Shartha] Bharsalu, the Bee Host

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  • #16
    I like that they take over the host via the Lungs, as the seat of breath, which is a metaphor for the soul.

    “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
    "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto


    • #17
      I'm trying to be a good boy and going through my list of "Things to do and stuff people asked me to write about while waiting patiently for the shameless jerk I am" before returning to Beast stronger than before. The 2nd Edition update for my Bee Host was the oldest thing of the queue.

      While I'm at it, rules and dread powers aside, there's something else Bee Host related you would like for me to add? Sample NPCs, story hooks or stuff like that? It all serves my goal of striving to be less worried of posting my work and have a more active role in the forum, so don't be afraid to ask.

      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

      I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


      • #18
        Well, while it may not be easy to write, I think that seeing a "Bee Host Avatar" such as Ariadne could be fun to watch. If not, some more information about the mythic past of their Progenitor and its fall could be cool (bonus points for tying it to the AKD's origin story about the Bull and the Labyrinth :P ).

        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here


        • #19
          Honestly, I could use some examples of a Drone, a Warrior, and a Queen, what they're doing, maybe one Queen in a region and what they're exactly doing there, do they have personality beyond being a host? Like, in Predators there's a few example azlu and beshilu, and they have quirks. One of them just prefers staying in spider form, even if it makes them vulnerable, one of them has been webbing out some 'map' of some sort, and the serial pyromaniac has been setting fires since 1666.

          So like, what stands out about a 'young' hive that has a real big challenge, a rich and abundant spirit ecosystem that it would have a hard time killing? What does a warrior do when his hive is dead? The queen of a hive that has had no good dealings with werewolves, just constant battles with them because they don't believe the bee-hype, how has it adapted from that, or has it decided to set up shop someplace as far away from werewolves as possible?


          • #20
            Originally posted by LostLight View Post
            Well, while it may not be easy to write, I think that seeing a "Bee Host Avatar" such as Ariadne could be fun to watch. If not, some more information about the mythic past of their Progenitor and its fall could be cool (bonus points for tying it to the AKD's origin story about the Bull and the Labyrinth :P ).
            Doing what Chris, actual Werewolf freelancer, did for one of the best entries of an insanely popular series and draw comparison between him and I, a guy writing fan material? I...I'll do my best :P

            Originally posted by nofather View Post
            Honestly, I could use some examples of a Drone, a Warrior, and a Queen, what they're doing, maybe one Queen in a region and what they're exactly doing there, do they have personality beyond being a host? Like, in Predators there's a few example azlu and beshilu, and they have quirks. One of them just prefers staying in spider form, even if it makes them vulnerable, one of them has been webbing out some 'map' of some sort, and the serial pyromaniac has been setting fires since 1666.

            So like, what stands out about a 'young' hive that has a real big challenge, a rich and abundant spirit ecosystem that it would have a hard time killing? What does a warrior do when his hive is dead? The queen of a hive that has had no good dealings with werewolves, just constant battles with them because they don't believe the bee-hype, how has it adapted from that, or has it decided to set up shop someplace as far away from werewolves as possible?
            Dutifully noted. I'll get to work.

            Thanks for the suggestions!

            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


            • #21
              Here's the update, ladies & gentlemen. I have the drafts of some characters that I hope will cover what you asked for and give examples that fill the holes I left in my first write-up ready, but I wanted to know what you think about the update first so I can modify them or add something where needed.

              Thanks in advance for any criticism.

              Bee Host 2nd Edition Update

              The distinction between the two stages of the Host human infestation has become less rigid with the 2nd Edition. There’s the initial, where the shard in its animal form (or, in this case, swarm form) inhabit a body either until it falls apart, someone notices and confronts them or it gains enough power to enter the second stage, the hybrid form. Consequently, there’s no need for complex rules and strict separations but I’m still gonna detail the Bee Host mechanics in two separate sections for clarity purposes. I’m still thankful for Predators and believe to this day it’s a book that keeps on giving, but it’s time to move on from that.

              - Swarm Form (Giruth)

              In its Swarm Form, Bharsalu still prefer to invade the bodies of humans and hide within until the flesh decays. Not because it makes them stronger, but rather because it allows them to remain unnoticed. A swarm of supernatural bees is more difficult to kill than a single spider of rat, but it’s also dangerously unsubtle. A Giruth outside of a body ignores most mundane damage, either from melee weapons or guns. Even Uratha claws are a mere nuisance to the swarm. Magic or area attacks are the best solution to deal with swarming Giruth, with fire being the optimal tool one can use.

              (The Swarm Form traits are copy-pasted from Claire Redfield’s mosquito Host you can find here. Credit where it’s due, because those are awesome and I literally took what she wrote and put it here)

              The traits below represent a typical swarm, suitable for conflict with a small number of actors. Storytellers who want to inflict a swarm on an entire scene may use the Tilt described below. Even swarms used with full traits as described here still attack as shown below, including the ability to inflict Tilts.

              Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 3, Resolve 2, Strength 1, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Presence 3, Manipulation 1, Composure 1
              General Dice Pools: Frightening and harrying prey 5, Breaking through Barriers 7, Movement 7
              Combat Dice Pools: Swarm Victims 5
              Initiative Modifier: +5
              Defense: 5
              Health: 5
              Potency: 1
              Willpower: 1
              Size: 5
              Speed: 13 (flying)
              Dread Powers: Discorporate, Swift, Toxic Bite •
              Bane: Fire inflicts 1 extra damage.

              Swarm (Environmental)
              Animals of Size 1 are generally best represented by swarms, flocks and other groupings of the animals. Swarms are measured by their radius in yards. A swarm inflicts one point of bashing damage to anyone within its radius.
              A swarm can inflict more damage by condensing. Every time the swarm condenses to cover half of its full area, it inflicts one additional point of damage per turn
              Therefore, a swarm of eight yards in radius inflicts two bashing damage per turn if it constricts down to a four-yard radius, three bashing if it halves that again to a two-yard radius, and four bashing damage per turn it if condensed itself down to a one-yard radius. Though condensing doesn’t usually happen all that often in nature (save in the case of creatures such as killer bees), it is an easy enough thing for a being with supernatural powers to command them to do so.

              Armor is effective against a swarm only if it covers one’s full body, but even then it provides only half its rating. In addition, targets are distracted by the swarm, suffering –2 dice on all rolls while they are within the radius, even if they’re not specifically attacked.

              Causing the Tilt: Attack by a swarm of little creatures, either natural or supernaturally induced.
              Ending the Tilt:Escape the area, kill the swarm.

              - Hybrid Form (Namaresh)

              Bee Host Hybrids are no different from Azlu and Beshilu ones in 2nd Edition. A Bee Host is considered to have evolved into a Namaresh when they renounce to their Swarm Form for the time being and merge with a human body instead of merely infesting it. They’re built using Dread Powers and other unique features. Rules for evolution points and Aspects no longer apply.

              Dread Power: Flight
              The creatures has grown a pair of functional wings or another feature that allows it to move through the air. It can fly and move its full speed while doing so. Environmental penalties or other circumstances that can interfere with its movement still apply.

              Bharsalu hybrids with this Dread Power manifest it as a couple (or more) of huge gossamer wings. Bee Host able to fly even in hybrid form are not that rare, a strength they capitalize off when fighting their enemies. If the wings are damaged by, say, a claw, they need to heal before their owner can use them again but they’re otherwise perfectly functional. Some Bee Host have to power to suppress their wings for a scene, but it requires 1 Essence expenditure and a successful Stamina + Composure roll. It’s a painful and unpleasant process, but sometimes it’s the only way to remain unnoticed.

              Dread Power: Spawn Shard
              This power is Host-exclusive and extremely rare. Only ancient and powerful shartha that managed to devour dozens of their kind have a chance to obtain it. The shartha holds enough of its progenitor within itself to give birth to other Host shards. By spending 1 Essence it can create a tiny recipient for the shard. The shape of this recipient depends on the Host: Azlu and Bharsalu most often lay eggs, Beshilu give birth to young rats and so on. The shartha must take care of the recipient for a week, at which point it can spend 25 Essence and turn it into a proper Host shard.
              Shartha with this Dread Power are always noticeable. Whether they grow a disgusting egg sac, they turn into bloated monstrosities or their skin ruptures and hordes of creatures emerge, there’s no way for them to hide their gifts, either from humans or Uratha.

              True Queens are the only Bharsalu who can have this Dread Power. Or rather, having this Dread Power is what qualifies a Bee Host as True Queen.

              - Other elements and considerations

              About the Hive Roles

              Previously, the role a given Bharsalu had within a Hive was a fluid thing, changing accordingly to the situations and the state of the Hive itself. Now, this aspect has changed a bit.

              Giruth rarely have a role. As a swarm, they’re too fragmented and weak to do so. This changes when a Bee Host devours enough shards and Essence to develop a stronger identity and self-awareness, at which point the circumstances usually lead it to turn into a Hybrid.

              Bee Host still don’t gain a role unless they’re part of a Hive. It is only when they find a base and settle that their instincts awaken and make them follow a certain type of behavior. This does not always happen immediately and sometimes it takes plenty of time before the role of a Bharsalu becomes clear but, eventually, it’s gonna happen. It’s part of the Bee Host nature.

              The main difference here is that, once a Hybrid becomes aware of its role, this cannot change until their current body is slain, the Host shard shatters and they discorporate. The state of the Hive no longer has any influence over this: where previously the roles changed accordingly to the needs of the Hive (the Bee Host of one under constant attack would turn into Warriors, those of one that needed subtlety would change into Drones more often, one without leaders would gain a Queen) now they’re static until discorporation, no matter what happens to the Hive. This leaves the option open for dethroned Queens, bloodthirsty warriors that threaten delicate plans while having to be kept in check and plenty more.

              Part racial recollection, part instinctive behavioral pattern and part acknowledgement of one’s place in the Pangean legacy of the Bee Host, there’s no way to know how roles are exactly determined. They are clearly related to what a Hive needs, but there’s also a degree of apparent unpredictability to them. The trauma of discorporation destroys a shard’s identity and none can say if it will develop the same role as its previous incarnations if it ever manages to recover enough power. The Bee Host, as all shartha, are also intrinsically bound to the instincts and memories that surround the circumstances of their birth, which deprives them of the freedom and degree of free will Uratha have.

              One can wonder how things would have gone if the shartha progenitors gave birth to races of proper shapeshifters instead of hordes of ravenous shards desperately trying to recover power, but such interrogative loses urgency when disturbed by the grim reality of what dangerous and monstrous prey the Hosts are and the menace they pose to the world

              About the Hive

              Hive mechanics largely lose meaning after the transition to 2nd Edition. The guidelines about the size and general behavior remain valid, but since the Hive roles are now locked once they manifest, the attitude various Bharsalu might have towards what they consider the best way to make the Hive grow and keep their community safe are much more heterogeneous. Bee Host still follow their Queen’s orders and care for the Hive, its a biological imperative of theirs, but there's a major degree of personal initiative now.

              With the emphasis 2nd Edition places on Uratha hunting and prey, the Bee Host’s lives are much more complicated. Sure, in Forsaken the attitude local werewolves have varies wildly, but the Bharsalu can pass for Claimed at best and are recognized as shartha at worst. Their cultists are humans or carefully cultivated Claimed and the spirits they enslave have a clear influence over the shadow.

              This means most Uratha Tribes consider at least an element of a Bee Host infestation as prey. Even without taking tribal duties in consideration, it takes time, patience and skill for Bharsalu to create a safe Hive and make it grow.

              Sometimes it just is not an option. Bee Host tend to realize quickly if they have no leeway for their activities in a given place. The obvious solution, leaving, is not always available (not to mention that some Bee Host might just not want to). In that case, Bharsalu try to hide and survive, merely eating what they need and trying to learn enough about the place to know who they can manipulate and kill without being noticed. Depending on the Hive Role they might have and their personal attitude, the specifics of this forced secret guerrilla vary wildly, but the Bee Host are surprisingly controlled in this kind of efforts, way more than Beshilu and even Azlu tend to be. To be discovered and killed would mean for all the hopes of making a Hive to vanish, and that’s a failure Bee Host dread to think about.

              About the Honey

              The 2nd Edition mechanics for Bee Host are the following:

              Treat the honey as a powerful drug. It’s a nasty psychedelic hallucinogen that inflicts a -4 penalty to Stamina + Resolve made to resists it. Rolls must be made each turn for 15 hours - the victim’s Stamina + Resolve (the honey hits really hard). Characters who fail incur in the Drugged Tilt until the effects wear off. The Drugged Tilt penalties for Bee Host honey are a -4 to Speed and a -4 to all combat rolls, including Defense and perception

              Bee Host's honey does not cause overdose, but Conditions like Addicted, Confused, Broken, Shaken and Deprived are a common consequence of its ingestion. Abusing it might cause others like Madness, Shadow Paranoia or Fugue, and the risk for these Conditions is to become permanent

              Humans (and Wolf-Blooded) who ingest the Honey gain a modified version of the Shadowlashed Condition, and each successive does increase their penalties to all rolls involving the Shadow and its denizens up to a maximum of -5. Assuming they don’t eat more honey, each month the penalty decreases by one. When penalties reach 0, the Condition ends. As long as it is in place though, the individual counts as having the Resonant Condition for all spirits that come across him Humans cannot process the Essence within the honey and this makes them shine like a beacon for denizens of the Shadow. For this reason, the fastest solution is usually a sort of Essence-cleansing rite

              Uratha don’t suffer any penalty to the roll to resist the drug and add their Primal Urge to it. Eating Bharsalu honey is considered a breaking point towards Spirit with a -3 penalty. Bee Host make honey with what they eat and, if human remains scattered in the hives were not enough of a clue, people are their favorite meal. That said, it counts as Essence for the purposes of feeding restrictions.
              Last edited by Cinder; 03-23-2018, 06:56 PM.

              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

              I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


              • #22
                Here's a bee (out of three)

                Singer of the Golden Empress
                “Heed my warning, brothers and sisters! The memory of the first empire survives and speaks through me: renounce your little thrones and lead your armies to war, for the chance to build something greater is within our grasp!”

                Background: Most Bharsalu would settle down when given the chance to create and tend their Hive, carefully growing both in power and influence. The Singer of the Golden Empress is not most Bharsalu. For the Singer, anything less than what was the Hive of their progenitor is just a pale reflection of the past, a point from which the crusade to regain their former glory must start. But such a dream is impossible to obtain without a coordinated effort and, if the Singer is the only one willing to fly across hundreds of miles to make it possible, so be it. Using human bodies as a temporary vehicle, the Singer travels from Hive to Hive, reporting to the Queens news about Uratha’s activities in the area and news about what happening around, spurring them to unite their forces and attack the wolves when they’re most vulnerable.

                The Singer might be weak (she cares little for her self-preservation and her host bodies often get destroyed) but she’s passionate and, most of all, has good memory. For a lowly Giruth to remember enough about the Golden Empress that her words resonate as true even to ears of mighty Namaresh that have forgotten the face of their mother, so much that she’s able to persuade them to put at risk everything they built and go to war, has earned the Singer a reputation few can ignore.

                Description: the Singer favors young, athletic bodies that offer her the stamina she needs to be constantly on the move. The current one belonged to a jogger that had the bad luck to meet the Bee Host while out one morning. The Singer does not care enough to change the training outfit her human host wore the day the swarm entered her body, but now that’s making impossible to not notice there’s something wrong with her looks. On a close distance, the body is pale and the skin is ruined, with the flesh swelling here and there. The attractive young woman it was before is completely gone: weeks of uninterrupted physical activity combined with the swarm of hellish bees that’s infesting it has laid the body to waste. The limbs move awkwardly, a cross between the uncanny and the skittish movements of insects. Both her back and a side of her head have been carved from within into honey-comb like cells, reason for which the Singer keeps them covered. The Singer gives no attention whatsoever the bees that sometimes escape from its flesh and fly around, something that contributes to its bizarre appearance. She’s aware this body won’t last much longer, reason for which the shartha is now pushing it even further before it can’t be used anymore.

                torytelling Hints: the Singer of the Golden Empress isn’t a fighter; she’s a messenger. But she’s a good one with a clear goal in mind, which is what makes her dangerous. She never remains in a place enough to get noticed but, in that brief span of time, she makes note of all sorts of informations that could prove useful should the Bee Host ever attempt to take over: the status of the spiritual world, where packs spend most of their time, where the human relatives of the Uratha live and even if there are other shartha around. If she perceives a Hive nearby, she’ll introduce herself to its inhabitants, clearly stating who she is and what she’s trying to accomplish. The Singer does her best to make other Bee Host respond to her call to war, providing them both precious intel and bloodthirsty rhetoric. Not all Queens comply to the Singer’s suggestions but she managed to build a small network over the years. Given the right chance, she’s able to get in contact with distant Bharsalu and get updates, messages and even actual assistance. A pack that prepares to hunt down theshartha of a certain Hive might be in for a nasty surprise as several others fly in with no warning. Where the Singer finds a Hive in trouble, one that cannot afford to lend soldier to the cause, it takes it as a duty to provide them what they need. For the Singer, other shartha fail in their efforts because they’re too egotistical to know the truth: the revolution can only succeed if all its parts move, fly and kill in unison.

                Mental Attributes: Intelligence 3, Wits 3, Resolve 4
                Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3
                Social Attributes: Presence 4, Manipulation 3, Composure 2
                Mental Skills: Academics 2, Computer 1, Craft 1, Investigation 2, Medicine 1, Occult 2, Politics 3,
                Physical Skills: Athletics 4, Brawl 1, Drive 2, Larceny 1, Stealth 3, Survival 2,
                Social Skills: Animal Ken 1, Empathy 2, Expression 3, Intimidation 1, Persuasion 4, Socialize 2, Streetwise 2,Subterfuge 1
                Merits: Allies 3 (Bee Host), Contacts (Bee Host), Direction Sense, Fast Reflexes 1, Fleet of Foot 3, Inspiring, Parkour 4, Relentless, Trained Observer
                Willpower: 6
                Essence: 4
                Size: 5
                Initiative: 7
                Defense: 7

                Speed: 14
                Health: 8
                Dread Powers: Discorporate, Eye Spy, Swift
                Last edited by Cinder; 03-24-2018, 02:36 PM.

                Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


                • #23
                  I see you’ve managed to make a character that can be used individually despite the Bees being group-oriented, and without making her a Queen. Good work there.

                  MtAw Homebrew:
                  Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                  New 2E Legacies, expanded


                  • #24
                    Another bee. Care: this one's weird (but I had lots of fun making it)

                    “Mad? I’m the only one sane enough to understand the truth. Think about it: for centuries we tried to kill the wolves and take over the Shadow. Us, the spiders, the rats and all the others...this is not a war we’ll ever win. We’re weak. Want to create a Hive that can last? Submit to the wolves”.

                    Background: one bad day is all that it takes to turn a person’s world upside down. It is true for people and, sometimes, it also applies the monstrous spawn of a prehistoric horror. Just ask to the Bharsalu that goes by the name of Hexagon. He had just completed the transition into a full hybrid and awakened as a Drone ready to serve its Queen when, while away from the Hive, a pack of Uratha found and slaughtered all the Bee Host that lived there. The psychic scream of his brethren and his dying Queen reached Hexagon and the experience utterly broke him.

                    Hexagon himself can’t explain why past similar circumstances never led him beyond the edge but, according to him, what happened was more an epiphany than a mental breakdown.
                    Hexagon believes that the dominant species of creatures living between flesh and spirit are none other than the werewolves themselves. It was Father Wolf that killed the Bee Host progenitor and his children are the ones that hunted down shartha since the dawn of time. The Uratha and Pure are the one really in control of the Shadow and, accordingly, it should be through them that Hives should be made.

                    Somehow, Hexagon has managed to silence a side of the instincts that all the Bharsalu share, to fear the wolves and hate them, by focusing on another, create a prosperous Hive. A goal he feels can be best accomplished by genuinely surrendering to the the werewolves. Sure, he had to leave (the local Uratha wha had just destroyed Hexagon’s Hive were not much willing to listen), but now the Bee Host is searching for a place to start over and do his best to prove to the wolves that he only wants to help and contribute to their cause. To be one of the pack, in a sense.

                    Description: Hexagon is a Namaresh hybrid but, through a combination of his limited mutations and efforts to appear as less monstrous as possible, he’s fairly inconspicuous for a shartha. The Bee Host is short, easy to dismiss. Almost endearing, in a twisted sense. He covers his compound eyes with thick sunglasses and never opens his mouth wide enough to show the pair of nested mandibles hiding within. To hide the second pair of arms that comes out at the height of his ribcage takes more effort, but it’s nothing a good coat can’t help with. Hexagon knows the problems that his looks pose to his aspirations, so he’s always careful to warn Uratha and Wolf-Blooded about that before revealing his nature

                    Storytelling Hints: Hexagon is an oddity. Above everything else, he still follows his biological imperative to make a Hive. It’s just that he sorta has developed an obsession towards werewolves. The shartha has come to believe that the other Bee Host are fools for not realizing that, if anyone’s able to create something and protect it, that’s the wolves.

                    He’s meant to offer an unusual narrative to the pack: what if a
                    shartha is really willing to help? After all, Bee Host don’t pollute the Gauntlet (as Hexagon is quick to point out) and he’s in the right place to act as intermediary with forces the Uratha have trouble to approach. Hexagon is also, by his own enthusiastic admission, willing to do whatever the wolves and Wolf-Blooded might be morally conflicted about. All he asks for is a chance to prove himself and the permission to consider a locus, even a small one the pack can’t be bothered to take care of, as his Hive. After that, you’ll just have to tell him what you want. Kill the politician that’s threatening the neighborhood? Done, no need for anyone to get involved in that. Take care of some annoying spirits? Sure thing, he’ll bend their will or erase them from existence. Protect a Wolf-Blooded kid when the pack’s out? He’s good with the “human larvae”, don’t worry. Need some honey? Want for him to hunt with you? There’s nothing he’d love to do more than that.

                    Fact is, Hexagon is still a
                    Bharsalu, and a heavily damaged one. He idolizes the Uratha, believing they might come to understand the greatness of a Hive and accept him into their "swarm", but if someone says or does someone to damage his trust, odds are he'll react unpredictably. Not to mention that, with time, his little Hive will attract other Bee Host, at which point he’ll have to deal with his inner conflicts. Hexagon is still a demon lacking true free will, which means his loyalty (to anyone) is hardly a certainty. And there’s the obvious fact that he still eats people, something that will leave him puzzled should a Uratha question the habit. Don’t wolves do that too? If that’s an issue, then please, tell him which people are game and which aren’t. He sure did not mean to offend!

                    Mental Attributes:Intelligence 2, Wits 2 , Resolve 3
                    Physical Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3
                    Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 4, Composure 4
                    Mental Skills: Academics 3, Computer 2, Craft 2, Politics 2
                    Physical Skills: Brawl 1, Drive 3, Firearms 1, Larceny 2, Stealth 3, Weaponry 1
                    Social Skills: Empathy 1, Expression 1, Persuasion 3, Socialize 4, Streetwise 1,Subterfuge 2
                    Merits:Patient, Ambidextrous, Double Jointed, Small-Framed, Sympathetic.
                    Willpower: 7
                    Essence: 11
                    Dread Powers: Discorporate, Hypnotic Gaze, Leap, Natural Weapons 1, Wall Climb
                    Broken Shard: Hexagon suffers from the Fugue, Guilty, Obsession and Swooned Conditions. His obsession is to prove useful to werewolves and Wolf-Blooded and all Uratha and Pure that are willing to let him live trigger the Swooned Condition (unless they “betray” him at some point, either for real or because of a perceived slight).
                    Size: 4
                    Initiative: 7
                    Defense: 2
                    Speed: 11
                    Health: 7

                    Edit: The next one will have its own twist but be more traditional, don't worry. Still, I discovered myself to sorta love this guy as I was writing it
                    Last edited by Cinder; 03-22-2018, 07:58 PM.

                    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                    I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


                    • #25
                      Last bee. This is the bad one.

                      I'll write some stuff about the progenitor and a little thing about the Mistress of Honey next but, overall, I should be done. Writing a demigod so soon after Ariadne without taking her write-up and changing most of the "spiders" into "bees" while also me being satisfied of the results proved to be a problem. I have this poor bee, Virgil, a Bharsalu that killed the classical poet and writes poems herself, about the dream of a new Bee Host empire, the Shadow and the wolves (plus some random ones), but I don't feel like I can make her justice right now.

                      Anyways, here's a Queen. Bonus points if anyone guesses who I realized she was reminding me of while I was writing.

                      You feel like these cover what you were asking for, nofather? Should I write more (either characters or explanations on how Bee Host behave)? If you think something's lacking, feel free to say so

                      Bright Fury of the Mother
                      “I was the one that forged this Hive, ripping its foundation away from the rats’ dirty paws. I made it a safe haven for our kin and it’s thanks to me that our human slaves have succeeded in their little games enough to become useful. This Hive asked for my blood and I gladly paid the price. And then what? Was I supposed to renounce everything just because a old hag arrives and expects to me to bend the knee? That’s not how things work. Not in my kingdom, at least.”

                      Background: the Bee Host might seems less vicious than other shartha, but that’s a facade that’s harder to keep up the stronger they become. At their core, they burn with the same hate, hunger for revenge and primal thirst for dominance and blood that makes the Host a enemy to all Uratha. Bright Fury of the Mother embodies that truth like only a Queen can. She started as most shartha do: a lonely shard, starving to grow into something more. From there, it was an ordeal of blood and pain, both hers and her enemies’, which culminated into taking over a human body and emerging from the process as something worth of being called Queen. As a hybrid, Bright Fury led a swarm of her sisters into war against the local Beshilu, killed their insane priests with her own stinger and claimed the locus they were infesting as her own. There were many others around, some of which even more hidden from the sight of the Uratha, but it did not matter: Bright Fury had chosen that one as the core of her Hive, not another.

                      Having earned her crown, Bright Fury did all she could do to make her kingdom prosper. Not the sort of leader that leaves other to do what needs to be done, she was the one that ventured into the Shadow to harvest spirits and the one that personally indoctrinated the humans that formed the basis of the local Bee Host cult. Through them, the shartha acquired the land around the Hive and turned it into eerie, honey-fueled commune where the Bee Host were free to grow. Threats were solved either by deception or violence, as the claw and bite scars on Bright Fury’s hide can attest. For the Uratha, Bright Fury’s Hive was the proof of a failure; for the Bharsalu it was a triumph. Perhaps even too much.

                      The Hive’s call reached distant places and other Bee Host responded. The nature of the one that arrived one night hiding inside a truck, accompanied by a group of hybrids and weaker shartha, was clear to Bright Fury even before she could look inside the cargo: a True Queen, blessed by the Golden Empress with the power to lay eggs that would hatch into more Bharsalu, had come to take control of the Hive and gain the other’s devotion. Something Bright Fury could not let happen.

                      At first, the Bharsalu complied, obeying the True Queen’s orders, prasing her name and tending to the newborns. But Bright Fury was still a Queen and she did not forgot. She waited, patiently. While the other Bee Host fell into the lull of a True Queen’s presence, Bright Fury made plans and prepared. One day, she struck with enough force to be true to her own name. A Warrior dies. Then another, then another. Bright Fury’s human pawns, who were loyal to her and none other, offer their own lives to help. An explosion, the swarm is in disarray. Some Bharsalu understand and pick the right side. Covered in blood, Bright Fury descends in the basement where the True Queen is kept. The old Bee Host might be strong, but she’s confused and encumbered by her egg sac. Worse of all, she’s scared and not sure what to do, which is not something that can be said for Bright Fury. Once again, the proud Queen fights for dominance and, after a long battle, triumphs. But Bright Fury does not kill her opponent: the True Queen has a gift and a role, to give birth to more Bharsalu. Let her concentrate on that and remove all the distractions, including her limbs a big portion of her brain. Cauterize the wounds just to make sure she remains focused. Others can rule the Hive, after all.

                      Description: Bright Fury of The Mother has renounced to subtlety long ago. A pair of antennae come out her long white hair like the top of a monstrous crown, whereas the three pairs of her insectile eyes shine as if they were emerald jewels. Bright Fury is tall and slender, but nobody would mistake her for weak: she’s bigger than most human would be, with multiple chitinous limbs that end in sharp claws and her skin is actually a faintly golden hide that protects her from harm. If needed, Bright Fury can grow vicious, black stingers from her wrists and use them to impale her enemies. Two pairs of bee-like wings complete the picture.

                      Eerily, while Bright Fury is clearly inhuman, there’s still enough of mankind in the way she moves and acts to make her even more disturbing. When she laughs and smiles, when she walks with almost royal determination and when she shows how terrible her anger can be, the Bharsalu is a perfect combination of the worst traits of the elements of hybrid nature, both passionate and alien.

                      Storytelling Hints: Bright Fury is an antagonist that can keep a pack busy for a very long time and whose final confrontation has decent odds of taking a heavy toll in order to obtain victory. She won’t be easy to take down: Bright Fury is both a strong physical opponent, a determined leader and a smart planner. She’s the sort of enemy that keeps a comatose, semi-lobotomized broodmother trapped in order to make more of her kind and has no qualms whatsoever about it. In order to destroy her Hive, the Uratha will need to be careful, plan their moves and don’t underestimate her opponent. At first, she’ll try to not expose the Hive and use her mortal tools to deal with mundane annoyances. She’s also willing the play the usual Bee Host charade when possible but, if she believes the situation has escalated beyond that, she won’t think twice about getting more physical. Bright Fury can deploy several cultists and Bee Host (both hybrid and not) against her enemies but, while she won’t rush into action foolishly, she’s more than happy to lead her troops into battle if needed.

                      Mental Attributes:Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 5
                      Physical Attributes: Strength 7, Dexterity 5, Stamina 6
                      Social Attributes: Presence 6, Manipulation 3, Composure 4
                      Mental Skills: Academics 3, Craft 4, Investigation 1, Medicine 2, Politics 3, Science 1
                      Physical Skills: Athletics 4, Brawl 4, Larceny 1, Stealth 2, Weaponry 1
                      Social Skills:Animal Ken 4, Empathy 3, Expression 1, Intimidation 3, Persuasion 4, Socialize 2, Streetwise 1,Subterfuge 3
                      Merits: Allies 5 (Bee Host Cult), Indomitable, Iron Will, Fast Reflexes 2, Ambidextrous, Fleet of Foot 2, Iron Stamina 3, Iron Will, Striking Looks 2
                      Willpower: 7
                      Essence: 24
                      Dread Powers: Armored Hide 2, Beastmaster, Blinding Spray 2, Discorporate, Flight, Monstrous Resilience, Natural Weapons 3, Pierce Mind, Snare, Toxic Bite 2
                      Size: 6
                      Initiative: 11
                      Defense: 8
                      Armor: 2
                      Speed: 19
                      Health: 12
                      Last edited by Cinder; 03-24-2018, 04:40 PM.

                      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                      I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Cinder View Post
                        You feel like these cover what you were asking for, nofather? Should I write more (either characters or explanations on how Bee Host behave)? If you think something's lacking, feel free to say so
                        This is absolutely the kind of thing I was looking for, yes. I really like this host, but I don't believe anything's lacking as far as I can tell. I haven't been posting but I've been hitting the Like button.


                        • #27
                          This is one of the best Hosts out there.


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SunlessNick View Post
                            This is one of the best Hosts out there.
                            Thanks! I'm hypercritical when it comes to the actual quality of what I write, so I'm always glad when it turns out that some people like my stuff. To expand my other Host, the Bats, is also on my list of things to do; I hope you'll like that one too.
                            Last edited by Cinder; 03-25-2018, 09:26 AM.

                            Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                            I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


                            • #29
                              Ok, this one's for LostLight , but it goes quite wild, so let me know what you think

                              EDIT: A note, Virgil, the Bee Host narrator, is reaaaaaally biased. Don't take everything she says as 100% true

                              “Pangea me genuit, Custodes me rapuere, tenet nunc Creta”

                              That’s a joke, relax. The name? The name’s not a joke, it’s an homage. I actually met the real Virgil, you know? A couple of millenia ago, while he was on one of those travel to Greece those Latins always liked to do. We had a series of interesting conversations, truly an inspiring man. I stung him after we were done, of course, and he died soon after, but it’s thanks to him that I discovered my love for poetry. Two-thousand years and I can’t compare to what he wrote, though I’d say I’m a pretty good poet myself, if I can indulge in a bit of self-adulation. It’s the curse of the creative minds, isn’t it? Our models will always look superior to us no matter what.

                              But you’re not here to hear the story in dactylic hexameters, I think. Fine, we’ll keep poetry for a more pleasant evening, we’ve plenty of time to spend together.

                              The vicissitudes of those like us always begin with an ancestor and name. For you, it was a Father. The pests had a King, those lovely fools had their Hag. My kind had the Golden Empress. Don’t listen to those who say to remember her, they mean well, but it’s a mistake. We’re fragments of her, none of us existed before your Father ripped her apart. We think to remember of those times because her memories flow through our blood but we had no way of knowing her. Your family deprived us of that chance, murdering her and her court. The Golden Hive and the First Swarm that inhabited it, the dreams of our mother for an eternal reign...all gone. And for what? Because the Golden Empress saw the chaos rising on the horizon and tried to save everyone from it, even those too stupid to accept her rule willingly? We only exist because she died and carry those dreams with us.

                              I struggled for ages trying to understand why your ancestors killed your Father and tried to justify the act to themselves. In the end, I realized that I’ll never truly be able to do so: we’re too different. The mere idea of going against the one that made you and destroy what took generations to build is anathema to us. You don’t renounce to a golden age: you polish until it shines brighter than before. But it takes a degree of unity and control you mongrels would never be capable of. But don’t worry, because there’s a way all the mistakes of your pasts can be reverted.

                              It took me a lot to put together all the pieces and unveil this forgotten secret. Spent more time in the Balkans than I can remember, than several centuries in Greece, hunting for fragments of truth hidden within an ocean of illusions and lies. Good times, my distant youth. I saw wonders, ran with monsters in the night, met many sisters and helped them with their Hives. Also encountered a very interesting spider, though to say we became friends would mean to lie. Still, there are not many of our size around, so I consider her a good rival of sorts to this very day. I wonder how is she doing...

                              It was not long after I met Virgil that I returned to Athens, where I finally learned enough about the mosaic I had spent so much trying to recompose to understand what the subject was about. It is knowledge that took a lot of pain and death to be acquired. Most of it was not mine, I’ll give you that, but you still should appreciate I’m willing to share it this easily.

                              Back in the old world, when gods walked the earth, my mother was a kind Empress even to those who weren’t his subjects. She was young and, it pains my heart to say so, naive. At first, all she cared about was to tend her Hive and bring back life to the world when spring came. Though I’d argue she was the most important herald of life and blooming prosperity of Pangea, she was not the only one. Other gods cared for the well-being of others. One of those, Bull, had the honor to be among the Golden Empress’ lovers. It was through Bull’s actions that my mother became interested both in humans and their brightest representants. They had many names, which honestly are not important. What matters is what they were able to wield: magic.

                              The Golden Empress was too pure and innocent to understand what humans were capable of. Her subjects were loyal and loved her, not to mention that the mere idea of hurting a god would require a degree of pride and arrogance she could not even conceive back then. Hubris, it’s how the poets call it, and it inevitably leads to tragedy. This was not an exception: the witches stole a portion of the Empress’ soul and spirited it away, leaving her bleeding.

                              That was the act that opened mother’s eyes on the grim reality of the world. She recovered, but changed. I’m almost thankful for what happened to her, because it made her a stronger queen. That’s when she decided that the only way to ensure safety and growth for the hive would require to force everyone else to fall under the control of her swarm. I don’t blame her. Free will is a little price to pay to be uplifted into something greater. To have a clear role,a fate and an importance in the great scheme of things, to not be ruled by chaos but by a superior intelligence is something one can aspire to. Father Wolf disagreed with that, of course. I too sometimes wonder what it would mean to truly be free, to be as you are, but an ideal is something that requires personal sacrifices.

                              But the story does not end here. The thieves, those treacherous sorcerers, took what they stole to their hideout. They called themselves Guardians, though guardian of what is something that escapes me. Probably they referred to their own magical tradition, those arrogant bastards. I have no idea what their exact plans for the fragment were, though they used it as a tool the explore the hidden truths of the world. They had built a place, a labyrinth, to keep their treasures hidden. With the help of their human servants, they hoarded anything they could, that shard of the Empress being the culmination of their thievery. They no doubt had plans for it, since they made experiments and ripped wisdom from it

                              Things went downhill for them when the Golden Empress died. The fragment the Guardians had endured because it was still connected to its source, at least spiritually. With the death of the Empress and our birth, that portion of her withered like a flower cut from the plant. It died and yet, somehow, it lived. Father Wolf had destroyed everything that the Golden Empress was, but that part of her was both eternally tied to her and at the same time removed. Something dead yearning to become a source of life once again.

                              They call it the Mistress of Honey, and it’s locked in the deepest recess of their labyrinth. Back then, the sorcerers realized the danger it would pose to them, and decided to put a guardian to it. In their fear, they thought that putting an offspring of Life to keep death locked would be the most effective solution, but it only proved to make things worse. I’m not sure of the exact nature of the guardian. Some say it’s Bull himself, while others insist it is one of his Firstborns made flesh. I personally believe it’s something in the middle: what happened when Bull was tricked into merging his essence with a human, giving birth to a son that’s both mortal and god. They call him Asterion and, what matters, is that he recognized the Mistress of Honey as the husk of what was his former lover.

                              The two seek to reunite, kept apart from the labyrinth. Not many were eager to know what their offspring would look like and do. The sorcerers tried to come up with a solution, but it turned out their human slaves were tired of them bringing monsters to the island and risking everything just to appease their curiosity. They rebelled and took their master’s treasures and libraries, making a solemn vow to not forgive those tainted by the same hubris and keep the shapechangers at bay.

                              Those new Guardians firmly believe that, should Asterion and the Mistress of Honey ever meet, their union would destroy the world. Does not stop them from imbibing her cold honey with other ingredients to test their mind, but yeah, they're terrified of that mere idea. In a sense, they’re not wrong, but they fail to see the truth. Even Asterion is mistaken. How I’m able to see it, you ask? Because I’m my mother’s daughter, you fool.

                              Asterion thinks the Mistress of Honey loves him, just as the Golden Empress loved Bull. That might have some truth to it, but the Mistress’ main goal goes beyond romantic aspirations. She wants to find Asterion, to hug him, kiss him and become one with him, because it’s from his warm embrace that she’ll be able to return to life. By consuming his essence and the source of life that is Bull, the Golden Empress will resurrect. Bees spawning from cattle carcasses. Bugonia, that’s the name for it.

                              Now imagine this: if that happens, that’s a Pangean god returning to life. That’s a murder that happened thousands of years ago being reverted, an act of Father Wolf being undone. And not in the same it would happen should the spiders remake their Hag or the rats gnaw the way for the return of their King. This is something that should have been dead and yet lingered defiling the laws of time, life and the Shadow.

                              It’s a spark that can ignite an inferno, little wolf. Because if the Golden Empress returns like that, so can the others. So can Pangea. Do you imagine how glorious that would be?
                              Last edited by Cinder; 03-25-2018, 01:31 PM.

                              Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub

                              I write about Beast: The Primordial a lot


                              • #30
                                Nicely written- good work!

                                Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

                                "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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