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Author Topic: The Afflictions  (Read 259 times)

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Offline Davin Ragal

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The Afflictions
« on: August 02, 2016, 12:39:01 AM »
The Afflictions

Countless mundane afflictions exist across Eldanar, both trivial and fatal.  There are too many to be documented.  However Eldanar is host to afflictions more mysterious and fantastical in nature

Lycanthropy

An ancient curse, who's origin is clouded in the murk of history.  In fact in many parts of Eldanar, it is hidden among folklore, due to its rarity.  Like many of the older curses of the world, if a cure ever existed, it has been lost in the depths of time.  As such there will be no such cure, short of death, recounted in the vast compendiums of knowledge across Eldanar.  The only peoples susceptible to the curse are those of mortals, be it from race or other means.  The only known way to contract the curse is the survival of the bite of another werewolf.

The first full moon after contracting the curse (not including the cycle it was initially contracted during), the victim will transform into an enormous bipedal wolf-like creature. There are distinctive traits to each werewolf, however all will be several feet taller than their original form.  All appear monstrous when transformed.  Contrary to popular belief, shielding oneself from them light of the full moon will do nothing, as the curse is based on the cycle.

The curse is permanent, and the transformation takes place during every cycle of the full moon, from its rise until dawn.

Those suffering from Lycathropy will normally sustain their original alignment (with the exception of during the transformation), though due to the loss of self, can often slip into madness or evil over time.

Attributes

Most curses were either put in place as a form of punishment, or as a result of a failure.  As such there can be many weaknesses, but with those weaknesses come hidden potentials and strengths.  For one suffering from the curse of lycanthropy, most of the time the bearer lives a normal life, so long as their secret remains kept.  During the transformation, however, there are more obvious changes.

  • Social Unrest: As mentioned above, unless a person has become skilled at hiding their curse during the transformation, whether due to never being connected to the beast, or restraining the beast from ever being seen in public, most sufferers of the curse will be wanderers, never calling a place home, and as such never being a part of the more common organizations in Eldanar.
  • Ferocious: During transformation only, a werewolf is a juggernaut of speed and strength.  They move as fast as a wolf, and their claws and fangs can rend flesh and even armors.  A bite from a werewolf can snap bone.
  • Regenerative: While in the wolf transformation, a werewolf will regenerate at a moderate pace.  This allows them to retreat and track more dangerous prey if injured.  The person afflicted with the curse will experience very mild regenerative abilities, nothing more than noticing that their wounds will heal a little faster.
  • Mindless: During the transformation, only shreds of the former person are remotely close to the surface.  The beast is a mindless predator, running on pure instinct, hunting and killing.
  • Loss of self: After every transformation, the person will feel something, even the most evil of beings.  Those lacking the will to fight will lose themselves, and be driven mad by their actions, or lack of control.  While not likely to happen to all those affected by the curse, the burden shows its wear over time.
  • Heightened Senses: Naturally, the werewolf gains the senses of the wolf, hearing, smell and eyesight.  They are hunters, and can see in the dark.  The bearer of the curse will experience some of this, but to a much lesser degree.  The bearer will also experience a shift in the taste of food, and will find a more carnivorous diet more appealing over time.

Lycanthropy as a curse can only compensate for a persons weaknesses, not resolve them.  If a character is crippled, transformed creatures will take time to regenerate themselves to a point where they can hunt, but when they revert, the character will still be crippled.  If a character is inherently weak, their strength as a werewolf will not be on par with a strength of a strong healthy bearer of the curse once transformed.  The same applies to all attributes of people, even intelligence which would be utilized as cunning during the hunt.

Vampirism

Another curse, but to some viewed as an ascension from weakness, or even a cult.  Vampirism is unlike many curses in the following way, Vampirism has its own nuanced society, and more often than other curses, Vampirism is sought out rather than forced upon a victim, assuming the seeker is worthy.  Vampirism has no cure, at least none documented, short of death.

It is not an understood process, but when bitten by a Vampire, they have three choices.  They may simply kill you, regardless of the amount the imbibe in your blood.  They may preserve you, as nothing more than a slave and personal feeding point.  They may also sire you.  This will turn you into a Vampire.

Those afflicted by Vampirism will likely retain the way they appear, short of being much more pale, and likely to have much more pronounced incisors.  They will be colder to the touch, depending on when they last fed.

Vampirism is permanent.  Those suffering from the curse are most often driven towards the side of evil, however in very rare cases a Vampire will reject its calling and retain even a good alignment.  They do not normally survive for long.

Humans and those of Elven blood are the only known susceptible to Vampirism, and those who have already achieved immortality are usually immune to the curse, but not necessarily the death that may be caused by it.

Attributes

Vampires enjoy many benefits from this curse, which is why many seek it out rather than have it forced on them.  With such attributes comes weakness however, which can be inhibiting and crippling.

  • Allure: Vampires are inexplicably alluring, and are hard to resist.  It takes willpower and a strong mind to resist their persuasive and calling nature
  • Heightened Ability: Vampires have both heightened senses and abilities.  They can see in the dark and can move with greater agility and possess greater strength than their previous racial limit.
  • Shapeshifter: Vampires can transform into a Bat or Wolf, but only during the night.
  • Immortal: Vampires are immortal, and no longer age, as they are part of the undead.
  • Siring: Should a Vampire choose, they can sire another from their victims.
  • Enthrallment: A Vampire may choose to enthrall someone rather than sire or kill.  They can effectively create slaves, or have a convenient source of nourishment close at hand.  Breaking enthrallment requires serious willpower, but it can be done.
  • Hunted: Despite the allure and enthrallment, a Vampire is a hunted being.  They must disguise themselves, and will rarely remain in one place without being discovered and driven our or killed
  • Holy Weakness: Anything, even something will a token blessing by a good or neutral aligned priest is repugnant, and often repellent to a Vampire.  Weapons will do significant harm, if not outright kill the creature, this goes too for magics.  Magics of a holy nature intended to rejuvenate and heal will have the opposing effect.
  • Children of the Night: Exposure to daylight will burn a Vampire, direct exposure will engulf them in flames almost instantly.
  • Misconceived Power: There are many myths surrounding Vampires, including their avoidance of garlic and inability to enter a home uninvited.  Most of these are untrue.  Also untrue are their apparent methods of dispatch.  Piercing the heart with anything will cause an explosive bloody demise.  Beheading, much with most creatures will kill them.  Vampires are remarkably flammable.
  • Blood-borne disease: While they cannot be killed by it, due in most to their ability to dilute it, and also their immortality, Vampires, if consuming the blood of someone with a disease that is borne in the blood stream will be weakened until they can dilute the affects by feeding more.  The nature of the weakness will be related to the disease.

Draugism

Draugism is the oldest known curse to exist in all of Eldanar.  Like many, its origins are unknown, or subject to folklore or speculation.  Some believe it is reserved for the most wicked leaders in death while others believe that it was those greedy enough to be buried with their treasure.  In truth, Draugism can be both natural or unnatural.  Normally afflicting those berried ceremonially in mounds, tombs or barrows, a Draugr is created when a being in life had some dark unfulfilled purpose, or had been charged with protecting something in life.  Draugr were never joyful individuals in life and normally lead an either dark existence, or life tortured in some form or another.

It is said that Draugr can be created by use of an ancient curse, in order to trap someone in a limbo of torment.

Draugr have no alignment, they will attack any invading their tombs, and carry on their purpose that lead them to the curse.  If this is stealing children in the night, then they will do it, if it is saving the lands from an enemy they will try also.

Another curse that is not so ancient can create those of the Draug, but this normally leads to the creation of a Wight, a more ethereal creature that is bound to its tomb.

Draugr tend to look like a zombie, or skeleton that can walk, even talk.  Their movement is less shambolic and they often wield weaponry and armor that was either buried in the tomb or ceremonial to them.  Their flesh is darker, and appears less rotten.  A wight is more spectral, ethereal in many ways, and oscillates between the flesh and the phatasm.

Attributes

  • Hardened: A Draugr is not your average wandering dead.  Their flesh is harder, denser than a fragile zombie.  A glancing blow from a sharp weapon will do little other than infuriate the Draugr.
  • Warriors: All Draugr that have been recounted have been warriors.  Whether this is an innate ability from the curse or simply their past life.  A Draugr can challenge the most hardened of warriors
  • Immortal: Despite being a potential boon in the eyes of some, the Draugr is doomed to never die, and live in its own torment until killed.  A wight is the same.
  • Ancient Magic: Most Draugr are relatively mindless, creatures that wander their tomb, act on instinct and unchained emotion.  Those that were powerful in life are more aware in undeath.  Those who are most powerful have access to magics so ancient that scholars often meet their fate attempting to study them.
  • Stalwart: Especially among the lesser Draugr, but apparent among all, a Draugr is not easily stopped.  If you are perceived as a threat, they will move toward and attack you.  Damage will do little to stop them, and only their death (through decapitation) will stop them, short of fleeing their domain.  They are stronger than in life also.
  • Matter Swimming: Draugr can swim through stone if they need to.  Usually this is their escape from their sarcophagus' if that is where they are buried.  The more powerful Draugr can hunt its targets through its entire tomb by moving through walls.  Wights are unique in the fact that they can even avoid blows from the more mundane weapons by becoming Ethereal.
  • Bound: Draugr are bound by a task or misgiving from their previous life.  This is the core of the curse.  They will NEVER abandon it, unless destroyed.  Wights are not only bound, they are bound to their tomb and can never leave its vicinity.  They can emerge, and are often seen wandering nearby, but are always drawn back.

For more on the Draugr, see the entry their entry in The Bestiary
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 01:30:33 AM by Davin Ragal »