Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Center Cannot Hold: Tengu Mockers (Fate Core)

Inspired by thinking on the crossover between Tengu and Lycanthropes, +Mik McAllister's comments got me thinking on what happens with Tengu and contracting a form of were-bird-ness (that's a technical term).  So, I ended up with this after musing on it.  The Mockers, loosely based on Cherokee myth of sorts.

Tengu: The Mockers

Tengu, as a whole, refuse to acknowledge lycanthropy.  In the Jade Lands, there is little to no actual record of Lycanthropy.  Spirits and others sometimes take over the body, but unlike the lycanthropy of the nations of the Maru Sea, the Spirits can be excised.  If true, it might be significant about the nature of Lycanthropy.  Perhaps it hasn't penetrated the Jade Lands, or maybe the nature of the curse is tied to a specific region.

Or perhaps, the Tengu refuse to acknowledge it, somehow thinking it will make it less true.

But in Crux, Tengu have proven to be just as susceptible to lycanthropy as any other group.  But for the Tengu, there is a greater danger, something far more wrong to their kind.  A particular specific form of lycanthropy can cause them more harm than any other.  Tengu biology reacts badly to it, becoming something else.

When infected by the Curse of the Wereraven, the Tengu react far differently than any other race.  They change completely, losing themselves to it.  The Tengu lose their past lives, their own identity.  Their affliction causes them to walk in the realm of spirits, turning ephemeral.  Dark spirits, the Tengu become Mockers, something worse than bearing the curse of the beast.

Mockers lose more of their physical selves, being more air-spirit than living people.  They feed on the sick, old or dying.  Their calls can be heard when they hunt; Mockers rarely can be seen, always perching invisibly over their victims.

Mockers are one of the reasons why Tengu view gaijin as corrupting.  Although no other race has such a reaction to lycanthropy, Tengu see the affliction as a sign of the overall foulness of the gaijin.  Some Tengu attribute this to some ancient broken bond or some other myth that may or may not be true.  Other Tengu ignore it, possibly hoping that it will be forgotten if not acknowledged.  A few others, though, see the Mockers as the hand of the Demon Wind.

Ephemera, unseen and life-devouring, Mockers are hunted by their clan-mates among the Tengu.  Those few Mockers who survive become more and more vicious creatures, dedicating themselves wholly to insulting the name of the Tengu.  Mockers seem to embody what the Tengu fear most of the Demon Wind, invisibly trying to make the world drift toward a darker age.

The last thing Mockers' victims hear are their own worst fears, whispered in their ears.  A final mockery of what they hold dear, before their souls get ripped out.

Aspects: Life-Draining Laughter; Raven-Headed Mockeries
Skill: Mockery
Mockery is the main skill of the Mockers: it covers their flight and their ability to mock their victims with their own memories.
A Mocking Skin: A Mocker can't be seen without magic or the right charm.  They are invisible.
Take the Soul: A Mocker can attempt to eat the soul or spirit of a victim.  They whisper mocking tones, using mockery to attack a target's mental stress.  If a Mocker spends a Fate Point, the subject must make succeed on a Will contest against the Mocker's Mockery or take the serious consequence Soul Drain.

I have a image in mind for this too.  Might add it later once I get a chance to put it down.