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Sometimes, you're just dying for someone to talk to...
It happens all the time. It's late, and you're waiting for the last subway, or the last bus, or for a friend. A stranger shows up. For some unknown reason, not only does he start talking to you, but he's telling you about his life, how hard it was, and how much he screwed up. Uneasy, you pretend like you're listenning. Then the bus comes, the subway arrives, your friend can be seen in the distance. You say goodbye to the stranger, and leave.
People who screw up their life sometimes choose to turn it around. They decide to account for all the bad stuff they did, get better, and move on. Guilt is a funny thing, however. When you want to free yourself of it, you have to own it first. When you do own it, all its weight falls down upon you, and you feel as if you're being eaten from the inside. Across the history of mankind, the most surefire way to get rid of that owned guilt has always been to share the responsability of moving on with someone else. A superior, a priest, a shrink, whoever. The process is always the same : you own it, you talk about it with someone, and then you decide together that moving on is allowed.
The Contrite are people who passed away before they got the help they needed. They have made the choice to fully own their guilt, but they died before having the chance to talk to someone who could help them lift all that weight on their shoulders. They died while still fully feeling like that guilt was eating them up from the inside.
Death can be confusing. The Contrite remember the basics of what they were supposed to do to free themselves of the guilt, but they have lost the specifics, the human element. Moving on with the help of someone requires that the other person be empathic, and that both the guilty and the helper work through the guilt in order to turn it into something positive. Of that delicate process, the Contrite remember only one thing : that sharing their guilt with someone else can free them.
Most likely, that stranger you came across who confessed all these things to you was a Contrite. Thankfully, the bus came, the subway arrived, your friend showed up. If they hadn't, at some point it would've been too late. The Contrite would've talked and talked and talked, letting his guilt swell up until he would've been ready to dump it on you.
Revenants are litteral beings, creatures of fleeting impressions and half-remembered analogies. When a Contrite's guilt has swelled up enough that it can dump it on someone, the fact that it eats him from inside manifests itself. Bright etheral moths burrow out of the revenant's semblance of flesh, and fly towards the person who was unfortunate enough to listen. The latter might try to run, but the moths eventually end up burrowing back into the flesh of the victim.
Apathy sets in. For the victim, every action now feels "heavy", daunting, hard to process. Moreover, minor unnatural phenomena start plaguing the victim, as the Contrite now follows him around, waiting for him to get rid of the guilt. The victim can't, however, as he has not willingly and empathically partaken in the Contrite's guilt. He is simply stuck with a guilt that is not his own.
The only way to get rid of the effect of those "guilt-moths" is to get the Contrite to call them back. If he can be convinced that you have no intention of ever owning that guilt and getting rid of it, the moths will simply fly away and go back to their real owner, who will once again try to seek out someone who can shoulder the burden. In other words, you have to commit again the very act of which the revenant feels guilty. Whether its spitting sincerely on you father's grave or killing an innocent man doesn't matter - the Contrite needs to see that guilt has taught you nothing.
Revenant : The Contrite (Minor)
Dumpers of Guilt
Points : 20 + a percentile roll (1-100)
Body : 0
Speed : 10-40
Mind : 10-20
Soul : 10-60
Special skill : Moth Dumping: Once a Contrite has had the time to recount what he's feeling guilty about to someone, etheral moths fly from its body. Unless the victim makes a Soul roll under his or her stat but over the revenant's own Soul stat, the moths latch on. Once that happens, every roll is made at -10% and the victim gains a Failed mark under either the Violence or Self madness meters. Both of these effects can be removed by re-enacting the event about which the Contrite feels guilty. (Note, however, that it is entirely possible that the victim will have to face a stress check of her own while re-enacting the scene, depending on how hardenned he or she is.)
I especially like the elimination- very dark, very dramatic, very fitting.
This is a nasty event to spring on players, particularly ones who have seen too many "lay the ghost to rest by putting things right" movies.