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Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no better options than to wait for them to get you? Want to take them down with you? This is what to do.
Invoke the Mordax.
Cost: 3 significant charges per participant.
Effect: This ritual creates a Mordax, an extremely nasty unnatural being that mercilessly hounds any enemy that you and the other participants specify. The Mordax has a number of points to spend on stats and skills equal to the average of all the participants’ totals if the ritual succeeds, which depends upon them all making successful magick rolls. If one or more of the casters fails the roll his stats and skills totals are not counted towards the average when determining the Mordax’s points total, whereas anyone who gets a 01 has their ratings counted twice, resulting in an entity that’s either a lot weaker or a lot more powerful than the average.
Example: Klaus and Marius are characters in a global campaign when they get together to cast this ritual. Klaus has 245 points worth of stats and 300 points in skills, and Marius has 230 points in stats and 250 in skills. They spend three charges each, but then Marius fluffs his magick roll. Therefore, the Mordax that is created has only 123 points for stats and 150 points for skills. If he’d got a normal success, they’d apply the average of 245 and 230 (237) to the Mordax’s stats, and the average of 300 and 250 (275) to its skills.
Ritual Action: You really need to know that your enemies have got you on the ropes and that your demise is certain before you even consider this ritual. You also need at least one other participant who’s in the same wretched situation because of the same enemy. Get together on the night of the next full moon, next to a body of still water that every participant can get into. A swimming pool or a small pond will do absolutely fine. Get into the water with items connected to the intended target or targets, such as an item of their clothing, a photograph or any written document that clearly pertains to them. Slit your wrists and smear your blood on the items, loudly cursing the target as you do so and swearing terrible vengeance and suffering upon them. Drop the items into the water and simultaneously slit each other’s throats. The creature that emerges will then devote all of its energy to making your enemies ardently wish they’d never been born. That’s assuming that it works.
The Mordax is a highly unusual revenant in the sense that it’s actually comprised of the fused spirits of all the people who killed themselves in the ritual to create it. Not much of their identities remain, however, except for their overwhelming rage at the people who drove them to do something that desperate in the first place. Naturally, the Mordax’s guiding instinct is to find those people and make them suffer. It doesn’t want them dead, though: if it either kills them or drives them to kill themselves, it also loses its raison d’etre and promptly vanishes. Depending on the circumstances that led to the Mordax’s creation, its target might be an individual, a group, a particular kind of person or even everyone of a specified nationality or ethnicity. For example, a group of Al-Quaida extremists who knew their number was up and were clued-in enough to magick might summon a Mordax that targeted only US Marines.
Whatever the individual circumstances, there are some things that these entities always have in common. They’re semi-corporeal and their bodies appear to be three-dimensional shadows, while their faces are bone white and their eyes pitch black. Clothes and sunglasses can cover these oddities up somewhat, but nothing much can hide their mask-like features, cold expressions and sibilant, icy voices. Their eyesight is extremely poor, but their other senses seem to offset this and they have the natural ability to see auras perfectly. They’re generally as smart, intuitive and articulate as the sum of their creators, but given that they only exist to avenge and torment, they aren’t especially pleasant company. They rarely waste much time on anyone except their designated prey.
There’s no way a Mordax can be swayed from its purpose – attempts at persuasion just fail – and they’re extremely hard to get rid of. Normal attacks only do damage equal to the sum of the dice but blasts work normally against them, although physical damage can’t destroy them permanently: their bodies just disappear and reform after a number of hours equal to their Body stats. Soul Sipping works normally as well, as will any other magickal attacks that target the Mind or Soul stats, and there may be other ways to get rid of them for anyone who doesn’t have those options.
One way is just to kill the Mordax’s target, but that might be difficult if it’s after every rapist in the city. Alternatively, the magick fusion of the combined spirits might break down if evidence could be found of ‘irreconcilable differences’ that the participants in the creation ritual didn’t resolve before they killed each other. It might also be possible to mess the creature up by using a proxy ritual to ‘become’ one of the dead casters, but the wisdom of doing this is highly questionable and there are no reports of anyone doing it successfully. The target is far more likely to be able to get rid of a Mordax if he just creates a proxy of himself, whom he then either kills or allows the creature to hound and torture endlessly.
The Mordax (Significant).
Revenge from beyond the grave guaranteed.
Points: 150 + a percentile roll (1-100)
Notes: The touch of the Mordax is icy cold and its hand-to-hand attacks do damage equal to the sum of the roll +1. It has all of the skills that its creators had when they were alive, albeit not necessarily with the same scores, but it loses any abilities that any of them might have had to use schools of magick or avatar channels. It can trigger one minor unnatural phenomena a day and one significant unnatural phenomena a week, and it also has the Soul skills Into the Shadows and What Goes Around Comes Around. These are its ‘free skills,’ which it can increase with its starting skill points.
Into the Shadows: With a successful roll, the Mordax can make itself completely invisible in any darkened or heavily shadowed area. This works best at night, when it requires a major skill check to succeed. During the day, the Mordax has to roll under its skill but over 30.
What Goes Around Comes Around: A Mordax doesn’t generally use this power if it’s only after one target, because of the likelihood of the person killing himself after it’s taken effect. To activate this power the Mordax has to render the target immobile so that it can stare deeply into his eyes. The Mordax then makes a successful roll, and the target then gets a very vivid impression of every single thing that he’s ever done to hurt other people, from the point of view of the people that were on the receiving end. This automatically triggers a rank-10 Self challenge, and if it fails the effect is analogous to the target failing all of the madness challenges he’s ever taken all at once. Arguably, the effect that this is going to have on a relatively ordinary person might not be unduly traumatic, depending on how many people he’s seriously pissed off in his life. For a total and utter bastard who’s devoted his life to dishing out despair and destruction, it’s a different matter altogether.
I love this thing! I'm picturing Nazgul here but I mean GOD, its great!Power and Consequences..
I like it. I'm writing a bunch of shorts that are all in proto-development stages (I'm making each character's name numerologically meaningful and so forth), but I have a huge laundry list of ideas, and this is going on there. Great job.
Just to be clear, do the casters NEED to die for the spell to work? I mean, you can slit each other's throats, and if people with the right skills/magicks are around, you could potentially be saved. Role-playing an effort to save someone who has intentionally slit their throat, in the midst of having to make a bulky Unnatural roll for seeing the creature could be fun.
Uccisore | profile | Jun 22, 03 | 3:11 am
Oh, I think that saving the lives of the participants would definitely screw up the ritual. It's supposed to be a "revenge from beyond the grave" sort of thing.
This is like a more corporeal, real-world version of "Summone Ye Furies" to get revenge. It's also a ritual, or variation of, old as old. I like it. And yeah, the participants really ought to die. That's what gives it the fuel and the spirit. But if only ONE dies... the other one might be in trouble...