The day was a day of fire and steel. Utopia, broken, was silhouetted against a thin, orange haze, all twisted metal stretching upward, like fingers, hoping to choke the last bit of life out of the sky.
They were trapped, trapped in the belly of a terrible machine as the machine bled to death. Drunk and blind, they cried, tore out their hair, picked through the rubble searching for their lost children. They didn’t find them, but still they searched. They didn’t stop, though stones cut their hands and gas seeped into their lungs. Eventually they collapsed, as dead as you can get in this primordial cauldron of dream, and their bodies blew away on a dark wind past the fallen sun.
The skyline was beautiful on fire.
The corpse of a city was his womb. The fires of hopes aflame and dreams quietly smoldering to death were the light that greeted his eyes. A mad-woman played midwife, even as she praised the Most-High and was devoured alive by the terrible babe she unleashed on the world. A bereft old man served as physician, diagnosing the woes the child would bring, diagnosing the terrors and despairs the world had already, so callously, inflicted upon him. He died on the babe’s claws, before a beautiful, compassionless face and eyes as empty as the void between the stars
Striding through the beaten, battered, broken-down shell of what was once a city, the child was serious. There were things to be done. All this death, all around him, it needed to go somewhere. So he ate it up, took it inside, made it a part of him, became a monster. After all, someone had to do it and he was the only one there. It was just the way of the world, you know? Gotta make do with what you’ve got. And in this case, what he got was death and dirt and pain and fear and horror forever and for always until his immortal frame was extinguished.
The boy, (Can we call it a boy? Can the concept of gender hope to bind a being like this?) met with a man. They conversed. They spoke of many things, like the way the whims of the world had taken the man’s young wife and baby daughter. They parted ways, the man continuing into the afterlife after being left torn and bloody on the smashed asphalt, and the boy walking forward, ever forward, trying to find something he could believe in.
He found, after much contemplation, that the only thing he could hope to believe in was death, fear, and the constant struggle to survive. He needed it, lusted for it, hungered for horror and pain and betrayal. He wanted to smash the world on its axis to feed the fires of hatred and madness, because that would make the world right again!
So the monster that looked like a boy came to the conclusion that he had to take it into himself. He had to eat all the death and pain in the world so that everything would be right again. He had to let the death out, break it free of its static, selfish prisons. These people all around. If they could just get all the death out of them, they would be free.
And the world would be right.
So decided the monster, as he walked through a city that once was golden. But the sun had fallen down and the buildings were all leering. And the flags were all dead at the top of their poles.
Description and Personality
He is stark against the landscape, a tall, imposing figure with long, flowing hair that runs the length of his spine and touches the backs of his heels. An angular face, impossibly smooth and dark, is turned to face the dim rays of the sun. The hair, fans out, reaches up, and floats forward to catch the light and break it. His face is cast into shadow once more. The eyes, black as the void between worlds, each contain a tiny, burning pinprick of light. The fire of a dying sun smolders deep in his sockets. He smiles as this world's sun sinks below the horizon, dying once more. One day, it won't die. Because he'll have killed it, released its death, and glutted himself upon it. On that day, the Dead Flag will be happy. He will have become the enlightened center of the universe, full of death and horror and unwilling to share it with any of his immortal, happy subjects.
When called upon to exist in concrete form, which he dislikes, the Dead Flag appears as a man with skin black and smooth as polished ebony, ankle-length hair the color of isolation, and eyes like pits into the void. His face is angular, predatory even, and he wears nothing. However, he is completely androgynous, looking like a statue, if a statue could be fashioned from a starless night sky or water which has never seen the sun's face. In all things, he is calm and controlled, moving through the world like a shadow, to free it.
The Dead Flag's Heart is a book of prayers, written in a language no one understands and bound with a chain of jade. His Cup is a crystal chalice, filled with blood and oil. His Ring is a spyglass, which reveals only a steady, golden light. His Staff is a hammer, with a haft of gold and a head of wood. His Sword is, similarly, a sword, utilitarian and plain, but suffused with a hunger to aid the universe and free it. The Dead Flag is in possession of all his Graces.
Name: The Dead Flag
Caste: Anarch (Warrior and Diplomat)
Court: Church of Balor
Strength 4, Dexterity 5, Stamina 4
Charisma 5, Manipulation 7, Appearance 4
Perception 5, Intelligence 7, Wits 7
Diplomat: *Linguistics 5, *Ride 4, *Socialize 4, **Thrown 4
Warrior: *Archery 5, *Athletics 2, **Melee 6, Presence 3
Worker: Craft (Glamour) 2
Casteless: **Awareness 3, Dodge 2, Resistance 3
The Dead Flag possesses many, lesser monsters and spells, most of them ripped forcibly from those who dared stand before him.
Mutations: Glorious Hero Form (2), Gossamer Wing Flight (2), Dragon's Breath (6), Huge (2)
Statistics: Attributes: Strength 6, Dexterity 5, Stamina 7, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 3, Perception 2, Intelligence 3, Wits 3. Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 3, Brawl 4 (Claws + 2), Dodge 3, Endurance 2, Presence 4, Resistance 2, Survival 3. Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 1, Valor 2.
Attacks: Claw (As exc. Chopping Sword: +0/+2/+5L/+1), Holy Word (+1 acc, 15L, 10 yd. range). Soak: 15L/19B. Essence 1 Health: -0/-0/-0/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/incap.
Sword Shaping Statistics: Speed + 10, Accuracy + 3, Damage + 12, Defense + 0, Rate 4.
Description: Providence takes the form of a magnificent dove with feathers of burning iron and eyes that crackle with divine electricity. A thunderclap and a rush of wind precede it as it enters the field of a battle, righteous wrath personified. It dives upon foes like an avenging angel, ripping them limb-from-limb and wetting its fearsome talons in their blood. Providence casts no shadow and dispels all other shadows in its presence. It smells of blood, steel, and burning prayer wheels. When it sing, its voice is light and airy, pouring in a golden stream from its mouth to coat all those around it in holy light.
Gabri'ili and Mikha'ili
Mutations: Glorious Hero Form (2), Armament of Flesh (2), Knife-Hand Dream (1), Tiny (2), Tough (2)
Statistics: Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 6, Stamina 3, Charisma 3, Manipulation 3, Appearance 4, Perception 3, Intelligence 3, Wits 3. Abilities: Athletics 2, Awareness 3, Brawl 3 (Claws + 2), Dodge 5, Endurance 2, Resistance 2, Socialize 4, Stealth 3. Virtues: Compassion 3, Conviction 3, Temperance 1, Valor 2.
Attacks: Claw (-3/+1/-1/+4L/rate 4). Soak: 3L/3B. Essence 1. Health: -1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-4/incap.
Sword Shaping Statistics: Speed - 5, Accuracy + 1, Damage + 4, Defense + 4, Rate 2.
Description: Gabri'ili and Mikha'ili are twins in body, mind, and soul. While not as glorious as their brother, Providence, they are no less useful, for they go where Providence cannot, ferreting out truth and justice for their benevolent master. In battle, they are hidden lightning, striking at key enemies and fortifications unnoticed and unopposed. Gabri'ili is red, like the banked smoldering of a fire, while Mikha'ili is the purest white of lamb skin. Their miniscule hands are tipped by dainty claws capable of tearing through steel. Where they walk, worms writhe out of the earth and flee. Each carries a burning stick of incense and a bouquet of fragrant roses, to mask the cloying scent of old blood which follows them everywhere.
The Hallelujah Chorus
Mutations Granted: Two purchases of Wyld Prince Resilience.
Staff Shaping Statistics: Speed + 7, Accuracy + 2, Damage + 9, Defense + 3, Rate 2, Piercing.
Wording: "The perfection of the world is my goal; I shall not let the petty realities of my fellows bar my way."
Whispered, Maddened Words
Mutations Granted: Ambrosial Ascension (1), Raging Vortex Form (1). The mutations he gains in Raging Vortex form are: Assumption of Elemental Shape: Fire, Teeth of the World (1), and Huge (2).
Staff Shaping Statistics: Speed + 7, Accuracy + 2, Damage + 9, Defense + 3, Rate 2, Piercing.
Wording: "In this death-ridden world, insanity is power. Let my madness thereby empower me, until the blood of pure life stains my hands."
The Dead Flag was born from the ruins of Utopia, which imbued his Heart with great power.
Some of the death the Dead Flag releases returns to him, coalescing into a useful form. He views this as a form of gratitude from the world, but it is surely just his own, unconscious shaping.
Five commoner raksha accompany the Dead Flag, praising him for his benevolence and compassion. One is a great, lion-man from the South. Two are charismatic, swift, and vicious hummingbird-women from the East. Finally, the last two are mindless Workers, hewn from granite and iron.
The Dead Flag is going to free the world from suffering, eat all the death it stores up inside of itself. He has a stunt pool of 5.
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 4, Temperance 2, Valor 5
Graces: Cup 1, Ring 1, Staff 4, Sword 5
Charms: Assumption: Assumption of Dreams and Passion: Loneliness, Elegant Muse Attitude, Emotion-Weaving Style, Emotional Invocation, Name: Bastion of the Self (Sword), Feeding: Ravishing the Created Form, Banquet of Crumbs, Glamour Essence-Forging Art, Awakened Dream Manufacture, Greater Arts of Glamour: Forging The Graces (all), Gaping Virtue Mouth, Sword Combat: Scattering the Foe, Radiance of the Invincible Warrior, Unconquerable Truth
Mutations(4): Bastion of the Self (Sword).
Bonus point spread: virtues – 9, caste / favored abilities - 6
. . .
I <3 Godspeed. ~ G