Speakers of the Deep

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The Speakers of the Deep

A cult of Marchosias, dedicated to hir and to chaos. They are a cult of cults, spawners of other organizations, but not good shepherds; they leave their mark on the world and then let the mark fade. They are ancient and have been spreading in the world nearly since it began. The first Speakers of the Deep were said to have dug themselves out of the core of the earth wholly formed, as twisted reptillian forms with rending jaws, claws of diamond, and strange spiked tentacles. These are the Beliel; but the Beliel have little track and trade with other races and nations, so they are in these legends as ancient bizarrities and their position in them is misunderstood even at times by the Speakers. Of course, Beliel Speakers rarely suffer such confusion, but difficulties in communication across the cult (see below) help preserve the mystery.

The Speakers of the Deep are a multilayered conspiracy, a cult of cults, and a headless monstrosity. Attempts to trace the hierarchy of the Cult lead to madness. The structure is not merely vast, circular, and strange, but to graph it forms a Vile Glyph more potent than any the Speakers themselves are capable of inscribing. Most who attempt to draw the structure go mad well before they finish the symbol. The Speakers themselves are not immune to these effects, though they are aware of them; and so unsurprisingly almost none of them are aware of the broader shape of the organization. Even though the knowledge is freely available to them to study, they typically learn only the small part that's immediately relevant to them. To learn more is at their own risk. The purpose of the Speakers of the Deep is not clearly known even to their members, but rather they follow the chaotic commands that result from interpretation through the byzantine structures of their organization.

Status: Religious, Secret
Skills: Socialize, Survival

They have the following abilities.

Vile Glyph
Type: Miracle, Ritual
The priest may create a ward which causes mental agony to any who trigger it, as if something horrible was devouring the victim's mind. The priest decides what will trigger the glyph, and then makes a (Spiritual+Occultism) Results Roll to set the Potency, spending (Difficulty) Essence and five minutes to craft it. If someone triggers the condition of the glyph and is in the glyph's visible presence, it darkens and inflicts +(Potency-Victim's Resolve) Difficulty to all actions for the victim for (Difficulty) Hours.

Bacchanal
Type: Miracle, Ritual
The priest invokes the sacred rites known to please Marchosias. This rite creates a revelry, drawing in anyone near it, creating a feral festival and joyous riot of chaos. Enacting this rite is a (Social+Occultism) Passive Roll which costs 3 Essence. Anyone with a Resolve less than the Potency of the roll, and within hearing range of the priest, is drawn in, losing all inhibitions, engaging in any activity that strikes their fancy without thought of social mores or traditions. The victim's Resolve is reduced to 0 for the Scene. The priest may direct this festival, having it move at the Speed of the lowest person present, or give simple commands, such as "eat!" or "sing!" or "dance!". Each command costs 1 Essence and reduces the Potency of the festival by one. If the priest runs out of Essence, the festival is uncontrolled, and the priest must compare their own Resolve against the festival's current Potency or be drawn in themselves. Anyone whose unadjusted Resolve surpasses the decreasing Potency comes free of the influence. This is considered a Social Attack, and Integrity may be used as an Active Defence.

Compatibility
Type: Miracle, Ritual
The Speakers of the Deep are breeders of monsters and strange creatures, and they have the Rituals of Compatibility to aid them in this. They can take couplings where no fertility should be possible and 'bless' them, but woe betide the parents. The children springing from such matings will be monsters and mutants far more often than healthy young. The priest makes a (Spiritual+Occultism) D 5 roll and spend 5 Essence. If the roll fails, the child is a horrible chimera, twisted by the whims of chaos. If the roll is a success, than the child is a viable, healthy, normal hybrid. The child, in either case, is infertile unless the priest spends an additional 3 Essence and 3 Health before the roll is made, and suffers +5 Difficulty. If the ritual fails, the child will still possess a mortal's soul, but any offspring that it creates will not, being true monsters, possessed by a random Spirit.