The idea was that a slave has more strength than a soldier simply by existing. A man forced to labor for nothing but the promise of more labor and an ignoble death but still manages to get up every day and do it has more in him than a man with the arms and armor, the liege lord as support, and an army surrounding him.
I didn't quite play up the cannibalism part as much as I'd like to; while enslaved the Devourer was brutalized and forced to live in truly horrific conditions but didn't really break (in this case completely lose his shit and start killing slavers) until he and the other slaves he'd lived and worked with were forced into cannibalism by a neglectful owner. Until that point he had been the best aspects of both gods, strong, honorable, fair, ferocious, heartless to enemies, and so on. After his change to a humanitarian he went crazy, which may have come from either side of his soul, hatred or justice can turn into something very scary.
I pictured the rebellion being something massive. The land was rife with slavery, imagine every slave in the us south all standing up at once. The military would be caught completely off guard. Now imagine their leader is Alexander the Great as a demigod.
The Scourges aren't necessarily blind, the write up has blind sight 100ft, but other than that you've got the long and short of it. Go to Comment
And I subscribe to the concept that belief creates reality in fantasy settings so The Devourer is an actual god in Foundation because he's worshiped by his followers and intensely feared by those that live in his domain. Go to Comment
The planar makeup of Foundation is all kinds of weird. I'd love your input
I haven't given much thought to individual Scourge characters, the society revolves around slavery, capturing and selling slaves. Individual Scourges are like holy men, keeping the wild viking warriors focused through fear and religious fervor. They would be very intense personalities, unforgiving of failure or ineptitude, with no compassion whatsoever. They would strive to preserve their own lives but wouldn't fear death, they've seen far worse than death. The Devourer took entirely the wrong message from his time as a slave, weakness is inexcusable and the strong can take whatever they want.
I don't know how to add the class into the post, I'm neck deep in noob, I apologize. I didn't explain the blindsight thing well enough, either. I can see it all in my head so The God's Sight seemed like a good enough description for blind sight. Go to Comment
The first part was the back story, the rest was me trying to sum up the Scourges themselves.
Neither god won, it was a draw. The slave army would have eventually crushed the kings forces but didn't get a chance to. It was originally written as Hieronius and Hextor but I'm making the switch to Pathfinder so I don't know that Pantheon as well.
The army disappeared because of what I call a Planar Juxtaposition, random chance basically, something the gods involved couldn't foresee.
I really appreciate the compliments, I don't have a lot of confidence in my writing. I come up with good ideas but have trouble making them into real stories. Go to Comment
Stark son of Skarr of the Blue Stone Tribe was born amidst blood and fire as all good heroes should be. His mother gave birth as the attacking Painted Scale tribe was slaughtered to the last man around her yurt. Skarr son of Stag had been a monstrous big man with snow white hair and a face like a butchers block. His son grew into a fierce boy, tall and strong with his father’s naturally white hair and luckily his mother’s good looks. Stark fought with boys twice his age, with any weapon he was handed, though he favored above all a two handed sword.
Stark killed his first foe at twelve when a raiding party attacked the village while the warriors were away. It had been a small band, hoping to catch the tribe unaware with only women and children to defend. Beyond simply fighting, Stark led the boys in the fashion of a true battle commander. He smashed the raider band and mounted their heads on the shoreline of his village as a warning to others. When the warriors of the Blue Stone Tribe returned they found a new long ship had been added to their fleet as well as the crew to sail it.
Though young, Stark son of Skarr and his band were tenacious and unstoppable. Many of the warring tribes did not take this mere boy as a serious threat, before long few along the coast spoke the name of Stark of the Blue Stone Tribe without a nervous glance to sea and a muttered prayer to the gods. The Hammer of Skarr prowled the oceans of Foundation for ten years, reaving as far as the rich waters of the Corsair Bay in the east, haunt of greedy privateers and fat merchants. Ten years passed, years full of adventures and dangers, and above all treasure. When Stark returned home he was a huge man, muscled like an ox, with long white braids tied with rings of gold and platinum and a braided white beard covering his chest. His clothing was finely crafted, expensive and brightly colored beneath shinning silver ring mail and a cloak of leopard skin bordered with black feathers. The great sword at his back bore the name Sky Cleaver and was rimmed with flashing blue flames. His long ship had been lost in a great storm years before and had been replaced with a galley of forty oars and two masts; The Dominance. Painted green, embellished with gold tracery and carvings of Viking warriors in battle, Stark’s ship was a sight to behold, much like Stark himself.
The homecoming was bitter and short lived, however. When he had left, the Blue Stone tribe had been vibrant, prosperous, and strong. The blackened bones of the long hall were the only structure visible for miles around, the shoreline he remembered was a desolation of dead grass and brackish moors. The rage that took him was like a storm, one foolish member of his crew chanced a thoughtless quip and was cut cleanly in two from ribs to hip.
The Dominance stalked up and down the shore, looking for the tribe that had destroyed his people, a ship, or a raiding party, anything to vent Stark’s anger. What they found was more of the same; burnt villages, piled bones, and scuttled long ships. Were his people devastated, every tribe? Stark and his crew were lost and rudderless, alone and without friends in a dead land. Just then the far-eyes shouted ‘Ship, m’lord! Sails on the horizon!’ And those sails were a sight none of them expected, the reddish brown of old blood, blazoned with an odd device; a gaping black mouth, with bright red teeth, crooked and broken. The call was made for battle positions, the ballistae were loaded, the sails unfurled, and shield and spear and sword were readied. It must be some new tribe, Stark told himself.
Stark was the first across the gunwhale, Sky Cleaver slashing and hacking left and right. The battle was brutal like nothing Stark had experienced. Beyond the usual ferocity of the reavers, these warriors fought with a fire in their eyes, even the oarsmen fought with a manic energy like berserkers. The fight was even, give or take, and Stark watched good men he had lived and fought with fall. Then from below deck came the priest. A tattered, black linen cloak covered him from neck to nethers, salt stained and crusted with old, dry blood. His head was covered in a tight black leather cowl, but without eye holes. The priest made no noise, spoke no word, simply drew the massive iron cleaver from his belt and unwound the claw-tipped leather thongs of his scourge as he walked calmly forward. The Priest’s warriors parted with one sharp lash of the scourge, gouging half a dozen lines into the wooden deck. Stark raised Sky Cleaver high and bellowed a wordless battle crew, rage and pain and confusion fueling the power of his swing. Stark had felled men, cleaved them in two with blows like that, but this was no mere man. The priest caught the blow on his cleaver with a resounding clang like a warped bell and returned with an almost lazy swipe of the scourge, tearing deep into the muscles of Stark’s stomach. Stark lashed out with his off hand, hoping to gouge out this creature’s eyes. He fingers found empty sockets. Confused and angrier than he had ever been, Stark shouted and bull rushed the priest against the gunwhale, forcing his weapon aside and shoving his head back, tearing away the cowl. The priest smiled, still completely silent then lifted Stark bodily from the deck and tumbled them both into the choppy, dark waters between the boats. Sky Cleaver sank into the depths, its blue flame clearly visible but well out of reach. As his vision blurred and his lungs burned for air Stark looked into the empty sockets of the priest and was truly afraid for the first time in his life.
Stark awoke in pain, hanging from a pair of iron manacles, in a large, bare stone room lit by dim red light from a small glass ball in the center of the floor. On the far side of the room was a table and two chairs. One chair occupied by the priest, now dressed in a simple grey tunic and brown leggings, without hood or weapons. ‘Your men were too willing to speak, Stark son of Skarr’ and he stood ‘You’re the last of them, the last true reaver. Your warriors were brave enough, in their way, but they lacked conviction. The fight for gold, for blood, for honor, but I fight for a far greater purpose.’ His voice was surprisingly soft, and sounded well educated. He did not look like a viking, his hair was a salted brown, short and curly. His features were sharp, hollow cheeked, with a beak of a nose. The priest stood no more than three feet from Stark, hanging helpless on the wall. ‘You fight like a demon, I have rarely seen your like before. I’ve come to offer you a choice. It is not a choice I can explain with words.’ And suddenly there was a large iron key in his hand ‘We stand at the heart of my Lord’s domain, tens of thousands of warriors surround you on all sides. You are not destined to die like a fool so please do not attempt to escape.’ When the manacles were removed and Stark regained his feet he stood towering over the priest. ‘Come, my friend, I will show you.’ Go to Comment
An insidious creature, most likely somehow "related" to trappers and lurkers, the Dead Leaves (for no other name exists as of yet for this foul thing), hibernates for three of the four year's seasons, deep underground. Its active time is Autumn, when trees shed their leaves, depositing colorful carpets across the ground. The terror then emerges and blends in with the surrounding leaves, perfectly camouflaged, waiting patiently for unsuspecting victims. In appearance it resembles nothing more than a ten foot square, six inch thick, layer of bright yellow, orange, and red leaves. The only hint that someone is walking on top of it, comes in the form of an unusual amplified sound of leaves crunching underfoot. Too late usually, the victims notice this additional "crunch". The Dead Leaves will then swirl and "rise" up to smother and suffocate the victim, like a colorful, malevolent, boa constrictor.
Fire, as can be imagined, is particularly effective against this creature, but one has to *know* it's there before putting it to the torch. And there's the rub. The creature is impossible to "identify" in a large patch of fallen leaves by eyesight alone.