What is a Vingian Relay?
A Vingian Relay is a hybrid being composed of one decentralized mind and multiple (clone) bodies. The mind and 'soul' of a Vingian Relay is held half in the original human (also known as the Prime) and half in the CogNet.
Strengths: A Vingian can function as a single organism in close proximity without the need for verbal or electronic communication.
Destroying a body doesn't compromise the whole, and destroyed members can be replaced with fresh clones.
Shared minds and experiences give a Vingian the ability to learn and grow rapidly. The skills and abilities learned and exercised by one member are shared with all of the others. In game terms, each individual can grow in terms of skills and personal abilities, but any skills and such on the character sheet are shared with every other member of the collective, albeit at one level lower.
Vingians can remote dream and communicate through the CogNet in a dream like fashion that is an ultra secure mode of communication. What one member knows, they all know.
Weaknesses: If cut off completely from the CogNet, individuals who were part of the relay become increasingly unstable and are often unable to communicate with any competence or skill as their main mode of communication was virtual
If the Prime is slain/destroyed, the Relay retains it's functionality but stops growing in terms of skill, and the surviving relays begin to become mentally unstable. Killing a prime can cause all members of a relay to become catatonic, commit suicide, or otherwise implode mentally.
The shared mind is vulnerable to contamination, especially the cosmic horror sort. If one member becomes afflicted with a supernatural madness, this is transferred through the link to all the other members of the relay. A skilled psychosurgeon and hacker can also capture and use a member of a relay as a way to infiltrate and compromise a Vingian, though this is extremely difficult.
While a Vingian relay can survive the abrupt disconnect of the death of a member, it can be manipulated and controlled or even tortured provided that a skilled interrogator with the proper tools has a member of the relay in their custody. What one knows, they all know, and this includes psychological abuse (much more difficult though, as individuality is muted in a Relay) physical torture (this only works at short range) and so forth.