The flesh from His scalp hung limp as if removed by a cut from a sword, the hair falling in front of his eye seeming to blind him yet He ignored it as an bear would an ant. His hair was like wire, caked and grimy with something I fear to guess. His blacked nails were jagged and cracked, crusted with what looked to be chunks flesh and dried blood. While gaunt in a dead looking state, he moved with a power and fluidity beyond measure.
Even with muscle and flesh exposed, bone protruding from his leg and ribs showing broken in multiple places, he moved effortlessly as a predetor would stalk its prey. He stood strong on powerful legs that ended in cloven hooves of a goat or horse, it was hard to distiguish as the flesh hung off them as well, with maggots dripping from the gapes in the flesh as drizzle from a darkened rain cloud. He wore no clothes, instead allowing his corrupted manhood to hang freely. Which seemed like a beast unto itself as it moved of its own accord.
Closer inspection of his flesh revealed more than I can recall, my mind shutting out that which was unbelievable which I am thankful for. I recall seeing screaming faces in the folds of his flesh crying for release. Fingers protruding from his shoulder and back as if attempting to claw out from his insides, but being held at bay by shear will. Once I swore I saw a face poke from his exposed ribcage and silently mouth in a screaming manner to help her, but it was gone in an instant.
"I am Shivenhusk the Unliving Refuse! Bow before Me and I shall grant you one more day walking this earth as a mortal. Do as I command and you shall have power beyond what your puny imagination can fathom. Defy Me, and you will walk among my minions neither living nor dead, forever at my command. Never dying, yet never living. Fear Me, for the Goddess of War does."
Shivenhusk is, for all purposes a minor God of the Undead. He is an abberation born of Gods ignorance and hatred. His mother, the Goddess Arnan, was the Goddess of war, prosperity, and fertility. Preaching that war is as eternal as the need to give birth, a vicious cycle of blood and pain from birth to death. Yet she was a caring Goddess who was not one for malicious behavior. Hearing the prayers of her followers, she attempted to give birth to a son that would walk the lands of mortals leading them to glorious victories. She chose a powerful mortal warrior as a regent, making her soon to be son only half mortal and half god but powerful he would be.
Her sister Goddess Earina, the Goddess of the frenzied carnage of battle, the prophecy of death, and the slaughter of innocents. She "Saw", more foretold, what would befall the lands of mortal when her sister's child walked among them and it did not bode well for Earina. He would walk among men and align the armies of mortal men and conflict and war would end. She would perish among the ages of dust for no one would cry Her name again. This could not be, this abonination of a half breed would not be born, could not live. On the birthing bed she struck when her sister was most vulnerable, before the moment of her nephew came, she stuck her sister in the belly with her battle spear hoping to end the infants life before it began. Earina was drug from the birthing chamber and banished from the Celestial Gates for her treachery. Fearing for her sons' life, Arnan poured her divine life energies into her son hoping to keep him alive so that he might supplant her devious sister.
Arnan was alive long enough to watch her son be born and she screamed in horror at what she saw. His scalp hung limp across his face where the spear had struck him. He was pale and his eyes were vacant, his first cry was horse and cracked. As her eyes faded to darkness she noticed that blood did not flow from his wound, or that he did not suck in breath. He was alive, yet as he clutched her with infant hands pawing her breasts, his cold lifeless body chilled her. He was dead, born dead.
He was cast out of the Celestial Gates to the mortal world to rot and be forgotten. Thrown from the Heavens and plunged into the dark and dank abyss of the Shallows. He survived in the dregs and sewers, feeding on corpses and anything he could kill. Being a half god he grew quickly and was able to kill for food within hours. He began attracting followers in his youth, would be necromancers unaware of his birth, at first trying to dominate him. He ripped their souls from them and fed off the energies. He became stronger the more cult followers he acquired, so much so he began gaining his divine powers from his mother side. Able to travel between worlds, he traveled to the realm of the dead gathering strength and knowledge in the hopes that one day he will supplant his murderous Aunt Earina and take her place in the Celstial Order.
Shivenhusk the Unliving Refuse does not have a single cult of followers, instead he listens to anyone who cries his name or kills in his patronage but takes umbrage at those speaking his name yet insincere in their devotion. A short list of known cults that follow Shivenhusk is as follows.
- Cult of Harvest
- Cult of the Unliving
- Cult of Shivenhusk
- The Deadborn of Shiven
- Lost Souls of Refuse
- Soul Leech - He can drain the life essence of those he kills and absorb their power and knowledge for his own. Occasionally those of great knowledge he refuses to devour completely and forces their soul to live inside his husk granting him further omnipotence.
- Supremacy Over Undead - He can control nearly all forms of undead without speaking commands. Directing them by pure thought alone. More powerful undead can stave off his control, however he can still influence them by shear strength and Willpower. Seeing as he is half a God, there are very few undead that are powerful enough to stave off his commands.
- Putrescence - He can spew forth a great cloud of bile, stink, and insects from his mouth and direct it toward enemies. It causes a fog to envelope the area causing anyone caught within to double over in pain and sickness as their skin burns and their stomachs empty uncontrollably.
- Animashtal - Shivenhusk can create undead soldiers of horrific power from the bodies of the dead, piecing them together in any manner and form. They vary in appearance but all are the same humanoid shape and roughly ten feet tall. Limbs and body seem gorged to near bloated proportions. The eyes are a cold blue that burn the mind and soul when their gaze falls on a victim, and their child-like voices chill to the bone. While the body of the Animashtal can be made from a single body, its armor is crafted from the bones of the fallen. Rib cages mend and interlock to form a solid chest plate of bone, while shoulder blades and other bones crack and split open like frozen logs to form greaves and other protection for the animated soldier. He has on occassion granted the knowledge of bringing these monstrosities to unlife to a very select few of his highest cult leaders.
Shivenhusk can be summoned as would a divine being, demon, or powerful undead via summoning circles. In order to summon Him he requires the blood and flesh of thirteen virgins to be spilled so that he may suckle their pure spirit on arrival. He has hinted at being summoned for much less at times, but the demanded sacrifice seems to be a desired price and not one that is needed. He seldom trades for information fairly, and rarely will trade for power unless the benefit is great for Him.
He will never do favors for those summoning him either, instead granting the use of a Animashtal for a short period of time to those whose requests are intriguing enough to grant the honor. Those granted with the use of an Animashtal are highly honored among the followers of Shivenhusk. Those failing in their desired task however are punished severely and made examples of, often being turned into the next Animashtal yet still being aware of their former failure. Which is torture itself, as they feel the pain and pressure of the bloating and bone shattering and fusion of the outer bone armor vividly.
He can speak to and summon any form of undead as long as they are not more powerful than himself, which are few as he is in fact a Demi-God. He can create all forms of undead beneath him and has aided a select few of his followers to complete the final task of crossing over to a realm of unliving into becoming a Wraiz-gul. A powerful form of undead that retains their memories and abilities of their former life yet becoming a husk of a being that refuses the very thought of a mortal coil. They tend to not enjoy the company of the living for long and those they have as servants or followers tend to outlive their usefulness quickly. The are seen as pale figures robed in white, with "haggard hands" and wearing crowns of bone from the fingers of those slain to help create their state of being.
The PC's are approached by an unknown woman, old and brittle and hunched over with age. She begs the party to find her lost son and beseach him to stop his foolish advances and return home. On investigatoin the party finds out that the old woman is actually the supposed dead Goddess Arnan and her son she is speaking of is Shivenhusk the Unliving Refuse. Her old and weakened form is what remains of her after giving most of her powers to help her son be born. As much as she regrets giving birth to this undead half God, he is still Her son, and wants him to return home.
The PC's are approached by a youthful female telling a tale of her young daughter being taken captive by the Cult of Harvest. Soon to be sacrificed to the vile one who claims to be the false God named Shivenhusk. She proclaims that he is not in fact a God but a powerful undead that has broken his bonds of servitude and wrecks havok on the world in his rage. The female is in fact the Goddess Earina and is sending the party on this one way mission to mearly harass and inconvience her long lost nephew. If she sees any hope that the group can in fact defeat him, she may provide aid.
There is one day every year that a Demi-God's powers wane and their divine coil touches the lands. On this fateful day any one of the half children of the Gods can be hunted down and killed, thereby ending their Divine hold and bringing their world crashing down. It is rumored that should one kill a Demi-God on this day their power will transfer to the one who dispatched them to use as they please. This day, is the day of their birth, when the seperation between mortal and divine are solidified and seperated. A crusted tome or parchment finds its way into the hands of one of the Good players, (preferably a priest, cleric, or holy warrior.) and detailed that in just a few weeks time the fateful day when Shivenhusk was born.
One of the PC's (must be female) is mistaken for someone else and taken captive by a cult of Shivenhusk. This person they were mistaken for was a person of note, a rich merchants daughter, a noblemens neice, a princess in disguise, etc. She was taken thinking she was a virgin and is to be given to Shivenhusk as a trophy. The PC's must track and find the cult, infiltrate the bowles of their lair, and rescue their party member before its to late.
After years of gathering followers and amassing souls and power, Shivenhusk has chosen his next move to coincide with the solstice. (Either one is fine.) He plans on making an assault on each and every church of his hated Aunt, the Goddess Earina in the hopes to call her to action so he can finally destroy her and take her place as a full God in the Celestial Gates. It just so happens that the group is currently at one of the well known temples of the Goddess, resting, worshiping, or discussing certain current events when the temple is attacked and Shivenhusk arrives. Soon after the Goddess Earina shows to thwart her benevolent nephew and attempts to persuade the party to join her cause in dispatching the infernal creation of Shivenhusk.