The work is hard, and the alien overseer has been pushing his menials to their utmost limits, but not even the slightest expression of discontent has been forthcoming from the dilligently labouring throngs working industriously on the stone enclosures that they endeavour to drive into the bed of the river. On the contrary, their faces reflect the very same expression of tranquil bliss that animates the radiant face of the Quarsooth. Both are disturbing, for they are united in their portrayal of living things that have seemingly lost the ability to experience discomfort and give voice to it. A bewitiching yet sinister external will seems to have suffused their features, rendering them an artifical peace that should not exist.
But just as the observer finds himself slowly succumbing to the same state of hypnotic bliss that has seized the objects of his observations thus far, a bestial roar reverbrates in the air, causing him to be sent reeling into the clutches of another emotion that inhabits the other extreme of the spectrum, that of utter terror and panic.
In the distance a huge, hulking shape emerges, giving rise to that same hedious hoarse cry of malignant wrath, as it bounds with alarming alacrity towards the Quarsooth. Gruesome to behold beyond belief, it is a powerfully muscled shaggy creature that seems to exibit traces of distorted humanity. A great ape it resembles, only infinitely more terrifying, all the more for the shredded rags of clothing that drape from its filthy, blood spattered bulk, these gore rimed remants indicating that it was once human.
And then, its eyes glowinng with a hellish desire to inflict death, it hurls itself at the astounded Quarsooth, plowing the elegant giant into the soil with its sheer brute strength. Stunned and taken by shock, the alien task master attempts to put up a vailant fight by reaching for the odd weapon that hangs from a loop burried in the folds of his volumnious robes, but the murderous assailant simply grabs his arm and rips it off with a mere twist of its massive wrist. Then it strikes the throat of the wretched being with its savage fangs, begining the process of devouring him alive.
As this carnage unfolds, others of these abombinations appear, laying waste to the helpless labourers with fiendish glee. Most are slain and devoured. But the few among the unfortunate men that have in their desperation,have put up a ferocious fight, going so far as to inflict painful injuries on their attackers with the tools they wield, they are not eaten, these doughty individuals, but instead held securely in the massive arms of the abombinations. And then, their bloody work done, the brutes vanish into the surrounding wilderness with their still struggling captives.
Such is the murderous power of the Scions of Garong. Save mankind from the domination of the Quarsooth they yet might, but at what dreadful cost?
-An excerpt taken from the account on an unknown author.
The little island barony of Farkhon has prospered with the coming of the mysterious Quarsooth. Starvation and disease is all but a malvoleant memory now and the great upsurge in the population following the regime of the new masters, has resulted in a great influx of new constructions, some of them temples resembling bizarre concave shells that are cast entirely from sheets of an exotic shimmering metal. But more phenomenal yet, are the new wave of infants that have followed the coupling of Quarsooth with the women of the land. Exhibiting traits characteristic of both sets of parents, they are groomed in clandestine temples by their feathers to assume their position as the rightful rulers of this world when they finally come of age.
But their dominance remains far from assured. For in initiating a purge against those of humanity that evince traits more akin to those possesed by the more intelligent classes of beasts rather than true men, they have unwittingly sown the seeds of a deadly force dedicated utterly to the destruction of their yet nascent plans, and one that takes great pride in elevating those very primitive and savage traits that the Quarsooth are determined to eradicate. Here is their story, one that may in the end, reduce mankind to making a cruel choice between two equally grim horrors that await the fate of his race.
When the purges of the more uncivilized and violent inhabitants of Farkhon begun, the greater part of them fled into the thick, dense rain forests and marshlands that covered much of the interior. It was only in the depths of that grim,brooding wilderness that they could hope to elude pursuit by the minions of the Quarsooth. The large degree of protection that the forest afforded them, can be attributed largely to the old stories of horror that plagued this sinister locale. Tradition held that in ages past, Farkhon was inhabited by a tribe of ravening ape-like demons dreaded for their deadly ferocity and prodigious strength. Endowed with thick hides invulnerable to most steel weapons, and fangs that could demolish the best armor, they decimated the first bands of settlers from the mainland that attempted to settle here, fleeing into the most inhospitable parts of the land only when the forests that they dwelled in, were put to the torch.
But after all those years of brutal struggle to tame this land had long since passed into folklore, the people of Farkhon yet remained in terror of what continued to be the last bastion of those aboriginal abominations. And thus, the writ of the Quarsooth did not extend into this grim region that stubbornly retained its independence in the face of their absolute control, making it the safest place of refuge for the beleaguered fugitives.
Of course this wild expense had its own perils, and many of these fleeing individuals fell prey to fever and predatory wild beasts.
But to those who were hardy and resourceful to survive the manifold dangers that nature threw into their paths, stumbled across a discovery that would mould them into the nuclease of a potent threat that would reach out to grab the Quarsooth by the throat.
During their wanderings in the jungle, the fugitives that had lived through their ordeal, often encountered giant statues erected between the vast roots of forest giants. Carved entirely from wood, they represented a humongous ape-like creature with an expression of the utmost murderous fury running amok across its savage visage. Unsurprisingly, most of them chose to give these menacing relics a wide berth. But the most barbaric and unrestrained among them, reacted in a completely opposite way. Oblivious to the nervous requests of their frightened companions for them to hurry on, they found themselves drawn towards the statues and would sit before them utterly mesmerized,thereby obliging the rest of the party to move on without them.
These men were never seen again by their former comrades. And it is from their ranks that the scions of Garong sprung into existence.
Garong. An ancient name, yet one that remain powerful in its ability to chill the most rebellious child into quiet submission. The old tales say it was a demonic deity of tremendous power, the god and and king of the man-eating native creatures that had once roamed Farkhon. Depicted as an enraged ape like creature poised to maul someone, its likeness was depicted in crude cave paintings by the settlers that encroached ever further into Farkhon’s interior.
Those giant wooden statues were created to pay homage to him by his monstrous devotees, and were… augmented by mysterious energies that these creatures were able to draw from the great gaping orifices of Garong in the form of a viscous ,black fluid. Calling it the blood of their lord, the worshippers of Garong deposited this dark, primal fluid in the hollow bases of their statues for Garong itself had warned them of the day that it would be forced to flee and burrow into the bossom of the earth in order to escape the great infernos that would scorch his blood and rob it of its power were it ever exposed to their flames.
It was the blood of Garong that had called out to those men, ensnaring their minds by engaging the barely repressed animalistic desires in their minds had made them such hapless victims of the purge the Quarsooth had dictated. Moving swiftly to destroy the statues, they stood in a gratified daze, as the dark blood that lain interred within for so long, moved with a mind of its own, seeping up their arms as they lay crouched over it, their will captivated, and crawled all the way up into their nostrils.
The qualities of the blood of Garong soon became obvious. Emerging shaky and confused from the trance they had been lured into, the men felt intense lethargy and fatigue for the next few days, deprived of so much strength that they made no effort to hunt game, living off whatever wild berries and roots that were within immediate reach. But as this time of temporary weakness passed, they soon found themselves animated by a sudden upsurge of vigour ,one driven by the need to kill and rend living things, to bask in the joy of lapping up the fresh, flowing blood of their prey and feasting on their tasty flesh , and in doing so, revel in release of a kind that they had never known. No pleasure form their old lives could equal this delicious slaughter, not carnal intercourse ,nor drink,and not even the relief offered by narcotics. Driven thus by this crazed urge, they begun to actually stalk and hunt animals as large and dangerous as wild boar. But they were no longer the same men they had been, now endowed with a truly demonic strength that allowed them to snap the spines of the hefty porcines with the casual ease of a tiger.
The next stage of their transformation at the will of the blood of Garong, came when they violently metamorphosized into ravenous simian creatures, screaming with agony as their once slender human frames bulged and swelled, painfully stretching themselves to accommodate their rapidly expanding mass, while coarse thick fur begun to sprout over every part of their bodies.
When the painful changes were finally over, they found a new presence slyly insinuating its presence into their minds, this one not struggling to override the savage urges that now ran dominant, but encouraging them to vent them by attacking those responsible for their exodus. For in their minds, they were still largely human, capable of recalling the great wrong done to them. And they craved vengeance, seeking to destroy both the Quarsooth and the treacherous slaves of their own former race that had eagerly carried out the bidding of those fell invaders against them.
But as they bounded forth to seek further liberation by shedding the blood of both the Quarsooth and the cowardly humans, it came instinctively to them that the most ferocious and hot-blooded, the most wild and ungoverned among that pathetic species to which they had once belonged, must be spared in order to swell their ranks and taste the power of the blood and obtain the strength and ferocity that their fiercely primal natures deserved.
And thus did the war between the Quarsooth and the Scions of Garong begin..
Note:The black blood that has effected these changes, is in some ways, the antithesis of the microbial Quarsooth. Sentient and self-aware, it seeks out those humans that on a deep level, are easily swayed by primitive instincts, much like a beast would be. Latching on this, it infects him via the nose canal, and emboldens those crude desires, allowing him to loose his human nature utterly. And yet, the individual in question still knows who he is, still remembers what life used to be like. He still retains his intelligence. It’s simply that whatever human emotional rationale he once possessed, has been swept away by the carnviorous urge to devour living meat and inflict violence on the Quarsooth.
The blood for its part, has a major weakness. If fire were to attack the bodies it inhabits, the blood would perish. Aware of this, the mutated aboragines of the island abandoned their war and fled for safe refuges. But unable to release their wrath on other sentient beings, they soon wiped each other out.
The blood can be transmitted by a carrier to a fresh host via a bite that penetrates the skin. Nasty, but effective.
As for Garong itself, it is a primordial earth spirit with various shifting animal attributes. In its current state, it lies as a giant grub burried deep beneath the soil, slowly stirring out of a hibernation that has gone on for millenia. This time, it has plans to make some physical modifications to its pawns in order to afford them a greater degree of protection against fire. Its desire to deal civilization a death-blow, has not waned with time, only increased. And it is not at all pleased with what the Quarsooth have inadervently done to stall its plans..