So there we were, walking down the street after a fine night of drinking. We must've hit every pub in the Quarter, and we were all feeling it. None of us could walk straight, and I doubt we could've walked at all if we hadn't been holding each other up. But we didn't care, we were having a blast: the next day was a feastday, so we didn't have to be up at dawn to work in the factory. Chances like that are rare, and you gotta seize the day when you get'em.
I'm not entirely sure where they came from. Bit too drunk to remember. I just know it felt like they materialized out of thin air. There were ten, maybe twelve of them. Just some gang of toughs, I thought at first. Boy was I wrong. They were wearing white hoods and robes, which should've been a tip-off. I mean, what gang ever wears identical robes?
So anyway, this group just appears out of nowhere, and I'm thinking, 'Great, they're gonna take our money, and get mad when they find out we don't have much.' We'd just spent it all on drinking, not that they'd care. But they didn't want our money. They wanted Abe. Told the rest of us we could go, but to 'leave the metal-man freak'.
'Course, you don't last long in the factories if you don't stick by your friends, so none of us were gonna leave poor Abe to get the stuffing knocked out of him. But we all knew we were in for a world of hurt. I mean, there's 4 of us and a dozen of them. Even if we weren't sloshed to hell and back, we weren't going to win this fight. But we didn't have to.
Out of nowhere, half of them just exploded. Not with the fire and smoke and loud noise, but one minute they were walking towards us, the next there was a cloud of blood. Those white robes certainly weren't white anymore. The rest must've thought we did it, because they started yelling and cursing and running towards us. I knew without a doubt we were dead. They might've let us live before, but now they were furious.
Next thing I know, there's a giant metal angel between us and them. I can't really describe it better than that. We've got those pictures on the church windows, and they have angels on them, helping people and killing demons. But this one was metal. I could see the joints where the plates fit together on its wings. It had...something in its hands. I don't know what, but it pointed it at the rest of the group and then they exploded too. Bloodiest thing I've ever seen, and I've watched some horrible accidents at the factory.
So this angel turns around, looks straight at Abe for five or ten seconds, then just takes off into the air. I know angels can fly, but I really wasn't expecting that much metal to actually do so. Thing must've weighed half a ton. Strange ending to a strange night.
Right about then, you boys came running up, and started badgering us with questions...
--Deputation #2, Incident 4753, Steamcity Firdon case-files
An Akasha is humanoid in shape and stands tall, towering over almost everyone it meets. Its body is forged of metal, though exactly what alloy produces their dark shading is unclear. The eyes glow a light shade of blue, exactly the color of ether, though the iris of any particular Akasha varies. They're androgynous, though with their very solid build and muscular shape one could be easily forgiven for assigning them a male gender.
Most prominent, however, are two features. The first is the massive set of wings. While normally furled up and tucked neatly behind the back, when in raging combat an Akasha will have display an imposing wingspan of approximately 3 meters. Each wing has individual metal feathers, and while they aren't razor-sharp, metal edges can still draw blood from the unwary. The second feature is a rather over-sized fletchette-cannon, which puts enough metal downrange to wreak any level of havoc desired.
A closer examination of an Akasha will reveal lightly glowing spell-sigils covering its body. An arcanist will recognize the Inscriptions as the direct kin to those used in magitech everywhere, but most are completely novel and unknown in function. Furthermore, they seem to repel the eye, as if their very existence is something unknowable for mortal minds. That the sigils exist is without question, but what they do and even what they look like is a mystery.
Most who pay homage to the Mechano-God known as Whrrrm are cripples who have had their limbs replaced. Their faith and devotion are sincere, but being a Melder is more of an existential religion rather than an active-participation religion. There are no rites to perform, no services to attend, no sermons to listen to. Merely living a normal life is enough.
There are, however, those few Melders that are more active in their devotion. Not more dedicated per-se, but simply those who have decided that determining and pursuing the desires of Whrrrm is paramount to their lives. The most devoted of these petitioned Kecet for a way to become the direct hands of their God, better able to know and enact Its Will.
Thus were born the Akasha. Their flesh was entirely stripped away, replaced with the same divine metal that comprises the hyper-dimensional body of the God itself. Their muscles were excised, switched out for hydraulics of incomparable power. Their very blood was siphoned, converted into liquid-magic ether. Their souls, bound to new metallic flesh forged from the very body of their God, became extensions of Its Will.
The mortal capability of choice, freely subordinated to the higher Will of the Divine, made them into something far beyond any purely supernatural creature. Divine agents of extreme utility, Akasha are able to walk where mere angels fear to tread.
- The Advisor: As direct divine agents, the Akasha can be a conduit of knowledge directly from a God. While still constrained in ways most mortals don't quite grasp, they're still freer with their knowledge than other divine servants are. Presuming the Mechano-God wishes to provide such information.
- The Enabler: An Akasha has, for better or worse, attached itself to the party on their latest mission. The going is particularly rough, but thanks to its efforts, the party can push past the hordes of adversaries that would otherwise be an insurmountable roadblock.
- Subthought: The Akasha could instead wear down an extremely powerful opponent so that the party stands a chance of defeating it.
- The Warning: A thoroughly-destroyed Akasha is found in the center of a monumentally-destroyed location. Obviously a truly epic battle occurred here, and whatever used this divine warrior as its plaything is just as obviously still around. The party should tread lightly.
The Akasha are Melders who have submitted themselves entirely to enacting the Will of Whrrrm. They are divine agents, intended to be utilized as a resource for PCs in dire need of backup, or as a backdrop with extra spice, flavor, and mystery. You'd use them anywhere you would find a traditional angel, if Whrrrm had such minions, and a perhaps few more besides.
It's also worth noting that though I couldn't find a place to slide mention of it into the actual write-up, Akasha aren't necessarily limited to just the fletchette-cannon. They should have whatever additional weaponry would make sense for an individual campaign. A clockwork sword, an aether-mace, etc. The cannon, however, adds just that extra bit of 'I'm a divine BAMF, don't mess with me unless you know you can take me'-vibe.
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What holds more power over a human heart than fear of the unknown? For this quest we seek answers to the eternal questions of life and death, sin and deliverance. Whether you design an entire belief system or simply a backwater cult , modern or ancient, sci-fi or steampunk -- make your religion sing. Gods and prophets, demons, con-artists and mystic rites; from the humblest spirit to the greatest miracle, anything goes! This is your chance to put a new spin or twist on religion, and give us something we haven't seen before.
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? Responses (10)
Mecha-angels are a cool idea, cm! I love the imagery behind them and the way that they were human, but their entire makeup, from muscles to blood have been altered and replaced.
The highlight of the sub is definitely the case file though; it draws a colourful image of how powerfully these things are meant to be presented.
Pluses for originality and the name Whrrrm which is awesomely mechanical sounding and just fits perfect.
Intro gives us a small taste and the description, while limited, is plenty to get the idea across. Some things I want more details and such, but for this one, I think it was enough.
A DM's deus ex machina (literally) for resolving certain incidents.
Made me smile. Perfect for a steampunk or science-fantasy setting, and a refreshing change of pace. I was actually disappointed not to find links to other subs, simply because the world and religion you hinted at was pretty darn cool.
A note of caution. If these things are as powerful as you imply, then a GM would have to be very creative in how they use them in a game. Deus ex machina is a real possibility here. I would probably treat them as I would a dragon -- there to add flavor and potential quest hooks, but ultimately relegated to the background.
At the moment, there are only 4 other submissions within this setting, two of which are irrelevant. I did, however, link to both of the relevant subs, and will add some further cross-linking to help.
In particular, you'll be wanting to take a look at Melders. I don't have much more than that yet, but as this sub shows, I like the setting and want to keep expanding it, so more shall be forthcoming.
Thanks for linking back to the original submission -- it, too, is a fantastic read.
I really love the flavor text, puts a real face on things, it is also the most literal use of deus ex machina I have ever found in a narrative.
Nice work, the angels remind of Siren's steampunk valkyries, also the local timely and very specific nature of the god reminds me of 'Trixie and the Panda's of Dread'
Congrats to Chaos and this submission being the second place submission in the quest Religions and Cults!!
Yes, certainly BAMFs. The idea is neat, and the world that these lead into is one I'd love to see more of. I shall have to visit those links later :)
Oh this is sweet! Added to favorites! val got it right there: BAMF!
Edit: Bit of random trivia here. Isn't Akasha also the name of the main enemy in UT3?