The Red-Wind Rag; Trappings of a Bloody Death; A Malevolent Sheet of Scarlet and Ichor.
Horng Poh-Buh is a vile creation, a ragamuffin reminder of the desperation of the dying. His home is the battlefield, and his whispered name is sweet release. He offers a quick end to the persistent sufferings of the mortal coil, a swift death, a brief moment of painful bliss. As the burning of a heated blade closes the wound, Horng Poh-Buh destroys the pain leaving a horrible scar in its place.
His form is that of a single black eye, visibly moist and dripping vile fluids, surrounded by a maelstrom of bloody rags, and fresh gore. At the apex of his twisting form lies the eerily-suspended Tou Dwu, a double-edged, serrated blade, stained black with the blood of what were once men.
Horng Poh-Buh ravages battlefields and places of great physical pain. He offers the passing peace of a quiet end in exchange for a far more devastating fate. He deems all he touches to the black abysses of needle-like fingers of their own personal Hell. His victims rise to a place high above and see the pain of their families, friends, and well-wishers grieving for the untimely loss of another loved one. It is said the stars are his victims, impaled upon the sky to watch the world forever. Bright with the flaming desire to live again, twinkling tears of sorrow for the ones left behind.
Why would one call upon the wrath of wretched Horng Poh-Buh? Sometimes the pain is too great, the flesh too soft, the will of hand just not quite willing enough. When you whisper his name, the murderous moniker of Horng Poh-Buh, he comes for you. Swiftly and unerring, he answers the prayers of the weak of mind, failing of body, and those otherwise unwilling or unable to continue.
His victims appear as those who have committed suicide, but there is a question that Horng Poh-Buh asks you to ask yourself... What man could have the steely hands and mental fortitude enough to slice his own arms open, or drive a blade through his own stomach, and allow himself to bleed-out in such an ungraceful manner? What man could do this?
Horng Poh-Buh says, "No man will take his own life as long as I exist, the scent of blood and tragedy on the wind are my livelihood and I am the house of the self-hating reaper. Do not fear the light on a starry night, it may be your grave one day."
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? Responses (11)-11
Update: Inspired while looking at words in my English-to-Chinese dictionary. The names are romanized chinese: Red (Horng) Rag (Poh Buh) and Steel (Tou) Poison (Dwu). Enjoy!
That is really, really innovative and different. It's short and I'm not super clear on quite what it is, as it strikes me almost as more of a god or ancestral spirit, but really intriguing and out of the ordinary. Terrific submission!
Seeing where the birth of its name came from it does not surprise me to think of it as a Chinese spirit of death. A death-bringer, but not in an evil and malicious sort of way. It is cold and callous for sure but not evil or nocuous. Wicked perhaps but it just doesn't seem like Horng Poh-Buh would strive to maliciously cause injury or pain. he is a bringer of death and death isn't pretty but he does say that no one shall take their own life as long as I am around. Kind of a Dr. Kevorkian with actual intent. I like it.
Although I'm finding it difficult to imagine exactly what it looks like. Perhaps that is also its intent. Like he is so horrible the minds eye won't allow you to actually look directly at him.
For a simple description: I imagine it as the black eye floating above a downward pointed, cruel looking, blade. Surrounded with shreds and lengths of different types of bloody, tattered clothing and bandages with the blade swinging like a pendulum as it moves. Hope that helps.
Not a spirit to summon or mess with.
Short, intense piece that nicely captures the flavor of the spirit.
While it's nicely written, I think of it more as a piece of background color, an one-time purely descriptive encounter, not something one would build an adventure around.
I can see that. I can also see certain war campaigns running into this creepy bugger often and him asking the players, 'Who is going to see me next I wonder? I am only a cry for help away!'
Good one, Mourn. That is pretty much the image that was running through my mind as I wrote this. A swordsman left on the field of battle, holding innards in his hand, trying not to call out the name of Horng Poh-Buh that seems to come all too easily to his lips. Take some exp for that one.
A very cool, evocative piece. It could be a simple piece of folklore to enrich local culture.