Amist the ranks of Samahan troops there stand islands of barbarity, ogres in appearance if not in truth. These creatures are the Chosen of Sama, brutes that act as the elite shocktroops of the Samahen armies. Found guilty of cowardice, these once-men have had their minds raped, repeatedly and with no hint of mercy, and now know nothing but shame and a desire to right the wickedness of their ways in the watching eye of Sama.
"I will tell you the truth, the Rite of the Choosing is a blessing upon them. The month of scourging purifies those cowards who are blessed with it. Yes, they are denied sleep for the entire month while their minds are subjected to the horrors that await them if they fail to correct their ways. I ask you which is worse, a month of suffering for an eternity of bliss or a lifetime of ignominy before an eternity of torment? You need look no further than the swelling of their bodies with Sama's might, giving them the strength of a dozen men, to see the truth in my claims."
-Transcript from nameless Samahen apologist on trial in the Court of the Dragon King
This will be my second entry on the religious punishments inflicted by the loathsome Samites, those zealots that seek only the annihilation of all who oppose them. These ape-like brutes stand roughly 8 feet tall, towering over their enemies, with shoulders that are rougly 5 foot across and a total armspan of nearly 17 feet. They are truly terrible in aspect, covered in scars all over their distended bodies from the foul magics employed by the Samite clergy that force the body to grow at a rate that splits the skin of the victim. Their faces are little better, with a mouth that is far too small for their body, and eyes that are too far apart for the size of their head.
-Gyma, writing to the Thyran College's Periodical on Peoples and Oddities Throughout the Seventy-Two Planes
Though the backbone of the Samahan Armies might have been their infantry, one must not overlook the might of the beings they called "The Chosen." Using fell magics, the priests of Sama would transform certain individuals into bloodthirsty hulks. Almost impervious to the swords of the enemy and knowing no fear, these beasts would break holes in the enemy lines, allowing the infantry to come in and complete the rout.
Despite these advantages, the life expectancy of a Chosen was quite low; according to the available records very few survived their first battle, and the only instance where one might have survived more than a dozen is found in a bawdy drinking song, "Giant Grysh's Lil' Love," which tells to tale of Grysh's misadventures during his repeated attempts to see his newborn son.
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? Responses (11)-11
Update: Well, after 4 years sitting on it, I decided that I wasn't going to get anything else so I kinda prettified it and now it's getting the boot out of In Work...
The core idea is solid. I might've liked to see a bit more of their combat tactics, but I think the whole benefits from the brevity.
I agree with Chaos.
I think this managed to say a lot in very few words. The very last paragraph confused me, though. If they're worth the strength of a dozen men, why do so few survive their first battle?
They provide a rather large target, and after the first time you see one of them pick up a friend and use him as a rather floppy club, you're going to direct your efforts towards killing it. It's still a man, a rather large man, granted, but still a man and its size does make its hamstrings easier to see.
I agree with the others. This has merit and the basic idea is a nifty one. However I would have liked a tad bit more information other than the short quoted text. Maybe have showed a detailed account of one such transition into a Chosen, perhaps the transformation of Grysh.
As the others said, I agree with the others.
Hulking magi-mutants frenzied by religon. Not bad. It's been done but that's not a problem. The thought of an entire month without sleep is horrifying, especially when combined with the thoughts of what kind of stimulents, magical, physical, and chemical, these Samites would have to employ to achieve that without killing the subject. Not bad at all.
A very nice idea, with good flavor text, but can use some more detail. These Samahen definately need some explanation, and is the manner of creation of the Chosen truly magical, or something pseudo-scientific? And what were the wars these hulking brutes were used in?
This is good. Reminds me of some of the nasties in 300.
For a prettified 'abandoned idea', this is actually very good.