The Lasting Company
During the Death Wars one unit was created filled with fanatics bearing unique tattoos that gave them an invaluable ability impressive in any military action: the ability to cheat death.
The Lasting Company
During the Death Wars several decades ago, Lasting Company was one of the most feared of all the units involved in the conflict. A group of handpicked men ready to give their lives up for their belief, the fanatical group was put thru inhumane trials of pain and morality to condition them to hold loyalty to only their religion, followed closely by the supreme leader. Those that didn't make the cut were first held on base to 'find a role suited to their skills', when in reality they were being sequestered to keep them from leaking any information about the organization out and kept as stock for the final step in the process of preparing the chosen soldiers for their roles.
Once the final fanatical extremists were selected for the Lasting Company, the soldiers who didn't make the cut had their eyes removed while still alive and then killed in a ritualistic fashion. The eyes were kept paired up and burned to ashes. These individual's ashes where used to make the eyes in Phylactery Tattoos on the men, giving them a layer of immortality. This was used to fantastic effect by the leader of the Lasting Company, who was given wide leeway with how they were used in the war.
Many members of Lasting Company gained additional Phylactery Tattoos during their service, initially to replace tattoos that had been used, or promotion or other recognition of achievement, though towards the end of the war, the autonomy of the unit had been ingrained so thoroughly that the company would take the eyes out of anyone they killed or people who were just convenient to make additional tattoos for the unit. Some members of the company were caught with over 50 tattoos on their bodies and room for more. It was deemed the most reliable method of execution for their offences was prolonged drowning as others had shown the ability to withstand decapitation, even cremation, thanks to their Phylactery Tattoo.
The leader of Lasting Company and a number of its members are still unaccounted for to this day. Anyone found with a tattoo with soulless eyes has been considered guilty of being a member of the Lasting Company and subject to the bounty placed on all its members
An image of person, either the victim of the ingredient gathering or a spiritual figure significant to the person getting the tattoo. The work is done with finely prepared inks and tattoo needles made from the bones of people, with the exception of the ink used for the eyes of the tattoo. The ink for the eyes is made from the ashes of the eyes of a person, leaving a magical vessel for their soul to be trapped in the body of the person getting the tattoo, giving that person an extra life to give up if they should die. Phylacteries that have been used have horrifying blacked out eyes like wells to oblivion.
Tattoos. So personal yet so public.
Spells are often written in scrolls, scrawled across doorways or inscribed into mystic blades. What effects would they have if inked into the skin of a living creature? Think of ways to expand the use of tattoos within your existing magic system, laws, culture or develop a whole new system centered around body art. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
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? Responses (3)
Very nice, though a tad short. They probably could be used to best effect on villains as they might be too powerful for PCs. My only objection is that I want more. For instance, this lich-like existence, are they effectively undead?
An interesting submission though it seems to go out of its way to be macabre.
Also, Death Wars seems an odd title :)
I had to vote on this because I will undoubtedly entwine it in a future campaign. Tho if allowed to PCs I will have to tweak it to make it harder to attain. Willing victim and/or indispensable high ranking order member = tattooist , necessary evil but still evil. etc. It is a nice twist to allow prolonged life without the cliché resurrection necklace in high mortality campaigns.