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ID: 3128


August 25, 2007, 5:36 am

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Cheka Man
Dragon Lord

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The Matakos


"Such a delirious monstrosity would never be allowed by the Unconquered Sun!  It is the spawn of the hell-fiends sent to do their foul work!  It and those that brought it into being must be destroyed!"  - Lux Sialos, Knight of the Shining Crusade

The Story

"The Matakos tribe…  I can hardly bear to write of them, let alone tell of the horrors they brought forth.  Of all the demonologists, infernalists, and black sorcerers, none are more reviled, none did that which the Matakos did.  They went beyond summoning fiends, they went beyond selling their souls.  They committed the ulimate atrocity: they coupled with the horrors of the netherworld, damning thier own souls and bringing forth spawn which had none.  The worst of all abominations was a thing that even they could not bear to name.  Ten knights of the Shining Crusade were sent to dispatch the thing, and were forced to slay all of the villagers where it had been birthed, for they tried to defend it the way good people defend their precious children…"
- Autrich Jeoras, Illuminator of the Shining Crusade of Lux Invictus,

Annals of the Unconquered Sun

The Matakos, as it is commonly called, has no true name.  It is the sole remnant of a tribe utterly annhilated by the Crusaders of Lux Invictus during their glorious march on the north countries.

It is a blasphemous parody of a human, mishapen and deformed in every concievable way.  Limbs of wildly differing lengths, joints in places there shouldn’t be joints, malformed hands, one bearing seven fingers, the other with only three, and what appears to be a second, underdeveloped head.  It is covered with bony growths and scales, serving as a sort of armor.

In fact, it is only with trepidation that most even consider calling it a human.  It’s intellect is only slightly higher than a beast’s, and it is incapable of understanding any speech or other forms of communication.

It was the child of a woman of the heretic Matakos, who refused to name the father, despite pressure from the Bright Ones.  It horrified and disgusted all those who saw it, even the tribe that birthed it.  The woman was summarily killed while ludicrously trying to defend her spawn from the righteous fury of the Bright Ones. 

The Crusaders ensured that the rest of the wretched tribe soon followed.  For generations, the tribe had spitefully prevented the Crusaders from crossing their land to march on the infidels of the north lands.  When it was proved that the tribe was consorting with demons, it was too much to be borne, even by the infinite mercy and patience of the Unconquered Sun.  

However, the thing was prodigously strong and had immensely strong fell powers, undoubtably stemming from it’s infernal paternity.  It escaped the Crusaders and vanished into the mountains, occasionally preying on livestock and hapless wanderers alike.  It is one of the few failures of Lux Invictus, that they were never able to exterminate the thing…

The Reality

The stories of the Matakos are fairly well known in the area, and it has risen to a mythological status, a sort of cultural boogyman.  The xenophobic religion of Lux Invictus left it’s mark on the region, and those who live there now have a tendency to despise any thing different, and many believe there is the monstrous half-breed demon running amok, and it would kill them if given a quarter of a chance. 

The Matakos is not demon-spawn of any sort.  It is the product of much intermarrying in a small village, plus maybe some mutations caused by an external source.  The "fell supernatural powers" it is reputed to have are largely limited to throwing smallish stones without touching them, and other displays of minor telekinesis.  While it really is deformed in certain ways (possibly suffering from elephantisis or something similar) and is of uncertain gender, it is not nearly as monstrous as the Lux Invictus Crusaders reported it.

The truth of the matter is, the Crusaders simply used the deformed Matakos child as an excuse to exterminate the tribe.  The tribe controlled the only pass that opened onto the gold-rich areas of the north country.  The Matakos tribe kept the pass closed for the most part, using it as their sole advantage in trade relations.  They certainly had no reason to open it to the bigoted and humorless Crusaders.

Lux Invictus meant to exterminate every member of the tribe and record it as a great victory in the name of their god, but the child that had started the whole mess managed to escape them.  The Crusaders reported that the Matakos child was a monster, but what really happened was that the fierce warriors were outwitted by a mentally deficient and physically deformed child of ten.  It escaped, and fled into the surrounding hills.

It isn’t very clever, but it’s smarter than the bestial level of intelligence scornfully applied to it by the Crusaders.  The Matakos is physically an adult, but has an intellect equivalent to a four year old child.  It can’t read and never learned to speak, but it does understand some things and has a slight degree of cunning that gives it an unexpected advantage.

It doesn’t quite realize it’s own strength (which is somewhat greater than a normal man’s), and will prove fierce if cornered, but it isn’t vicious.  The Matakos has been surviving on it’s own ever since the destruction of the tribe, developing some skill at hunting.  Mostly, it preys on local wildlife, but it will occasionally kill isolated travellers that get too close to its territory. 

It never learned that other humans are considered taboo when it comes to hunting, and to it, they’re just another animal.  However, they are an animal that the Matakos fears; it never forgot how the Crusaders hurt it and took away the only comfort it had known.  It is too child-like to hate normal humans, but it usually tries to avoid them.

Sightings of the Matakos are rare, and usually exaggerated or completely fabricated by frightened or attention seeking travellers.  There are a few documented cases of outsiders seeing the Matakos; generally, it’s thought to be some obscure species of ogre.  If left alone, it’s actually more or less harmless.

One can assume that eventually the Matakos will succumb to age or some accident; it isn’t immortal.  Of course, once it’s dead, the stories might really get out of hand, since there won’t be anything real to contradict them.

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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

September 23, 2006, 13:33
Interesting, and alos sadly touching, it has been the victim of both the inbreeding of its parents, and hunted by a dour and humorless religion. I would like to know some of the powers it is said to had and possibly how this malformed horror might find a measure of peace or redemption.
September 26, 2006, 20:21
I have an idea for who or what the father may be, if you wanted to deviate from the mutation/magic zone mystery. How about a grotesquely misshappen, formorian "giant". Nine feet of dangling, broken, gangly limbs and a hideously malformed head, featuring deformities in spades. Mayhaps a revolting mating occured, one the mother would certainly never admit too.

Mayhaps "papa" is searching for his son, and the confusion of the populace, at sighting the Matakos in different places at the same time, has given rise to further hysteria.

Conversely, I like that the Matakos' legend has surpassed its reality. Nice dark tone!

Interesting stuff Ria! I'm curious to see how you finish it off.
December 31, 2006, 7:38
I love the direction you are taking with this sub.
We are often so bent on having "real evil" in our games that we forget that many things/people are hunted down and destroyed simply becuase of bigotry, greed, and ignorance. Those that understand the true nature of the thing and try to defend it are likewise condemened.

You describe the unfortunate creature as "preying on livestock and hapless wanderers alike". It makes me wonder how old it was when the villagers that cared for and protected it were killed. Is it violent by nature or as a result of being left to its own devices to survive?

I look forward to reading the finished product.
January 6, 2007, 10:59
This could be released you know. I would be interested in finding out what you think is missing from it.

For my two cents:

I might forgo the magical vortex mutations in the area. If the rest of the tribe isn't manifesting it, why is just him?

Or go the other way and have everyone have minor magical mutations. This option gives you more, as you can have "fire eyes" (eyes that are reddish and show a flickering flame animation in the iris), and so on. This could explain his slight magical powers. The advantage of this is the "mutations" in the popuation could be the pretext for the "civlized people" to have this demonic rumor.

Of course, now that they have killed off the tibe, perhaps the spirits (unquiet) of the tribe are empowering our mishapen friend. Now he is the village. Their powers (and skills) could be his. That could explain how he is surviving and "getting back" at the civilized people.
March 6, 2007, 19:39
Maybe this monster is merely misunderstood. Having the intellect of a child, but the muscle development of a monster, it is simply trying to make its way in the world. It would be very interesting for the PC's to go on a monster hunt, only to find the great beast playing a game with itself.
Ria Hawk
August 25, 2007, 5:36
Updated: Sending this puppy live, I'm sick of it being in my In Work file. I've reworked it to take into account various feedback (thanks, guys). It went in an odd direction, but I think I like it.
Voted Cheka Man
August 25, 2007, 10:37
Poor thing.
Voted Maggot
August 26, 2007, 0:24
Does the Matakos hunt trespassing humans because it fears that they might attempt to hunt it?
Ria Hawk
August 26, 2007, 2:05
No, not really. It's more that they're there, and big, and it's hungry enough to overcome it's fear.
Voted valadaar
August 26, 2007, 14:06
Sad, but a likely scenerio indeed.

You know, I'll bet an excellent plot could be divised using this sub and The Forgochi. The Crusaders line up nicely with Maggots take on religon in his post.
Voted Dragon Lord
November 13, 2008, 8:40
I first found this over a year ago, and I've been meaning to comment ever since - Mathom preserve me

I must say I like this - too often do we succumb to the "big, ugly, evil monster", which is EVIL because it's EVIL and therefore it must be EVIL

The whole argument is circular, cliched and (worst of all) BORING

This is a nice take on the only true evil in any universe - man's inhumanity to man

I like that the Matakos tribe were massacred simply because they were in the way and that they were accused of the most unspeakable evils merely to justify the atrocity - this is how humans really behave

I like that a deformed child escaped the massacre (probably by blind luck) simply because the "holy crusaders" were too busy murdering everybody else to notice

I like the the "monster" is, in reality, nothing more than a backward child (albeit an unusually strong one) trying to survive as best he can

Who needs "evil for evil's sake" anyway, when there's more than enough greed, xenophobia, brutality and good old-fashioned selfishness to keep everybody happily murdering each other for ever more

Great stuff Ria - more, more, more - 4½ + a Hall of Honour


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