Accursed: Devolved Men
|Devolved Man rejecting his curse versus Devolved Man embracing it.|
Devolved Men are the chosen of Ayesha the Timeless, a Witch who comes from a lost land of prehistoric beasts and primitive tribes. Impossibly ancient but ever-young, Ayesha’s magic works strange transformations on her victims: men become brutish and ape-like, beasts become hulking giants, and birds become towering feathered reptiles capable of swallowing men whole. The Witch herself calls the process “de-evolution,” though none in Morden know what “evolution” itself is.
Devolved men resemble a formidable cross between human beings and the apes of Hyphrates. Shaggy-haired, slope-browed, strong beyond their appearance, Devolved Men are truly the savages Vargr are accused of being. Their minds are dulled by Ayesha’s de-evolution and they cling precariously to the remnants of their minds and memories. Few Devolved Men escape Ayesha’s domination and so they are rare amongst the ranks of the Penitent.
All Devolved Men characters gain the following racial package:
- Animal Intelligence: The minds of Devolved Men are made muddled and bestial by their transformation. It costs two points per step to raise Smarts during character generation and the character must dedicate two Advances to raising the attribute during game play.
- Brachiation: Devolved Men are able to climb and move at their full Pace by swinging from one hand-hold to another by their arms. While it is most useful in the jungles and forests Ayesha loves, it is equally suitable for mountainous and urban terrain.
- Brute Strength: The transformation into a Devolved Man gives the character wiry, ape-like muscles. Devolved Men begin with a d8 in Strength and may raise it to a d12+2 via normal advancement; the Expert and Master Edges may raise it to a d12+4.
- Enemy: Ayesha is worshipped as a goddess by her creations, and she is a very jealous goddess. Bird-terrors and other banes created by Ayesha the Timeless always seek to attack a Devolved Man in preference to other targets.
- Leap: Devolved Men can leap 2” horizontally, or 4” from a running start. Each success and raise on a Strength roll grants one additional inch.
- Savage Appearance: Devolved Men are hairy and ape-like and suffer a -2 penalty to Charisma.
Devolved Men have exclusive access to the following Racial Edges. These Edges can be taken at character creation if Edge selections are available and the requirements are met. Alternatively, they can be purchased with Experience Points as the character grows and develops.
Requirements: Novice, Devolved Man
The Devolved Man has developed a beast-like sense of smell that gives him a +2 to Notice and Tracking rolls.
Requirements: Veteran, Devolved Man, Spirit d8+
The Devolved Man bellows the challenge of the bull-ape. The Devolved Man makes a Spirit roll; if successful, every creature within a Large Burst Template must make a Fear check (at -2 if the Devolved Man got a raise) or be affected as per the fear power.
Requirements: Novice, Devolved Man
The Devolved Man tasted man-flesh when he served Ayesha the Timeless and he found it good. He has powerful canines that do Str+d4 damage.
Acceptance or Defiance
Devolved Men who accept their Witchmark become more and more bestial, eventually devolving into titanic man-apes equal to the Timeless One's bird-terrors. Those who reject their Witchmark can become almost human again.
|Devolved Man in final stage of Acceptance|
Stage 1: Acceptance
A Devolved Man who embraces his curse may find that a simple, savage life suits him better than the one he left behind. He dwells in the forests and mountains of Morden, shunning his fellow man, as hair sprouts across all his body and he becomes more ape than man.
Effect: The Devolved Man grows to Size +2 (gaining a +2 bonus to Toughness) but becomes even more repulsive to human sight (cumulative -4 Charisma).
Stage 2: Acceptance
The Devolved Man is now on an alternative evolutionary path, transforming into a gigantic ape as he loses his humanity.
Effect: The Devolved Man can no longer improve Smarts or Smarts-based skills. He grows to Size +4 (cumulative +4 to Toughness) and increases Strength by one step. Attackers are now at +2 to hit the Devolved Man due to his size.
Final Stage: Acceptance
The Devolved Man has rejected his humanity completely, becoming a lumbering giant gorilla. While he can now tear apart Ayesha’s gigantic bird-terrors with his bare paws, he is has lost most of his conscious mind.
Effect: The Devolved Man’s intelligence becomes Animal (A) and he is no longer capable of speaking or tool use. All weapons are now Improvised Weapons with the attendant -2 penalty. The Devolved Man grows to Size +8 (cumulative +8 to Toughness), gains the Hardy Monstrous Ability, and Strength increases another step,. Attackers are now at +4 to hit the Devolved Man due to his size.
|Defiant Devolved Man wishing he still had that Strength bonus.|
Stage 1: Defiance
The Devolved Man rejects his bestial nature and tries to nurture his civilized side. His features become more human even as he loses some of his ape-like abilities.
Effect: The Devolved Man loses his Leap and Savage Appearance Powers.
Stage 2: Defiance
The Devolved Man loses some of his primitive strength as he adjusts to human society once more.
Effect: The Devolved Man loses one die of Strength but gains a +1 bonus Benny at the beginning of each game.
Final Stage: Defiance
The Devolved Man finally regains his full human intelligence.Effect: The Devolved Man no longer suffers from his Animal Intelligence Power but loses the other die of Strength granted by Brute Strength.