The Chosen Of The Void

Thralls, Killers, and would be gods

Disclaimer
A quick disclaimer before I begin this article: The Chosen are some of the primary antagonists of Expedition Demeter. They are by far some of the most important enemies the players will be fighting. They are also rather disturbing and how visceral a GM wants to be is up to them but the various examples provided in this article are made while trying to be as close to PG-13 as possible.
The Chosen can be a particularly brutal group as some of the major Inspirations that went into their creation are serial killers, horror movie monsters, and other things your mother didn't want you to see when you are under the age of 13. If you're going to use them, be sure you understand the players that are playing and what they are more likely to tolerate and what they are not.
On a side note, this article is going to contain a lot of spoilers regarding the overall story of Expedition Demeter. If you want to be a player for the play-testing or in the future, run the game. Be sure to take that in advisement and do what you can to forget the information you read. This is your spoiler warning.
The last thing I want to get into before we begin the article is to explain the GM notes that you will find in dropdowns throughout the article much like this one.
During our first play-test of the game I found it very difficult to handle the chosen the way that I wanted to and it took numerous attempts to use them as intended. With this kept in mind, I will add GM notes drop boxes that detail how to handle them in the RPG setting.
  The Chosen of the Void represent the Void Stranger who is the primary antagonist of Expedition Demeter. Like all good villains he doesn't just sit around and wait for the protagonists to come to him. due to the rather long-winded nature of the game and the fact that you can play Expedition Demeter indefinitely if you don't want to end it the Void Stranger will always be actively trying to throw a wrench in your players plans the moment he begins to notice them on till the end of the game. He does this in numerous ways but usually uses one of The Chosen to accomplish his goals. On particularly rare occasions The Stranger will physically manifest itself into one of its many avatars. While The Void will be discussed further in another article as well as The Stranger, this article focuses on the organization of individuals who worship The Void.
by "Bathory" by Madanmar

Bathe in his love

The chosen of the Void are a three-part organization. Each division in this organization serves its own purposes and are radically different and often independent of the others. The members of this particular organization tend to be frightening and in some particular cases unknowable to those who view them. They are mutated and twisted if not physically then mentally. They possess the dread powers of the void and some are demigods in their own right.  

The Taken

the first division is referred to as The Taken of the Void, thralls who act as eyes, ears, and mouths, of The Void Stranger himself. They act on impulse and instinct, unable to plan and think. They follow a strict set of rules The stranger himself dictates. They hunt, they kill, they wait, and they watch.
most of the time the taken are organisms of the world but transformed almost beyond recognition. They are tainted by the void and the void has twisted and mutated their forms to becomes something else entirely. The most powerful of the taken often appear as the grotesque combination of organisms that have melded together, bearing features of the forms combined. They often appear decayed with a black liquid coating them and pouring from their wounds. These forms vary widely and each could very well be unique in its own way like a stag that stands on its hind legs with black tendrils reaching for the sky. These tendrils mimic its antlers until they are ready to ensnare a victim. Another reported case depicts a dog like form with many mouths and eyes placed randomly about its ever-shifting body that prowls the swamps of the wailing wood. A human with spider-like appendages reaches to pierce through anything that might be within reach. These and many other forms stand in the way of any who would challenge the void, but they are merely thralls to the void stranger, his children are far worse...  

by dr-grizscald on Deviantart

   

The Children

The children of the void are what the Shamans of the world fear most. They are killers pulled from time and space, placed deliberately by the void stranger into this most crucial time.The Children retain their conscious thought along with the collectors. Their father demands this, for he uses his children to deal with his problems while he focuses on his schemes. He sends them commands through visions and dreams and tells them of what they must do. They do not ask why. They don't even care why.
The Dread Children do as their told for the gifts their father bestows upon them are worth far more to them. They seek to become one with the void completing their labors in hopes they ascend and become one of the collectors. Each of the dread sons and daughters is different. They have their own skills and they have their own methods. The Stranger prefers this. The Countess with her pseudo-immortality bathes in the blood of her victims, Lucy Rotten sings a song of her time, dragging what remains of her victims in a sack full of stones and bones. Father Slaughter carries a rusted razor, reciting sermons of The Strangers glory while he tortures his "Wayward Flock" Something many will take note of when encountering the children is their lack of mutation and corruption. The black ichor of the void can never be seen in their presence. This is likely due to immunity and other powers given by The Stranger.
 
by Bogdan Rezunenko
 

The Collectors

The collectors are the scions of the Void Stranger. They are his favorite children and settle around the world to spread their father's goodwill. A collector is the source for almost all Universal Maladies in the world. A Collector can always be found near ground zero of a malady's area of effect and defends their territory with zealous devotion. They are demigods in their own right. They are no longer who they once were, transformed by the stranger into something that shouldn't exist. No one has ever seen one. They are just as unique as the other divisions, each possessing its own unique elements that make them special. Tiger Lilly wanders her home lazily, searching for food, The Sun Twins dance in the air, their faces aglow with the light of eldritch stars. The Straw Man wanders his plagued land, a scarecrow sowing corruption like seeds.
by BASTIEN LECOUFFE DEHARME
   

Void Hedrons

Void hedrons are anchors or fetters that keep the chosen stable in this existence. The taken do not have them but the children and the collectors do. They appear as black octahedrons that quietly hum and radiate black mist-like energy. They can be shattered and the form of the chosen it belonged to can now be destroyed. The chosen cannot leave a 30 ft radius of the hedron and often the head-on floats in the air. Hedrons are fairly strong but enough force will shatter them. For collectors however the hedrons serve as the primary source of the malady they cause and are stationary at the center of the malady. When destroyed, the chosen's dread powers cannot be used any more.      
by OLga Shell
 

The Babtism

Becoming a collector is a very painful process. This process is often welcome by the children who worked so hard to reach this point. The void stranger appears before them. He gazes upon them with admiration. He then begins to whisper spinning them around to show them his true form. They listened as they gaze into the void. The black fluid of the Void begins to fill the room submerging them. Their skin burns and it's touch. Once fully submerged they are completely in the void's embrace. If they could scream they would. They suffer pain that would kill if they were allowed to die. The Voice reaches within them. Their organs, appendages, tissue, and bone, their entire form is removed replaced or changed by the void. Old whisper is there, for he loves his children so and he holds them close during their change as if to console and calm them. What emerges is no longer the child. dread son or daughter of the Void is now something else entirely. It often seems that the void actively makes changes that make little to no sense biologically. The baptism is only given to those who complete their labors. Like all Scion, the children must complete a series of tasks to ascend and become collectors. These tasks are chosen and given by the stranger himself and they are specific to each of the dead children. The Stranger chooses these tasks based on the strengths and weaknesses of the children. Each task will challenge their weaknesses and improve their strengths in equal measure. Once the baptism is complete the new phones collector will be given a new task, to spread The Melody of their choice which relates to their Court of choice in a specific area of their choosing.


Further Reading


The Void Stranger
Character | Nov 4, 2019

Eater of Stars


The Dread Powers
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Oct 5, 2019

Spells only the mad would use. These powers break reality and are considered universal crimes by the divine.


The Void Courts
Generic article | May 28, 2019

Gm notes on The Chosen of The Void
Generic article | May 7, 2019


Articles under The Chosen Of The Void



Cover image: by Artem Demura

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
7 Jan, 2019 00:32

Wow. Okay. This is just...wow. The descriptions were creepy without being especially gory or inappropriate. That was awesome. I also like how you added a spoiler warning and notes for gamemasters. The typos do interrupt the flow a bit. Also, if no one has ever seen a collector, how can they be described (in universe that is)?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
7 Jan, 2019 00:48

Sorry about the typos man, i thought i fixed them and it didn't save. One of the many curses of working on mobile most of the time. Thanks for the kind words too. Creepiness is the goal lol as far as your question, it depends. When you say how can they be described, are you talking about to your players or revealing them to your players the first time? Maybe you mean how does anyone know about them. If these are not what you're asking for just say but I'll answer all three. People don't know about them. The gods do but most of them are elsewhere. The first mortals to actually see then will be the players. It's part of the overall plot of expedition demeter. While the game plays much like a sandbox it does have a story and finding one is required to progress. Describing them to the players is much like how you would describe universal maladies. Every collector adds their own personal touch to the malady they cause. Certain color palettes, characteristics if flora and fauna, etc. One you meet the collector you reiterate them and show, not tell, the players the sources of those changes. The scarecrow for example lives in the black March and in his area of influence grows are abundant, victims are tied to posts to make them look alive and straw can be found all over those posts. Etc. Very few people travel in this world. It's way to dangerous so few know anything about the chosen at all.

7 Jan, 2019 00:55

Not a world I'd want to live in, that's for sure!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
7 Jan, 2019 01:06

Oh no. The world be broken lol. Thanks for the like and also the kind words again. Have a good one.

7 Jan, 2019 13:00

I do like how evocative the descriptions are. I like how original it all sounds, and if I were a player in this world I would have no idea how to handle any of this. The typos aren't so bad, though some word choice in a few areas interrupt flow a bit. Personally, aside from in quotes, I would avoid using "..." and would recommend using commas instead, or starting a new sentences. I'm not sure why but in some parts I feel like that would improve the flow. I like the use of quotations as well, and how you use them as sub-headings in some places. I think you have a great base to start with here, I think you just need to take some time to sit down, read through it all, re-word a few things and try to improve your flow. When describing Dread Powers, is this meant to be more narrative and descriptive, or is this something that a DM or players would use in a game? How would this work mechanically, or is that not necessarily important? Also, the Divine were unaware of the Void before? Is the Void older than the Divine? How are the Divine unaware of something that is older than them?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
7 Jan, 2019 14:59

First, thanks so much for your comment and for your kind words. I had proofread and it just didn't save it. I write in a similar way that i talk so the ellipsis will disrupt the flow as they are dramatic pauses. Lol I'll check into changing it up. As far as your question. Dread powers have 3 purposes, I'll add this in a gm note box. 1 dread power are a lore-based reason for making the chosen powerful but not strong. The powers are not designed to do a lot of damage because killing you isn't the goal. 2 the dread powers are narrative in function and while they have in-game stats, but they are hot important as far as the chosen go. Their atmosphere that can hinder the players and can be horrible and powerful but rarely kill. 3 dread powers are specific abilities. Magic is kind if weird in this system. Dread powers are their own system in the game. The main reason for bringing then up here is to offer a framework for gms to make their own.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
7 Jan, 2019 15:01

As far as the divine knowledge, the void is emptiness. They didn't even notice it's arrival. It's older than the universe but only recently arrived within the last few thousand years

8 Jan, 2019 03:05

Wow, this is really Dense. I think your overall project would benefit by breaking these down into separate articles. The core of this is the Void Stranger and his mechanism in place to pull everything into the void; the rest needs to be pushed into child articles where you can develop hooks to pull the characters along as the campaign develops. I recommend using each tier as a full-blown campaign arc. each encounter would cost the players something, maybe they take a step closer to the void.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
8 Jan, 2019 03:39

Ok so lots to unpack. I do plan on breaking down tge articles but how I do it is the problem. This article is not about the stranger at all. Nor is it about the void. It's about those who follow the void. But without understanding them to some degree, the effect of the chosen is lost as their articles are not yet made.i will be breaking it down in that way tho. The article needs to focus on the organization as a whole, and it's a complex organization. I'm not sure how to break it down currently in a way that would really work. I will experiment though make no doubt about that.   Now i should also say that the arcs will not work i don't think. The chosen seek the players, not the other way around. My players actively avoided them the first time we tested as well. They are not meant to be like many monsters in RPGs. It's not their job to be killed by the pcs. Their window dressing to further drive home the power the void. They don't like attention at all. While some are campaign arcs such as the countess and lucy rotten. I'm sure it could be done. I'll have to make a note to really establish it. Also every collector is optional and effectively a campaign arc....as far as cost, that's a mechanic that would definitely manifest later when i further develop the story. As far as getting closer to the void, it wouldn't really work. The void doesnt care about the players. It just consumes. Hmmm...ill have to consider what you've said as fat as far as take improvements. Thanks for the inspiration as well and the like. Thanks for taking the time :)))

8 Jan, 2019 10:50

Ok. I like the setting and the character designs, and the horror elements were done nicely. It reminded me greatly of the grotesque creations of H.P.Lovecraft, and I'm interested in where the story goes. But I suppose my burning question is simple; who is the Stranger? Where did he come from? Does he have a name? What is he? Is he purely evil, or a mix of good and evil? Does he have objectives, or does he just like to play villain? Overall, good worldbuilding.

Powered by World Anvil