I don't care what I was. I know where I'm going.A rare form of magical butchery, Grafting takes bits and pieces of monster and binds them to mortals, creating something greater than the sum of their parts. While some spirits might offer splinters of their being as part of a Pacts, transformancers use grafting to take whatever parts they want, pact or not. Such thefts of essence were once so far and few between to be mythical, attached to names that echoed with glory or infamy. Now, secrets unveiled have lead to a new, gore-stained era of transformation. The gates have opened, and the ambitious or desperate carve themselves apart for the chance to become something greater.
Making A Monster
Hold still. This is going to hurt worse than Hell.Grafting comes in two types; body and soul. The first changes the physical shell of the recipient by binding bits of monster to them, and the second change the core of their being by merging their soul with that of another.
Body Grafting takes some part of a monster imbued with power and transplants it into a mortal recipient, binding their essence to that of the monstrous organ. Anything from limbs, to eyes, to hearts or even less identifiable organs
Most transformancers have to be able surgeons, connecting veins and nerves to new limbs.The parts have to be fresh to work. While preserved limbs and organs can still do the job, the very best come straight from the source, as it were. Some butchers even keep menageries of captured monstrosities locked away, just in case they need it fresh.
Some limbs retain a vestige of their previous owner's identity, occasionally acting on its own.Once attached and assimilated, the limb imparts its power to the recipient. Some offer purely physical advantages, such as raw strength or razor-sharp claws, while others have abilities beyond the normal. These can be anything from hypnotic eyes or heart that beats regenerating energy into broken flesh, to things only found in monsters, now claimed by mortals. Enough to tempt anyone with the promise of power not easily acquired any other way. Most Body Grafts are small - a hand, an eye, an arcane organ - but size, along with ambition, is growing. Stolen parts will begin to crumble if subject to repeated stress, usually by overuse or significant strain. This can be inconvenient or crippling if the part is a hand or fatal for those who have replaced their blood or some internal organs. Damaged grafts heal slowly without help, if at all. Those who rely too heavily on borrowed power often find that it abandons them in the worst possible moments.
As an emerging art, it isn't always what the results of a graft will be. At least one new school of magic has emerged from the melding of monstrous transplants and mystic imagination, but so has a whole heap of corpses and failures.
But that's the price of power.Once done, survivors have a new and inhuman source of energy to draw on to fuel their magic, in addition to what they could already muster. Like any battery, the new power within them occasionally needs to be recharged, too. Depending on the critter consumed, doing that might require drinking blood like a vampire, basking in the moon, or any other sort of unpleasant or unethical thing. Many also acquire or can develop abilities and physical attributes of the soul they have assimilated, whether they want to or not. This power isn't without cost or its use without consequence. Forever changed, the recipient of the soul graft has bits and pieces of their selves replaced by something else, something monstrous. Even the least altered come out the other end with new quirks, while others are wholly unrecognizable from who they were. Unlike Body Grafting, this process is irreversible.
Risks & ConsequencesEither form of grafting is physically taxing, with no guarantee of survival. The more potent the graft's unwilling donor is, the longer and more traumatic the process. Recovering after can take weeks, if not months, and always include a period of adapting to both the new physical traits and appearance of the changes, and its supernatural qualities.
Of course, some have no problem embracing what they have become. The lust for power, at any price, makes such trifling sacrifices nothing more than momentary distractions.
Then there are the voices in their dreams, screaming for release.Others embrace the rush of power that comes with the graft and begin to seek more grafts to further divorce themselves from humanity.
Be careful hunting monsters, lest you become the meal for one yourself.
BeyondThe Beyond is a realm of monsters and magic, of wonder and horror, far from the mortal world. Here, spirits, gods, and demons dwell among impossible, myth-shrouded lands. Getting there is difficult, and getting out can be even worse. Almost all entities of power worth sealing a pact with lives in the Beyond, in castles made out of dreams and nightmares, in fear-shadowed forests of primordial glories, or among a thousand different hells. All the best parts are in the Beyond - still attached to terrors unwilling to part with them.
The world beyond all other worlds, a place of wonder and horror in equal measure.
PactsPacts are contracts signed with entities of power, usually from the Beyond, where a Magi makes a promise in exchange for some boon. These range from small and fleeting, such as safe passage through a part of the Beyond or the Key to a particular Gate, all the way to immortality and forbidden, blasphemous powers. The price paid rises accordingly, and only fools make such promises lightly. Making deals with monsters is nothing new, but becoming one piece by piece... Novel.
Demons refuse to bind pacts with those who have gone through with a Soul Graft; their souls no longer 'right'.
The Martezi FamilyArcane mercenaries specializing in pacts, the Martezi family are reportedly plunging head-first into learning as much as they can about grafting. Some say the art was first discovered by them, but as with most things regarding the Martezi, the truth is shrouded in rumors and lies. Experts in Pacts, the Martezi is either a venerable line of knowledgable magi, a masterful scam, or maybe both, depending on who you ask. The Martezi barter their expertise in spirits and pacts to any who will pay their exorbitant prices, saving Magi the trouble of doing anything but pay two entities; the spirit, and the family. Exactly what the Martezi do with their treasure trove is anyone's guess, and that guess is 'nothing good'.
The Martezi Family
Experts in dealing with demons, sealing pacts, and getting paid for it.
FamiliarsA common pact to make is for a Familiar - spirits housed in stolen flesh. Anchored in a corpse prepared for it to inhabit, spirits that would normally struggle to remain in the Prime has a sanctuary. From there, they can serve the Magi who bound it. Soul Grafting uses the same principle but with living flesh and fresh terrors.
Spirits from the great Beyond, clad in stolen flesh and bound by arcane Pacts. Get yours spayed and neutered today.