Monday, January 18, 2010

Ghosts of Albion: Child Spirits

Child Spirits

It was nestled in the crook of an old oak tree, wrapped in filthy rags that barely covered its naked flesh. Its mewling caught my attention first, as I thought it was some animal injured and taking refuge from the cold. When I saw it was child my heart broke. It was dead. Of that there was never a doubt, but yet it clutched its tattered blanket and whimpered in tiny voice. "Please" was all it said. "Please, milady. Please help me."
- From The Journal of Tamara Swift

Addendum. 
We learned that the creature was called a Navky or an Utburd by the local immigrant population. Never had I seen such sorrow in Tamara, nor have I seen such rage in her when we learned the poor babe had been left out to die. The land itself reacted in violent fits to her mood. I fear to speculate what would have happened the woman who had murdered the child had I not been there to calm Tamara. After we had laid the spirit to rest Tamara sequestered herself to her rooms for three days, weeping.
- Additional comments by William Swift

Rarely is there a tragedy as the death of a child. To have such innocence lost long before its time or to have so much potential snuffed out like a candle stands as the strongest example that the world is a cold, uncaring place. The sad truth though is that hundreds of children die in the streets of London all the time. Plague, sickness, the elements or starving to death are not uncommon, but the tragedy remains.

When a child is murdered, then no clearer of example of true evil could be found.

That is why the ghosts of children are both horrifying and pitiful creatures. If a child dies before its time there is a chance that it can come back as a ghost. In addition to the types of ghosts described in the Ghosts of Albion Core Book children can also return as a Navky or an Utburd. Both types of ghosts are more common to Eastern Europe, but as England takes its rightful place as ruler of the world, other cultures will come to England.

While it is often difficult to discern one from the other by looks alone and even people from different countries call them by different names, some assumptions can be made.

A Navky results when a child dies before they are baptized. They radiate fear and sorrow from their inability to move on. An Utburd is much worse. When a child is killed by his own mother the restless spirit can come back to exact their vengeance. Both have their own forms of Unique Kill.

Navky
When child dies without being baptized its spirit can return as a navky (NAHv-kee). This spirit is more common among the Eastern European immigrants to London who have retained their Catholic upbringing. The navky does not harm anyone, at least not intentionally, but does radiate an aura of utter despair around it. The only way to grant the spirit babe rest is to disinter the body and have a Catholic Priest (a rare find in Anglican London) perform a baptism and a last rites. This counts as a Unique Kill and any other means, including exorcisms, will only displace the spirit.

Like all ghosts the navky can only be seen by the magically sensitive.

Name: Navky
Motivation: To seek their final rest
Creature Type: Ghost
Attributes: Str (0), Dex (0), Con (0), Int 1, Per 1, Will 4
Ability Scores: Muscle (NA), Combat (NA), Brains 10

Life Points: (NA)
Drama Points: 1

Special Abilities: Attractiveness 1, Cause Sorrow (like Fear, only Nerves of Steel is not applied), Ghost, Incorporeal, Telekinesis 1, Unique Kill

Manoeuvres
Name Score Damage Notes
 Telekinesis 8 Varies


The Sorrow caused by the Navky is the same as fear (even using a fear check) but there is no sense of horror or terror, but one of deep, profound saddness. Instead of running away in fright, a character might drop to their knees crying.
The Unique Kill for Navky differs, but most often one needs a preist (or some other religous offical of the same religion as the mother) to bless the child. Once that is done the child-ghost will move on.

Utburd
Where the navky is pitiful, the utburd (OOT-bird) is reviled, but still not removed from our pity. Like the revenants of Dickens famous tale, the utburd is locked to this realm to perform a task. The task is to get revenge on the mother who killed it.

Its name comes from an old Scandinavian word meaning the child who was carried outside, meaning many were originated from children left out to die from exposure. The utburd appears as it did at the time of death, so if the child was drowned, then it appears to be bloated and water-logged. Its only goal is to get justice on their mother and murderer. So killing the mother is not their goal, but rather to have her arrested and convicted on charges of the murder. The utburd will work through human agents when it can via possession, but once they no longer have use for them they will cast them aside of get them killed in order to move to another body. An exorcism will force them out, but they will only possess another body. When so possessed the person is capable of great feats of strength (add the utburds Willpower to the Strength of the person possessed. There is no corresponding increase in Life Points though.)

Some occult scholars say that the presence of an utburd can be detected by ravens and rooks and they constantly fly around them waiting for the carnage to come. The utburd radiates an aura of fear wherever it goes.

If the mother is killed after the utburd comes back, but before she can be charged with this crime they will go on a killing rampage till the first light of dawn, then their souls are released to the realms of the dead. If the mother is arrested and charged with the crime the utburd will simply and peacefully pass on.

Like all ghosts the utburd can only be seen by the magically sensitive, but its murderer and immediate family can see it as well.

Name: Utburd
Motivation: To get revenge on their murderer
Creature Type: Ghost
Attributes: Str (0), Dex (0), Con (0), Int 2, Per 3, Will 7
Ability Scores: Muscle (NA), Combat (NA), Brains 16

Life Points: (NA)
Drama Points: 1

Special Abilities: Attractiveness 2 (when visible), Cause Fear, Ghost, Incorporeal, Telekinesis 6, Unique Kill

Manoeuvres
Name Score Damage Notes
Telekinesis 16 Varies

Stats for Savage World / Gaslight / Rippers

Navky
Attributes: Agility -, Smarts d4, Spirit d8, Strength -, Vigor -
Skills: Intimidation d8
Charisma: +0, Pace: -; Perry: -; Toughness: -
Special Abilities:
* Aethereal: Only magical attacks can affect Navky, but only it's Unique Kill can actually kill it.
* Sorrow: Navky radiate sorrow, forcing anyone that sees it to make a Guts roll.
*Unique Kill: A Navky can only be put to rest by a priest giving it a blessing.


Utburd
Attributes: Agility -, Smarts d4, Spirit d12, Strength -, Vigor -
Skills: Intimidation d12
Charisma: +0, Pace: -; Perry: -; Toughness: -
Special Abilities:
* Aethereal: Only magical attacks can affect Utburd, but only it's Unique Kill can actually kill it.
* Fear: The Utburd radiates fear, forcing anyone that sees it to make a Guts roll.
*Unique Kill: An Utburd can only be put to rest once the parent that killed them is brought to justice.



Stats for Victoriana

Navky
Rank: 1
Physical Competence: -
Mental Competence: 3
Health: -
Signature Skills: -
Talents: Ageless; Fear (Flee); Rise Again
Combat: Telekinesis at Mental Competence.

Special: Must receive a blessing from a priest of the Aluminat Church to be killed.

Utburd
Rank: 3
Physical Competence: -
Mental Competence: 5
Health: -
Signature Skills: -
Talents: Ageless; Fear (Flee); Possession (like Demonic Possession, p. 279); Rise Again; Unstoppable
Combat: Telekinesis at Mental Competence.

Special: Must get murderer to justice to be killed.

Note: Both these creatures originally appeared in Apparitions a supplement for the 2ned Edition of the Chill RPG. These are not converted from those, but rather inspired by them (so they dont follow the rules I set out for converting between Chill and Unisystem).

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...