Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maahes the Tainted Bast for the WitchCraft RPG

Maahes the Tainted Bast

When a Bast spirit is exposed to large amounts of taint they become Maahes. Their namesake was an outsider God absorbed into the Egyptian New Kingdom pantheon. Maahes had a lions head and was later interpreted to be the son of the Goddess Bast and the God Ptah. He was a god of war and called The Bringer of Destruction.

Maahes is considered to be in Bast (the race) mythology to be the first bringer of Taint to the Bast. Whether Maahes was a willing or unwilling carrier of taint is unknown and lost to time.

When a Bast spirit is exposed to Taint it is compelled to enter a body (if not already in a cat body). Sometimes they discover a human, living or dead, and use it for their purposes. Whatever body the tainted Bast enters they become anchored to it forever. The new creature is called a Maahes (singular and plural forms are the same). Regardless of the source of the body or its nature it transforms due to the taint. The Maahes is effectively immortal since it can regenerate loss of life points at the rate of CON per hour. They no longer age and even disease and poisons are no longer effective. Only attacks of a magical nature or ones that drain Essence or Taint have any effect. To destroy a Maahes one must reduce its Essence or Taint to zero.

The appearance of a Maahes differs wildly. Former High Bast Maahes are often stuck between human and Bast forms, usually a human body with a cats head or sometimes cats paws and claws. High and Low Bast Maahes can also appear to be as sickly, even feral, cats. Sometimes it is even difficult to tell what sort of creature the Maahes original was, all that is evident in its twisted form is some reminder of catlike traits. In all cases and whatever the form they carry about them the same aura of corruption that tainted humans and spirits do. Of course to the Bast they are even more repugnant.

Bast relate to Maahes the same way that humans deal with other tainted humans; extreme revulsion and avoidance. What horrifies Bast the most about the Maahes is not just the taint, but the fact that Maahes can no longer reincarnate. The taint that twists their bodies also twist their spirits and minds. Even their telepathic speech is distorted to other Bast.

Maahes can have Gifted or Taint powers as do humans. Some can even develop disciplines of the flesh as do Mockers, but nothing can change their forms back to pure cat.
There are no Maahes known amongst the Mockers.

Maahes

Strength: 2-5             Intelligence: 3-6
Dexterity: 4-7            Perception: 2-6
Constitution: 4-6        Willpower: 4-7

Life Points: 40-60
Essence Pool: 30-50        Taint: 60-100
                                       Madness: 3-5

Skills: any appropriate for Bast
Powers: Immortality, Increased Life Points, Increased Taint Pool, Regeneration, Taint, Taint Powers,

Maahes have a host of mental derangements. Cruelty is high on list given their cat-natures, but because this is taint with no logic based in our universe there are as many recorded passive Maahes. Eventually, long lasting Maahes have nearly sort of mental imbalance known to man, and some that are not.

Interactions with Maahes
Most covenants know very little about Maahes. While most theorize they are possible, very, very few have actually seen one. Some early reports coming from the Sentinels confused Bast and Maahes and considered them to be the same, evil, creature.
The Wicce, whom the Bast have the best relations with, are mostly in the dark over the nature and even existence of Maahes. It could be that this is by design on part of the Bast. Only the Wicce coven The Daughters of the Flame, acknowledge that they exist and even have records of their existence dating back to their earliest days as a coven (150 CE). They speculate that the Irish Ciat Sith or Cat headed demon (more properly, faerie cat) were in fact Maahes. This could also be the reason why the Daughters have had a falling out with many of the larger Bast covens.
There are rumors that the Rosicrucians have been researching and working on a means to remove the taint fully from Maahes and return them to normal Bast. As with all secrets of the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, they are not too forthcoming with the information.

Maahes in Armageddon
Most Maahes flocked to Leviathan as their savoir, equating him with the snakes that the Goddess Bast was presumed to have destroyed. Of course once the disaster in Munich struck many were destroyed outright due to overexposure to taint. While not members in any standing with CoR or AoR, Maahes work to achieve Leviathans will as they perceive it.

Roleplaying Maahes
As creatures of Taint, Maahes are most often to be pitied. Removed from the world of the Bast, death is often their only, if final, solution. Only the strongest willed Maahes survive long enough to actually enter into the Casts lives, let alone be a threat. The ones that do survive represent not only a powerful enemy (only the powerful ones survive), but one that can infect with taint in addition to whatever powers and skills it had before.

Adventure Hooks
A Low Bast has become a tainted Maahes and has sought the aid of the Cast to help it return to normal. The Cast must choose whether to aid or kill the infected creature.

A former High Bast Maahes and powerful sorcerer has decided that the future evolution of the Bast species is integration with Maahes. His plan, as much of it that can make logical sense, is to kill off as many Gifted humans as he can, infect as many Bast as he can, and then with his army of Maahes, take over the world. Of course his plan is grandiose, but he is still powerful enough to do a lot of damage to the Gifted and Bast in the mean time.

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