Crinos wrote:Also, nice work with the Abyss Leliel. I can't wait to see your take on Intruders: Encounter with the abyss. Probably one of my all time favorite "Monster manuals" (Although it doesn't really qualify since most of the things in it aren't what you would describe as monsters).
Really? Thank you!
Also, given how this is one of the few Intrusions which can't be condensed into a single paragraph...Intrusion: The Nativity
(aka, the Children of the Void, the Paradox-Born)
Many myths speak of the children of the gods. From Hercules to Jesus, from Bellrophon to Cuchulain, the world is filled with myths of the half-divine. More than a few heroes are demigods as well. More recently, there are children of devils and demons in the myths too, but even those have precedence-the troll-wives of Norse myth, for instance, and their monstrous offspring born from deceived husbands. Or cambions, the children of succubi and incubi, of which Merlin was one before his demonic side became Mr. Hoppy.
The Nativity are part of the latter group. Born of a speck of the Void entering an unfortunate woman at a dark time, usually inflicted through the actions of another (surviving a serial killer attack, killing an abuser in self-defense), whatever Paradox Law that allows for the existence of a dark twist on a virgin birth uses them as subtle and extremely dangerous weapons against reality. The Paradox-Born exude a field that makes superpowers extremely unpredictable and dangerous within a square mile of them, while they unconsciously influence their mothers to become jealously protective and paranoid for them. Worse, the Abyss that dwells within them in much like a coiled viper, waiting for just the right moment
to strike, releasing a powerful entropic field that spins critical moments (the deciding goal of a soccer game, the final touches on a chair, a test on a hyperspace portal device) towards the utter failure, and those failures are usually spectacular (the soccer player overshoots his kick and ends up breaking an ankle, the carpenter drives a nail into the skin between his fingers, the portal explodes and teleports a bunch of confused and angry Thran to Earth).
And the worst part about this? Apparently, someone never informed the Abyss that the born harbinger of doom is supposed to be evil.
Quite simply, the Children of the Void, despite having a giant dark stain of general hostility towards all of existence as an integral part of their souls, are not actually psychologically different from naturally melancholy normal children, and in fact the aforementioned dark stain is almost as much as hazard to them as it is to everyone around them-the Nativity are naturally sickly and usually suffer from bouts of depression and low self-esteem. They are as much victims of the Abyss as the world they unknowingly doom by their very presence, and in fact actually have it worse-animals have an instinctual sense the Void within the Nativity and despise them for it, while they trip off every possible "supernatural sense" as something ancient, dark, and powerful, meaning that factions who seek to destroy or weaponize them follow them wherever they go. Naturally, many Nativity don't live very long, and those that do are usually embittered loners clinging to the edge of society...a position helped by the fact that a Paradox-Born's grow up with them, becoming unique, distinctive, and often quite frightening. While no adult Child of the Void is likely going to rock the boat when it comes to Power Levels, many are natural seers and their link to the Abyss gives a lot of them psychic powers...which, when combined with their normal entropic field, makes an adult Nativity a threatening enemy to have. There's nothing about being a Paradox-Born the prevents teaming up with others to take down a foe.
That said, it is possible to cure the Abyssal parts of a Nativity's soul...which is infinitely easier said than done. For one, the soul-taint of a Child of the Void are less mutations then they are portals
-ie, holes. Thus, the problem with helping a Paradox-Born escape the cursed power of the Abyss is that it involves less metaphorical organ transplant and more grafting of organs utterly necessary to the functioning of the body into places that organs don't normally go, while attempting to prevent rejection. One idea is to simply fuse a soul, but besides bringing up the uncomfortable question of where the spare soul comes from, the process isn't pretty as two sets of memories clash and merge-the "cured" Nativity is invariably either schizophrenic or has multiple personalities. The other was is to preform a ritual that is simultaneously meant to heal the soul and bar the passage of the Abyss, permanently closing the holes of the soul-taint while creating new, healthy soul to fill in the gaps...which requires research and new materials every time, since like a fingerprint, every Nativity's soul is different, and that includes the taint. Trying to scrounge up the components isn't easy either, since both components of such a ritual involve ingredients like "a drop of fresh water from each of the world's ocean's" and "a thimble of blood, willingly given, by a truly innocent man". Still, for the sake of both the Paradox-Born and the world, it just might be worth it.