- August 17th, 2011
Devils and Denarians: A 3 week Facility 3 event. Probably.
Hidden and scattered about the streets, drains and odd corners and nooks in this Facility Three, Val has placed thirty old, Roman coins that someone with a good eye and knowledge of the currency of that time might recognize as Silver Denarians, with a portait of Caesar on either side.
These coins, rumored to be the thirty paid to Judas in exchange for his betrayal of Jesus Christ, all house powerful and deadly beings, honest-to-god Fallen Angels, imprisoned within the metal. They have very little power while just sitting in the coins. A person walking nearby might feel a sudden curiosity, an urge to look closer, but nothing too pressing and just not enough for them to interrupt what they were doing if it were important. A person who sees one of the coins will be hit with something a little stronger, a real desire to feel the weight of it against their bare palm, rub the worn down face on the surface of the silver with their thumb. After all, finders keepers, right?
Upon touching the coin, though, the demon within, while still limited in its power, gains access to the person's mind, and is capable of speaking with them, and appearing to them, offering them a larger sample of the power they have to offer. The potential host will have a very strong need to keep the coin with them, and keep it safe. Anybody who touches a coin will get this effect, even multiple people at once could suffer the addiction... and seeing another person touching their coin is sure to cause anger and hatred in a person. For the Angel imprisoned to truly regain a measure of their power, the host has to willingly take the coin into their being, let it become one with them, whether willingly... or not.
These demons are absolute masters of persuasion, with thousands of years of experience and the full host of the subject's memories and desires at their disposal. They'll promise anything, show them visions of what they could be, and possibly even appear in their dreams as an incarnation of a loved one or a trusted mentor, and they'll specifically do it in a way to appear reasonable to their potential host. But if all else fails, the angels will show their true natures, and resort to psychic torture, hoping to drive the hosts to take up the coin to stop the pain, or send them spiraling into insanity and take control themselves. While those Denarians with an unwilling host are weaker, since they can't call on the host's knowledge or abilities in combat, they're willing to make that sacrifice to end their imprisonment if the host is truly not willing to be convinced.
Once a person has taken in a coin, one way or another, it's hidden within their body. The only way to re-imprison a Denarian when it's been released is to separate coin from host, which is nearly always impossible to do without utterly destroying the host, since the Denarians usually hide the coin deep inside their brain, or in their heart, or amongst their other internal organs.
There are two basic types of freed Denarians: those without a willing host and those with whom the host is at least partially cooperating. Denarians who do not have a willing host will only ever appear in their demonic forms, which vary wildly from Denarian to Denarian, the only real restrictions being that they have two sets of eyes, one human looking, and one glowing and demonic, the demonic eyes appearing just above the human set. Some examples of Demon Forms can be found at the bottom of the write-up. All Denarians are capable of incredible healing, able to re-make their bodies and even re-grow lost appendages very, very quickly, though it is much harder for them to heal injuries inflicted by a Sword of the Cross (see below) or any other kind of Holy Weapon (holy water, Innocence, Hand Grenades from Antioch, Etc.) They also gain tremendous combat advantages with their demon forms, usually making them capable of holding their own and outlasting even the most powerful opponents.
Denarians with willing hosts are far more dangerous. The Demons are capable of concealing themselves, making the host look precisely as they did before, and switching to and from their demonic forms at will, usually taking about a second to five seconds for the transformation, depending on how drastic it is. Ancient masters of guile and manipulation, they're capable of bringing far more psychological weapons to bear and will often hunt the loved ones of the host , or try to convince them to find and take up coins of their own. The host, though they may think they're simply using the demon or cooperating them, will find it incredibly difficult to follow whatever agenda of their own that they had when taking up the coin, unless it coincides with the demons' own ultimate goals. Willing host Denarians can also utilize any abilities that their hosts had before becoming Denarians, in addition to their powerful demon form.
In combat, Denarians are ferocious opponents, and without holy weaponry it takes incredible effort to bring one down, usually the complete and utter destruction of the host body is required, or managing to reach inside and free the Denarian coin from the host, at which point they'll instantly lose all the healing abilities and revert back to their human form, 99% of the time dying instantly if they weren't already completely obliterated in the battle. The coins are indestructible and will be just as potent as they were before, and many an opponent has stood victorious against a Denarian and made the mistake of touching or taking possession of the coin for themselves, later falling and becoming an even more dangerous host. This is the Denarians ultimate plan, and often they're only beaten because they see an opportunity to gain an even more powerful host.
Which brings us to the section on
The Motivations of the Denarians: The Denarians aren't mindless baddies. They're working towards several goals, roughly working together with each other, though they aren't exactly the most tight-knit team in the world. They want three things, in order of most importance:
1. Ensure that every Denarian is freed and active, and has the most powerful, willing host possible. This is mostly an individual goal, but it's not unheard of for a Denarian to beat up on and overpower a person with a coin in their possession in order for the demon within it to offer them the power to fight back, or to kidnap a person and deposit them within the grasp of another of the coins. This will be happening especially frequently if there are very few active coins.
2. Utterly destroy the Swords of the Cross, their wielders, and any other holy relics they can get their hands on. People who have faith-based powers or holy weapons and the like may have an advantage in combat against the Denarians, but they'll find themselves and their loved ones constantly targeted by them, since they seek to unmake anything holy in the world, from any religion.
3. Spread Chaos, fear, hatred and death throughout the world. They've been imprisoned in those coins for millennia, and after a while, you just want to watch the world burn. They don't care who they're fighting, if there's nothing else pressing for a Denarian to do he'll simply go about doing generally evil, nasty stuff.
The Swords of the Cross: In and amongst the chaos of the Denarians scattered throughout the city, the rats have also been given something to combat them. The three ancient Swords of the Cross, each one with one of the three nails that allegedly were used to crucify Jesus forged into the hilt. In appearance, they are three exceptionally well made swords, each with a name etched into the blade. Amoracchius is a European style longsword, Fidellacchius a Japanese katana sword set into a cane, and Esperacchius is an elegant curved saber. The three swords will appear in exactly the right time, in exactly the right place, in order to offer themselves up to someone of exceptional faith and strength of spirit.
In keeping with the Almighty's choosing of unlikely champions, the three swords will only offer themselves to someone with little or no supernatural abilities of their own, and it will convey upon them its power and the knowledge they'll need to combat the Denarian threat. Those chosen do not necessarily need to be of the Christian religion to be chosen, they simply need to have faith, in one form or another.
The swords will amplify that faith, turning it into a shield and a weapon for good. The Swords will glow with pale blue light when wielded by those chosen, and this light will fill them and anyone nearby with bravery and courage, as well as penetrate any darkness.
The swords nullify most if not all supernatural powers used on the wielder, evening out the fight and making it more about strength and skill than power alone, and it bestows the wielder with a certain amount of skill in using the weapon. Any blow struck with one of the Swords will not heal nearly as quickly as a normal attack against one of the Denarians, and if the sword happens to pierce the host body and touch the coin, the demon will be instantly imprisoned within, and the coin will fall out of the host's body as if it was suddenly extremely hot, simply burning through their flesh as they return to human form.
While they do not entirely ward off the effects of the denarian coins, they will strengthen the wielder against their influence, and allow the coins to be collected and hidden away safely with less chance of temptation and corruption.
Destroying the Swords: While they cannot be shattered or broken by conventional means, the swords can be destroyed. If they're ever used in anger, against an innocent, they will simply disappear from the wielder's hand, and the same goes for if they're ever captured by a Denarian in combat. A destroyed sword will re-appear to a new wielder within a day or two. Also, a wielder injured in combat or unwilling to continue their duties can willingly pass the sword along to another, if they meet the requirements to become a wielder themselves.
Examples of Demon Forms: It's encouraged for a character who's planning to take up one of the coins to invent their own creative Demon Form, and name the demon within, but below are some canon examples of Denarians for ideas of how big they generally are, what they do in terms of power, etc. Above all, the demons are incredibly varied, so players have a whole lot of freedom in designing what they'd like theirs to look like.
Ursiel: Appears in the form of a massive, nearly ten foot tall brown bear, with a set of curling ram's horns, two rows of serrated, slime coated teeth and six legs.
Saluriel: Humanoid, but with green scales covering his skin, and his legs twined together into a long serptent's body. His normal eyes are vertically slit yellow orbs, and his mouth contains a pair of venomous fangs.
Imariel: The size of a child, but covered in an insect's chitin. it can fly with long, clear dragonfly wings, and it has the arms of a praying mantis in addition to four spindly legs sprouting from its hips.
Magog: Appears very much like a very large gorilla, probably eight hundred pounds or so, except for the tough, leathery hide and heavy claws.
Ordiel: An androgenous, naked, bald statue of obsidian, covered in a coat of shaggy feathers, its face obscured with a mass of fleshy, hanging tendrils.
Deirdre: Resembles a human female covered in red fur, with reverse-jointed legs ending in panther paws. Her hair is a mass of ten-foot long, independently moving blades.