A wild spirit of the rocky coastal forests, in whose honor ancient peoples raised menhirs and stone altars. She is a demanding spirit, but her demands are simple: blood, and strict
prohibitions against overhunting (for all animals good to eat within
her territory are hers by right) Each new group to settle along the coast has taken up the obligation, sacrificing boars to her each solstice. The custom has lasted through many generations of migration and upheaval, and the Lady left the hillfolk in peace - not alone, for she was often seen just out of the lamplight on hot nights or more rarely found reclined and at rest in one of her many shrines, but she reserved her wrath to those who offended her.
Then the war came, and the war was lost. A governor arrived with his tax collectors. The hillfolk still made their offerings and respected her claims on the beasts of the land, and so this was to the Lady another war of many that she had seen and thus no business at all of hers. The soldiers moved on to fronts beyond the horizon and for a while the conquerors were content to ignore this pocket of plunder.
A few years passed, and the wars over the horizon ended. The gaze was turned inward. Somewhere in the vast and outstretched empire, steam had been fit with a bridle and coal with a bit, and it was decided that now was the time to build.
Chief of the townships within the Lady's lands was declared capital of a new nation, for its river was deep and its mountains full of ore. Hamlets and homesteads were paved under, resigned to the lightless depths as a city was built. The poor and the desperate from all corners, by choice or by force, flooded the place. The hillfolk were swallowed up in the tide.
Oh, what a cruel city.
Only a vanishing few of the elderly remember how things once were. The poor still honor the Lady, but they no longer have boars to hunt. She has been made a tourist trap, a face on a stuffed toy. The trees turn sick, the sky heavy and grey, the water cloudy and foul. The beasts are gone. The Lady of Fangs remains.
This city has made of itself a poisoned feast. Ren die in the factories in droves and they sustain her now that the beasts are gone. Her sacred grounds overflow with offerings, carelessly made and without intent. In her long-steeped anger, in her starvation among abundance, she has grown cruel beyond measure. The endless sacrifices of the factory floor have made her powerful. She is hungry. Her servants stalk the back alleys and undercity, striking without care for guilt or innocence - all have sinned, and thus must pay blood price.
Favored Forms of the Lady of Fangs
- A woman with a tiger's head, wearing a beautiful silk gown.
- An enormous tiger, often melanistic.
- An old, blind woman with filed teeth, occasionally wearing a tattered tiger-skin cloak.
- A fiery heart in the distance, slowly pulsing.
- A flying sword with a red tassel on its golden hilt.
- A form obscured by darkness, save eyes like embers and the impression of too many arms, too long and too thin.
Servants of the Lady's Court
- Body of an ape with matted orange hair, the head of a black spider, loping through the city's upper districts.
- Sleek sunset-furred blur, too fast to make out as it grabs a horse by the neck and runs off.
- One long arm reaching out from the shadows, callused palm and jagged nails begging for coins.
- A hole in the wall that keeps seeping blood, attended by maggots with human faces.
- A painting of a jackal, moving silently across the brickwork.
- Three woman in striped veils with earrings made of teeth, gossiping to one another.
So yeah, here's the Lady of Fangs from my LoK fixfic, in a form more fit for general usage.
At the table the LoF would be a background antagonist, and likely a conflict that players would never directly solve without some major, long term faction play. But, she can serve as a means of interrupting or elaborating on what else might be going on at the time - it's likely that any antagonistic forces players are dealing with would be linked in some way to the state of affairs that's made the Lady who she is now.
Not much new here, but it's been a slump week and I had been meaning to give her a separate post.ReplyDelete
I mean, when you get cool art you've gotta run with it, right?Delete
It's true, the easiest way to get me to write things is to give me cool art.Delete
She's fantastic. I imagine Leiber's "Smoke Ghost" is a far lesser but parallel eco-spiritual development. The vision of Molech from Metropolis, too, if things go unchecked. I love the feedback between genius loci and environment; Myazaki and Pratchett would be pleased.ReplyDelete