Author Topic: Wyrm: The Tainted  (Read 606 times)

Offline d4rko

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Wyrm: The Tainted
« on: December 13, 2017, 03:24:53 PM »
If you're aiming to roleplay Wyrm Taint, then this guide is what you're looking for.

The Tainted
Becoming an agent of the Wyrm is sometimes the result of a swift and hideous choice, but more often, the path to corruption is far slower and more complex. The Wyrm can warp the minds and bodies of anything that it comes into contact with. Contact with some of the most potent of the Wyrm’s toxins will taint any who manage to survive. Others spend too long in a Wyrm Caern, a Hellhole, or in Malfeas itself and become physically or mentally tainted; coming too far under the influence of an Urge Wyrm is a sure-fire route to mental taint.

A shapeshifter or occultist might attract the attention of a powerful Bane, or perhaps even one of the Maeljin Incarna, and find that it has formed a connection to her mind through which it can poison her thoughts. Some attract attention by fighting against Wyrmspawn, others because they are powerful or important individuals who demonstrate a vice or weakness that the Wyrm can exploit.

Corruption and Free Will
The Wyrm cannot force any living creature to swear loyalty to it. Even Black Spiral Dancers, Buzzards, Skull Pigs, and other Changing Breeds who belong to the Wyrm ultimately do so by choice. Of course, this choice may not be entirely free, and such choices can almost never be undone. Some creatures grow up with the Wyrm whispering to them in the back of their minds, surrounded by mentors or parents who use some combination of threats, brutality, and temptation to encourage them to embrace corruption. Ultimately, however, each individual must make his or her choice. For many, the choice is an exceptionally final one. Garou who dance the Black Spiral, Skull Pigs who devour Wyrm-tainted bones, and Rokea who willingly accept balefire into their bodies and minds become not merely servants of the Wyrm, but living avatars of corruption. No force short of death can undo such a drastic and final choice. Even thinking of going against the Wyrm’s desires requires a great effort.

Rejecting the Wyrm would kill them. Other members of the Changing Breeds who fall to the Wyrm retain slightly more of their free will, but their choice is still brutally final. The few members of tainted groups like the Scabs or Black Spiral Dancers who reject the Wyrm usually do not survive long. Their teachers and fellows view refusing to accept the Wyrm as a betrayal punishable by death. Most take the easy and final escape of suicide, but a very few flee from their own kind.

These creatures live lonely lives, battling with insanity and fearing discovery by either the Changing Breeds or agents of the Wyrm. A handful find ways to spy upon the Wyrm’s other minions and pass messages to members of the Changing Breeds, but other shapeshifters will never embrace or even trust them. These rebels have not fallen to the Wyrm, but their upbringing still taints their bodies and minds sufficiently that none of the Gaian Fera will ever accept them. Most eventually either kill themselves, or give into the corruption in their blood.

Physical Taints
The Wyrm corrupts everything it touches, including the bodies of its victims. These physical transformations and sickness can include everything from deformities like those common to metis Garou to wounds that refuse to heal and which even a werewolf’s regeneration cannot repair. Such transformations cause victims pain and disgust at the fact that their body now contains visible and often hideous traces of the Wyrm. Someone afflicted with this sort of taint owes no allegiance to the Wyrm, and it cannot affect him in any way, except by the problems his affliction causes him. Minions of the Wyrm can sense these tainted individuals, and they show up as Wyrm-tainted to Garou using Sense Wyrm to investigate the sickness or deformity.

Afflicted with hairlessness, a withered limb, masses of writhing warts or something even more disturbing, the victims of these problems often search for cures and solutions. However removing deeply embedded physical traces of the Wyrm is exceptionally difficult. While certain spirits and rites have the power to cure completely Wyrm afflictions, finding such cures takes a great deal of time and effort. The Wyrm can offer a cure, either sending a Bane or Black Spiral Dancer, or appearing in the victim’s dreams. This cure might fade over time, or cure only part of a larger affliction. In either case, only continued service to the Wyrm can cure a physical deformity permanently, and even then, only as long as the heads of the Hydra find benefit in doing so.

Mental Taints
Sometimes exposure to especially strong manifestations of the Wyrm provides a conduit into the mind of an individual, allowing one of the Urge Wyrms to corrupt her thoughts and dreams. She can also attract an Urge Wyrm’s attention by giving in to excesses of a particular emotion, receiving taint simply because she gives in to her vices one time too often. Urge Wyrms cannot forcibly corrupt someone, but they are insidious and persistent. The victim hears an aspect of the Wyrm whispering advice and commentary in the back of her mind. In addition to being an uncomfortable and confusing experience, Urge Wyrms seek out individuals who have personalities they can most easily influence. Someone inclined to fear would most likely be contacted by Foebok, just as a greedy individual would hear Vorus in his head.

The Path of Corruption
In return for a cure or because of ceaseless whispering by an Urge Wyrm, sometimes one of the Changing Breeds signs on the metaphorical dotted line and swears allegiance to the Wyrm. That sort of clean and final choice is relatively rare. In cases like the Balefire Sharks, where the choice is to serve the Wyrm or die, a few of the Changing Breeds value life more than loyalty and honor, but most are unwilling to so obviously betray everything they believe in. The Wyrm can however be both subtle and patient. In return for curing an affliction, the Wyrm may ask an individual to perform some small service. A bane may ask someone to arrange to have a captured Black Spiral Dancer escape before she can be questioned and killed, or make a call to warn a Pentex employee of a planned raid on one of the company’s facilities.

Often, this task is both easy and essentially free of risk. If she performs the task, she had aided the Wyrm, but just as importantly, she has started on the path of corruption. When corrupting someone who suffers from a physical taint, an agent of the Wyrm approaches the target and offers a cure, for a price. If the individual performs the first task, in short order there’s a second, usually just as risk free but perhaps a bit more difficult and involved. In return, the dream voice, Bane, or Black Spiral Dancer cures some of the less obvious but lingering symptoms of the character’s affliction. Each task comes with a promised reward, but the tasks become more difficult and dangerous as time goes on.

If the victim’s allies ever discover his betrayal, the Wyrm’s agents will offer to help the victim escape without asking anything in return — this time. After a while, the tasks requested bring nothing in return beyond not informing the character’s pack or other allies of what he has done. Somewhere in the midst of performing these “small favors,” the individual performing them belongs to the Wyrm, but the exact point where this happens may not be obvious except in retrospect, which is exactly the way agents of the Wyrm prefer it. The path of mental corruption is far simpler.

The Urge Wyrm continues to whisper warnings and suggestions that to at least some degree align with the character’s unconscious desires, slowly leading him to betraying his principles and falling to the Wyrm. If he covets another Garou’s klaive, Vorus might suggest that he steal it, whispering that the klaive’s owner doesn’t deserve it and reasons why he should hate the klaive’s owner. Sykora might suggest that a character’s romantic rival is plotting to kill her or that her friends are about to betray her and that the character must strike first if she wishes survive. If the character follows through on these urgings, she eventually becomes an agent of the Wyrm

Avoiding Corruption
Physical and mental taints can never force anyone to swear allegiance to the Wyrm. Although the process can be difficult and potentially humiliating, almost everyone who is tainted by the Wyrm can eventually throw off this taint. Accomplishing this feat typically involves two steps. The first step is admitting to someone who understands and can help that the character has become corrupted and requires aid. For obvious physical changes, this process is simple, but most Garou feel great shame at becoming corrupted, as well as no small amount of fear that they might soon fall to the Wyrm.

As a result, many attempt to conceal any physical transformations that can be hidden. The Changing Breeds regard mental taint even less well, looking askance at anyone who admits that they hear the Wyrm’s whispered threats and promises, believing them to be already fallen or at best unworthy of any trust or responsibility. Worse, most shapeshifters believe that only individuals who were previously weak or corrupt are tainted by the Wyrm. Admitting what is wrong and seeking aid can undo both physical and mental corruption, but it is only the first step. The next step is finding a cure, a process that usually requires significant effort. The path to accomplishing any such cure is far from easy. In the early days of being tainted, a simple Rite of Cleansing might suffice to wash the Wyrm’s stench away.

Beyond that point, a wise and experienced Theurge might know some method of purifying the victim, but this purification often requires a journey deep into the Umbra. She might have to find a fount of pure Wyld energies to cleanse her mind and body, or bargain with a powerful spirit in return for its help curing her of the Wyrm’s mark. Regardless of the cure, the Wyrm will not let go without a fight. Agents of the Wyrm may try to discredit anyone the victim goes to for help, or simply attempt to kill them and frame the tainted one for the murder. Others use far subtler forms of trickery, sending Banes disguised as friendly spirits, or offering a Rite of Cleaning that intensifies the victim’s taint unless she does something for the ritemaster.

Redemption for the Fallen
Someone who falls to the Wyrm suffers irrevocable changes. Her will is no longer fully her own and her mind — and in some cases her body — is now sustained by the Wyrm’s corrupt energies. She has no way back; no one who makes this choice can ever unmake it and return to being a whole person. Any of the fallen who struggle against their fate: face either failure or death as their only options. Some experiences, like walking the Black Spiral Labyrinth or feeding on Wyrm-tainted flesh make any who survive them completely unable to even consider betraying or working against the Wyrm.

Individuals who fall to the Wyrm through less extreme forms of corruption can work against their dark master, but only with great difficulty and greater cost. When anyone who has fallen to the Wyrm betrays it, banes and other creatures associated with the Corrupter know of what has happened. Some fomori, and other Wyrmspawn like the Balefire Sharks, rely on the Wyrm’s corrupt energies to survive. Were one to turn against the Wyrm it would soon suffer a painful death, as the power that sustains them suddenly cuts off. Otherwise, the Wyrm’s minions try to destroy the betrayer.

Those who manage to escape or survive gradually become physically and mentally ill as the strain of working against the Wyrm wracks their minds and bodies. All the Wyrm’s servants understand this price, although many only learned it after they swore allegiance to it. The few who bitterly regret their choice and are willing to help make amends often choose to betray the Wyrm in a way that ends in their death. Myths tell of a silver lake in the Umbra that could bring them redemption, but many die before they ever find it.

« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 03:38:39 PM by d4rko »

Offline Skull

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Re: Wyrm: The Tainted
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 03:57:42 PM »
Noice!! Ty drko
Life is awesome without lying.

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Offline Mustard_xP07

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Re: Wyrm: The Tainted
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 04:09:27 PM »
I hope this guide will help those players who RP as a Black Spiral Dancer etc. Anyways nice guide!

Offline C. White

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Re: Wyrm: The Tainted
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 04:19:19 PM »
I hope this guide will help those players who RP as a Black Spiral Dancer etc. Anyways nice guide!
literally came here to say that
Quote from: Jhin
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