Cahalism

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Cahalism
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Afflictions
Affected Races All, except Urlan, Bralona.
Contraction Ritual, Infection, Relics
Mortality Rate Long-lived
Origins Estellon

To be Cahal is to be the final revenge of the Estellon Gods against those who forsook them for the allure of the Void and other powers, the power of faith itself corrupted to unending zealotry. Cahal are Afflicted of the Exist type, created during the decline of the Allorn Empire by the Estellon Pantheon as punishment for the Allorn people, but also to spread and maintain their religion in their absence. Though beginning as an Allorn concept and even now strongly tied to Elven history and symbolism, Cahal represent the drive to seek perfection and purification through religion, not just Allorn perfection or the Allorn religion. Communities of Cahal exist all around the world, and unlike the fractious Vampires or Geists, maintain a relatively strong hierarchy of command that answers to their patrons the Exist Arken.

Core Concepts

Playing a Cahal

Cahal, being Afflicted, are cursed by "evil" forces, and harm society around them no matter how much someone can pretend they do not. As such, they are the closest thing you might find (along with other Afflictions to being prime antagonists on MassiveCraft in between Events when there aren't DM NPC's to unite against. Playing a Cahal means you will likely get hunted/attacked by a large amount of Characters in Roleplay, as they are effectively perpetually illegal, and legal to attack/imprison/cure for vigilantes and Knights. You should not play a Cahal if you have trouble with constant conflict, or find being attacked frequently and randomly in even social scenes uncomfortable.

Infection & Curing

Being a Cahal, is a curable condition, but also one that is contagious from one Cahal to non-Cahal. Cahal curing requires that a Cahal is defeated in combat, and dragged off to a Curing Chamber (or some other form of Curing Mechanic). Only Specific Characters are able to cure Cahal (and other Afflictions), as this requires the Affliction Wisdom Pack which not many Characters have. Becoming a Cahal can be done in a variety of ways (described below), though there are some exception and corner cases. For example, someone can only ever have one Affliction, or Affinity, meaning that one cannot be a Cahal and Vampire, or Cahal and Marken at the same time. Cahal are equally also immune to being infected by other Afflictions or certain Affinities unless they are Cured. Finally, if they already have Radiant, Sinistral, or Theurgy Point Buy (and other such Dimension Aligned Abilities), they are all converted from their original Alignment to Exist upon infection, including any Spirits converted to Exist Apparitions, until they are Cured, and they both return to their previous types.

  • Conversion by Ritual: Conversion by Ritual means writing a story for yourself, or passing it off in backstory, that a Character worshiped the Estellon Gods, and was blessed by them by becoming a Cahal.
  • Conversion by Feeding: Conversion by Feeding means that 24 hours after being fed on by a Cahal, a victim can turn into a Cahal also. If a player objects to infection during feeding, this does not happen.
  • Conversion by Relic: Conversion by Relic means a person randomly stumbles into an infected shield harboring an Exist Apparition, once belonging to a now-dead Cahal. Owning such a shield turns the owner into a Cahal.

Physical & Mental Changes

Becoming a Cahal does affect both the body and the mind of the person, these changes taking hold during infection and remaining permanent until they are Cured. These changes are split between Required and Optional changes:

  • Required Changes
    • All Cahal irises turn solid ethereal ice white, and produce light trails as they move around. Additionally, they have perfect nightvision during night, and are able to see in darkness.
    • All Cahal are free from guilt over their urges, like feeding. This doesn't make them devoid of emotion or consciousness, it just means they won't feel bad about feeding or being Cahal.
  • Optional Changes
    • Infection can enhance the body, for example by making the host larger, more muscular, taller, have Exist-blue tattoos across the body, bone-white horns, pearly claw hands and feet, etc.
    • Infection can give the host more Exist-like aesthetics, like blue-fire crowns when they cast spells, misty echoes following their footsteps, a louder and clearer voice, etc.
    • Infection can make a person more inclined to seek perfection, finding flaws in even little, mundane things, and always looking to improve themselves and others to an unreasonable degree.
    • Infection may cause a person's view of Affliction to shift completely, from hatred, to adoring and vanity. Even after curing, it may cause a person to desperately seek re-infection.

Afflicted Form

Afflicted Form is a Transformation that can be used by Cahal to disguise themselves, or just look cool while going into Combat. Afflicted Forms are more monstrous forms of their normal body, and allow some more creative freedom like making the Character appear more like a hulking beast, so long as it remains vaguely humanoid, and should not add additional function (like wielding more than one weapon with multiple arms). Afflicted Form cannot imitate other types (like Vampires, Geists, or Marken), and must always remain the same, and be predominantly made of stone and Exist-themed.

Afflicted Feeding

Cahal, like all other forms of Afflictions, must feed in order to survive. Their Affliction is hardwired in such a way that they have a constant urge to feed that will only momentarily be sated by consuming the emotions of a victim. It is only possible to feed from a combat defeated foe, as the process is a violation of the person and no sane person would consent to having their emotions stripped away and pulled from them. Feeding takes about 5 minutes, during which the Cahal consumes emotions, but must restart if attacked. The victim may decide what types of emotions they lose, this can be a general insensitivity, or whole specific emotions, or what it felt like to be somewhere or with someone. Not everyone is willing to admit being fed on to authorities, as this immediately draws suspicion to the victim, they might be infected also. We strongly request players are consistent on feeding in Roleplay and not just offscreen-NPC the feeding process, but won't enforce it.

Cahal Shield

Cahal can use a Summon Shield Ability to draw a shield from the ether into their hand in an instant. This Shield does not need to remain the same and can change appearance over time, representing part of the Afflicted's personality as well in how it looks. If Infected as a Cahal for long enough, the shield may become infested by an Exist Apparition, which results in the shield becoming a Cahal Relic. This means that if the Cahal perishes and the weapon is picked up by another non-Cahal, that person is infected and becomes a Cahal as well, with the Cahal Relic now being their Weapon Summon.

Cahal Traits

This section puts all Abilities, Free Packs, Limitations, and Mechanics together for ease of reference. Keep in mind, Afflictions are not Races, these Traits are additive, they do not replace Racial Traits.

Abilities

Ability Name Ability Type Ability Range Ability Description Modifier
Armor Summon Summon Power Self

Grants the user Armor Summon

N/A
Shield Summon Summon Power Self Grants the user Shield Summon

N/A

Free Packs

  • Cahal Buff I: Cahal gain the Radiant Magical Talent in Exist Alignment for free. If the Cahal already has Radiant Point Buy, this does nothing.

Limitations

  • Cahal Limitation I: Urlan, and Bralona cannot be Cahal under any circumstances. Cahal also cannot become other Afflictions, or Marken or Archon.

Mechanics

  • Justicar: Cahal Feeding is invasive, and allows the Cahal to see moments where the victim had very strong emotions, of hatred or of love, of success or of defeat, their most passionate moments.
  • Cahal-Broods: Cahal sire offspring called Cahal-Broods. They are born with Heterochromia (one ice white, one normal eye) or normal eye colors, and a strong connection to Exist Magic, but are not Cahal themselves (unless infected).
  • Cahal-Life: Cahal are not immortal, but their life is extended by several centuries, up to a maximum of 500. There are in theory older Cahal, but we do not permit players to play 500+ year old Characters.
  • Cahal-Form: Cahal can use Afflicted Form to transform into a Disguised Monster Form. Even though this is a Disguise, it cannot be seen through, even by Abilities or Mechanics that can see through Disguises.
  • Cahal-Curse: After having successfully fed off a victim, the victim gains the Wrathcurse, which is a -2 Main Combat Stat debuff for 72 hours after feeding, that weakens them.
  • Cahal-Thralls: Cahal are able to (with strict OOC consent) establish a mind-control curse after feeding on a victim that lasts until Exorcized. Thralls cannot be infected.
  • Cahal-Speech: Cahal are able to communicate in a secret language that only Cahal and Cahal-Thralls and Cahal-Broods can understand, that cannot be understood through other Abilities or Mechanics.
  • Cahal-Forge: Cahal are able to apply Exist aesthetics and decorations on objects they own, armor, weapons, rental regions, and areas around them, creating perfected effects and decorations.

Culture

Cahal lead a varied range of lifestyles. Some have a more tribal aesthetic and dwell as shamans in the ruins of the former Allorn Empire, while others disguise themselves craftily in major cities and use diplomacy to convert others to their ideology. In general, Cahal go where other Cahal are and make themselves useful to one another. Degrees of infiltration and comfortable living are not as important to a Cahal as the size of their Court, and entire groups of Cahal have been known to uproot themselves across countries and continents just to start over again somewhere else where they believe they might be more useful. Unlike divided Vampires and Geists, however, Cahal all are responsible to the Exist Arken and Estellon Gods as authority figures, even if they do not worship them.

Allorn Theme: Prince Lenuyaan's Court

Since the Mage Wars and the departure of the Estellon Gods (which led to the creation of the Cahal), an Allorn Prince by the name of Lenuyaan of Ahillond has lived as an open Cahal and retained a large number of Cahal followers. Despite the attempts of both horrified court traditionalists and anti-state Void worshiping elements in the Allorn government to kill him, Lenuyaan was too slippery to put down, and still lives in the modern day to lead his armies against the Kathar in a war of defense he considers holy. Lenuyaan's Cahal are the inventors of many Cahalic cultural concepts considered traditional: including the Vanity Dance, a festival where attendees dance between walls of mirrors to showcase their humility, as well as Elleyon's Anvil, a gathering where groups of Cahal work together to smith a Keyblade in honor of the god Elleyon on a large anvil over blue fire. It is Lenuyaan's Court that has spread the stereotype that the Cahal are intrinsically tied to the Allorn Empire, even though they were originally created to punish the Allorn people for turning on their Gods.

Yanar Theme: Forest Brothers

The Forest Brothers were created when the Yanar were pressed between Allorn, Regalian, and Eronidas government expansion efforts, very recently, within the past 30 years. With little options other than to turn to Cahalism to defend themselves from encroachment, the local Yanar decided that it was better to be evil and be feared, than to be vulnerable and be dead. Ever since, there has been an impossible to root out Cahal infestation in the forests of northern Daen just south of the impenetrable no man's land which bars the way to Ithania. Besides just the Regalians and Eronidas, the Forest Brothers are also famous enemies of the Asha Claws of Khannar, because it happens that their bases of operations are very close together, and the Elf-hating Claws and Estellon-worshiping Brothers represent antitheses to one another. The Forest Brothers, while Yanar, are also renowned hunters and huntresses who have evolved elaborate game-chasing rituals and ways to use every part of every beast they slay.

Justice Theme: The Inulvaan

The Inulvaan were wearers of four-faced helms who originally served the Goddess Estel in her physical form, with unclear purposes and traditions as a secret order of mystics who tended to her place of rest. When the Void Arken slew Estel and the Exist Arken who stood in their way to defend her, the Inulvaan became leaderless, with their numbers decimated by Void Cult attacks and the Void Invasion which immediately followed. When a new Justice Arken arose in the century following, she took over the Inulvaan as her own personal army, reasoning that it was her right as her predecessor had fallen in Estel's defense. The Inulvaan exist across the Allorn Empire as a feared cult of meticulous debt-collectors and vigilantes who operate out of their Arken patron's base of operations in the Allorn capital Ivaëlle, where it is said that the largest physical database of crimes committed and offenses dealt is kept graven on marble tablets for the Inulvaan's use in executing. Inulvaan see themselves as judge, jury, and executioner, who travel the world in disguise spying on the sinful, the unworthy, and the arrogant, and join together with like-minded people to send them to their final deaths when the right time comes.

Ithanian Theme: Autumn Dancers

The Autumn Dancers are a group of Ithanian socialites and society ladies who recognized long ago that the ability to strip their enemies of emotions and cause them to commit social faux pas at court and thereby disgrace themselves was a powerful one indeed. While they do not occupy the ranks of the higher nobility, the ranks of handmaidens and ladies-in-waiting are absolutely plagued with members of the Autumnal Advent Dancers' Society. Even though it is an official organization, it has covered its tracks so thoroughly that there is both little suspicion and little evidence against them among Ithanian society at large, with any such accusations framed up as the ravings of the insane. To be an Autumn Dancer is to use the intrigues of the Cahal to subtly manipulate court politics to the benefit of those the Cahal considers righteous, to eliminate the imperfect by letting them walk all over their own rakes, without them knowing that the Dancer was the one who put them there in the first place.

Allar Theme: The Aggrieved

The Aggrieved are a cult of Allar Cahal displaced violently by the Sendrassians from western border islands up towards the Allorn Empire, where they came into contact with Cahal living on the border islands and were quickly converted to their cause as a way of gaining power in the hopes of eventually retaking their homes. They are perhaps the most warlike and bestial of all the Cahal, for whom the trauma is fresh, and for whom the original goal of what they wanted to achieve with their Cahalism is not either impossible (like the Forest Brothers) or washed away by time (like the Inulvaan). Aggrieved Cahal stand for violence against all the Void-Aligned, to teach them the lesson of the suffering that they felt when they were dragged away to be sacrificed to the Void Gods by the Sendrassians, and to set the score right. Compared to the Inulvaan, for example, they are far more arbitrary and personally motivated, not caring for what a particular Void Occult did or why, but caring more for what they are.

Trivia

  • There is a major bridge in Ivaëlle made entirely of dormant Cahal making a human pyramid. Allorn Arcano-engineers assure the populace that there is no risk of collapse.
  • It is possible that in the coming centuries, Cahal will indeed divide like Vampires and Geists, have, as time pushes them apart. However, for now, there is no sign of this.
  • News has recently reached Regalia that the most prominent of the Allorn generals doing battle with the Kathar, is in fact Prince Lenuyaan. This raises the question of why the reborn Talea has not cured him or gotten rid of him. Either she is not able, or she is not willing: both of which raise intriguing ideas about the Allorn and Cahal relationship.

Accreditation
Writers Okadoka, MonMarty
Last Editor Birdsfoot violet on 08/18/2023.

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