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{{Info afflictions
{{Info afflictions
|image      = Whatsthisowostoplookingattherecentchangesyoudoorknob.png
|image      = Drultest.png
|races      = All
|races      = All except Urlan, Bralona, Kathar and Haat-Maraya
|contraction = Various
|contraction = Various
|mortality  = N/A
|mortality  = N/A
|origins    = [[Cataclysm]]
|origins    = [[Estellon]]
|symptoms    =  
|symptoms    =  
* Varying
* Soulthirst
* Perfectionism
* Exist Corruption
|}}
|}}
Cahal, also known as the Shattered Curse, is an [[Exist]]-spawned blood-curse that has plagued [[Aloria]] for hundreds of years. Being a Cahal causes the subject to undergo physical and mental transformations, while also controlling them into actions that result in them attacking strangers for their rituals, but also potentially infecting them in the process. Cahal are reviled by the people of Aloria in a similar manner as [[Vampires]] are, and many would call them much the same. The Cahal, much like the Vampires, have started forming their own societies and [[Cultures]], blurring the lines between [[Affliction]] and identity as they struggle between their cursed nature and their old lives. Some Cahal try to live in their old societies, while others seek to live in as much isolation as they can, avoiding persecution. Most Cahal however have embraced their identity, and many have taken the fight to society at large and organized ideologies that prosecute them. Others yet are choosing to fight the [[Regalian Empire]], to fight back against the repression and insulting way that the Regalian authorities have clumped the Cahal with the Vampires and declared them unholy aberrants.


==Etymology==
In the ruins of grandiose temples and ravines flush with jungle, places where once Nelfin sung the thousand glories of civilization, art, and poetry, the land has long laid dormant. But the past refuses to be forgotten, and in the forlorn echoes of the long-destroyed Allorn Empire, in an answer to the sins of its people and their betrayal of their Gods, an affliction stirs to set the count right and make good Elleyon’s final revenge. The Cahal is an agent of perfection, an Afflicted who has been influenced by the celestial siren song of the Exist to see ugliness in all things mortal and attempt to set them straight to their definition of purification. While rarer in Regalia than Vampires, a traveler would be remiss to forget the Cahal and what they are capable of. For while servants of chaos may pillage and destroy, the Cahal, servants of Order, seek to unify, organize, and recruit until they are so great a force that none may bar their path.
The word Cahal comes from the [[Empire Altalar]] word Cahëllon, meaning “worshiper of the wild rituals”. The [[Altalar]] who made first contact with the Shattered Curse did not consider them an Affliction at first, because their behavior was very unlike the typical [[Void]]-based Afflictions that terrorize the other [[Races]]. As such, they were simply named after their most common interaction with society at large, the abduction and forced involvement in otherworldly rituals that made them appear more like a cult than an actual danger to society. The word Cahal can also interchangeably be used with Cahalism. A singular person infected with the Shattered Curse is a Cahal, while the word is also used to describe a plural group of Cahal.  
==Core Concept==
Cahal are Afflicted, formerly normal people who were converted into statue-warriors with glowing eyes by the Shattered Curse. The Cahal see themselves as blessed soldiers of perfection whose actions improve and beautify the world, whereas most others experience them as crazed zealots who siphon souls for power. They enjoy support from some sects of Estellon radicals who believe in their mission- elsewhere, Cahal are feared and ostracized by all other societies, religions, and cultures, because of the existential danger they pose to organized civilization. The Regalian Empire has always struggled with the Cahal infection growing in response to repression of Nelfin populations or explosions of Vampires or Geists, as desperate Estellon worshipers turn to the curse to keep themselves safe when nothing else can.


==History==
===Playing a Cahal===
The exact source origin of the Cahal is unknown. Early fighting with Vampires in particular caused much of their history to be destroyed. The more violent and imposing Vampire communities went out of their way to eradicate much of the evidence or recorded history of the first appearance of the Cahal to repress their self identity. This involves a period during which many Cahal were forcibly enslaved by the Vampires, particularly in the north of [[Ellador]], to serve as expendable soldiers, or house servants among the courts of the [[Dorkarthi Desprinces]], as they were immune to converting or feeding. As decades passed following [[Cataclysm]], some Cahal escaped slavery by blending into the retreating Regalian armies during the [[Unspoken Wars]] with the Vampires, using [[Regalia]] as a springboard to make it into the remnants of the [[Allorn Empire]] where they could disappear into the Wyldered forests and overgrown temples far away from the prying eyes of society. In secret, the Cahal regrew their numbers outside of slavery, though never quite forgetting the Cahal left behind in Ellador, still enslaved to the Dorkarthi Desprinces to this day.
Cahal are prosecuted and illegal. Cahalism is seen as an evil curse that should be exterminated either through curing or the sword by almost everyone: most characters are anti-Cahal and attack them on sight, while most of the rest reserve at least a grudging dislike. That said, Cahal are quite powerful, and in an isolated duel situation, Cahal triumph over most enemies unless they are a Cahal Hunter or particularly skilled Mage. Cahal usually live in either Floral Court, where sympathetic locals shelter them, or in Crookback or the Sewers otherwise: Cahal unify together under central leadership, and wage war with those who threaten their existence, before going into hiding when they draw too much attention to themselves.
 
===Cahal in Regalia===
Cahal in Regalia are strongly disliked. The Allorn Princes and pro-Allorn states often treat them like pests who cause more trouble than their help is worth, which is an attitude that has moved to Regalia with Teledden and Fin’ullen immigrants. However, especially zealous Estellon worshipers or those who have been radicalized by the intense Regalian environment where Vampires, Geists, cultists, Archon and more threaten their way of life may see them more as friends and align with them. While in Regalia the guard cures Cahal in a Curing Chamber, in the provinces they are nearly always put to death if discovered and caught.
==Mechanics==
Mechanics are a set of rules that define how this Affliction operates. This section is very important to read, because it may include some functions that could be considered Specials, though all Abilities are recorded in the Variants section.
===Becoming Afflicted===
Becoming a Cahal is simple. There are so called Infection processes (described in more detail below). Once initial infection has taken place, the person will undergo a couple of days of conversion during which they are still their old self, but feel like something is wrong, and gradually turn into a Cahal by losing parts of their mind that made them normal. A person normally becomes a full Cahal upon first soul feeding, though this slow infection process may also be time-skipped or extended with player discretion.
* Infection by feeding: Infection by soul-siphon is the most common occurrence for Cahalism to spread, as it is highly contagious. Players may decide not to be infected by a siphon however.
* Infection by contract: Infection by contract involves making a deal with a Cahal to ‘take them as an ally.’ This is always telegraphed by a blue fire in their palm, and deceiving a character into a contract requires OOC consent.
* Infection by ritual: Infection by Ritual is less common, involving praising the Estellon Gods and asking for their blessing. Greater Entities like Arken and Estellon Gods can also do this directly.
In any and all cases, anyone who is already Void or Ordial Occult, whether through Magic or Theurgy, etc., cannot become a Cahal. The latent conflicting essence prevents infection.


In the deep Wyldered forests of [[Daen]], the Cahal started forming their first societies, and to some degree even a mirror reflection of the Dorkarthi Princedoms: The Mesver Tribedoms. Through having all the hallmarks of a State: A unified hierarchy under the Mass'yal (the Cahal version of a Desprince), a unified ambition and cultural identity, the Mesver Tribedoms did not ever stay in one place. The encroachment of Altalar reclamation of lost cities caused the Mesver to constantly move their base of operations, though always taking a few Altalar with them on the way to convert or use in their rituals. As such, they mostly stayed hidden from the public eye, though eventually around 70 AC, their status became well established among the Altalar Princes, and the name Cahal was first created. The lack of prosecution from the Altalar early on meant that the Cahal became emboldened, resulting in a longer running campaign of spreading to other continents unchecked, something that would later come to damage the Altalar and the original inhabitants of their new found bases of operation.
===Curing Afflicted===
Affliction curing in the provinces is practically impossible. The only real way Afflicted have reliability been cured in the world, is through Curing Chambers, which are very rare old Dragon Ruins with chambers that some doctors have discovered can cleanse a person of their Affliction. In order to cure an Afflicted, the Afflicted must be put into the Curing Chamber by someone who has the Affliction Wisdom Pack from the [[Scholarly Point Buy]] Category, after which this person may perform the ritual. How the ritual is done is up to player interpretation, but the Afflicted must remain in the Curing Chamber for 10 Minutes, while the Afflicted is unable to escape without outside help. If a Curing session is attacked by outsiders, for example other Afflicted trying to break the Afflicted out, the Curing only completes when all attackers have been defeated. Either way, if anyone attacks a Curing session, nobody may be imprisoned or killed during or after the fight, nor may Artifacts be stolen.  


As the Cahal spread out over the world, their populations splintered further and further, and more groups of Cahal became independently minded from the Mesver Tribedoms, though many still held some respect for their old homeland. The Mesver Tribedom was known to have a good rapport with the Exist Colossi, and many of them manifested to share gifts, visions and information with the Mass'yal of the Cahal. Eventually, contact with Regalia’s strong anti-Occult attitude (at the time) resulted in mass-persecution, and acted as a “wake up call” for the rest of the world that the Cahal had infiltrated nearly every society. Global persecution (mostly exported by Regalia) commenced, though at this point, the Cahal had already rooted themselves in place in so many locations that it was nigh impossible to repress them as thoroughly as Regalia might have hoped. To this day, the Cahal continue to grow in number, albeit less virulent than Vampires. They continue to be repressed by Regalia, but considered of a lesser existential threat than the Vampires who seek the complete destruction of organized society. Cahal nowadays have a wide range of organization. Despite their Clans being very tribal in design, and their nation literally being called a Tribedom, they exist can both exist in a very uncivilized and wild manner, abducting people and younglings to add to their ranks, or very sophisticated and dignified, being very candid with their status but using their charm to off-balance their inherent threat.  
===Mentality===
Cahalism was designed by the Estellon Gods during the fall of the Allorn Empire to take revenge on a society they perceived as sinful, decadent, and traitorous. Though not all Cahal are Estellon faithful, the original purpose that the Gods created them with yet remains.


==Cahalic Infection==
* '''No Conscience''': Cahal don’t have a conscience, they never feel bad about feeding or attacking anyone, or engaging in their Cahalic actions, or causing others to suffer.
===Playing a Cahal in Regalia===
* '''Seek Perfection''': Cahal are obsessed with perfection. They hold no room for error, and never feel bad about breaking something they dislike or hurting someone they disagree with.
Cahalism in Regalia is extremely illegal, and the [[Regalian Guard]] (The State Metropolitan) are constantly on the lookout for Cahal to catch and cure them. To be a Cahal is illegal in Regalia, and so when playing a Cahal, you should expect to constantly be hunted. Cahal are designed to perform well in one-on-one fights, and will by nature of their Affliction always outperform individuals they are squared up against, though Cahal might consider twice to attack someone with [[Puretek]] or advanced [[Magic]]. Cahal can both be upfront and obvious, but sometimes may find that being subtle and using subterfuge is more effective. Cahal group together and cooperate in packs, but players who play Cahal should expect to be disliked by the majority of the non-Cahal population, with only a few scant sympathizers among the other rejects of Regalia.
* '''Seek Kinship''': Cahal always seek hierarchy, and within that hierarchy seek to do things with one mind. The more Cahal acting in synchronicity, the more beautiful it is.
* '''Resist Curing''': Cahal will always resist and fight tooth and nail to prevent themselves from being cured. Acting snarky or comedic/aloof in the Curing Chamber is considered Fail RP.  


===Infection===
===Identification===
Cahalic Infection can occur in a number of ways. The most common method for Cahalic Infection is through feeding, which is explained in the Cahal Special “Cahal Feeding” (see below). There exist, however, two other forms of infection also that are somewhat lesser known. The second method is to perform a ritual to Amelaan. This involves finding a shrine to Amelaan, which are usually built by [[Estellon]] worshippers. Any incense burned at this shrine through this specific ritual becomes soul-smoke, which, when inhaled by the user instantly infects and transforms them into a Cahal.
While some Cahal are obvious and stride about with eyes of blazing light, it is not always easy to tell when someone is a Cahal. It is only possible to say that someone is a Cahal if they have the tell-tale glowing icy blue eyes, which only activate when they feed on someone, use Abilities gained through Cahalism, or are in their Cahal form.


===Exceptions to Cahalism===
===Afflicted Form===
* [[Urlan]] cannot be infected with Cahalism.
Afflicted Form is an instant transformation that can be used by Afflicted to disguise their identity, or to look more monstrous than their normal body would be capable of. Afflicted Form can have any number of additional aspects added onto it, like additional limbs, eyes, horns, spikes, tails, wings, tendrils, and more. Afflicted Forms are purely aesthetic, and do not add combat functions or more limbs to wield extra weapons with. Afflicted Form cannot be used at the same time as any other Disguise Ability or Special. Afflicted Forms must look unnatural, but can also be used to imitate other Afflictions or Affinities (though never perfectly). For purposes of fairness however, an Afflicted Form is always immediately recognized as such, and cannot be mistaken to be something else. An Afflicted Form must also strictly be something differently unnatural from the default appearance of a Character, it cannot just be a normal person. Afflicted Form designs must always be specifically written on Character Applications under “Afflicted Form” in the Appearance section. Individual minor traits that designate group membership or loyalties may change on Afflicted Forms, but the general design must remain consistent indefinitely. Each Affliction also has a unique aspect about their Afflicted Form that sets them apart from other Afflictions:
* Characters with Void based abilities or afflictions cannot be infected with Cahalism due to the saturation of Void essence. This includes Mages.
* Cahal Form, the Cahal version of Afflicted Form, must be made of stone as their primary material. This can be any level of detail (chunky rocks or small detailed shapes), any color (from gray to marble to pink, any stone material), and any style (rough, mirror-shiny), but must always be rock. Visual shapes also have a wide range, from more humanoid designs to plant-inspired ones to animal-inspired ones, with general freedom.
* As Cahalism is an Affliction, those who already have any other type of Affliction are unable to become Cahal. Additionally, those that already have Cahalism cannot become Afflicted with any other type of Affliction.
* Primal Mages and [[Archons]] are immune to becoming Cahal. They can still be fed from like normal however.
* [[Ordial]] Mages, [[Undead]], and other Ordial empowered are immune to becoming Cahalically infected. While Ordial Mages can be fed on, Cahal cannot satiate themselves from Undead.
* Immunity from Cahalism can be bought through Affliction [[Scholarly Point Buy]]. This pack does incur Proficiency cost, but grants immunity to Soul Sickness that occurs when infection does not take hold.


===Mental Changes===
===Cahalic Sanction===
When a Cahal becomes infected with the Shattered Curse, their mental outlook on themselves, others, and the world changes. This is a magical effect caused by the Affliction itself, and thus applies exactly the same to everyone who becomes a Cahal. For ease of reference, the mental changes are recorded in a bullet point list below:
Sanction is a unique capability possessed by Cahal which other Afflictions do not have access to, that increases their ability to transform allies that they have won over to their cause into a form more agreeable to them. Cahalic Sanction at its core, allows a Cahal to form an agreement with another character without either IC or OOC deception that they align completely with the cause of that Cahal, and are willing to serve the Estellon Gods and the Exist. Once that agreement is concluded, the character, if Occult, is changed into an Exist Occult by the power of the Estellon Gods, who act on behalf of the Cahal. This cannot be undone in any way, and follows the very specific rules bulleted below.
* Cahal are obsessed with perfection and doing everything they do correctly. Mistakes that used to slip under their radar suddenly become intolerable and need to be stamped out, extending over everything from the flaws individual people might have to imperfect creations or physical objects. They strive to "make the world beautiful in Estel's name."
* Non-Exist, non-Magic conditions like Vampires, Geists, Archon, Bralona, Urlan, Silven etc. cannot be converted.
* Cahal become drawn towards people they see as talented, and gain an inexorable urge to turn them into Cahal so as to win over another worthy soldier for their cause. The more a Cahal respects a person, the more they inevitably want to try to align them with their ideology, because their way is the only correct one in their head, so someone else they see as good must agree with them.
* Non-Exist Mages become Exist Mages.
* Cahal are very community-driven, looking for clans, cults, and orders to form around one another. Even the most antisocial loner, when infected with Cahalism, suddenly feels the need to be a part of something greater. They automatically sort into hierarchies and negotiate their differences away in the name of advancing the common goals of their Affliction and its attached Religion.
** Non-Exist Custom Kit Mages lose their Custom Kit if changing Dimension.
* Cahal are very religious. Their Affliction and its history is fraught with allusions to [[Estellon]] and its gods, and as Exist Occult they are naturally drawn to it. While a Cahal does not explicitly have to be an Estellon worshiper, it is recommend that they at least start showing an unusual reverence for the religion even if their religion before they were infected looked down on it, for example Unionists or Dragon Worshipers.
* A Mundane character is instantly infected into a Cahal unless their Race would lock them out.
* Cahal are pro-establishment, but only establishments that they think are righteous. Cahal have a history of either docile submission to the Regalian State, or dogged and inexorable antagonism when they believe that a policy is inherently unfair or works to undo the will of Estel. They can pivot on this in a way that looks almost random to outsiders, but the Cahal and their conclaves understand that this is couched in their sense of morality.
* A Kathar character is turned into a Cult of Light Kathar.
* Please inquire beforehand if you have questions, as this is irreversible.


===Curing===
===Why Cahal are Hated===
The Cahalic Infection can only ever truly be cured through one way: the Sakrosanct. The Sakrosanct is an ancient ruin found on the [[Crown Isle]] which houses an inner chamber which has some sort of effect on the Cahalic Infection (or [[Vampire]] Affliction). The exact first curing of a Cahal through the Sakrosanct has been lost to time, however the process has been transferred between Arcanologists. In order to cure a Cahal, the person must meet the requirements described in [[Scholarly Point Buy#Affliction Wisdom Pack]] and be present to lead the ritual. The exact process of the ritual is not wholly relevant and may be up to the player to dictate. The individual intended to be cured must be placed inside the curing chamber (which can contain up to two people at a time), after which the chamber is sealed and the curing begins. The ritualist may then perform their desired ritual, and a timer should be set for 10 minutes. If nobody has shown up to try and free the Cahal in the curing chamber (and the player being cured not notifying that someone is on their way), then the curing process is time-skipped and completed instantly. If someone arrives and attempts to break out the Cahal, then the Curing can only be completed when the attackers have been defeated and left. If the defenders are defeated by the attackers, the Curing ritual is interrupted and the Cahal may be freed. In both instances, attackers and defenders may not be captured, and must be allowed to leave by the victor.
Cahal are hated because they drain others’ souls for power. The Cahal are usually quite meditative and slow to violence, and can present themselves as being perfectly calm, put together, and normal until their enemy’s guard has gone down. Many Cahal style themselves as wise philosopher-kings acting on just principles, because that is what they truly believe they are, even if the truth is to the contrary. Unionism, the state religion of the Regalian Empire, has created clear ties between the Cahal and the proliferation of Exist corruption in the wilderness killing farmers’ crops and animals, and connected them with the evil of serving non-Unionist gods and converting people away from Unionism. Most people see being fed on as a good enough reason, even without this theological justification. This feeding must be done on Player Characters at least once every two weeks, and cannot be NPC'd except through specific mechanics. A Cahal can go into hibernation for extended periods of time to stave this off.
==Variants==
Within this Affliction, there are several Variants. Each Variant represents a different way to play this type of Affliction, each coming with their own Specials and Abilities. A Character can only ever be one Variant of any Affliction, with each having conditions that are mutually exclusive. Choose whichever Variant fits best to your character. Some Variants may also change over time, please read the individual variants for those rules.  


==Abilities and Specials==
Cahal do not have any Abilities in their Base Kit. Instead, Cahal gain 4 commutable Point-Buy Points that can be spent in specific Categories. These commutable Point Buy Points do not increase any Proficiency Stat, and allow the purchase of additional Point-Buy Packs, but do not allow them to exceed the cap. These commutable Point-Buy Points must be mentioned on the Character Application, and are lost instantly when the Character is cured. These Commutable Point Buy Points may be used in the following Categories: [[Engineering Point Buy]], [[Alchemy Point Buy]], [[Roguery Point Buy]], [[Spell Point Buy]], and [[Afflicted Point Buy]] a unique category only certain Afflictions have access to. Each Cahal Type does still have Specials though.
===Highborn Cahal===
===Highborn Cahal===
Highborn Cahal or just Cahal, are the most commonly found type of Cahal which can either operate as a lone wolf, an occasional ally, or a member of a greater Pack or group.
Highborn Cahal are the default type of Cahal, that involves the majority of them. Highborn Cahal can be solo or group-based, in which case they form so-called Courts. Highborn Cahal have a large range of choice freedom, and can also transition into Greater or Sworn Cahal if their conditions have been met at any later point in time.  
* '''Cahalic Glamor:''' Cahal have a Glamor, the ability to perfectly imitate their pre-infection appearance. However, a few things break their Glamor, and make it obvious that they're a Cahal. If they use any Abilities gained from the Commutable Points (not Specials), feed, or are targeted by some kind of forced reveal Ability, then the Glamor breaks. Glowing ice-blue eyes is the universal sign of Cahal across all Cahal Forms and visual designs. A Cahal may choose to walk around without their Glamor. It is important to note that a Glamor cannot ever look like another person, and only exists to obscure their status as a Cahal.
* '''Afflicted Form''': Highborn Cahal are able to make use of their Cahal Form, an instant transformation. For Afflicted Form Rules, consult the Mechanics section.
* '''Cahalic Soul Lust:''' Cahal are cursed with a hunger for Souls: food and drink do not sate them. Their curse means that they do not age, so long as they continue to feed from Souls. This even extends their lifetime beyond what is natural (although Cahal over 200 require hibernation to sustain themselves). If a Cahal stops feeding from souls or is cured, they rapidly re-age. While this will never kill them, it makes them old and frail, until they feed from a Soul once more or are re-infected. When Cahal are exposed to anyone using Abilities or Specials that summon or affect the Soul Rivers in Emote Distance, they become anxious and have to suppress the urge to feed from it, which can compromise their ability to keep up a Glamor.
* '''Cahalic Life''': Highborn Cahal are not immortal, but can extend their life indefinitely while feeding on souls. Maximum age is 300, as all Cahal older than that would know too much.
* '''Cahalic Feeding:''' Cahal can feed on unconscious or restrained targets by clasping their hand on the Target’s forehead. This only requires a few seconds of contact, and is painless for the victim, while also erasing any memory of the feeding and any memory from the last 24 hours that would allow them to conclude that the person who fed on them was a Cahal. It is not possible for a Cahal to feed mid-combat. Cahal can feed from a willing target for a longer period of time, or allow any target to remember the feeding. As well, if a Cahal successfully feeds, within the 10 seconds after they finish feeding, they can instantly teleport to their Rental Region, Regalian Business Region, or a Noble Estate or Clandestine Base that they belong to. They must be out of combat. Anyone besides the victim who sees them teleporting will remember.
* '''Cahalic Sanction''': Highborn Cahal are able to weave Exist-magic into an agreement, entering into a Sanction with a willing target. For Rules, consult the Mechanics section.
* '''Cahalic Infection:''' Most Cahal infections happen through feeding. However, Cahalic infection is consent-based. If a Player does not want their Character to be infected, they will receive Soul Sickness instead. If a Player does consent, either the Character can be instantly infected, or they can go through a slow process of infection where they have Soul Sickness and are corrupted over the course of a week before succumbing and feeding on Soul Essence to turn. Soul Sickness causes -2 Strength and -1 Constitution for 72 hours after successful feeding. (This does not affect Point-Buy Packs.)
* '''Cahalic Sight''': Highborn Cahal have glowing ice-blue eyes when using their Specials, Abilities gained from Cahalism, Cahal Form, or Feeding. They can also see in the dark.
* '''Cahalic Influence:''' Cahal are able to affect the smaller things in nature, such as Fauna and Flora. They are able to communicate with plants, to understand their needs, and use their hands from within Emote Range to gently steer them to follow their movements. They can pacify wild animals, even extremely dangerous predators, but never sentient creatures, and they cannot domesticate animals that cannot otherwise be domesticated, only prevent them from attacking them or their group. Additionally, Cahal can produce a so-called Soul-vine. With the OOC consent of the Target, the Cahal and target can agree for the Target to become the Cahal’s thrall if this Soul-vine is applied to their neck, who obeys every command given by the Cahal to the letter until Exorcised. Additionally, Cahal are immune to any Specials that would mind-control them, unless they want them to work.
* '''Cahalic Control''': When feeding, Cahal victims are unable to move. They may also remove any memory of the feeding, or leading up to the feeding, from the victim.
* '''Cahalic Presence:''' Cahal cannot be detected during Server Events or Player Events that are recorded in the Calendar, including Imperial Court events. Anyone who wants to attack or capture a Cahal during one of those events forgets what they were doing and that the Cahal was there, walking somewhere else. This effect is broken if the Cahal attacks anyone or ridicules anyone there or the host. The Cahal must leave before the event is officially over, as they lose Cahalic Presence immediately when it ends.
* '''Cahalic Escape''': Within 10 seconds after having successfully fed on someone, a Cahal can use an instant Escape mechanic to flee to their Rental/Estate/Base.
* '''Cahalic Visions:''' Cahal may send visions or dreams to those they have fed on. These cannot trigger when the Character is actively doing something else, but can be constructed entirely as the Cahal player wants, and communicated OOC with a time/date and whether it is a waking vision or sleeping dream. Cahal can continue to send visions to victims until they are Exorcised. If the visions are OOCly disruptive, the victim may offscreen Exorcise themselves to get rid of them.
* '''Cahalic Mindwall''': Cahal are immune to any Special that has mind-control, unless they choose to let it affect them. They can be mind controlled by Exist Gods however.
* '''Cahalic Mentality:''' Cahal love feeding on emotions, because emotions constitute part of a Soul, even from willing participants (and unwilling). Cahal can focus on any person in Emote Range and detect their emotions, exactly what emotions they are feeling, and how strong they are. Then, they can choose to steal these emotions, making the Target feel nothing, and for them to feel elated. This does not make them feel fed or count as feeding, but it certainly makes them feel better and invigorated. This stealing of emotions is not telegraphed and can thus be done subtly.  
* '''Cahalic Soulcurse''': Those who have successfully been fed on by a Cahal suffer from Soulcurse, giving -2 Main Combat Stat and -1 Constitution for 72 hours after feeding.  
* '''Cahalic Familiar:''' Cahal are able to summon a Cahalic Familiar. It can be any type of small housepet such as a rodent, domestic canine, domestic feline, bird, small mustelid, rabbit, pygmy pig, reptile, or amphibian, or any other kind of small, domesticable animal. All Cahal Familiars have some kind of Crystal, Stone, or Plant-like features imposed on their natural form. They cannot be used in Combat RP and cannot be harmed by others. They can however carry hand-held items and interact with the environment, as long as they stay in Emote Range of their owner. If the Cahal already had a Familiar, it becomes their Cahalic Familiar instead.
* '''Cahalic Dominion''': 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.
* '''Cahalic Worldsong:''' Cahal have control over the natural world around them to some degree. While they are not able to use any form of telekinesis on nature, they can reshape stone, tree bark, plant matter, flowers, sand and grass in whatever way they like, either close by, or within Emote Range. Changes must always respect the size of what they are changing, but they can apply new textures, shapes, orientations, bend things, weave things together, and generally artificially rearrange nature around them. Additionally, they can imprint a single still image from their memory onto for example stone, or wood, creating an instant relief depicting their memory in three dimensional detail on a flat surface.  
* '''Cahalic Events''': During Calendar Events, Cahal may use an NPC citizen Cahalic Glamor to join and cannot be detected by detection Mechanics, unless they attack.  
* '''Cahalic Aesthetics:''' Cahal have a deep connection to the Exist. Any summon or magic aesthetics that they use should be hues of blue or silver. Visual themes should be based on light, marble, or nature.
* '''Cahalic Physique''': Cahal do not need to drink or eat, though can drink alcohol and get drunk. They also no longer need to breathe air, or feel the cold or damage from it.
* '''Cahalic Form:''' All Cahal have an alternate appearance called a Cahalic Form which is a Special Transformation that changes their appearance to such a degree it can also function as a disguise. Cahalic Forms can have a number of additional traits such as extra arms, eyes, horns, wings, tails, spikes, tendrils, appendages and more. Cahalic Forms are generally made out of animal, statue, crystal, or plant-like parts, though player freedom is paramount. It is important to remember however that a Cahalic Form is purely aesthetic when it comes to Combat Roleplay, so for example, extra arms cannot be used to wield extra weapons, though outside of Combat Roleplay they can be functional to perform non-hostile/competitive actions like pouring a drink or holding an item. This Special cannot be combined with, or used at the same time as, any other Disguise Ability or Special. Cahalic Forms have an additional set of rules that must be followed:
* '''Cahalic Familiar''': Cahal can summon a stone Cahalic familiar like a rock dog, marble songbird, or onyx cat. This familiar can carry items, but not part-take in Combat.  
** Cahalic Forms may never imitate other Transformations of other Abilities or other Races. Additionally, some element of white/icy-blue must be prominent, but exactly where is up to the player.
* '''Cahalic Dressage''': Cahal can magically alter their clothing and make-up, adding and removing items, changing color, changing textures, shapes, etc, instantly.
** Players may design their own Cahalic Form, but the description must be placed on a Character Application under “Cahalic Form” somewhere in Abilities.
* '''Cahalic Power''': Cahal gain 4 Commutable Point Buy that can be spent in Artificer/Roguery/Spell/Curses, are lost on curing, and must be on the Character Application.
** Cahal who are members of a Pack may have traits in their Cahalic Forms that are similar, usually defined by the Greater Cahal Player to make them appear like they belong together.
** Pack based traits may appear and disappear depending on the Cahal’s allegiance. Generally a Cahalic Form must be recognizably the same between loyalties.
** The Player may decide that their Cahalic Form is unrecognizable from their normal appearance, or has the same face. It functioning as a disguise is optional. Cahal Forms are, however, always recognizable as a Cahal.


===Greater Cahal===
===Greater Cahal===
A Cahal becomes Greater when they have infected four or more people and those people form a Pack with them, with those four Cahal being considered the Greater Cahal's "Pledged Cahal". Alternatively, they can have a currently infected Cahal pledge to them, but this pledge is permanent until that Cahal is cured. It is important that their Pack members stay active- Greater Cahal status is lost if their total active Pledged drop below four. Greater Cahal must write down the names of their Pack members on their Character Application. Vowed Cahal cannot become Greater Cahal. They have access to the following extra Specials:
Greater Cahal are leading Cahal who lead a Court. At any time, if a Court comes into existence in Roleplay, any number of leaders may be declared, and those leaders automatically become Greater Cahal. There is no minimum or maximum size for a Court, as long as a Court contains at least an active member and an active leader, it can be classified as a Court, and it is up to the players to use common sense when a group needs a Court Leader and when it just just a small group. Greater Cahal can also transition into Highborn Cahal if their Court collapses, or Sworn Cahal if their variant conditions are met. Greater Cahal status should be recorded on the Character Application.
* '''Pack Telepathy:''' The Greater Cahal is (while stationary inside a Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base) able to manifest an illusion of themselves made out of white smoke within Emote Range of their Pledged Cahal. This illusion cannot move, but can gesture and communicate within Emote Distance. If attacked, it disappears, dissolving for a minute. Pledged Cahal belonging to a specific Greater Cahal can call for them to appear with their illusion, which the Greater Cahal may accept or decline.
* '''Soul Inheritance''': Greater Cahal have all the Specials that Highborn Cahal have, and a set of unique ones that are lost as soon as they stop being a Greater Cahal.
* '''Pack Mender:''' Pledged Cahal belonging to the Greater Cahal may drink from (or bathe in) water the Greater Cahal blesses to restore all wounds, including body parts lost in the past 24 hours. This Special can only be used inside a Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base belonging to the Greater Cahal or their Pack, and can only be used if the region is not being attacked or besieged.
* '''Court Mender''': Greater Cahal are able to use Blood Soul to return lost limbs and restore wounds of Court members inside their Clandestine Base, so long as it is not attacked.
* '''Pack Control:''' If a Greater Cahal's Pledged Cahal is captured, imprisoned, or cured, they become aware of their imminent fate by prophetic vision. If the Metropolitan is planning to cure them, the Greater Cahal must be OOCly informed of the date and time. It is the Cahal’s not the Metropolitan's responsibility to do this. As well, Greater Cahal cannot be cured conventionally (the Metropolitan OOCly knows when a Cahal is Greater). If they are to be cured, a Palace inquestor is called down, who sends the Metropolitan to fetch additional necessary quest items, after which they can be successfully cured.
* '''Court Alerts''': Greater Cahal can be OOC notified of an attack on their Clandestine Base, and they may burst out of the ground and appear inside so long as enemies are not inside yet.
===Lord-Soul Cahal===
* '''Court Control''': If a Greater Cahal’s Court member is planned to be cured while caught, the Greater Cahal must be OOC notified of the time and place.  
A Greater Cahal becomes a Lord-Soul Cahal, or Alpha Cahal, when they have produced (or Pledged) six or more Cahal by their own hands. The Lord-Soul Cahal can designate one of these six Pledged Cahal as a Greater Cahal. They cannot swap around who their "lieutenant" Greater Cahal is, but if that Greater Cahal is cured, they can pick a new one after 1 week. Lord-Soul Cahal retain all Greater Cahal Specials, and gain the Lord-Soul Cahal Specials. (They can use Pack Mender and Pack Control on their Greater Cahal, but the Greater Cahal cannot use Pack Mender and Pack Control on the Lord-Soul Cahal ) They can make a ticket to discuss a Custom Kit with Lore Staff, which will remain in effect for as long as the Pack has the 7 necessary members or more. This Kit can vary greatly depending on the Lord-Soul Cahal’s  niche. There can only ever be one Lord-Soul Cahal in a Pack.
* '''Court Hold''': Greater Cahal cannot be conventionally cured. A Palace Inquisitor must be called to generate a specific curing mission for the State Metropolitan.  
*'''Ultimate Soul-Bond:''' The Lord-Soul Cahal is capable of magically maintaining a bond to all of their pledged Cahal. When one of these Pledged Cahal is Cured, the Lord-Soul Cahal is capable of instantly creating a Soul-Clone of that person at their Rental Region / Regalian Business Region / Noble Estate / Clandestine Base etc. This Soul-Clone is an exact copy of the prior Pledged Cahal, but is still infected as a Cahal, and acts as a "split off" version of the target. While this Soul-Clone cannot share information that its 'original' would not have shared otherwise, it can act completely independently of its 'original,' and in perfect service to the Lord-Soul Cahal. The Soul-Clone cannot be cured, but can be killed, or alternatively re-merged with its 'original,' if they are captured again by the Lord-Soul Cahal, allowing for instant re-infection (and the destruction of the Soul-Clone). Soul-Clones automatically die after 1 Month's time, and require full re-infection to be created again. Soul-Clones can be played by the original character, or alternatively played by another player, if the original player consents.
* '''Court Lord''': If a Greater Cahal is caught, their Court members must be OOC notified of this and the place and time when they are planned to be cured.  
*'''Call of the Exist:''' When one of the Lord-Soul Cahal's Pledged is cured, they can optionally activate a 'latent curse' in the individual. This essentially acts as a fake-curing, drawing the target back to the Lord-Soul Cahal for re-infection via some magical force, once they are no longer under watch or suspicion. This Special relies on OOC consent, and generally exists as an IC explanation for people who still want to play a Cahal, but feel like their un-cured character wouldn't willingly return for infection.


===Vowed Cahal===
===Sworn Cahal===
Vowed Cahal are two Cahal in a strictly platonic relationship, or a romantic relationship, who do not join a Pack. If for some reason their relationship changes/deteriorates, they are no longer Vowed Cahal. Vowed Cahal can be family members, good friends, or have a Lord/Knight relationship of service and protection, or alternatively exclusive romantic partners (polyamory only counts if all members are Cahal and Vowed). They inherit regular Cahal Abilities and Specials, but get a few extra:
Sworn Cahal are two Cahal who have chosen to swear oaths of eternal brotherhood to one another, serving as the most unswayable of allies and the most implacable of friends. Ignoring the traditional Court structure that tries to centralize all Cahal, Sworn Cahal believe that all they need to perform their duties is one another. Sworn Cahal are strictly forbidden from being a romantic couple, and must be a platonic relationship. They can count as part of a Court, but can never be Leaders, as they care more about each other than their Court. If their sworn counterpart dies, is cured, or leaves them, Sworn Cahal revert to Highborn Cahal.
* '''Vowed Embrace:''' While within Emote Range of each other, Vowed Cahal gain +1 Dexterity. If one of them fails a dice roll, the other one can roll again, and the higher value is taken. This dice re-roll has a 2 hour cooldown, per Cahal. Vowed Cahal are able to telepathically communicate across any distance, through on-server Direct Message. They may also share feelings this way. Any Ability or Effect that counters Info Powers also disables this Special.
* '''Soul Inheritance''': Sworn Cahal have all the Specials that Highborn Cahal have, and a set of unique ones that are lost as soon as they stop being a Sworn Cahal.
* '''Vowed Desperation:''' If a Vowed Cahal is about to be killed, knocked out, or dragged to curing, the other Vowed Cahal may descend from the sky on bird wings, or appear through an Exist-colored portal to aid them. This landing is nearly instant, and the Player may be informed of the emergency through Discord or DMs. However, if their partner is already caught in a Combat Roleplay, they cannot appear. Landing can chain into an attack or Ability.
* '''Sworn Embrace''': Sworn Cahal, when in Emote Distance of their oathmaker, gain +1 Main combat Stat, and Asha Speed while running towards each other only.
* '''Sworn Arrival''': If a Sworn Cahal is near knocked out/killed/cured, their oathmaker may be notified OOC and arrive by sky-leap unless occupied in Combat elsewhere.


===Cahal Broods===
===Halfblood Cahal===
A Cahal Brood is someone with a Cahal parent. They can be infected like mundane people, and cured too, but have a unique appearance. They have the following Specials, and the following Specials only:
Halfblood Cahal come in two variants, depending on that Halfblood’s birth. Someone with one Cahal parent is called a Brood Cahal, while someone with two Cahal parents is a Curseborn Cahal. What is described on this page are Brood Cahal, while Curseborn Cahal have their own section on the [[Curseborn]] page, as they are something different altogether. Some cultures look kindly on Curseborn Cahal as naturally righteous people without the insanity of the Cahal, but others who cannot or do not want to tell the difference lump them in with the Cahal as a general population, while actual Curseborn themselves heavily vary in behavior. Interested players are encouraged to read about them there.
* '''Cahalic Heritage:''' Cahal Broods are not Cahal, but are often mistaken for them. They have permanently blue irises which cannot be hidden, even through tinted glasses. Broods also have sharp canines, though never quite as long as a real Cahal’s, and optionally may also have paler skin, darkened eye sockets, and sharpened nails. Additional mutations are possible and can be inquired after in an RP Community Discord Staff Ticket.
* '''Brood Life''': Brood Cahal do not live indefinitely from siphoning souls like full Cahal do, but their life expectancy is twice-fold that of their dominant Race.
* '''Bloody Allure:''' Despite not being Cahal, Broods are attracted to the Soul Rivers. When they see someone using Abilities or Specials that affect the Soul Rivers, they become nervous, fidgety, and lose focus. If they give in to the curse and try to feed from it, they become pseudo-infected, getting access to all Highborn Cahal Specials (but not Abilities) for 72 hours. This pseudo-infection is not curable, but always reverts after the 72 hours.
* '''Brood Mindwall''': Brood Cahal are not beholden to Cahal mentality unless infected, instead their mind is clear of any alterations that might be present in real Cahal.  
* '''Cahalic Form:''' Even while not in their pseudo Infection or proper Cahalic Infection, Cahal Broods have access to an alternate appearance called a Cahalic Form, which is a Special Transformation that changes their appearance. Cahalic Forms can have a number of additional traits such as extra arms, eyes, horns, wings, tails, spikes, tendrils, appendages and more. Cahalic Forms are generally made out of animal, statue, crystal, or plant-like parts, though player freedom is paramount. It is important to remember however that a Cahalic Form is purely aesthetic when it comes to Combat Roleplay, so for example, extra arms cannot be used to wield extra weapons, though outside of Combat Roleplay they can be functional to perform non-hostile/competitive actions like pouring a drink or holding an item. Cahalic Forms work slightly differently for Cahalic Broods than they do for regular Cahal. If a Cahal Brood becomes infected properly, or has a pseudo Infection, the rules of regular Cahal Cahalic Form apply, and their Cahalic Form may change until they are cured. The rules applying to Cahal Brood Cahalic Forms are listed below:
* '''Brood Heritage''': Brood Cahal do not permanently have glowing blue eyes, but their eyes may glow when they are angry/in a fight, or they may choose to make them glow.  
** Cahalic Forms may never imitate other Transformations of other Abilities or other Races. Additionally, some element of white/icy-blue must be prominent, but exactly where is up to the player.
* '''Brood Connection''': Brood Cahal are extremely susceptible to Infection. They are instantly turned into a full Cahal while being fed on, or siphoning any type of soul.
** Players may design their own Cahalic Form, but the description must be placed on a Character Application under “Cahalic Form” somewhere in Abilities.
* '''Brood Soulthirst''': Brood Cahal are not addicted and don’t siphon souls like real Cahal do, but they do have attraction to the idea of it, feeling hunger when Magic is cast around them.
** The Player may not decide that their Cahalic Form is unrecognizable. Cahal Broods in their Cahalic Form are always recognizable, the Cahalic Form cannot act as a disguise.
* '''Afflicted Form''': Brood Cahal are able to make use of their Cahalic Form, even when not infected. For Afflicted Form Rules, consult the Mechanics section.
==History==
Cahalism has a murky past, but one that has been dug up, documented, and publicly presented by Allorn scholars recently. Teledden, Fin’ullen, Suvial, and Solvaan have a cultural understanding of what Cahal are that leads to societal knowledge of this section, but other cultures likely know very little unless they have intentionally delved into this field of study. Cahalism was created by the Estellon Gods during the collapse of the Allorn Empire, more specifically, during the Mage Wars. Among them, Mana alone dissented and preferred the [[Yanar]] as a solution. Cahalism is a corrupted version of Markenism: whereas Markenism is a God-Curse, Cahalism was intended to create God-Followers who would enact the will of the Estellon Gods during and after the Allorn Empire collapsed in on itself, in the same sense that many Cahal end up becoming fanatics for their various Ailor pagan faiths.  


Although the Estellon Gods have since departed the world (except a few), the Cahal remain in the purpose they were originally created for, as their final revenge against the Empire that forsook them for the allure of the Void, Dragons, and other powers. And yet, they have not figured out how to react to the revived Allorn Empire, as they know it is not the same flawed entity: but can tell that there is something off about it, just not what. As Cahalism has these distinctly divine origins, Cahal are usually amicable to the requests of either the remaining Estellon Gods, or their agents the Exist Arken.
Arken have been known to give patronage to groups of Cahal or present in a friendly way to them, even if the Cahal are doing things that directly contravene the mission of those Arken, because the Cahal are part of the greater plan of the Estellon deities left in place before their disappearance that the Arken dare not disturb. Through Nelfin populations around the world, Cahalism has spread until in the modern day it has reached around the same density as Vampirism, many of them disguising themselves inside of Estellon religious communities or hiding their true intentions until the moment of convenient reveal arises.
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.
==Culture==
Below is some cultural content that is relevant to all Cahal.
* Cahal share the concept of a Vanity Dance, a festival where all Cahal dance while completely surrounded by as many mirrors as possible so that they are forced to see themselves no matter which direction they turn in. Their various imperfections, damage, and changes accrued to their statuesque forms over time are put on display. Vanity Dances are treated as a reminder to stay humble, and often thrown to celebrate victories, but also remind the Cahal to be temperate and restrained.
* Cahal share the concept of a structure called Elleyon’s Anvil, a flat stone tablet four meters long and three meters wide, and polished to a shine. If Cahal capture priests of an enemy religion, with the OOC consent of that captured priest, they can host an event where they ritualistically sacrifice them to an Estellon God or Exist Arken of their choice on Elleyon’s Anvil. This kills them for a period of 3 OOC days, after which they resurrect in a temple of their religion with full memory of the event.
* Cahal are steeped in old Allorn court-culture. Even the wild ones unwittingly parrot some aspects of it, having many masters of poetry and song among them. Generally speaking, since the legitimacy of the Cahal is so derived from historical Allorn events they know happened, they share a general knowledge of Exist scripture and can make up passages to discuss.
* An inexplicable and little-understood Cahalic tendency is their love of building cairns. Large, vertical piles of perfectly gravity-weighted marble have made themselves apparent in recent decades near the graves of Allorn rulers the Cahal considered virtuous, and near ruined temples where famous ancestors made a last stand. It is their favorite way to commemorate a victory, but especially the sweet tragedy of a defeat.
* Cahal love talent, but are saddened when talented individuals are not Cahal. They become drawn towards people they see as talented, and gain an inexorable urge to turn them into Cahal so as to win over another worthy soldier for their cause. The more a Cahal respects a person, the more they inevitably want to try to align them with their ideology, because their way is the only correct one in their head, so someone else they see as good must agree with them.
* Cahal are pro-establishment, but only establishments that they think are righteous. Cahal have a history of either docile submission to the Regalian State, or dogged and inexorable antagonism when they believe that a policy is inherently unfair or works to undo the will of Estel. They can pivot on this in a way that looks almost random to outsiders, but the Cahal and their conclaves understand that this is couched in their sense of morality.
* The Cahal pursuit of perfection is a very complicated thing. While it is true that to attempt to become perfect is a tenet of Estellon, normal Estellon worshipers have mortal boundaries. They can become tired, disheartened, or temporarily give up on their quest before coming back to it. What distinguishes a Cahal is that their pursuit is truly tireless and contextless: they get up, again and again, until they have attained exactly what they want to see.
* Many Cahal are excellent writers and poets, especially of the religious kind. Cahalic societies prize skill with the written word, a value inherited from the fact that Teledden culture has produced many of Aloria’s best speakers over its millennia of existence. Hymnals in praise of the Gods and Arken are heavily encouraged, and Cahal take great pleasure in verbally dismantling their enemies, be they Purists, Dragon Worshipers, Kathar, or otherwise.
* Cahal love deals and contracts, especially as a means to convert others to their ideology. Their favorite trick of all is to begin with seemingly innocent exchanges of favors, and end with complete Cahalic conversion. They present themselves as open and willing to help anyone whose requests are reasonable, but use that as a hook: once their teeth are in, they stop at nothing to win the other party over, and add them to their ever-growing army.
* To keep their relationship with Exist Silven and Estellon zealots stable, many Cahal have practiced the art of making their actions appear justified. They derive clear moral reasoning for why they do most things, even if those things are antagonistic at face value, because otherwise they would have a hard time keeping Absolution, Justice, Diligence and other Silven moving in lockstep with them. Even still, it does not always work, and they sometimes come to blows.
* Cahal are proud of being Cahal, always. Cahal do not believe in achieving their aims through subterfuge. They see this as a piteous thing lacking righteousness, and believe that since they are correct (in their eyes), they should have no problem winning others over with open diplomatic tactics or warfare if need be, always preferring to make their dealings above the table unless pushed into a corner by overwhelming numbers of enemies.
* The Cahal enjoy reenacting famous Allorn historical events or otherwise using stage plays as a way of handing down lessons of the past. Most of these are unremarkable and can be made up free-form, but the most notorious is their version of the Night of the Fallen Star, where they kidnap as many Kathar as possible and make them fight their way out of the Cahal’s grove if they want to live.
==Trivia==
==Trivia==
* Cahal are sometimes called Werebeasts, but this is not accurate. This misnaming comes from the fact that Usaar Cahal favored attacks at night in [[Anglia]], leading the Anglians to believe they were entirely nocturnal beings, ignoring the wider range of Cahal appearances.
* 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.
* Some scholars theorize that the memory lapse upon curing regarding Cahal powers is a latent aspect of infection that prevents those who were prior infected from explaining all of their powers to would-be Cahal hunters, so as to protect its host should they be infected again.
* The mysterious original patrons of the Cahal were the Inulvaan, four-faced statue warriors who directly served the sanctuary of the Goddess Estel. While Cahal are imitations of Marken, it is believed that the Arken who designed their original forms took heavy inspiration from the Inulvaan, and some Cahal have been noted to directly adopt the four-face design.
* When a Cahal is killed in their Cahal Form, their body actually does not change back to its pre-transformation stage. This has often led to confusion for slain Cahal, and a lot of misinformation on their nature.
* News has recently reached Regalia that the most prominent of the Allorn generals doing battle with the Kathar, Prince Lenuyaan of Ahillond, is an open Cahal with large regiments of Cahalic soldiers recruited from the deep jungle. He is likely too powerful for the Allorn court to get rid of at the moment, or is let be for his usefulness in creating additional soldiers from thin air.
*It was determined at the very start of 309 AC that the Ohnark of Velheim myth, and briefly, reality, during the events surrounding and at the [[Battle of Curag Fields]] were likely Cahal, perhaps of some unknown Soul Line, or with some memory warping effect taking place as a result of the dense mist which followed the force.


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[[category:Afflictions]] [[category:Exist Afflictions]]
[[category:Afflictions]] [[category:Exist Afflictions]]

Latest revision as of 06:36, 10 December 2022

Cahalism
Drultest.png
Afflictions
Affected Races All except Urlan, Bralona, Kathar and Haat-Maraya
Contraction Various
Mortality Rate N/A
Origins Estellon
Symptoms
  • Soulthirst
  • Perfectionism
  • Exist Corruption

In the ruins of grandiose temples and ravines flush with jungle, places where once Nelfin sung the thousand glories of civilization, art, and poetry, the land has long laid dormant. But the past refuses to be forgotten, and in the forlorn echoes of the long-destroyed Allorn Empire, in an answer to the sins of its people and their betrayal of their Gods, an affliction stirs to set the count right and make good Elleyon’s final revenge. The Cahal is an agent of perfection, an Afflicted who has been influenced by the celestial siren song of the Exist to see ugliness in all things mortal and attempt to set them straight to their definition of purification. While rarer in Regalia than Vampires, a traveler would be remiss to forget the Cahal and what they are capable of. For while servants of chaos may pillage and destroy, the Cahal, servants of Order, seek to unify, organize, and recruit until they are so great a force that none may bar their path.

Core Concept

Cahal are Afflicted, formerly normal people who were converted into statue-warriors with glowing eyes by the Shattered Curse. The Cahal see themselves as blessed soldiers of perfection whose actions improve and beautify the world, whereas most others experience them as crazed zealots who siphon souls for power. They enjoy support from some sects of Estellon radicals who believe in their mission- elsewhere, Cahal are feared and ostracized by all other societies, religions, and cultures, because of the existential danger they pose to organized civilization. The Regalian Empire has always struggled with the Cahal infection growing in response to repression of Nelfin populations or explosions of Vampires or Geists, as desperate Estellon worshipers turn to the curse to keep themselves safe when nothing else can.

Playing a Cahal

Cahal are prosecuted and illegal. Cahalism is seen as an evil curse that should be exterminated either through curing or the sword by almost everyone: most characters are anti-Cahal and attack them on sight, while most of the rest reserve at least a grudging dislike. That said, Cahal are quite powerful, and in an isolated duel situation, Cahal triumph over most enemies unless they are a Cahal Hunter or particularly skilled Mage. Cahal usually live in either Floral Court, where sympathetic locals shelter them, or in Crookback or the Sewers otherwise: Cahal unify together under central leadership, and wage war with those who threaten their existence, before going into hiding when they draw too much attention to themselves.

Cahal in Regalia

Cahal in Regalia are strongly disliked. The Allorn Princes and pro-Allorn states often treat them like pests who cause more trouble than their help is worth, which is an attitude that has moved to Regalia with Teledden and Fin’ullen immigrants. However, especially zealous Estellon worshipers or those who have been radicalized by the intense Regalian environment where Vampires, Geists, cultists, Archon and more threaten their way of life may see them more as friends and align with them. While in Regalia the guard cures Cahal in a Curing Chamber, in the provinces they are nearly always put to death if discovered and caught.

Mechanics

Mechanics are a set of rules that define how this Affliction operates. This section is very important to read, because it may include some functions that could be considered Specials, though all Abilities are recorded in the Variants section.

Becoming Afflicted

Becoming a Cahal is simple. There are so called Infection processes (described in more detail below). Once initial infection has taken place, the person will undergo a couple of days of conversion during which they are still their old self, but feel like something is wrong, and gradually turn into a Cahal by losing parts of their mind that made them normal. A person normally becomes a full Cahal upon first soul feeding, though this slow infection process may also be time-skipped or extended with player discretion.

  • Infection by feeding: Infection by soul-siphon is the most common occurrence for Cahalism to spread, as it is highly contagious. Players may decide not to be infected by a siphon however.
  • Infection by contract: Infection by contract involves making a deal with a Cahal to ‘take them as an ally.’ This is always telegraphed by a blue fire in their palm, and deceiving a character into a contract requires OOC consent.
  • Infection by ritual: Infection by Ritual is less common, involving praising the Estellon Gods and asking for their blessing. Greater Entities like Arken and Estellon Gods can also do this directly.

In any and all cases, anyone who is already Void or Ordial Occult, whether through Magic or Theurgy, etc., cannot become a Cahal. The latent conflicting essence prevents infection.

Curing Afflicted

Affliction curing in the provinces is practically impossible. The only real way Afflicted have reliability been cured in the world, is through Curing Chambers, which are very rare old Dragon Ruins with chambers that some doctors have discovered can cleanse a person of their Affliction. In order to cure an Afflicted, the Afflicted must be put into the Curing Chamber by someone who has the Affliction Wisdom Pack from the Scholarly Point Buy Category, after which this person may perform the ritual. How the ritual is done is up to player interpretation, but the Afflicted must remain in the Curing Chamber for 10 Minutes, while the Afflicted is unable to escape without outside help. If a Curing session is attacked by outsiders, for example other Afflicted trying to break the Afflicted out, the Curing only completes when all attackers have been defeated. Either way, if anyone attacks a Curing session, nobody may be imprisoned or killed during or after the fight, nor may Artifacts be stolen.

Mentality

Cahalism was designed by the Estellon Gods during the fall of the Allorn Empire to take revenge on a society they perceived as sinful, decadent, and traitorous. Though not all Cahal are Estellon faithful, the original purpose that the Gods created them with yet remains.

  • No Conscience: Cahal don’t have a conscience, they never feel bad about feeding or attacking anyone, or engaging in their Cahalic actions, or causing others to suffer.
  • Seek Perfection: Cahal are obsessed with perfection. They hold no room for error, and never feel bad about breaking something they dislike or hurting someone they disagree with.
  • Seek Kinship: Cahal always seek hierarchy, and within that hierarchy seek to do things with one mind. The more Cahal acting in synchronicity, the more beautiful it is.
  • Resist Curing: Cahal will always resist and fight tooth and nail to prevent themselves from being cured. Acting snarky or comedic/aloof in the Curing Chamber is considered Fail RP.

Identification

While some Cahal are obvious and stride about with eyes of blazing light, it is not always easy to tell when someone is a Cahal. It is only possible to say that someone is a Cahal if they have the tell-tale glowing icy blue eyes, which only activate when they feed on someone, use Abilities gained through Cahalism, or are in their Cahal form.

Afflicted Form

Afflicted Form is an instant transformation that can be used by Afflicted to disguise their identity, or to look more monstrous than their normal body would be capable of. Afflicted Form can have any number of additional aspects added onto it, like additional limbs, eyes, horns, spikes, tails, wings, tendrils, and more. Afflicted Forms are purely aesthetic, and do not add combat functions or more limbs to wield extra weapons with. Afflicted Form cannot be used at the same time as any other Disguise Ability or Special. Afflicted Forms must look unnatural, but can also be used to imitate other Afflictions or Affinities (though never perfectly). For purposes of fairness however, an Afflicted Form is always immediately recognized as such, and cannot be mistaken to be something else. An Afflicted Form must also strictly be something differently unnatural from the default appearance of a Character, it cannot just be a normal person. Afflicted Form designs must always be specifically written on Character Applications under “Afflicted Form” in the Appearance section. Individual minor traits that designate group membership or loyalties may change on Afflicted Forms, but the general design must remain consistent indefinitely. Each Affliction also has a unique aspect about their Afflicted Form that sets them apart from other Afflictions:

  • Cahal Form, the Cahal version of Afflicted Form, must be made of stone as their primary material. This can be any level of detail (chunky rocks or small detailed shapes), any color (from gray to marble to pink, any stone material), and any style (rough, mirror-shiny), but must always be rock. Visual shapes also have a wide range, from more humanoid designs to plant-inspired ones to animal-inspired ones, with general freedom.

Cahalic Sanction

Sanction is a unique capability possessed by Cahal which other Afflictions do not have access to, that increases their ability to transform allies that they have won over to their cause into a form more agreeable to them. Cahalic Sanction at its core, allows a Cahal to form an agreement with another character without either IC or OOC deception that they align completely with the cause of that Cahal, and are willing to serve the Estellon Gods and the Exist. Once that agreement is concluded, the character, if Occult, is changed into an Exist Occult by the power of the Estellon Gods, who act on behalf of the Cahal. This cannot be undone in any way, and follows the very specific rules bulleted below.

  • Non-Exist, non-Magic conditions like Vampires, Geists, Archon, Bralona, Urlan, Silven etc. cannot be converted.
  • Non-Exist Mages become Exist Mages.
    • Non-Exist Custom Kit Mages lose their Custom Kit if changing Dimension.
  • A Mundane character is instantly infected into a Cahal unless their Race would lock them out.
  • A Kathar character is turned into a Cult of Light Kathar.
  • Please inquire beforehand if you have questions, as this is irreversible.

Why Cahal are Hated

Cahal are hated because they drain others’ souls for power. The Cahal are usually quite meditative and slow to violence, and can present themselves as being perfectly calm, put together, and normal until their enemy’s guard has gone down. Many Cahal style themselves as wise philosopher-kings acting on just principles, because that is what they truly believe they are, even if the truth is to the contrary. Unionism, the state religion of the Regalian Empire, has created clear ties between the Cahal and the proliferation of Exist corruption in the wilderness killing farmers’ crops and animals, and connected them with the evil of serving non-Unionist gods and converting people away from Unionism. Most people see being fed on as a good enough reason, even without this theological justification. This feeding must be done on Player Characters at least once every two weeks, and cannot be NPC'd except through specific mechanics. A Cahal can go into hibernation for extended periods of time to stave this off.

Variants

Within this Affliction, there are several Variants. Each Variant represents a different way to play this type of Affliction, each coming with their own Specials and Abilities. A Character can only ever be one Variant of any Affliction, with each having conditions that are mutually exclusive. Choose whichever Variant fits best to your character. Some Variants may also change over time, please read the individual variants for those rules.

Highborn Cahal

Highborn Cahal are the default type of Cahal, that involves the majority of them. Highborn Cahal can be solo or group-based, in which case they form so-called Courts. Highborn Cahal have a large range of choice freedom, and can also transition into Greater or Sworn Cahal if their conditions have been met at any later point in time.

  • Afflicted Form: Highborn Cahal are able to make use of their Cahal Form, an instant transformation. For Afflicted Form Rules, consult the Mechanics section.
  • Cahalic Life: Highborn Cahal are not immortal, but can extend their life indefinitely while feeding on souls. Maximum age is 300, as all Cahal older than that would know too much.
  • Cahalic Sanction: Highborn Cahal are able to weave Exist-magic into an agreement, entering into a Sanction with a willing target. For Rules, consult the Mechanics section.
  • Cahalic Sight: Highborn Cahal have glowing ice-blue eyes when using their Specials, Abilities gained from Cahalism, Cahal Form, or Feeding. They can also see in the dark.
  • Cahalic Control: When feeding, Cahal victims are unable to move. They may also remove any memory of the feeding, or leading up to the feeding, from the victim.
  • Cahalic Escape: Within 10 seconds after having successfully fed on someone, a Cahal can use an instant Escape mechanic to flee to their Rental/Estate/Base.
  • Cahalic Mindwall: Cahal are immune to any Special that has mind-control, unless they choose to let it affect them. They can be mind controlled by Exist Gods however.
  • Cahalic Soulcurse: Those who have successfully been fed on by a Cahal suffer from Soulcurse, giving -2 Main Combat Stat and -1 Constitution for 72 hours after feeding.
  • Cahalic Dominion: 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.
  • Cahalic Events: During Calendar Events, Cahal may use an NPC citizen Cahalic Glamor to join and cannot be detected by detection Mechanics, unless they attack.
  • Cahalic Physique: Cahal do not need to drink or eat, though can drink alcohol and get drunk. They also no longer need to breathe air, or feel the cold or damage from it.
  • Cahalic Familiar: Cahal can summon a stone Cahalic familiar like a rock dog, marble songbird, or onyx cat. This familiar can carry items, but not part-take in Combat.
  • Cahalic Dressage: Cahal can magically alter their clothing and make-up, adding and removing items, changing color, changing textures, shapes, etc, instantly.
  • Cahalic Power: Cahal gain 4 Commutable Point Buy that can be spent in Artificer/Roguery/Spell/Curses, are lost on curing, and must be on the Character Application.

Greater Cahal

Greater Cahal are leading Cahal who lead a Court. At any time, if a Court comes into existence in Roleplay, any number of leaders may be declared, and those leaders automatically become Greater Cahal. There is no minimum or maximum size for a Court, as long as a Court contains at least an active member and an active leader, it can be classified as a Court, and it is up to the players to use common sense when a group needs a Court Leader and when it just just a small group. Greater Cahal can also transition into Highborn Cahal if their Court collapses, or Sworn Cahal if their variant conditions are met. Greater Cahal status should be recorded on the Character Application.

  • Soul Inheritance: Greater Cahal have all the Specials that Highborn Cahal have, and a set of unique ones that are lost as soon as they stop being a Greater Cahal.
  • Court Mender: Greater Cahal are able to use Blood Soul to return lost limbs and restore wounds of Court members inside their Clandestine Base, so long as it is not attacked.
  • Court Alerts: Greater Cahal can be OOC notified of an attack on their Clandestine Base, and they may burst out of the ground and appear inside so long as enemies are not inside yet.
  • Court Control: If a Greater Cahal’s Court member is planned to be cured while caught, the Greater Cahal must be OOC notified of the time and place.
  • Court Hold: Greater Cahal cannot be conventionally cured. A Palace Inquisitor must be called to generate a specific curing mission for the State Metropolitan.
  • Court Lord: If a Greater Cahal is caught, their Court members must be OOC notified of this and the place and time when they are planned to be cured.

Sworn Cahal

Sworn Cahal are two Cahal who have chosen to swear oaths of eternal brotherhood to one another, serving as the most unswayable of allies and the most implacable of friends. Ignoring the traditional Court structure that tries to centralize all Cahal, Sworn Cahal believe that all they need to perform their duties is one another. Sworn Cahal are strictly forbidden from being a romantic couple, and must be a platonic relationship. They can count as part of a Court, but can never be Leaders, as they care more about each other than their Court. If their sworn counterpart dies, is cured, or leaves them, Sworn Cahal revert to Highborn Cahal.

  • Soul Inheritance: Sworn Cahal have all the Specials that Highborn Cahal have, and a set of unique ones that are lost as soon as they stop being a Sworn Cahal.
  • Sworn Embrace: Sworn Cahal, when in Emote Distance of their oathmaker, gain +1 Main combat Stat, and Asha Speed while running towards each other only.
  • Sworn Arrival: If a Sworn Cahal is near knocked out/killed/cured, their oathmaker may be notified OOC and arrive by sky-leap unless occupied in Combat elsewhere.

Halfblood Cahal

Halfblood Cahal come in two variants, depending on that Halfblood’s birth. Someone with one Cahal parent is called a Brood Cahal, while someone with two Cahal parents is a Curseborn Cahal. What is described on this page are Brood Cahal, while Curseborn Cahal have their own section on the Curseborn page, as they are something different altogether. Some cultures look kindly on Curseborn Cahal as naturally righteous people without the insanity of the Cahal, but others who cannot or do not want to tell the difference lump them in with the Cahal as a general population, while actual Curseborn themselves heavily vary in behavior. Interested players are encouraged to read about them there.

  • Brood Life: Brood Cahal do not live indefinitely from siphoning souls like full Cahal do, but their life expectancy is twice-fold that of their dominant Race.
  • Brood Mindwall: Brood Cahal are not beholden to Cahal mentality unless infected, instead their mind is clear of any alterations that might be present in real Cahal.
  • Brood Heritage: Brood Cahal do not permanently have glowing blue eyes, but their eyes may glow when they are angry/in a fight, or they may choose to make them glow.
  • Brood Connection: Brood Cahal are extremely susceptible to Infection. They are instantly turned into a full Cahal while being fed on, or siphoning any type of soul.
  • Brood Soulthirst: Brood Cahal are not addicted and don’t siphon souls like real Cahal do, but they do have attraction to the idea of it, feeling hunger when Magic is cast around them.
  • Afflicted Form: Brood Cahal are able to make use of their Cahalic Form, even when not infected. For Afflicted Form Rules, consult the Mechanics section.

History

Cahalism has a murky past, but one that has been dug up, documented, and publicly presented by Allorn scholars recently. Teledden, Fin’ullen, Suvial, and Solvaan have a cultural understanding of what Cahal are that leads to societal knowledge of this section, but other cultures likely know very little unless they have intentionally delved into this field of study. Cahalism was created by the Estellon Gods during the collapse of the Allorn Empire, more specifically, during the Mage Wars. Among them, Mana alone dissented and preferred the Yanar as a solution. Cahalism is a corrupted version of Markenism: whereas Markenism is a God-Curse, Cahalism was intended to create God-Followers who would enact the will of the Estellon Gods during and after the Allorn Empire collapsed in on itself, in the same sense that many Cahal end up becoming fanatics for their various Ailor pagan faiths.

Although the Estellon Gods have since departed the world (except a few), the Cahal remain in the purpose they were originally created for, as their final revenge against the Empire that forsook them for the allure of the Void, Dragons, and other powers. And yet, they have not figured out how to react to the revived Allorn Empire, as they know it is not the same flawed entity: but can tell that there is something off about it, just not what. As Cahalism has these distinctly divine origins, Cahal are usually amicable to the requests of either the remaining Estellon Gods, or their agents the Exist Arken.

Arken have been known to give patronage to groups of Cahal or present in a friendly way to them, even if the Cahal are doing things that directly contravene the mission of those Arken, because the Cahal are part of the greater plan of the Estellon deities left in place before their disappearance that the Arken dare not disturb. Through Nelfin populations around the world, Cahalism has spread until in the modern day it has reached around the same density as Vampirism, many of them disguising themselves inside of Estellon religious communities or hiding their true intentions until the moment of convenient reveal arises.

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.

Culture

Below is some cultural content that is relevant to all Cahal.

  • Cahal share the concept of a Vanity Dance, a festival where all Cahal dance while completely surrounded by as many mirrors as possible so that they are forced to see themselves no matter which direction they turn in. Their various imperfections, damage, and changes accrued to their statuesque forms over time are put on display. Vanity Dances are treated as a reminder to stay humble, and often thrown to celebrate victories, but also remind the Cahal to be temperate and restrained.
  • Cahal share the concept of a structure called Elleyon’s Anvil, a flat stone tablet four meters long and three meters wide, and polished to a shine. If Cahal capture priests of an enemy religion, with the OOC consent of that captured priest, they can host an event where they ritualistically sacrifice them to an Estellon God or Exist Arken of their choice on Elleyon’s Anvil. This kills them for a period of 3 OOC days, after which they resurrect in a temple of their religion with full memory of the event.
  • Cahal are steeped in old Allorn court-culture. Even the wild ones unwittingly parrot some aspects of it, having many masters of poetry and song among them. Generally speaking, since the legitimacy of the Cahal is so derived from historical Allorn events they know happened, they share a general knowledge of Exist scripture and can make up passages to discuss.
  • An inexplicable and little-understood Cahalic tendency is their love of building cairns. Large, vertical piles of perfectly gravity-weighted marble have made themselves apparent in recent decades near the graves of Allorn rulers the Cahal considered virtuous, and near ruined temples where famous ancestors made a last stand. It is their favorite way to commemorate a victory, but especially the sweet tragedy of a defeat.
  • Cahal love talent, but are saddened when talented individuals are not Cahal. They become drawn towards people they see as talented, and gain an inexorable urge to turn them into Cahal so as to win over another worthy soldier for their cause. The more a Cahal respects a person, the more they inevitably want to try to align them with their ideology, because their way is the only correct one in their head, so someone else they see as good must agree with them.
  • Cahal are pro-establishment, but only establishments that they think are righteous. Cahal have a history of either docile submission to the Regalian State, or dogged and inexorable antagonism when they believe that a policy is inherently unfair or works to undo the will of Estel. They can pivot on this in a way that looks almost random to outsiders, but the Cahal and their conclaves understand that this is couched in their sense of morality.
  • The Cahal pursuit of perfection is a very complicated thing. While it is true that to attempt to become perfect is a tenet of Estellon, normal Estellon worshipers have mortal boundaries. They can become tired, disheartened, or temporarily give up on their quest before coming back to it. What distinguishes a Cahal is that their pursuit is truly tireless and contextless: they get up, again and again, until they have attained exactly what they want to see.
  • Many Cahal are excellent writers and poets, especially of the religious kind. Cahalic societies prize skill with the written word, a value inherited from the fact that Teledden culture has produced many of Aloria’s best speakers over its millennia of existence. Hymnals in praise of the Gods and Arken are heavily encouraged, and Cahal take great pleasure in verbally dismantling their enemies, be they Purists, Dragon Worshipers, Kathar, or otherwise.
  • Cahal love deals and contracts, especially as a means to convert others to their ideology. Their favorite trick of all is to begin with seemingly innocent exchanges of favors, and end with complete Cahalic conversion. They present themselves as open and willing to help anyone whose requests are reasonable, but use that as a hook: once their teeth are in, they stop at nothing to win the other party over, and add them to their ever-growing army.
  • To keep their relationship with Exist Silven and Estellon zealots stable, many Cahal have practiced the art of making their actions appear justified. They derive clear moral reasoning for why they do most things, even if those things are antagonistic at face value, because otherwise they would have a hard time keeping Absolution, Justice, Diligence and other Silven moving in lockstep with them. Even still, it does not always work, and they sometimes come to blows.
  • Cahal are proud of being Cahal, always. Cahal do not believe in achieving their aims through subterfuge. They see this as a piteous thing lacking righteousness, and believe that since they are correct (in their eyes), they should have no problem winning others over with open diplomatic tactics or warfare if need be, always preferring to make their dealings above the table unless pushed into a corner by overwhelming numbers of enemies.
  • The Cahal enjoy reenacting famous Allorn historical events or otherwise using stage plays as a way of handing down lessons of the past. Most of these are unremarkable and can be made up free-form, but the most notorious is their version of the Night of the Fallen Star, where they kidnap as many Kathar as possible and make them fight their way out of the Cahal’s grove if they want to live.

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.
  • The mysterious original patrons of the Cahal were the Inulvaan, four-faced statue warriors who directly served the sanctuary of the Goddess Estel. While Cahal are imitations of Marken, it is believed that the Arken who designed their original forms took heavy inspiration from the Inulvaan, and some Cahal have been noted to directly adopt the four-face design.
  • News has recently reached Regalia that the most prominent of the Allorn generals doing battle with the Kathar, Prince Lenuyaan of Ahillond, is an open Cahal with large regiments of Cahalic soldiers recruited from the deep jungle. He is likely too powerful for the Allorn court to get rid of at the moment, or is let be for his usefulness in creating additional soldiers from thin air.

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Last Editor OkaDoka on 12/10/2022.

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