Hrffnygr’s Demon Associates
SESSELJAE, THE STOMACH BOTTLE BUGS DEMONS OF THE FIRST CIRCLE, PROGENY OF THE KEEPER OF THE FORGE OF NIGHT
Stomach bottle bugs resemble fist-sized beetles with 10 legs similar to those of a grasshopper. They possess a dangerous appetite for tainted and putrid substances and spend most of their lives scouring the bodies of the Yozis of those things that might eventually build up enough to cause harm to their masters. The stomach bottle bugs sometimes discover veins of corruption that sicken the Yozis, and thousands perish only to have their tainted corpses devoured by their kin. New sesseljae are born from the poisoned waste until it is entirely consumed. Stomach bottle bugs not busy with such work haunt the taverns of the Demon City and plead for entry in childlike voices. They some- times manage to swarm the establishments, drinking the alcohol from every bottle and from within other demons. Many demons hate sesseljae for this and often kill them on sight.
Sesseljae make excellent surgeons, although ma- nipulating flesh and bone is more like play to them, and they happily sing with their rear four legs while they draw a body together as though it were soft clay. The sesseljae can pass through the flesh of humans, animals and demons as easily as air and swim through it like water. This swimming sometimes stirs ripples in the bodies they inhabit, and a moving bug occasionally stumbles and awkwardly reveals a leg or mandible from within its host. Sorcerers typically carry sesseljae in their stomachs, as the demons may rest there indefinitely. This has the added benefit that the demon will suffer the effects of any ingested alcohol or poison in place of the sorcerer. Interestingly, sesseljae are allergic to pure substances: tears, seawater, silver, gold, salt and virgin’s blood. Such things can seal them from a location or even cause them harm.
Summoning: (Obscurity 1/2) Sorcerers summon stomach bottle bugs for their ability to heal people and to protect them from poison. Sometimes, without sorcery, stomach bottle bugs are called to Creation when a region is overcome with toxic substances. Forcing a sesselja to resist devouring a toxin requires its player to roll one die, with a success inflicting one point of Limit.
Motivation: To devour tainted and corrupted substances.
Attributes: Strength 1, Dexterity 3, Stamina 1; Charisma 2, Manipulation 1, Appearance 0; Perception 2, Intelligence 2, Wits 2
Virtues: Compassion 4, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 2
Abilities: Athletics 1, Awareness 1, Dodge 2, Integrity 3, Investigation 1, Larceny 1, Martial Arts 1, Medicine 5 (Internal Surgery +3), Occult 1, Performance 1, Presence 1, Resistance 5, Ride 1, Stealth 4, Survival 1
Backgrounds: Backing 1
First (Ability) Excellency: Dodge, Integrity, Medicine, Resistance, Stealth
Second (Ability) Excellency: Medicine, Resistance
Third (Ability) Excellency: Medicine, Resistance
Infinite (Ability) Excellency: Resistance
Join Battle: 3
- Scurry Into Someone: Speed 5, Accuracy 4, Damage –, Parry DV –, Rate 1
- Leg Slash: Speed 5, Accuracy 4, Damage 1L, Parry DV 2, Rate 2
- Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 4, Damage 1B, Parry DV –, Rate 1, Tags P
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 5
Essence Pool: 75
Other Notes: Entering the body of someone who does not want a sesselja inside her requires an attack roll, although success causes no damage. Characters can take a miscellaneous action to expel a stomach bottle bug without a roll, but suffer one automatic level of bashing damage if the demon resists. The tiny bits of bone it carries away in the process are useful in making potent talismans against disease.
MAROTTES, THE HOPPING PUPPETEERS DEMONS OF THE FIRST CIRCLE, PROGENY OF THE JEWELED AUDITOR
Descended from bilious threads of Gumela’s substance, an inactive hopping puppeteer resembles a knotted ball of phlegm-soaked cord woven from coarse hair. These creatures rarely remain still for long, however, as they are consumed with an instinc- tual desire to alter their surroundings. Typically, they unravel into dozens of gangly legs reaching up to 50 or 100 yards in length, extending from a coin-sized central gnarl. These thin legs stretch or draw tight individually, resulting in the demons’ eponymous gait. Nonetheless, the creatures are expert at manipulating their environment, pulling and lifting objects with elaborate block and tackle techniques, and displaying an idiot-savant mastery of architecture, landscaping, masonry and woodwork.
Puppeteers’ love of human babies is perilous, as they have no comprehension of how to care for them. Given the chance, they wrap an infant in a swaddle of idle legs and turn those branches over to the hapless child’s use. The thin slime that covers a puppeteer clings tenaciously to their limbs, and traces of it are rarely left behind. Vile in taste, this exoplasm is narcotic and highly addictive, although few mortals are unfortunate and wealthy enough to discover this. Such addiction is dangerous, typically leading to fatal attempts to swallow an inactive puppeteer.
Heptagram sorcerers call these demons marottes, based on records from the Dragon-Blooded sorcerers of the Shogunate. Citizens of the Demon City simply call them hopping puppeteers. Anyone who has watched them at work, comically chaotic in movement yet easily dangling dozens of construction pieces, can readily see why.
Summoning: (Obscurity 1/2) Puppeteers hate to be summoned, and if one breaks free, it will happily kick its summoner to death before rearranging the local landscape according to its demonic vision. Sometimes, when a concretion of hair develops into a bezoar, a puppeteer is drawn into Creation without sorcery and consumes it. A puppeteer cannot abide long periods of idleness even when bound. For every full day it is not allowed to craft, its player rolls one die with a success inflicting one point of Limit.
Motivation: To reshape everything to fit its ideas of Yozi aesthetics.
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4; Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 0; Perception 3, Intelligence 1, Wits 3
Virtues: Compassion 2, Conviction 3, Temperance 2, Valor 4
Abilities: Athletics 3 (Feats of Strength +10), Awareness 2, Craft (Earth) 5 (Architecture +2, Earthworks +2, Masonry +2), Craft (Wood) 5 (Architecture +2, Carpentry +2, Landscaping +2), Dodge 3, Integrity 1, Martial Arts 1, Resistance 4, Stealth 1 (Hiding in Small Places +3), Survival 1, Thrown 3
Backgrounds: Backing 1
First (Ability) Excellency — Athletics, Craft, Dodge
Third (Ability) Excellency — Athletics, Craft, Resistance
Infinite (Ability) Mastery — Craft
Join Battle: 5
- Kick: Speed 5, Accuracy 5, Damage 6B, Parry DV 2, Rate 2
- Clinch: Speed 6, Accuracy 5, Damage 3B (piercing), Parry DV —, Rate 1
- (Note: With no “arms,” the puppeteer may not conduct Punch attacks, but it can parry lethal attacks with its Kick. The characteristics of thrown weapons vary according to whatever random object a puppeteer hurls at an opponent.)
Soak: 3L/5B (Slimy shell, 1L/1B)
Health Levels: -0/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-1/-2/-2/-2/-2/-2/- 2/-2/-4/Incap
Dodge DV: 6
Essence Pool: 85
While most First Circle demons are treated as five mortal laborers for the purposes of construction projects, a single puppeteer counts as a workforce of 10.