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therisnosaurus
30-06-2005, 13:06
this is a sneak preview of the Shigaion vampires of cathay, from the work in progress 'book of day and night' companion tome to warhammer armies: cathay from the CCP. i've added a poll so you can give some feedback on what you think of this. This is obviously not the whole lot, and the Shigaion have their own bloodline powers, army list and accompanying art and background, but this should be enough to get you all tantalised for the moment ;)

The Shigaion- masters of the sick earth

The origins of the Shigaion:
When the great shism broke the united bloodlines asunder, they went their separate ways. While the five more powerful vampires traveled north, the youngest of them, her name lost to time, fled south. She is thought to have been neferata’s handmaid, the only one to survive the eternal queen’s early predations, given the curse of undeath along with her other trusted family and servants. Little is known about her during the time she lived in the deathless court, for she was not nobility, and she most likely was still a servant to her queen. Yet, it was this handmaid who had the closest relationship with the hungry spirits that entered her soul and flocked to her blood like moths to a candle. Over time she learnt to control these spirits, to coax the dead once more into the world of the living as ghosts and apparitions. As she traveled south, she came upon the Silk road and traveled it, on foot, burying herself beneath the sands during the day and staggering on by night until even her deathless form was bent and broken. It is told in cathayan legend that many moons ago a creature, bent and hobbling with a hopping gait found its way to Cathay, and where it went the trees closed in and the rocks and water darkened with hate. As she entered Cathay, she found a new type of spirit mixed with the ever circling realms of the dead. The lands of Cathay were saturated with spirits, dark and terrible, of trees and rocks and earth. She found that she and these spirits shared a bond, they would come to her and she would converse with them, learning of their hate for the mortals that walked ‘their’ land. These spirits are called the Thushi by cathayans, earth-ghasts or night-shriekers.
Over time, the handmaid earned a name among cathayans- Shigai, the mud-ghost. Shigai learned to use mud and earth instead of the bones of the dead to create her servants, animating piles of shambling dirt and stone with the tortured spirits of the ancestors or the all too willing Thushi. She herself changed over the centuries, her nails growing into huge claws and her shape becoming ever thinner and twisted. Dirt accumulated on her, crawling with power and forming a barrier stronger than plate against the helpless strugglings of her victims. Shigai soon began creating servants with her kiss and they too learned to darken the woods and hills which they stalked. Millennia ago, however, she disappeared. Where to, no one knows, but her legacy remains and the Shigaion, her progeny, still stalk Cathay, accompanied by hordes of shambling clay and dirt and the dark spirits of the land
The Thushi:
Thushi are nature spirits of Cathay, but unlike those of Athel Loren in the west they are vengeful and evil. The influence of chaos in the jungles of Cathay is far stronger than in the lands of the old world and so these spirits are far more common. It is the Thushi who make the lands of Cathay so dangerous, for it is they who bend the plants and soil of Cathay against its people. The Shigaion have a strong pact with these creatures, and they often serve as the animating force behind the clay warriors of the Shigaion, and most vampires will be accompanied by a guard of terracotta figures, clutching the rusted swords of the long dead and hungry for death. Both the Thushi and the Shigaion have a twisted link to nature and can bend inanimate materials to their will. Armies facing Shigaion might find themselves lashed by trees, mired in sucking mud or even pelted by whirlwinds filled with razored stones

Customs of the Shigaion
The shigaion are deeply in tune with the darker side of nature and so do not feel the need for ‘civilized’ things such as shelter. They are just as happy to rip the throat out of a deer and drain it as a human and the Shigaion tend to stay away from humans until their dark plans come to fruition. Like Shigai, the Shigaion are extremely intelligent but their intelligence is a mad, primal cunning evident in their wasted visages. The Shigai are not particularly solitairy, and bands of them are not uncommon, but like all the bloodlines they hold a deep hatred for the children of the night who are not their kin. When the need to raise an army for battle or pillage arises, the Shigaion will animate hordes of servants from mud and rock, rather than corpses, animating them with the spirits of the dead. They will also often call upon the Thushi to aid them, a cause the spirits are most happy to oblige. A shigaion army is a terrible sight, hordes of shambling figures, most made from simple soil and dirt, cutching weapons of the long dead or those they have recently killed, or simply smashing the foe with heavy arms. The more sophisticated creations of the Thushi are known as Clayborn, sculpted so as to resemble perfect humans in armor, and then magically hardened to be as durable as stone before a vengeful Thushi enters them. Together, with the Thushi spirits seething around them and a dark flock of bats above, when the Shigaion march to war even the bravest of the brave flee in terror.





Bloodline traits
• All Shigaion gain magic resistance (1)
• Shigaion thralls have a 5+ armor save, counts have a 4+ save and lords have a 3+ save. This does not prevent them from casting magic
• Shigaion may never use magic or mundane weapons or armor, nor may they be mounted
• Shigaion may use the lore of life instead of necromancy, however if they swap a spell for the basic spell they gain invocation of nehek instead of mistress of the marsh.
• Shigaion casting invocation of nehek will summon earthborn and mudborn instead of skeletons and zombies respectively (you'll need to wait and see what these are :evilgrin: )

Kjell
30-06-2005, 13:32
A pretty funky idea, although I personally would toss in skeletons there somewhere. Something to more properly bind the spirit of the dead with, if nothing else. A more solid connection. Oh, marsh zombies could be something too.

All in all, the concept is sound. I'd make it a little more undead, but it's not an awful idea. ;)

Lord-Warlock
30-06-2005, 16:17
I agree with Kjell - make their armies a combination of Tushi Undead and the-trapped-souls-of-damned-mortals Undead, much like Woodies. I'd argue for having the Tushi in a "support role", perhaps a little more prominent than the spirits in the new Wood Elves book. A Vampire is, after all, a Vampire, and thus has an inherent bond with the netherworld. Even the Strigoi don't deny this, after all, and they're the closest thing to "mindless beast" Vampires get.

Not too fond of the Clayborn, but that's probably because I'm a little prejudiced towards every Asian/Chinese-ish fantasy setting having animated terracotta soldiers ;)

therisnosaurus
30-06-2005, 22:45
yes, that's in there. they entrap the souls of the dead and the thushi in bodies of earth, mud and clay rather than their old bodies. hence mudborn and earthborn, which are essentialy zombies and skeletons with a few changes to acknowledge their earthy composition

and yes, you guessed right, this was inspired by the terracotta army, but that was actually one of the things we were most presured to do by others, a lot of people wanted to see some sort of tie in with the terracotta army but we didn't want to put it in the core cathay book, so this is how we compromised

adreal
01-07-2005, 05:51
an alright idea, but reading your fluff makes me thing of what we know about the up coming wood elf book, and i was thinking to make this a 'legel' army using that list, but still a good idea and I cant wait to find away around to getting the final copy :)

Riddy
01-07-2005, 15:57
Shigaion casting invocation of nehek will summon earthborn and mudborn instead of skeletons and zombies respectively (you'll need to wait and see what these are :evilgrin: )

I have already seem the whole list on Portent somewhere, so no one will need to wait, all they need to do is find that thread, i think its authour was The Pale Lady or Lady Bastet but i'm not sure.

therisnosaurus
02-07-2005, 02:02
actually, there is a distinct difference between an untested beta and a finished list, I was the author of that post and it was quite a while ago when the Shigaion were just arriving in cathay and we were brainstorming. many things have changed since then, and many things will no doubt change before the final release. Equating seeing that post to having the list is like equating a print out of the wood elf section of the rumor roundup to the wood elf army book