This is being cross-posted from my other blog as part of the April A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. It is a rewrite of a sadly long-lost Z’bri NPC. For anyone who knows the Tribe 8 metaplot, [REDACTED] happens to Agnes and then she [REDACTED]. In my game, S’klas was going to be instrumental in that.
Rummaging through your mind
With a tentacle down your throat,
What secrets will I find?
Oh I really love to gloat!
Eyes on ivory bone rings
Forcing you to watch your plight.
My how your flesh truly sings
As I receive my gift tonight!
S’klas (Major NPC)
S’klas is a Z’bri Joh’an living in the Skyrealms near Bazaar. Once a Melanis Lord, it was driven out of Hl’Kar because his experiments and penchant for abducting Tribal children threatened the Pact of the Dome. S’klas is convinced because of the innocence children have, and their closeness to the River of Dream, that they hold the secret to opening the Fold. These experiments led it to uncovering a long lost collective memory of a mythical figure who visited children on a certain night of the year, passing out gifts to those who behaved themselves and leaving an item showing his displeasure for those who hadn’t. S’klas has taken on the role of this figure, of course corrupting it in a fashion only a Z’bri could.
S’klas is tall and broad for a Melanis, wrapped in a glistening red robe of exposed muscle and sinew. Tentacles often emerge from the folds and openings in the robe of their own accord. Its features are often concealed within a deep cowl, but its visage is disturbingly jovial, with plump features and a mouth forever frozen in a grinning rictus within a “beard” of writhing tentacles. S’klas surrounds himself with diminutive, twisted Serfs who assist him in luring children back to his lair. When he travels it is on a living sled of bone and tissue, pulled by eight nightmarish beasts fashioned into mockeries of the Fatimas.
While S’klas often ventures forth to find new subjects for his experiments, on the longest night of the year is when it truly visits terror upon Vimary. On that night, S’klas fills its sled with horrifying living “toys” and delivers them to children around Vimary. S’klas reserves the worst for those that it deems have been “naughty” over the past year.
Agnes in particular, and Agnites in general, are a particular obsession of S’klas’. Its research has turned more and more toward exploring how Agnes’ rebirth from Mary and the way that Agnites use Synthesis might not only be used to re-open the Fold, but also allow for S’klas to dominate all children in Vimary. It is S’klas’ hope that this will allow vindication and a return to Hl’kar.
Of course, getting close to Agnes is nearly impossible. Even when S’klas suppresses its Atmosphere, Agnes is still able to sense his presence long before he gets near – and a confrontation with a protective Fatima is not something S’klas could survive. The Agnites themselves are a little more accessible. Some Agnites are fascinated by the idea of S’klas and the items he leaves. They encourage S’klas’ winter outing by creating small shrines in hidden places, replete with grisly “snacks” and decorations. These Agnites willingly accept the items that S’klas brings, squirrelling them away lest an adult take them away or Agnes Herself finds out.
Their behavior only encourages S’klas, who thinks that his methods are working. The items he leaves are obviously all Tainted, and sometimes actively dangerous. Worse still, as S’klas’ understanding of children grows deeper his toys become more subversive. There may come a point that S’klas will succeed in getting a toy into the hands of the greatest Child of all.
Twisted Children’s Icon. Invoke this aspect when dealing with children (both scaring and appealing to them – sometimes both at once). Compel it to push S’klas to do something in line with what the true icon would do (like protect a child).
Horrible Helpers: S’klas’ serfs often provide the means for both the “gifts” S’klas distributes as well as luring children. It holds for these Serfs what amounts as “affection” for a Z’bri. Invoke this aspect for S’klas’ Sundering as well as situations involving enticing children. Compel to make S’klas to have to take some action to protect his Serfs.
Melanis Atmosphere: Like all Z’bri, S’klas constantly emits an Atmosphere. S’klas’ Atmosphere causes those around him to ignore his gruesome visage, replacing it with feelings of wonder and joviality.
Melanis Johan: S’klas was once a Melanis Lord, but has now been exiled from Hl’kar. As such, it is not bound by the tenets of the Pact of the Dome by Z’bri or Tribal. Invoke to provide a benefit to doing something that violates Z’bri law (such as dealing with Tribals or Fallen). Compel to put S’klas in a situation where it has to answer for his actions.
Naughty and Nice List: S’klas spends a lot of time observing children and recording their actions, categorizing them as having been “naughty” or “nice” (of course, these concepts to him have little to do with actually being good or bad). Invoke this aspect to provide allow S’klas information about a specific child. Compel this aspect when S’klas may not have that child on its list.
Touched By the Seed: All Z’bri are close to the Seed. Invoke to activate Sundering, compel to make S’klas to do something visceral or hedonistic.
Animation: You get a +2 bonus to using Sundering to create the advantage Animated on an inanimate object. In addition, you can use Sundering instead of Craft to make items.
Appeasement: You gain a +2 when using Sundering to create physical advantages on yourself or others.
Atmosphere Suppression: By paying a Fate Point, S’klas can suppress its Atmosphere for one scene.
You get a +2 bonus when using Sundering to inflict Equilibrium stress on another character, by attempting to combine that character with another character or object. When doing so with another character, both characters must have stress inflicted on them. If the character(s) are Taken Out by Chaining, they become a mindless, pain driven fusion of objects with the additional aspect Chained
Note: This was created using my Fate Core conversion for Tribe 8. You can view any of the relevant documents here.