Category:Relics of Power
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
"In the beginning there was law made from chaos, peace stilled from clamor and form torn from formlessness. And it was good, no? Except these are just temporary. For even the notion of time is of your and your kinds' invention. Reality - not just this one, but all realities - will be just as they were. You call it entropy. We call it home. Your paltry beginning came from our ending. Except we are all still here. Between the cracks. The fuel of your nightmares. The reason you throw spilled salt over your shoulder, don't break mirrors, and look to the stars for your futures. We are eternity. We were here before your beginning and shall be here when we bring about the end."
- Shizuul addressing a council of Overfiends and Circle of Thorns Mages shortly before destroying them.
The Relics of Power
The Relics of Power are a long secret group of immortals that each possess a single relic of monumental power. Each relic is different and has a different hold upon its user. All users gain true immortality from these relics as long as the relic remains intact. There are other benefits and powers these items give to their users but exact a horrible price from each.
The more a user taps into the raw power of the relic the more he becomes dependant upon the relic. Furthermore the relics themselves sap the users of their humanity, emotions, and memories more and more until the individual and the relic merge personalities and become one will. This is never forced, but is chosen by the user. But the choice itself is a damning one. No matter what, the users of the relics slowly become gripped with an undeniable compulsion to locate other relics of power and mortals to wield these relics.
The items themselves are intelligent and picky about who will wield them. Some will wait eons before finding a suitable wielder, but when one emerges the Relics will stop at nothing to get that individual to accept the power of the relic.
Each relic is capable of giving its user monumental powers and abilities. The more the host gives up of itself to the relic, the more power the relic gives to the host. Though there are two powers that the relic gives to the host the minute the host accepts the relic's power.
- True Immortality - True Immortality means that the host becomes deathless. Even if burnt down to only ashes and dust they will always be able to eventually return (though it might take a while). As long as the relic is intact the host will never die. They also no longer require food, drink, air, atmosphere, or sleep to survive.
- Magic Sense - A relic allows its host to detect the presence of anything mystical within five miles. It also allows its host to detect relics of power or other hosts within fifty miles. They also can instinctively tell, within fifty yards, if an individual is worthy of wielding any relic that they have found or know of.
Weaknesses of relics
All relics have specific weaknesses. It's in their vile nature to have something that repels them. Not all relics are repulsed by the same thing and sometimes these weaknesses are truly esoteric (IE Like a baby's first laugh).
All Relics react to the weaknesses of their relics in different ways. Some become fearful, others become catatonic, while others still go into uncontrollable rages. The only common thread is that all will attempt to escape their bane at any cost.
In addition to these weaknesses, relics also have more banal weaknesses. Such as, relics made of paper or wood can be burnt. Or relics made of glass can be shattered. Just because they house monumental power doesn't always mean they will be made of some indestructible material. In fact some of the most powerful relics are made from bone, wood, or clay. Relics do well to take extra care of their vulnerable relics. Some encase their relics in amber or some sort of ultra-hard material. Others actually swallow or surgically implant their relics to keep them safe from wear and tear.
Relics also seem unable to effect one another. Though infighting between Relics aren't uncommon, open violence has never been observed. The reason is that Relics lack the ability to physically interact with one another. Some merely become insubstantial while others are simply stopped by an unseen force. Some will even be repulsed by the idea of physically harming another Relic.
The relics themselves are the items that house a particular outsider not native to this or any other reality. These items all radiate fantastic mystical power. They also, if looked for, radiate massive amounts of evil. Beings sensitive to evil will not be able to stand being around any relic for very long.
Contrary to popular belief, relics do not in fact possess their user. Relics will only subtly persuade their users to choose to give up more and more of themselves to the power of the relic. The relic's goal is to actually merge personalities and become one with its host. It is completely possible for relics to corrupt demons, devils, angels, and even those possessed by any of these entities. Though the chances of this happening are astronomically small since all of these creatures can instinctively sense the true nature of the relics and will leave them alone.
The Mask of Blood - The mask is made from an unearthly leather and houses the entity known as Ygthrrha'Bwhbbtia. This Beast is known for its strength of body and mind. It purpose is to find the powerful and corrupt all from within.
The Shell of Nod - The shell is made from a pliable Uru metal and houses the entity known as Hkcthali'tkli. The Wraith is known for its unapproachability and its canny. Its purpose is to find the weakness in all, exploit it, and corrupt those that survive.
The Green Stones - The stones are made from a glowing emerald substance and houses the entity known as Skrgriatlka. The Cursed One is known for its fearful aura and power over flesh. Its purpose is to destroy hope and faith by undermining it with cynicism and hubris then corrupting the converts.
The Solstice Collar - The collar is made from simple leather and the studs are made from a silver and platinum alloy. The studs house the entity known as Bringer. Its purpose is to obliterate any sense of order with wild supernatural displays. It then gathers those it has shattered and corrupts them with a new sense of right and wrong.
The Shizuul - Shizuul has completed its fall and has combined with its relic. Its purpose is to rot all things everywhere until there is nothing. Its goal is the end of everything everywhere.
The other relics - There are twenty or so other relics housed in the Relics' home base and many others hidden around the world. It is possible there could be hundreds still waiting for hosts.
After accepting and using the power of a relic the user begins his slow path to becoming one with his relic. This process is called The Fall. There are five stages to the fall and each proceed at the chosen speed of the user. The more the user surrenders himself to the power of the relic the faster the fall is. The further the fall the more power the user wields.
At the first stage the hosts, for the most part, still retains all of their identity. They still don't consider themselves part of their relics and actually can remove their relic for some time. The desire to seek out and distribute relics isn't quite as strong but still is a big motivator on their part. The power they gain from the relic is mostly superficial and not abundant. At this stage the hosts are often conflicted and seem a little overwhelmed. They haven't adjusted to the impulses of their "other" yet.
At the second stage the hosts have usually given up more of their identity for more of the relics' power. They slowly begin to accept the urges of the relic they possess and even begin to see these urges as actually their own. The relic can still be removed but for only brief amounts of time. The desire to seek out and distribute relics have now become almost second nature to them. It is done almost with out thought. The power they wield from their relics now seem almost godlike. They begin to truly show signs of their invulnerability. Unfortunately they also begin to show signs of their separation from their own humanity. Their emotions and desires have faded to the point of apathy and they no longer feel "connected" to other people as a whole.
At the third stage the hosts have almost given up all vestiges of their human identity. Their and their relics' desires are almost one and the same. The host finds removal of the relic uncomfortable or painful. They seek out and distribute relics without a will of their own, as if driven by hunger. The power the relics give them is almost complete. In fact their entire physiology has been changed. Its at this point that their hideously evil power actually effects things around them. Their power begins to rival that of powerful celestials or demon princes. They are literally no longer human. Its at this stage the host is almost completely separated from humanity. Whole emotional arrays are gone as are their passions and desires. They now can't even identify with who they once were.
This is the final stage of the fall. The host at this point no longer has any trace of the person it used to be. The relic and the host share the same mind and soul. They are only separated in a physical sense. The host will never part with the relic. They seek out and distribute relics just as in the last stage, except its more of a frenzied hurry than anything else. At this stage they only have a humanoid form, they no longer even count as human or even alive to those that can sense these things. Their malevolence and evil casts a noticeable pall on those even not sensitive to such things. Their power is almost complete. They usually have mastery over some type of vile art or realm. They are almost elevated to demigod status. They are completely foreign to the ways of all humanity. They don't even see themselves in the same light as the rest of humanity. They have forgotten their own mortality and see it as a "past life".
This is the stage where the host and the relic physically join and become one. They are now an outsider and all the knowledge and power of infinity is now theirs. They have complete mastery over all planar travel and don't need portals to cross realities. They are essentially above the lesser affairs of humanity unless it involves corrupting them. Everything else is consumed with actively bringing about the end of all realities, all planes, all time, and everything. Nothing else matters to them except to return to the void.
Since Falling is a choice so is redemption. Those that have fallen to any stage except the fifth one can return to normal. Though this process involves cutting oneself off from the power of the relic, actually denying its urges and desires, it can be done through hard work and pain. There are a few ways to release oneself from the power of a relic.
- Separate completely from the relic. - This works only with monumental amounts of will and mostly for those still in the first two stages of The Fall. Hosts separated from their relics react like drug addicts react to quitting cold turkey. Not only are they powerless but they are wracked with horrible pains and sickness. Depending on how old they are sometimes they are effected by increased aging and crippling arthritis. Essentially this solution could take years. Either way the relic still desires its host and Relics will attempt to return the relic to the host. This solution rarely works, but is rarely fatal.
- Destroy the relic. - This works like the previous solution except that instead of a slow withdrawal over years the horrific effects will hit the host all at once. This solution will work for hosts in any but the fifth stage of The Fall. This solution always works but is almost always fatal to hosts not in stage one of The Fall. Even if the host lives, their mind is often broken from the trauma.
- Force the relic to give up its host. - This solution works with only great amounts of endurance to withering pain and to those still in the first three stages of The Fall. This involves finding the relic's weakness and then exposing it to this weakness for prolonged amounts of time. Eventually the relic will release its addictive hold on its host and the host is then free to separate himself from the relic. This solution is difficult for many reasons. One reason is that some hosts can go for millennium and never know their relic's weakness. Another reason is that other Relics will sense the pain of the relic and try to release their peer from its agony by destroying its source of pain. Another reason is that more often than not this process is fatal. Often killing the host way before the relic ever gives up. This solution usually works, but with mixed results.
- Find another host for the relic. - This is at the same time the easiest and the most difficult way for a host to separate from its relic. The reason why its easy is because once the relic is freely accepted by another host, it all but separates itself from its previous host without any side effects. The reason why it is the most difficult way is because it is almost impossible to find another suitable host for an already claimed relic. Even after a suitable host is found it is difficult to convince the host to accept the power of the relic before the previous host begins to feel the withdrawal effects. All in all this process is never fatal but has never been successfully done either.
All Relics can sense each other instinctively. They all recognize each other instantly and have never openly fought one another. Though most either hate or just don't trust each other, they all work for the same goals.
Blood Lord Aergulf - Aergulf has been a Relic since 8376 BC. Aergulf was given the Mask of Blood by Halius. He was a simple superstitious nomad and accepted the power of the mask almost immediately. His fall is still in its third stage and has shown no signs of stopping.
Halius the Cursed - Halius has been a Relic since 15,132 BC. Halius "stole" the Green Stones from Shizuul and used them to banish the unclean entity. He was a shaman of his neolithic clan and used the Green Stones to work miracles for his people. Eventually the power destroyed his people and even his culture. His fall is in the fourth stage and will soon be complete.
Lady Myth - Myth has been a Relic since 8694 BC. Myth "found" the Shell of Nod after receiving its location from Halius. Myth was actually already immortal by the time she accepted the power of the Shell of Nod. She had been a vampire and ruling class in ancient Egypt. The relic consumed her ambitions and destroyed her existence. Her fall is still in the first stage and has stopped advancing. She is actively seeking a way to give up her relic.
Final Plague - Plague has been a Relic since 1525 AD. Plague was given the Solstice Collar by Aergulf to help 'save' her people from a Spanish mercenary army. Plague was a dragoon and camp follower of a Spanish mercenary army in Germany from a young age. Her fall is in the second stage and advancing quickly.
Shizuul - Shizuul has been a Relic since before man existed on Earth. Shizuul crossed over to this universe in 407 million BC. Shizuul has been shifting and flowing through the primordial muck waiting until intelligence evolved on this plane and its parallel planes. Its fall is complete. Shizuul is its own relic.
Others - There are other Relics but they have not availed themselves yet in the Rogue Isles or Paragon City. It is possible there are Relics hidden in many other organizations, corrupting them from within with promises of ultimate power. Relics aren't bound by any codes of conduct other than to find and corrupt those that are worthy to wield unowned relics of power.
Becoming an Immortal
Potential Relics don't always have to be corrupted by existing Relics; though that is the easiest way. There is one other way to begin The Fall. That way is for the potential Relic to actually find a relic of power and use it then accept its powers. In this way a new Relic is born. Unfortunately most Relics born this way don't fully understand their own nature and either let the power drive them mad or destroy them outright.
Either way, all existing Relics intuitively know that another has been created and may or may not seek them out for their own purposes.
The Outside is a small meeting place and sanctum for the Relics. Its located miles deep under Thorn Island. The Outside was built originally by the Circle of Thorns but was taken by Shizuul and all paths leading to it were destroyed or filled with unnamed horrors. The Outside now serves as a vault for various magical items and relics of power.
The Outside's ownership still enrages many members of the Circle. Many years ago a vast expedition was sent to reclaim the Outside. The attempt met with crushing failure and defeat. Baron Zoria himself barely escaped with his life. In a fit a rage he attempted to seal the Outside mystically so that nothing could escape.
The Outside itself is a stagnant and dangerous place. The air is rancid with decay and rot; almost not breathable. Indescribable creatures dwell within and Relics use this place as a crossroads of sorts for their kind. The Outside also crosses other dimensions and time itself. Its also not uncommon to see Relics in their true forms in this place.
Other Worlds and Other Dimensions
Relics exist on almost all worlds and in all dimensions and all work for the same goals. Relics encountered from the Praetorian dimension would be just as evil and have no duplicates. Exceptions to this are worlds that found out early about relics and have taken steps to either destroy all of them or lock them away forever. These worlds do exist and are often places of vast mystical ability. Dimensions without relics in them are unheard of.
The purpose of the Relics of Power is to corrupt other members of the RP community. All Relics are equal and none are master or slave. All Relics work separately or (rarely) in groups of two or more. They don't advertise their purposes and attempt to corrupt others over long periods of time. Everyone has a choice. There are no "rules" because people can do what they want. If they want to use a relic then realize that its trying to affect them they can just say they take it off with no more effects than that if they choose.
Also Relics aren't Mary Sues. Those they are trying to corrupt are the center of attention. They will not bully or intimidate the subject of their corruption or attempt to take over their affairs. Also they will not constantly pester their prey. They usually sit back and let the situation unfold at their leisure and rarely intrude anymore than they have to (they're trying to be subtle). If two or more Relics are competing for the same victim they never attack each other. They will try to undermine or trick the other or send others to waylay them. They never take direct action against another of their kind.
Lastly, Relics aren't gods. Though they are deathless, they are not indestructible. When playing a Relic of Power be very aware of Godmoding and don't let it happen. Their power is flawed and their nature is ultimately self destructive.
Also be aware of Metagaming and don't let it happen. Relics aren't omniscient and many are so void of humanity that they even lack basic intuitive knowledge about people. Give good IC reasons for IC knowledge. Discuss with other players what is known and what is okay with them. Relics aren't always in control. Mortals often surprise them simply because they are arrogant or underestimate their prey.
Basically they eventually always lose. They will either overplay their hand or give away their true intentions. They aren't perfect. They are also not retards running around picking fights. They will treat those they are trying to corrupt like royalty. They will also treat their victim's friends and allies the same way. This goes for both heroes and villains (though its much harder with heroes).
The whole point of the fun of playing a Relic is to take that character that usually isn't in the limelight and make them the "star" of the show. Then watching and seeing how they do. Imagine if you suddenly had two or three powerful entities all fighting for your attention and lavishing you with gifts and promises of more power.
If you did it right they'll either become a viscous monster or they'll spurn you and show their true loyalties to friends and allies or maybe a little bit of both. Who knows.
- ↑ Relic with a capital 'R' refers to the Immortal. Relic with a lowercase 'r' refers to the item. Sorry for the confusion.
This category has only the following subcategory.
- [+] Relics of Power/The Redeemed (0)