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Demonic Investment

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Demonic Investments are abilities awarded by demons to the those who serve or enter a pact with a demon.

OverviewEdit

When one enters into a pact with a demon, the demon will give investments, wealth, personal service, objects of desire, and more. The power of an investment is with the demon not the receiver of the investment. A vampire with even one investment will have a devil's mark called a witch's nipple.

Whether or not the pact is observed, the demon eventually collects its due and the Infernalist joins her master in Hell. Until then, the rites of the Church, True Faith, holy magick and angelic powers torment her (sometimes inflicting aggravated damage; see below). Animals and children shy away from him/her, and dark vices gnaw away at what’s left of their soul. It is said that God can forgive such wretches, but few of them are willing to bow their heads in prayer until the fire beckons them; at that point, it’s usually too late.

Some Fallen magi shy away from the Abyss; demons are “merely” their servants and mentors in the Arts. Many, however, sell off whole portions of their souls. Mortal cultists often do the same, desperate for any kind of power that might lift them from their misery. For a while, these folk get what they want. Too hungry for power to worry about its eventual price, they barter their lives and souls for demonic Investments — inhuman talents that channel the essence of Hell.

Investiture requires a formal pact: A witch who wants inhuman powers or diabolical influence petitions her patron for an audience, then requests a pact. Once the Foedus has been struck, the demon works its magic; depending on the Investment, an Infernalist could find a pot of gold, sprout bony wings, or have his/her mind blasted into instant awareness. At that time, a strange Devil’s Mark appears somewhere on the Infernalist’s person; such “brands of favor” depend on the demon’s sense of humor and aesthetics: a succubus could make her servant diabolically handsome (or ugly), while a swirling cloud of chaos marks its chosen with a mangled limb. Either way, a Devil’s Mark displays ownership, forging a physical and metaphysical bond between demon and diabolist. A Supplicium seals the pact and drives the diabolist a little bit closer to Hell. As its name implies, an Investment displays an odd sort of trust; the demon gives its servant a token of esteem in return for deeds it cannot (or will not) perform alone. If an Infernalist is foolish enough to make a pact then break it, her Investments disappear immediately and the chase begins. In game terms, a bargaining Infernalist gains character points — points he/she can spend on Backgrounds and Investments. Such powers, we should note, fail on Christmas Day, Easter and Beltane (and, in the Middle East, during Ramadan), when Divine might banishes the Darkness from the Earth.

Demonic Investments are not super-powers, nor are they employed easily. Most require an invocation to the Patronus and some physical effort. When a Fallen One uses an Investment, their aura turns dark red, then black; anyone with mystic senses (Gifts, spells, Disciplines and so forth, as well as the Awareness Talent) can tell that dark forces are at work in his vicinity. Even mortals feel deep chills. Most Investments actually transform the lnfernalist, too; a diabolist with Wings actually sprouts skeletal bat-wings from their back! When a Fallen One calls upon her Hell-born powers, she becomes a minor demon, and usually looks the part! Deeply corrupted individuals can become fomori, tainted things who have surrendered themselves to evil to such a degree that their skins literally crawl with demonic power.

Demons cannot be blood bonded nor can one be bonded to a demon. To drink from a demon's blood provides no nourishment to a vampire and will either give an extremely pleasure rush or make one very sick. If a vampire repeatedly shares blood with a demon, one of the devil's marks will appear on them.

PactsEdit

Pacts range from 1 to 10 pts. The various levels are described in Pacts:

Infernalism: The Path of ScreamsEdit

Apportation (4 pts) - can enchant a single object, binding it to herself. Then can summon that object from anywhere in the mortal world. The item must be small and light enough to fit in one hand, but can be anything, magickal or otherwise.

Armor (varies) - has scaled skin, thick warts, leathery hide form of protection. This Investment protects against all attacks, however there is a price. For every 3 points in the Investment, the char subtracts one point from theirAppearance. Thus, the sinner wears their sin in a very obvious way.

Awareness (4 pts) - with a mind shattering shock, the demon blows open the doors of occult perception. When the supplicant recovers, they have the Occult Knowledge and the Awareness Talent at 3 dots each. Or 3 more if he already had them. The diabolist enters a Supplicium immediately and may go slightly or noticeably insane.

Backgrounds (1 pt per dot in Background Trait) - great wealth, influence, or companionship. Almost any Background can be gained or increased with a pact — except Daemon, Destiny and Familiar; no demon can or will provide those.

Beast Form (3 pts) - by calling on his Patronus, he may change into one of the meaner beasts (rat, cat, wolf, etc.). Gains all traits and special abilities of the animal, but restricted to a single form. Even in this form, the Infernalist possesses the Devil's Mark and radiates an uncanny air. Takes one turn and lasts no longer than a night.

Bond-breaking (6 pts) - the hand of Surgat guides this Infernalist; normal locks, knots, bindings fall open when she caresses them. Requires an incantation and a soft sweep of the fingers over lock. Does not work on magickal locks of any kind.

Claws or Horns (varies) - claws or horns sprout from body. For one point they inflict normal damage. 3 points inflict aggravated. Normally permanent, they can be made retractable for one point extra.

Demonic Strength (varies) - evil vitality flows into the supplicant's limbs. They have the strength of a minor devil. Each dot costs 3 points and lasts til death or revocation of pact. Each "raise" requires a new pact. Thus one could "buy" 3 points of Strength for a nine point pact, but would have to make another pact for more.

Devil's Eyes (2 pts) - with a glance, an Infernalist can spoil milk, rot grain, and sicken children. No effects on adults other than a feeling of being uncomfortable.

Goat Feet (2 pts) - after kissing his Patron an Infernalist assumes the Devil's cloven feet. Each night, between sunset and dawn, his legs with grow thin, long and hairy, his toes curl into hardened hooves and tail from his rear. Painful taking several minutes transformation. The Infernalist may run faster than any man and kick or trample his enemies to death with the hooves.

Hellfire (3 pts) - can breath gouts of fire on his enemies. Also acidic bile, hot blood, flaming entrails, or other vile substances. Causes 3 aggravated Health levels of damage. For every 2 extra points, can add another Health level.

Invulnerability (3 pts) - mortal weapons bounce off the Infernalist's skin with little effect. Every 3 points in the pact give the supplicant one extra soak die, this is permanent, and allows him to soak aggravated damage, but does not work in any way against attacks from holy sources.

Longevity (varies) - for every point in the pact, a supplicant can add an extra 5 years to her life. Many Infernalists conduct rituals every 5 years, sacrificing scores of innocents to buy a few more years.

Luciferian Charm (4 pts) - an Infernalist with this Investment can get away with damned near anything. No matter what he says or does, he awes everyone he meets. This does not cloak the Infernalist's true nature. He just makes sin look to enticing to resist.

Mammon's Gift (8 pts) - once a night, the Infernalist may turn one small non-living (undead creatures do not count) into gold. This will be cursed with an eerie aura seen by those who notice such things. The upper limit of this is roughly 13 pounds before transformation. A collection of tiny objects (coins, pins, straws, etc.) may count as one item as long as all items are connected when Infernalist touches them.

Pan-pipe Voice (3 pts) - simple words or songs can enrapture his audience and will bring his listeners' worst passions to a head. Against a strong willed creature (magus, vampire) the difficulty is that of the being's Willpower. Once bound, a victim loses her good nature, becomes lustful, almost drunken in her temperament and must spend a Willpower point to regain her senses.

Regeneration (9 pts) - this Investment allows an Infernalist to restore himself to health with a mere effort of will. Can heal all wounds, normal or aggravated, except those inflicted by Prime magick, or by someone who has True Faith or belongs to the Celestial Chorus.

Serpent Skin (3 pts) - the Infernalist can shed his skin and escape his bonds. This takes time, pain, and effort; she must cut a slit in her own hide, then slide or yank himself out of the skin. His nerves and muscles lie exposed. Regrowing the skin takes a week or so. Until then the diabolist is incredibly sensitive to his environment and really foul to look at.

Service (various) - can "buy" slaves from the Abyss. Certain demon-hosts and minor demons will serve the Infernalist, so long as his purposes suit those of Hell. Once the Foedus is sealed, these bound creatures appear by the Warlock's side and ask, "Master, what is thy will?" The servant's power depends on the amount of points in the pact. One point gets a single possessed mortal man or animal. 2 gets a demonic host beast. 3 gets a minor servitor demon. In all cases, the "servant" is loyal unto destruction. Devils, of course, cannot die on the mortal plane, and if ill treated might make its "master" very unhappy tomorrow.

Shameful Sight (6 pts) - gazing into a person's eyes, an Infernalist can discern the sin that lie closest to the surface. The most shameful a person has done. In the Infernalist's "inner eyes", an image of the deed wells up, clear as day. She might decide to keep that to herself for later use, sneer openly about it, or torment the victim with a vision of it. By chanting to her Patrona, the Infernalist can display her vision in a reflective surface. Anyone in the area can see it. The Infernalist appears blameless, even to magickal tracings.

Sign of the Inferno (5 pts) - kissed by Hell, this diabolist need not fear flames. No mortal heat or fire can harm him. It may consume his cloths and possessions, but does not scar his flesh. Magickal fires will have normal effect.

Talons of the Plague-Crow (8 pts) - each night at dusk, the supplicant's hands lengthen into bird's claws. Although handling objects is difficult, these Talons make vicious weapons. Raked across the skin, they inflict painful damage, if blood wells, a virulent plague infects it. Soon afterward, the victim will grow ill, nothing short of a magickal healing can revive him. Death in a week or less. Even after healing, the scars of the Plague-Crow remain vivid and dark. Nothing the Infernalist touchs is safe from the Plague. Any living thing she scratches will sicken and possibly die. Dragons, Krakens, spirits and the Undead are immune to the Plague.

Uncanny Beauty (varies) - in exchange for a sin or two, the supplicant assumes an unearthly, irresistible beauty. For every 2 points, the Infernalist raises his Appearance trait by 1 dot to a max of 8. Even if supplicant's Appearance remains within mortal levels, however, there's something uncanny about him. Lasts until death, although some holy circumstances can expose the beauty for what it truly is.

Wings (3 pts) - uttering a blasphemous command, the supplicant grows horrible, demonic wings from between her shoulder blades. Allows her to fly at roughly 13 yds per turn. For an extra point, the wings may be barbed and inflict damage as if they were claws.


Storytellers Handbook to the SabbatEdit

Here are demonic investments presented by the Storytellers Handbook to the Sabbat, divided by their respective power level.

Level OneEdit

Aquatic - the Infernalist can swim underwater as fast as he can run. With a slightly aquatic look. If mortal, he will gain gills.

Bat Ears - the Infernalist will gain same abilities as a bat's sonar.

Body Armor - this can be used 5 times to take damage.

Grim Jaws -the Infernalist receives the ability to chew through anything. And can swallow objects up to the size of a small child. The facial features are normal unless using this power.

Kiss of Hades - the Infernalist can cause aggravated damage with the touch of his lips. The victim must first be grabbed or surprised.

Lashing Tail - the Infernalist grows a small tail which may be used to cause aggravated damage like a whip. The tail must be hidden or everyone will know you are an Infernalist.

Magic Sense - allows the Infernalist to sense any use of magic within 500 yrs of herself. The Infernalist must concentrate to use this and it will reveal no discipline other than Thaumaturgy.

Razor Fangs - increases the sharpness and size of the Infernalist's fangs allowing aggravated damage when used. Costs one blood point.

Razor Fingers - identical to Razor Fangs only with fingernails.

Smell Fear - the Infernalist will detect by scent if anyone is afraid within 100 feet.

Level TwoEdit

Invisibility to Animals - the Infernalist will be unseen to animals though some may still smell her. They will cower in fright from the Infernalist.

Pheromone Powers - gives Infernalists pheromones that make all mortals within 30 feet easier to Dominate.

Psychic Tracker - infernalist can track someone and know when they are near their target. Does not give precise location. Cost 1 blood point per hour.

Level ThreeEdit

Cause Vertigo - the victim's will have problems staying upright, mortals will suffer nausea. Can be used against any number of people at 1 blood point a person. Last 5 turns.

Magic Portal - allows the Infernalist to move through solid objects. Cost 1 blood point.

Walk the Walls - the Infernalist can walk on walls or ceilings at a walk or crawl.

Demon hide - alters the infernalist's skin.allowing two damage soak and causing fire damage to any piercing item. incidently this also allows fire damage to claws or biting.

Level FourEdit

Guardian - the Infernalist will receive an imp for protector. The imp will serve her and have an empathic tie so that they will know the location and emotional state of each other.

Toxic Blast - the Infernalist can spew a liquid of demonic energy from their nose, eyes, mouth or fingertips. It will disappear 5 turns after it spurts. This is a hideous smelling, acidic, blackish green goo. Costs 1 blood point for one blast that will cause aggravated damage.

Two Dimensional - the Infernalist will become two dimensional allowing him to slip through cracks and become almost nonexistent when viewed from the side. Cost 1 blood point.

Level FiveEdit

Hell Skinned - grants the Infernalist immunity from the fire and heat. But not from sunlight or magic fire.

Life Leech - the Infernalist can drain the Willpower of mortals, ghouls, and werewolves, turning the points drained into blood points. Touching is required. Victims completely drained will become catatonic until they gain more Willpower.

Master of the Domain - the Infernalist will always know what is happening 500 feet inside of her domain as if they were watching from above.

Level SixEdit

Atrophic Touch - will cause one of victim's arms or legs to wither away to nothing. There is no pain but the limb will disappear. The Infernalist must touch the body part to be effected.

Teleportation - at a cost of 1 blood point and 1 Willpower, the Infernalist can use this to go from one place to another within 100 feet. The destination does not have to be seen.

Turn to Toad - the power to turn a victim into a toad. Lasts 1 night per success and costs 1 Blood Point and 1 Willpower.

Level SevenEdit

Infernal Passage - grants safe passage through Hell. This can only be given by extremely power demons. Does not give the Infernalist passage to Hell.

Journey to the Spirit Realm - the Infernalist's body becomes a spirit to travel through the Umbra at 1 Blood Point per hour of travel.

Summon Hellions - 3 minor demons can be summoned by the Infernalist to protect her from danger. The demons will not put themselves in danger but will try to protect the Infernalist. Costs 1 Blood Point to use.

Level EightEdit

Army of the Damned - 9 minor demons can be summoned by the Infernalist to protect her from danger. They will fight until their forms are destroyed. Costs 1 Blood Point.

Level NineEdit

Infernal Ranking - gives the Infernalist minor status among the damned. The Infernalist is superior to minor demons and can command them. They cannot be forced but most will obey as punishing disobedience is acceptable and expected.

Level TenEdit

Rejuvenation - this will allow an Infernalist to permanently transform back to mortal capable of aging normally. The Infernalist becomes unembraceable and if it is forced will probably die.

The Book of MadnessEdit

Lightning Speed (variable) - the Diabolist may take one additional action per turn without dividing her dice pool for every 5 points placed in this Investment. Up to 15 points may be spent this way.

Eyes of the Abyss (4 pts) - the Diabolist can stare into the eyes of a victim and cause him to feel empty and void of emotion. The subject will become unable to take any action except stare into her eyes. The effects last for one turn per success.

Imp Familiar (4 pts) - this Investment grants the Diabolist a minor demonling as a familiar. Use the Familiar Background for the creation of such creatures. They are loyal to the Diabolist, but even more loyal to their demonic masters.

Bestial Form (5 pts) - the Diabolist can shapechange into the form of one particular natural animal. The character gains any natural abilities possessed by animals of that sort. The effect lasts for one scene.

Hand of the Defiler (6 pts) - the infernalist’s right hand gains the power to kill plants, gnarl wood, rust metal and rot any flesh it touches. This effect does one level of aggravated damage per success and lasts one hour. The Diabolist suffers intense arthritis in his hand for a week after using this Investment.

Emotion Projection (6 pts) - the Diabolist can cause a subject to experience whatever emotion she wishes them to feel by expending a point of Willpower. The effects lasts for one scene per success.

Regeneration (9 pts) - the Diabolist has the power to heal all wounds, normal and aggravated, save those inflicted by Prime magicks, mages of the Celestial Chorus or those with True Faith, by expending one point of Willpower per Health Level healed.

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ReferencesEdit

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