Work is progressing on SAVE: The Eternal Society, and it’s been a good four months since I’ve written anything up for this blog (sorry about that). Since I have most of the art for SAVE now, I figured it would be good time to talk about the monsters we’re including in the book.
We included a bunch of creatures of the Unknown in Chill 3rd Edition, some of which are old standbys of the horror genre (zombies, vampires), some familiar to Chill fans (the Deceiver, the Mean Old Neighbor Lady), and some of which were new to our edition (Bloodybones, the Trundler). We also wound up cutting a bunch of monsters for space, so as we put out future sourcebooks we have a source we can draw on.
When you’re doing a sourcebook like SAVE, though, which isn’t arranged around monsters, what kind of creatures do you include? “Monsters that SAVE fights” isn’t very helpful, after all.
What we decided to do, then, we lean on monsters that present a risk of infiltration, or that SAVE has some history with. We already put the Deceiver in the core book, of course, but SAVE was a good place for the Betrayer.
The Betrayer (Unique Being)
Attn: Laura Gonzales, Director
Please send back-up. Half the team is missing, and the other half is badly injured. Your source’s information was not only incomplete this time, it was just wrong. We aren’t dealing with any simple ghost. The thing isn’t even a ghost at all. We were severely under-prepared and outclassed. See if your source doesn’t have any information about shape changing monsters, because I don’t even know what this thing is, much less how to handle it.
— Andre Dos Santos, SAVE field agent
EWS: 125 (Legendary)
Injury: Superficial, Minor –10, Serious –20, Major –30, Critical –50, Lethal
Disciplines: Appear Dead (Other), Change Form, Darken, Influence, Swarm
Aspects: Cloaked, Master, Sturdy, Supernatural Speed, Tough
This ancient creature of the Unknown is thought to date as far back as humanity, showing up now and again as different trickster or chaos inducing entities throughout history. Stories from ancient Egypt of Apep, the foe of Ra, likely spring from the Betrayer’s predations, as do stories of Lotan, Typhon, and even stories of Loki and Eris.
Since SAVE’s inception, the Betrayer has been plaguing its operations. It takes joy in leading envoys astray and watching them fail. The creature actively seeks out SAVE HQs and attempts to bring them to ruin by feeding them false information. It is cunning and subtle, keeping just far enough away and using just enough truth to convince envoys of its veracity. It often poses as an anonymous informant, giving good information on small threats, just enough to gain trust. It then mixes lies in with the truth and eventually traps the envoys within a web of lies so complex that in many cases they have to abandon years’ worth of work in order to recover.
The Betrayer is rumored to be able to change its shape into any form, yet it seems to prefer an alligator or crocodile when not appearing as a human. It seems to have some affinity for the animals, enslaving them to carry out simple tasks and protect it from harm. The Betrayer is never far from at least a few of its minion creatures, and directs them against any who would attempt to attack it.
So that’s one example – powerful creature that set its sights on SAVE specifically. We included the ganabe (shapeshifting body-snatchers that first appeared in Veil of Flesh) for the same reason.
Another approach to creature inclusion, though, was creatures that SAVE would run across more than once. I don’t mean that SAVE would see a creature of this type frequently (like a vampire; there are lots of those), I mean a specific creature that is hard to banish permanently or that leaves SAVE a limited window in which to act. We came up with a Reoccurring Specter:
Reoccurring Specter (Ghost)
I always enjoyed Purim, it was my mother’s favorite holiday. But now, it brings me nothing but pain and terror. Five years ago, my mother died in a car accident on the way home from the community Purim spiel. She had been drinking and we went off the road. She died that night in the ICU, while I was in a coma. Now, every year on that day, I see her. I’m not just talking about memories or reminders. She comes to me and tries to kill me. Every single year.
— Richard Lowe,
EWS: 95 (Potent)
Disciplines: Apparition, Darken, Haywire, Spook, Throw Voice, Unseen Hand, Unknown Light, Wound, Write
Aspects: Discipline Master, Incorporeal, Spectral Attack
A reoccurring specter is the ghost of someone who died on a day that was important to them for some reason. It could be an anniversary date, a birthday, a particularly beloved holiday, or even just a day that person remembers fondly each year. Each year, on that day after the ghost’s death, it returns to the world in a terrible rage. A reoccurring specter tends to haunt the location it died in, though some have been reported to haunt living relatives. The ghost appears at midnight on the anniversary of its death and returns to wherever it came from the following midnight. During that short time, it seeks to wreak as much havoc and destruction as it possibly can.
A reoccurring specter is a powerful ghost, able to strike out and attack people even though it is unable to use Corporeal Manifestation. SAVE is unsure why these ghosts are more powerful than others of their kind, though researchers suspect it has something to do with the time spent away from the known world. Like other ghosts, a reoccurring specter can be banished by helping them fulfill a goal or destroying whatever fixation it may have. With only one day a year available to investigate or observe the ghost’s actions, though, this could take several years. Destroying the remains of the ghost does not seem to be enough, though it reportedly does remove its ability to use its Evil Way disciplines.
In all, SAVE includes 10 creatures of the Unknown. Some, like the ganabe, the Betrayer, and the bat lord, you’ll recognize from previous Chill products, while others, like the xaxog and the blood thistle, are new to our edition. SAVE: The Eternal Society should be available for sale in pdf this spring, and we’ll be taking preorders for the softcover on BackerKit soon!
By the way, the awesome creature artwork you’re seeing here is courtesy of Gennifer Bone. Check out her Patreon here, and you can see some of her other disturbing creations!