Saturday, May 28, 2016

Andras, Author of Discord 
Faith and religion have always been complicated in La Republica.  When the conquistadors came across the ocean in their white-winged ships they had two goals: conversion and treasure.  On the sandy beaches of the distant past they read the following proclamation, in Spanish, to the gathered Natives:

"We ask and require you to acknowledge the church as the ruler and
superior of the whole world and the high priest called pope and in his
name the king of Spain as lords of this land. If you submit we shall
receive you in all love and charity and shall leave you, your wives and
children and your lands free without servitude, but if you do not submit
we shall powerfully enter into your country and shall make war against
you, we shall take you and your wives and your children and shall make
slaves of them and we shall take away your goods and shall do you all
the harm and damage we can."

Though the Natives had no hope of comprehending the decree the Spaniards held to their word.  Villages burned, temples sacked, and innocents put to the sword.  Encounters with Nagual, Harvesters, Six Fingered Priests, and Cihuateteo justified their self righteous cruelty, treasures claimed from the Grand Temple of Mictlantecuhtli their crowning achievement.  A golden statue, 36 inches tall, of the skeletal Judge of the Dead festooned with his heralds (owls, spiders, etc..) was the center of Native worship and now the conquistadors' collection.

Raising up their God-on-a- stick, the Spanish forcibly "converted" every Native they encountered and gathered all the gold they could lay their hands on. That much heathen wealth gathered in one place captivated Carlos Madrigal, a middle ranking officer in the expedition.  For long hours he gazed into the growing pile of Aztec treasure unable to wrench away from Mictlantecuhtli's idols and their vile whispers.  Madrigal slew his fellows in a crude, Christianized, occult rite imitating the Natives' acts of supplication, opening a slim window for Andras, Grand Marquis of Hell, to cast a sliver of his shadow upon the Earth.  As a reward, Andras freed Carlos from the bonds of death but not decay's grasp.  Forcing the traitor to clothe himself in stolen flesh, like the Native priests of Xipe Totec.

As time passed and New Spain changed hands, Carlos Madrigal recruited the desperate, the envious, and the cruel into his secret society, la Franternidad de Confianza. Bankrolled by Aztec cultural treasures and pilfered gold, la Franternidad works to further tear the Veil so Andras can fully enter the world and exert his influence.  They can be found in nearly any town, often taking the roll of storekeeper or banker to wield contract and credit to betray common bonds of trust.
Andras, who commands thirty legions of spirits, has the body of an angel and the head of an owl wielding a saber and riding a black wolf.  Endowed with knowledge to kill, sow discord, and escalate quarrels and fed by murder, he has found an all-you-can eat buffet in the West.  He invests his followers with at least one of the following abilities:

Sweet Little Lies - The cultist makes a Will attack against any creature in earshot with a boon, if successful that character is charmed and turns against his companions.

Covetous Curse - The cultist selects an object, all characters who can see it must make a Will challenge roll or covet the item beyond all else. Employing violence to acquire and keep the item for themselves.

Parliamentary Body - The cultist may deal damage equal to his Health as a triggered action as he curses someone, if he does a swarm of owls spill out leaving behind a thin sack of flesh.  They then disperse and silently stalk the cursed indiviual waiting for an oppurtunity to ambush them.

Picked up Shadow of the Demon Lord at Chupacabracon a few weeks ago from Rob Schwalb himself, and it's awesome.  Fits the black metal western aesthetic of "Donde El Diablo Hizo Su Nido" better than Dungeon Crawl Classics.  Expect a series of posts detailing various would-be Demon Lords, let me know who you want to see.