[Horror] Benkariim

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Tattered Rags
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[Horror] Benkariim

Post by Tattered Rags » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:30 am

On the Cursed Items of Benkariim
What follows are compiled from the notes from Haemus Claren, my mentor here at the Great Library. As painful as it is for me, I cannot in good conscience censor any part of them. In recent weeks he had become increasingly reclusive, rarely leaving his room even for food. The last time I talked with him, he yelled and threw me out of his room, claiming I only wanted to get in the way and stop him from his great destiny of destroying Benkariim. Clearly his obsession with the Horror was driving him mad. I hope his final hours and these notes can serve as both a warning and reminder of how insidious these beings can be, even to one as well-warned as Haemus was. He killed a servant who had merely delivered his lunch. It took three guards to subdue him, and he died in the attempt. I will pick up where he left off. In some small act of justice, I can use his favorite pen to compile what legends and secrets I can find on this Horror. He died clutching it in his hand, and it will be the instrument of Benkariim's destruction. Even as I use it to write these letters I know it to be true.
-Folus Shaari, apprentice scholar, Great Library of Throal, 1509 TH

Naturally, any research into any Horror, even an unnamed one, is a dangerous affair. The work overseen by Merrox two years ago is filled with proof of that. Even brief forays between those covers by the most stalwart minds can cause us to scribe one more victim in the Horrors' ledgers. For most, this topic is best left alone. But, Vasdenjas's warnings aside, His Highness, King Varulus III had the right of it. To not do this research, to not delve into the madness and face the terror, would leave even more in danger.

And so I endeavor to write on Benkariim, known as the Minor Curse, Usurper of the Banal, Purpose Driver, and Inspirer. I am sure numerous other appellations have been ascribed to him, fitting in one way or another. The only reason we know him by Benkariim, whether his True Name or otherwise, is because that is what he tells us he is Named. He takes full responsibility for the cursed inspiration he provides, and those under his Horror Mark tell of hearing his Name pass through their mind.

He passes his curse onto Namegivers by way of simple items. These cursed items are simple and unassuming things: frying pans and notebooks, pillows and pens, forks and hoes. This is where the first half of Benkariim's many names originates. His use of the everyday allows him to slip unnoticed inside a community. Who would suspect a knitting needle? And merely handling one of these cursed things is enough to ensnare a new victim.

The exact means by which he is able to Mark his victim is not well understood. It seems that his abilities in this area are actually weaker than his brethern and he is limited to only doing so through one of these cursed items, for which we can be quite thankful. However, the longer one is exposed to an item, the more powerful Benkariim influence over the victim becomes.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again, as the old adage goes. And his curse provides ample opportunity to try again.

Stories surrounding these objects speak of an irresitible compulsion driving a person to hold onto it or keep using it until they either collapse from exhaustion or death.

One in particular should show how terrible this can be. Just prior to the Scourge, a mother had recently given birth. While her husband was away, hunting, as the story goes, and after she put her newborn down to sleep, she picked up a knife to start preparing a meal. This blade had been cursed, however, by Benkariim. The mother finished slicing the vegetables, but that was not enough for her. So she continued to use the knife on whatever she could find. Then, and I shudder to write these words, her precious child woke. So proud she was of the baby a mere hour ago, she saw this as an interruption. Her husband came home to find her still slowly carving at their son's flesh, babbling about the great things she would be able to do with the knife. The need to use the blade took over all proper reason in her mind.

This compulsion ends, though, and that is when the nightmare begins, because that means Benkariim has likely made you one of his.

His whispers tell of wonderful accomplishments, inspiring words to drive you forward. And, truly, he is more than willing to share secrets with you to further your goals. You will succeed! You must, because you have Benkariim at your side! Something, anything, will now fully consume all your focus. There is nothing else as important to you as this singular goal. He truly is the Purpose Driver and Inspirer, and many other similar Names are just as true. You become convinced not only that you will succeed, but that there are only two things you need to do so: Benkariim and whatever cursed trap he used to first grab you.

That almost sounds worthwhile. And to these victims, they may see it as a valuable trade. But just as sure as they are convinced that nothing will stand in their way, they also believe that everyone will try. Another tale, if I may.

A simple cook at a wayside inn within a small village became possessed of a rare insight to create delectable dishes. His creations began to draw people from all around, such that his small kitchen was serving a hundred times the travelers it used to. Everyone was amazed and wondered where he had learned these new skills. The owner, above all others, was delighted. The cook, however, quit, telling the owner that this was too much of a distraction. These people were not there for his food but instead were there to prevent him from creating his most perfect dish. The owner offered the cook any amount of silver to stay. Then he offered gold and even a stake in the inn's profits. All of these were refused.

When the owner realized that the only thing the cook wanted was the inn's frying pan, he demanded the cook stay, or he would never let the cook use it again. You see, the pan was Benkariim's tool in this. Furious, the cook found another use for the pan, and he found a new ingredient to test. But he still needed to stop the travelers from interfering, and to feed them all he had to gather more ingredients. That evening, nearly a hundred Namegivers died from eating a poisoned dish made from the flesh of the inn's owner and the twelve people who had been sleeping there.

Certainly, Benkariim grants you a purpose. But that new drive allows you to see in others only obstacles. And obstacles need to be removed.

I have been studying this Horror so long now that I practically hear his name in my sleep. Certainly, while I write these notes that will prove to be his downfall it cascades through my mind. In some twisted way, I owe my drive to complete this work to Benkariim. I wield no sword to slay him, but this mighty pen, instead. He bleeds with each stroke. His existence keeps me going. I suspect that others have fallen under his sway, even within our wonderful archive, and they will stop at nothing to prevent me from finishing. That is how treacherous he is. Since anything can be used to grab a new plaything for him, then anyone could be an enemy, and I will save all of them.

I will not let any stand in my way. Benkariim will fall by the words I write; I know the truth of this.

I woke to find these pages shoved under my door, with a note attached by Folus. It read "Haemus had it wrong. This pen is best used out there, writing down the words of adventurers who have faced this Horror." Folus was nowhere to be found, apparently having left in the middle of the night.
-Addendum added by Scholar Thentis
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Tattered Rags
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Tattered Rags » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:35 am

This is the Horror featured in my current game. Thought I'd try my hand at quickly writing an entry like from the Horrors book.

I've only detailed a little of its powers.

-Has a chance to use its Horror Mark power for every hour a person uses a cursed item, with a cumulative +1 bonus for each hour the item is used (including the first); this bonus reduces by 1 for every day they don't use it

-Horror Mark (10, Standard) In addition to the normal effects, marked characters become increasingly obsessed with a singular goal and convinced that the cursed item is key in achieving it. The goal is usually some way logically tied to the cursed item (such as a frying pan used to help the person become the best chef in town). They also become increasingly paranoid, believing everyone else both wants the item and wants to stop them from success. This typically drives people to torture and murder. Benkariim can use Horror Mark to create a new Cursed Item with a bonus of +10 to the test against the item's Mystic Defense. Success creates a Cursed Item.

-Cursed Compulsion (20) People using one of Benkariim's Cursed Items are exposed to a compulsion to continue using the item. This test is made only once a day for each person who uses the item, and it is made the very first time they use it. If no one is currently Horror Marked through the item, then the item performs a Cursed Compulsion test against the target's Social Defense. Each consecutive day spent using the item even once adds a cumulative +1 to the Cursed Compulsion test. Conversely, each consecutive day spent not using it will reduce the bonus by 1. A successful test fills them with a sense of purpose and knowledge that this item can help them achieve great things, and that they owe this new drive to Benkariim. In order to stop using the item, the person must succeed in a Willpower (6) test. Each extra success on the Cursed Compulsion test adds 5 to that difficulty. If they fail, they will continue using the item until Benkariim has successfully used its Horror Mark power or they are forced away from it by exhaustion or other reason. If someone is already Horror Marked through the item, then no Cursed Compulsion test is made if someone else uses the item. Instead, any person using the item will only feel the sense of purpose and Benkariim's Name will come to mind. They will feel no overwhelming need to use it. Simply holding the item in their hand and looking at it is enough to count as "using it" for the purposes of this power and the Horror Mark power. Destroying the item itself can also break this compulsion, but doing so after someone is Horror Marked does not release them from that particular curse.
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Slimcreeper
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:42 pm

Is it a physical or astral horror. Or both? How does it curse the item?

Tattered Rags
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Tattered Rags » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:46 am

Slimcreeper wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:42 pm
Is it a physical or astral horror. Or both? How does it curse the item?
It's astral, but most stats aren't really figured out. I *think* I've settled on an MD of 15 or 17. Ish.

Last couple of lines in its Horror Mark talk about cursing items. It gets a +10 when doing so. Note that Benkariim only curses simple, every day items. Never magical ones, for instance, and likely never weapons, armor, etc.

As an aside, what did you think about the entry?
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Under the Stars

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Slimcreeper
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Slimcreeper » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:52 am

Loved the writing. Got that dramatic irony of knowing almost from the beginning that he had a cursed item, but he didn't.

Forshaw
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Forshaw » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:16 pm

Loved it!
This is no joke! There are a large number of articles at https://bestlawnmower2017.com. It's time to read em all. I prefer old-fashioned stuff.

Lursi
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Re: [Horror] Benkariim

Post by Lursi » Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:04 pm

Well done
Of all things I lost, sanity I held dearest.

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