Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Four Homebrew Conquerors

In celebration of the Path of Exile developers making this league have a mapping system that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out, let's make some homebrew Conquerors.

Don't know what a "Conqueror" is? Imagine your campaign creeping to an absurd power level. Your party kills Cthulhu. You retire that campaign and make the previous player characters into an even higher power level cosmic level threat. Those are the Conquerors.

[1] Menosa
Born in a slum in the great city of Sarn, this Maraketh girl was brought up by cruelty and sharpened by pain. Her youth was defined at the edge of a knife, both in the struggle to survive and in a literal sense, given the knife fights over food and water in those desperate ghettos.

Once she managed to escape into the Atlas of worlds, her anger and pain crystalized into a thrill of battle and violence. All around her- the worlds in the maps contort to her tastes; most commonly, great urban scenes or decay. Often beauty mixed with rot and corruption- stone temple with soiled sheets hanging between the pillars; converted to an open air brothel. An aquaduct where rushing rats have replaced the water. She is a natural born warrior, as all Maraketh are, but she isn't seeking a worthy foe or a honorable death- it is simply the joy of combat that drove her forward. Unlike many other Conquerors, she never had delusions of using the Atlas for anything else.

As with all Conquerors, extended time in the Atlas has made her personality more extreme and psychotic. Power grows exponentially here. Anyone who faces her feels their eyes sting with upturned sand, nose curl at the smell of sewage, and ears deafen at the sound of her banshee cry- if you can even manage to see her fly through the air before she cuts you down.

[2] The Horseman
Massive black horse with hooves that clip the earth like thunderbolts. On its back is a rider in dusty, dirty armor. The once huge man was probably Ezomyte, maybe even Karui, it's impossible to tell with his helmet. Once the horseman held his lance and rode his beast of war through the lands of the Atlas of Worlds seeking a place of peace, free from war and hatred and greed. But as time went on, his journeys went on and on, countless lands teaming with monsters and foes- hope faded from this once proud warrior. He cowers on the back of the saddle, still unbelievably strong and deadly, but he is no longer the master. The horse now decides where they will go.

The lands around the Atlas shift and bend to the horse's whims- endless flat plains in all directions. Off in the distance, you will sometimes see a lone riding beast- maybe a Rhoa or Rhex, maybe another horse- which scatter the moment you try to get close. This is an animal mind, and it creates an animal world around itself.

This Conqueror, as with all others, is incredibly powerful. The stomping of its hooves shake the ground and it snorts fire. It can run as fast as an avalanche for days at a time- maybe forever. The rider on the horse obediently raises his spear and channels the lightning into its strikes- mountain-puncturing lance tip obliterating anything that dare stand in the steed's way on its endless gallop. This "Conqueror" lacks the bloodthirst of the others- it does not fight simply for the thrill or lust for power, but instead as an animal does- it fights to kill anything that threatens it. If you startle it, it will run. If it is angered, then you shall be destroyed utterly.

[3] Nollux Perandus
Most Conquerors go into the Atlas of Worlds as humans- and they become something more then human. Godlike- divine in stature. Their mortal, human emotions and foibles exaggerated and deadly. Some are not quite so stable. He appears as a bloated corpse, levitating nearly weightless on the air. His chin is recessed into his neck, only a dark red hole where a long seeking tongue extends. His fingers are many-jointed and incredibly agile and delicate, like a butterflies wing. None of these corruptions and mutations have weakened him; as a Conqueror Nollux is as deadly as he is grotesque.

Fleeing the destruction of his entire family bloodline into the Atlas of Worlds; Nollux exemplifies his family's reputation for greed, egoism, and sloth. As he travelled the Atlas, he became more and more powerful, and his greed and lust for luxury grew more and more. The world around him shifts into more beautiful, palatial, and luxurious- cobblestone turns to marble tiles, stalactites grow into stone pillars, metals turn to golds and silvers. While once he scoured the Atlas for luxuries, his tastes have since narrowed and refined. Now- is only true thirst is for wine. Specifically, wine made from the creatures he slayed- his long tongue tasting their fine essences. Tougher creatures that cannot simply be turned into his drink will be locked in golden barrels until they are broken down- this is how Nollux absorbs his newest prey.

Nollux's influence on the Atlas and his own personal strength are such that even getting near him is incredibly dangerous. Everything near him becomes utterly beautiful on the outside, while becoming more and more corrupted within. His twisted form causes normal bodies to shiver or fall to the floor at the mere sight of him, and naturally the insides of those he observes begin to slosh with wine as they are converted. His primary weapon is a mighty hammer, on the face of which is an inlet mold of a perandus coin; so anything he strikes will soften and bear the mark of his family's riches on it.

[4] The Shaman
An Azmeri, or maybe an Oriathan. He goes about almost naked; wearing only a loincloth of beast skins and bone talismans. His body is lean and wiry, but inhumanly strong and agile; as common with primitive men and those lost in the Atlas of Worlds. This shaman connects to the natural world; the Vastiri Desert, the forests of Wraeclast, the snowy wastes of the Kalguurans- he channels to each of these into his magic and it is a fearsome sorcery indeed.

Clearly, his lust for power extended even further once he came to the Atlas. The world around him shifts to one of nature; vines creep and overtake stone and wooden fortifications alike. More and more pristine, spiritually deep, and mystically charged locations are what he seeks. He doesn't seem capable of speech anymore, only grunting as an animal as he casts enchantments. As the Conquerors warp the world around them; his power is one that makes language and runes to convey information fail and blur- less abstract thought is possible in one who views the world through preternatural eyes.

Beyond just the command of the elements, the shaman is deeply skilled in curses and breaking them; capable of cursing other beings to turn into animals or plants, a curse so strong it can remain potent outside the Atlas. Lesser beasts obey his commands, scouring the Atlas and making his territory of spiritual, holy ground free from the sickly hands of mankind.

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