The seed of this story is rooted in the modern day. These characters do not exist on some alternate version of earth, or in some far flung future. They are mired in the here and now, on this planet, in this century, with all its triumphs and failures.
But this story isn't about players and characters. This story is about people. As the player, you give them life. You shape their strengths and their shortcomings, but all these things should seem vaguely familiar, because their concerns are your concerns. Their problems are your problems: struggles with debt, prejudice, identity, politics, and religion. They share these things with you. Because your world is their world, and it's all happening, right now. These people could come from any walk of life that you can imagine, from across the country, or across the globe. But they could just as likely come from down the street, or from the apartment above you. Imagine, for just a moment, that they are driving by your home, or looking casually up toward your window. Imagine the view from their perspective, and what they could be thinking in that moment.
This story should be considered a modern fantasy, though it will delve into ancient places. There will be plenty of magic, and maybe a little science. Whether it can be called fiction, however, well…
A masterwork of biological engineering and botanical science, the Garden is a vast utopian wilderness untouched by winter, and kissed by gentle rains. The details of the Garden's creation are known only to a select handful within the Blood of Canaan, but the organization makes no secret of the fact that this place was artificially designed.
It’s forests and fields house potentially every known form of wildlife that could be found on Earth, both past and present. These animals live alongside the Nephilim, without fencing or cages. Though they exhibit the same behaviors as wild specimens in the outside world, each animal within the Garden has been designed to recognize the residents of the Organization and become docile in their presence.
At the heart of the Garden is Babylon, the city of the Nephilim. This is where the Blood of Canaan houses all Descendants who live under the organization’s protection. It’s buildings are rustic, but comfortable, and designed with an artistic flair. They blend with the surrounding wilderness rather than trying to dominate it. Looking out over the whole of Babylon evokes a sense of wonder and tranquility, and the feel of a bygone era. Despite its organic design, Babylon is equipped with every modern convenience, along with a few which could be considered a little more than modern. Designed to be a self sustaining community, there is nothing that a resident cannot find here.
Descendants who are brought to Babylon are expected to remain for the rest of their lives. As difficult as this is to accept, the isolation is necessary for the safe preservation of both the Descendants within the Garden, as well as the Organization itself. Relationships and families are encouraged, and there is a strong sense of community with long term residents. Only those with certain job designations are allowed to venture back into the outside world.
The city is ultimately run by the Organization, though the Blood of Canaan selects representatives from the community to deal with directly. Resident Canaanites are encouraged to speak and act freely, but are expected to uphold a loose code of moral decency and mutual respect. The edicts of the Organization are designed to treat all residents equally, without regard for gender or ethnicity. All Nephilim Descendants are expected to reflect this attitude. Those who cannot are typically dealt with inside the community. If a problem persists or escalates, the Organization may then step in to resolve any issues.
Religion is viewed as a matter of personal choice, and no resident Canaanite is required to adhere to any set of beliefs. Many Descendants within the garden, however, have reverted to some form of paganism, which they now view as ancestor worship.
No one who lives within the Garden knows it’s exact location on the earth, or just how broad it’s boundaries are. A few have attempted to map it’s topography, but no one as yet has ever come to the Garden’s border. Those who get too close are politely, but firmly, turned away by representatives of the Organization's inner circle.
Though the Blood of Canaan operates from a multitude of locations, the Garden is considered to be their central hub, and houses a large number of resources vital to the Organization's function. The Garden is where all characters are introduced to their truth, and where they live and work when not being fielded for a mission.
The Nephilim Descendant is an individual with a unique genetic chemistry. The blood of angels flows, dormant, within their veins. The majority will live their entire lives without ever knowing their ultimate heritage. Some are awoken naturally to their gifts, or perhaps through some tragedy. For most, however, the benefits of their bloodline must be activated through artificial means.
The Nephilim Descendant is stronger than a human, faster and more coordinated. They are smarter, and vastly more capable of absorbing and recalling information. They are resilient, adaptable, and incredibly tolerant to pain and injury. Once their blood has been awakened, the differences become immediately apparent. One thing the Descendant continues to share in common with the average human, however, is their mortality. Their lifespans tend to be mildly longer, averaging around one hundred and twenty years, with the oldest known Descendant living close to two hundred years. Nephilim Descendants do age normally, and will eventually succumb to the caresses of time.
Physically, Descendants look no different than humans. They come in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. The key difference in an awakened Descendant, which sets them apart from mundane humans or unawakened Nephilim, are the eyes. The ancient Nephilim were often referred to as the "Shining Ones", and their eyes were known to glow with intense radiance. This trait has carried down through the ages, and all awakened Descendants exhibit either a soft amber, orange, or golden light in their eyes.
The Blood of Canaan keeps a detailed dossier on all Nephilim Descendants that they house and train. Character capabilities are represented by five governing attributes, which are as follows:
Prowess (Represents your skill in combat. Affects your ability to hit and increases physical damage you deal)
Agility (Represents hand/eye coordination, balance, and speed. Affects your ability to react quickly, move stealthily, and avoid obstacles)
Perception (Represents your powers of observation. Affects your ability to notice changes in your surroundings and investigate anomalies)
Grit (Represents physical toughness and willpower. Reduces damage to your character and affects your ability to resist temptation.)
Arcana (Represents your more unusual attributes. Affects your ability to use, identify, or control powers and artifacts of magical or otherworldly nature.)
Each attribute statistic has a base value of 0. Before your character’s bloodline was awakened, all of that character’s attributes were likely 0. You are allowed 5 free points to distribute however you see fit. You may increase your total number of points by reducing another stat from 0 to -1. That being said, you may only increase any one stat to a maximum of +3, and you cannot decrease a stat lower than -1. Attribute changes due to Bloodline bonuses and Forefather bonding are the exceptions to the rule. When finalizing your character dossier, consider the bonuses your character has been given by your Bloodline and Forefather bond, and total them in your character sheet.
These figures represent your character’s skill in certain areas -1 = Bad 0 = Average +1 = Adept or Knowledgeable +2 = Highly Skilled or Extremely Intelligent +3 or Higher = Supernatural
The Nephilim were once a numerous people, spread across the world in a multitude of tribes. In the age prior to the Flood, the Nephilim were kings, heroes, tyrants, and teachers. Their divine parents shared with them the secret arcana of Heaven, and they in turn shared it with their mortal neighbors. After the fall of the Antediluvian Epoch, however, the relationships between Nephilim and human became far more complicated, and infinitely less amicable. They competed with one another, and warred with one another. As the tribes dwindled, the humans spread, and before long there was nothing left.
Nothing except a dormant seed.
There are over thirty tribes of Nephilim recorded in historical texts. That number is but a fraction of the actual population that once spanned the globe. Many of those names, however, are ignored when tracing the lineage of a modern Nephilim Descendant. Lineage is instead determined by its most ancient foundation, the original branch which sprung from the tree. To date, there are five on record. They are divided between the Children of Light, and the Children of Darkness.
Children of Light are descended from bloodlines which predate the Great Flood. Their ancient forebears were born of passion and love between the Son’s of God and their mortal spouses. Children of Darkness trace their lineage to the Nephilim of the Second Incursion, in which Angels returned following the destruction of the Antediluvian world, and bore children out of spite against the ruling of Heaven. The two sides of the coin identify each other through the use of a Seal, one which is usually tattooed somewhere onto the Descendant’s body after they have been awoken.
There are as many women who are born as Nephilim Descendants as there are men, but the Blood of Canaan does not differentiate the sexes when categorizing a Descendant's bloodline. All who awaken are Sons of the Nephilim.
The first generations of the Nephilim were possessed of an immortal spirit, with lives that stretched across the centuries. When their bodies finally failed them, their spirit remained, trapped within the boundaries of the earth and unable to pass into the realms beyond. Some would languish, incorporeal, while others took new forms and buried themselves beneath the soil. They are known as “spiteful souls”. The ancient Hebrews called them the Nephes Aph. In Old latin, they are the Iratus Anima Mea.
But to the Blood of Canaan, these creatures are the Forefathers of the Nephilim.
Upon returning to the earth, the Forefathers who regained a new shape became as stone. Though thoroughly transfigured into the rock, they survive in a dormant state, and in this way they can endure indefinitely. They are vulnerable, being only as durable as the stone around them. Should the fossil break, then the spirit will be cast out once more. It is unknown exactly how many of the forefathers laid themselves to rest beneath our feet. They have been uncovered across the globe, usually mistaken for the remains of long dead animals. The Blood of Canaan recovered the first nearly a century ago, prior to the advent of WWI. They have been searching feverishly for others ever since.
Through a symbiotic relationship with a Nephilim host, the Forefather is able to impart small fragmented pieces of knowledge and power from it’s former life. This further empowers the host, and may grant abilities that might not otherwise be considered possible, or even natural. The Blood of Canaan endeavors to bond all its Nephilim soldiers with a Forefather Symbiont as they become available, creating an army unlike anything the world has ever seen.
Bonding is a process performed with the supervision of medical professionals, and is overseen by the inner circle of the Organization. In most cases, the Blood of Canaan selects the symbiont for the potential Nephilim host based on the Descendant’s capabilities. In rare cases, however, a Descendant searching for a more organic and meaningful bond may be allowed into the Organization’s containment facility, where revived symbionts survive in an environment designed to mimic that of the antediluvian earth.
The Sins of the Father
There is a pattern of lines or spirals which appears on the Host's body shortly following a bond between a Forefather and Descendent. These patterns are known as Marks of Sin, and they represent the permanent link between Symbiont and Host. Each mark is unique, though all cover the majority of the Descendant's body, including the face, scalp, and extremities. The marks are black, but will occasionally pulse with colored light along the edges.
Aside from the mark's sudden appearance, and the light which it emanates, there does not appear to be any other long lasting effects to the Host.
How It’s Played
At certain times as events in the world affect your characters, or your characters perform actions which affect the world, I will privately ask anyone involved to roll two six sided dice. Depending on the situation, the numerical value of the corresponding stat will be added (or subtracted) from your total roll.
This is based heavily on the Power by the Apocalypse tabletop roleplay system. True to form, rolling a 1-6 constitutes a failed roll. Rolling an 7-9 is a mixed success, in which your character succeeds, but I dictate the parameters of your success. Rolling a 10+ is a complete success, and you get to determine what happens in that particular situation with your character. If more than one player is involved in a roll situation, you have the option to help one another, which allows you to each add +1 to your total roll value. The result of these roles will be played out in character.
Each character will start this story with a total of 10 hitpoints. You may regain one lost hitpoint with each round of posting. If your character gets a full night’s rest, you are immediately and fully healed. If your hit point total reaches zero, your character becomes incapacitated. If at least one other friendly character can reach your unconscious form, and withdraw you from the action within one full round of posting, your character will recover with one hit point.
If one full round passes and no one is able to reach an unconscious character, that character will die.
I'll be doing my best to keep track of everyone's hit points, though I recommend that you be mindful of your own character’s health as well. I do not require you to note it with your character.
Fighting Technique: (This is optional. The Organization trains all Nephilim Soldiers in standard military CQC. If, however, your character specializes in a specific martial art, you may list it here.)
Combat Specialization: (Also optional. You can indicate whether your character prefers ranged or melee combat. The Organization supplies weapons to its operatives based on taste. If your character has a favored or custom weapon, you may list it here. You can be as vague or specific as you like.)
If you've gotten this far, and I've still got your attention, then I want you to know how much I appreciate your interest.
I'm still smoothing out some wrinkles, but feel free to ask questions or discuss concerns. This thread is primarily for OOC chatter, questions, and plotting between players. I will be creating a separate Cast & NPC thread soon for characters, just to keep things nice and tidy.
As the story begins, your characters will each be fresh out of the Blood of Canaan’s basic training program, and preparing for their first deployment. They will already be bonded, and have some experience in CQC and weapons training. If anyone would wish to explore their character prior to this point, they are welcome to do so with flashbacks.
As you are creating your Dossier, if you already have an idea of which Symbiote you would like to pair with your character, you are welcome to let me know, and I will go ahead and mark it off of the Forefather list.
I hope that everyone is feeling fine and dandy. I wanted to let you all know that this project will be moving forward, and that I hope to have the IC thread posted by the end of this week. I'm shooting for Friday, but it will definitely be up no later than Saturday. I would like for everyone who is still interested to please have their character's completed and posted in The Book of Names before this week is out.
If you are interested in joining, but do not think you can make this deadline, please let me know so we can work your character in. If I do not hear from you, and your character is not posted by Sunday, I'll assume that your muse has taken your talent to other places. No worries and no hard feelings, that's just how it goes sometimes. As always, if you have questions, need clarifications, or want help, just send me a DM.
My apologies for the delay. I've been having network issues since Friday, and it's been awfully difficult to work in docs as a result. I'll have the IC up as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience.
In the mean time, I'm off to buy a new wireless router.