"I am one of the destroyers of tyranny and all the burdens that weigh down the soul. I am the disciple of death, her admirer, her lover, and perhaps one day her Keeper. I am the force which breathed eternal glory into Egypt when I beheld the light of the Ka, the One Soul. Those who believe that corporeal existence holds the key to life are blind to the truths that shimmer in the great beyond. I am a warrior, not a king---to lord over any soul is to diminish all souls. I have been forgotten as a god. To be forgotten as a warrior in the cause of light is more than I can bear."
Because of their fascination with death, Banjax often have elaborate mausoleums or tombs. Greatest of these are the pyramids of ancient Egypt and central America.
The current Banjax creche is maintained in a vast hidden pyramid on the Giza Plateau, surrounded by a mantle which covers the entire topographical area occupied by ancient Egypts New Kingdom, about 1500 BC. Their previous creche, built on the peak of Cerro Fitz Roy on the border between Chile and Argentina was abandoned in AD 1995 in a treaty with Nimrod for an exchange of the fortress for large tracts of Egyptian territory. No secrets of the Banjax were compromised.
Outside the United States, Pride Banjax holds power in Egypt and the Russian States, as well as other parts of Northern Africa, where they contend with the Terat. They have fortresses throughout the Middle East as well. In the new world, they hold "protectorates" in Washington DC, Denver, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston and Miami.
Banjax are prominent in Archeology. They hold power in the United States, British and Canadian military, and major concerns in hospitals, cemeteries, and mortuaries. The Banjax keep close watch on the Arlington National Cemetery and the Viet Nam War Memorial, as these are precious to them.
Banjax are at the center of the New Age movement, especially in hermetic orders and Egyptian revivalism. They heavily influence the Gothic movement as well in an attempt to see if human faith can somehow attract the attention of the force they call Death. Banjax are also heavily involved in street gangs in hopes of seeing Death appear. They are often patrons to the homeless, a tendency which often brings them into conflict with the Eremites and the Cur.
Banjax appear as any sort of animal or elemental form. They never discriminate on basis of this form. All immortals, if they can prove themselves worthy, are welcome within their ranks. Particular to the Banjax is the ability to manifest only the head of their Himsati on their human form, images which have been immortalized in the art and religion of ancient Egypt.
In human form, Banjax are tanned and robust (except for those who have viewed Death, who are pale albinos.) Because they are a group whose members come from several other ancient Prides, they bear little physical distinction. Their clothes run along two lines---street fashions and ancient Egyptian dress. Usually the two are combined while the immortal wanders the world, but formal Egyptian attire is required of any Banjax who visits a stronghold of the Pride. The more Egyptian he dresses, the more a Banjax is respected (although visage is the final determination of status.) Banjax often draw dark shadows across their eyes, or paint eyeliner in the ancient style of Egypt. They favor ritual scarring and body piercing as well.
Male: About 50% Female: About 50%
Cultural Note: Mummies
Mummies are dead bodies which, when filled with a component of a Banjaxs own soul (his Free Immaculum) comes back to life. Unlike the shriveled husks wrapped in bandages prevalent in modern pop culture, mummies appear as normal human beings, albeit more intelligent, physically stronger, charismatic and capable of supernatural feats.
Most mummies are ancient. As such, they are incredibly knowledgeable. They will have accumulated vast libraries and objects of art which any museum would covet. They are somewhat anachronistic due to their tie to the Banjax who created them. Their surroundings and dress reflect their scholarly pursuits.
A mummy is tied to the Banjax who made him, having part of his soul. A mummy cannot harm the person who made him or by omission of action allow him to be harmed. They are very protective of their creators. A mummy watches over his creator when he enters Lethe and stands ready to serve him as his forgetfulness begins to evaporate. The maker of a mummy can, at will, see out its eyes and utilize its other senses. A mummy will obey his every command unless it involves sacrificing its life (although it can sacrifice its life willingly) unless the Banjax takes control of it. When he takes control, his own body enters a sleeping state until he leaves the mummy and returns to it. There is no mental link between a Banjax and his mummy, all commands must be given verbally or by communication serenades.
A mummy has its own personality which may greatly vary from its creator.
In all ways, a mummy appears human to medical examination. It is immune to the effects of human Religarum, is wounded as normal humans and heal at the rate of a mortal unless in the presence of its maker. In its makers presence it heals at his rate of healing. If damage sustained by a mummy was the result of non-halo contact (such as falling or being shot) his makers panacea heals him while in his presence. An immortal cannot steal immaculum from a mummy, and attempts to do so immediately alerts its creator. Because mummies are not true living things, they do not age and must be destroyed.
See Mummify under Perks, below for system mechanics of mummies.
Dark Mummies: These tortured creatures are made in the same manner as a normal mummy, with a dramatic exception. A conundrum shard is placed in the creature as its heart. This gives the dark mummy two souls, that of his creator and that of the Sanguinary itself. By far, the Sanguinarys soul is stronger and takes over the mummy.
The permutations of the dark mummy are horrific. Like a normal mummy, it is strong and possesses unearthly powers. Its creator is tortured by its malevolence, witnessing horrible acts performed by the mummy though its own perspective. It cannot be controlled by its creator, but will heal in its creators presence as normal. Aside from their deep evil and hellish activities, dark mummies appear in all other respects human.
Unlike their counterparts, dark mummies can "bleed" life-force from a mortal. While unable to absorb the life-force themselves, they can leach it into the air or into an object and shrivel the human to a husk. Dark mummies thus have caches of life-force in their lairs whose purpose is largely unknown by the Banjax.
The only permanent means of killing a dark mummy is to remove its conundrum heart. Otherwise, it will regenerate and rise again from the grave. The Dark Lady, a warlord of the Sanguinary destroyed in 1666, is believed to be a dark mummy whose heart was made instead of Darkle.
The Banjax is always an anachronistic personage. No matter how old he is or where he lives, he always remembers and reveres the glory of ancient Egypt. He will always wear reminders of this culture.
Most immortals see the Banjax as vigilantes. They take the law into their own hand when they believe that someone undeserving of violence is threatened. This makes them particularly meddlesome in the affairs of others.
Banjax revere death. They search for death in all of its forms. They are drawn to places where death has occurred, such as battlefields, hospitals and the streets. Each hopes for an encounter with the entity named Death. They are fascinated with those who have near-death experiences. They are at the heart of the New-Age movement. A Banjax always recognizes a human who has seen death and lived, sensing the Religarum inspired in the mortal from the experience.
Banjax love human life with a ferocity, knowing all too soon that it will end. They feel the loss of mortal loved ones as acutely as any other immortal. Despite this, they will sometimes cause death in an individual whose vivacity makes them a prime candidate for a personal visit by Death herself. This practice is sacred and stems from the Banjax obsession to connect themselves to the Ka. Through the teachings of Osiris, the Banjax hope to someday control Death and use her as a key to have access to the mighty force represented by the Ka. In their estimation, not even the Sanguinary can prevail against the Ka if it was a weapon in Banjax hands. Despite the fact that death appears as an entity, the Banjax believe she is actually a manifestation of the One Soul, its own mummies.
Banjax know the Ka as a vast united soul from which humans are constantly born and reborn. Immortal souls are not part of the Ka, instead, they orbit it as individual lights. The Banjax also have sensed the existence of the Hush-Hush, a place they call the One Shadow, the lair of the Beast. This is a pool of corrupted soul energy surrounded by the dreamworld of human unconsciousness. Souls that willingly give themselves over to the Sanguinary are weighed down into this dark pool, reborn on earth to carry on the Beasts work and draw more souls into it. Its existence, hidden long from the Banjax, galvanizes them to discover these dark souls and bring them out of corruption and back into the Ka, thus draining the Beast of its power.
Banjax are spiritist. With their secret serenade, Ars Moriendi, they summon human souls from the Ka to aid them in this quest. Since this is a sacred act to violate the One Soul in this manner, they are certain to appease the soul before releasing it back into the Ka so that they do not poison the Ka as the Sanguinary poisoned the Crucible.
The concept of liberty to the Banjax is tied to the freedom of the soul. Tyranny can be unjust rule, or it can be an element in an individuals life that weighs down his soul. Although other Prides see the Banjax simply as meddlers, their real zeal championing freedom is to strengthen the Ka. The Banjax consider the Ka might be the one spirit the Eremites believe is God.
Banjax are fervent hunters of the dark mummies. They will do everything they can to take them down and attain great glory in their Pride for doing so.
Legacies: Banjax gain the first rank of the following legacies at no cost:Eidolon, Lethe, The Bonding
Serenades: Banjax gain the first rank of any three of the following serenades at no cost. All other serenades on this list are at a complexity rank of 4 for Banjax characters.Bastion, Cradle, Dim, Flux and Flow, Gremlin, Inroad, Looking Glass, Malekin, Marionette, Metaphor, Riot, Veil, Weld, Xenoglossia.
Banjax Secret Serenades: Ars Moriendi and Udjat. See Serenades, the First Book of Powers, page 106-107.
Sleep Of The Dead
A Banjax can at will give no vital signs and appear completely dead under even the most intense examination. No matter if he is prodded or dealt pain, the Banjax will not betray his true state, although he will feel the prodding. His skin will be cold and his limbs stiff as if by rigor mortis. No brain activity is discernible, nor does the Banjaxs heart beat. The Banjax must lie perfectly still to use this Perk.
Banjax can look into the eyes of a corpse and see the last moments of its life, including Death herself, if the mortal saw a manifestation of the being. They immediately know, upon entering an area, if someone has died here recently. The player makes a roll of a blue awareness die. If he rolls a null, he cannot see the last moments of life, but any other roll is successful. In addition, a Banjax can look at a mortal and will know if he is fated to die within 24 hours.
By chanting the true name of any mortal creature, the Banjax can keep it from slipping away into death, even if it has sustained a mortal wound, unless the mortal has been beheaded. Banjax know all the true names of normal animals simply by looking at them. The mortal also will not age while his name is being chanted. When the Banjax stops chanting, death or age will come to the one he is protecting. The Banjax must be in the physical presence of the mortal to use this Perk and cannot use serenades while doing so. This Perk does not work on immortals.
Banjax can, by placing their Free Immaculum in a corpse, raise it to an undead state. A normal corpse must be whole, and no older than 3 days. Bodies which are properly embalmed according to ancient Egyptian methods, however, can be raised indefinitely, for as long as the body remains whole. Priests of Egypt, to entice the Banjax into preserving their Pharaohs as raised mummies, made embalming key to their religion.
Every 1 soul (FI)I spent into a mummy creates 3 attribute points to be distributed however the maker sees fit. Expending the Banjaxs own FI creates FI in a mummy on a 1 to 1 ratio. The mummy exhibits the same Himsati form and natures as its creator. The mummy must have its own FI to manifest any of the natures, although he can assume the form of the Prime aspect, and its natures, at will.
Any FI given to create a mummy is a permanent expenditure. The player may purchase back his motes with memory as normal. A Banjax acquires 1 ennui point for each FI he uses to create the mummy. This can be bought off as normal. At any point after its creation, a Banjax can augment it with more FI, but he can never take the FI back. A mummy must be beheaded to be destroyed. Slaying a Banjax does not effect his mummies. Placing a slain Banjax vox in a mummy (it must be the vox of the creator) allows the Banjax to reform inside it, but only with the physical attributes of the mummy itself. He can collect immaculum as normal to restore the deficit. If a mummy is physically more powerful (i.e., has more motes in its halos) his reincarnation inside its body is at his own level and the excess is lost.
Susceptible to Ennui: Banjax gain double ennui when failing an ennui roll because of their profound studies of death and their eternal mourning over the decline of Egypt, a civilization they considered more perfect even than Atlantis.
The following are taboos which, selected for your character, grants you +5 starting memory motes per rank instead of the normal +3.
Plants wither and die in the presence of the Banjax (rank 2)
Spirits haunt the Banjax (rank 4)
Corpses scream when the Banjax touches them. (rank 3)
The Banjax smells like a graveyard, or sends a chill of death to those around him. (rank 3)
Plagues of vermin (frogs, flies, rats, locusts, etc.) follow the Banjax. (rank 5)
Objects collect dust and age in the Banjaxs presence. (rank 1)
The Banjax can only heal or sleep in a tomb or graveyard. (rank 4)
The Banjax must attend any funeral he sees or hears about. (rank 2)
Small animals drop dead when the Banjax looks at them. (rank 3)
The Banjax must witness the rising of the sun or be under a fatigue hostile until it sets. The rank of the hostile is reflected by rank of the fatigue hostile it creates. (rank 4)
Amaranth: "Wondrous and noble. They inspire the soul away from the darkness and into the brilliance of the Ka. We are disappointed only that they neglect the dregs of humanity, whose souls can be just as bright."
Anopheles: "They weigh down the souls of Man and place them under their own tyrannical rule. We oppose them and their works at every opportunity, but see hope that they can change their ways and use their powers to uplift heavy souls."
Arachne "They blight the fear with the fear they cause. If not for the Stratagem we would destroy them utterly."
Cur: "Of all our kind, the most like us. They are the loyal friend humanity needs and its protectors from the newborn dark souls. We hunt the same prey but it is they who mistrust us, for they have never seen the Ka."
Dracul: "We have put aside an old score with them because they aspire to Light and in doing so, guide others to the Ka. Unfortunately, they are to concerned with balance, which keeps some souls from rising out of the dark."
Eremites: "Perhaps we have found their one God. If only they would see it for what it is and not hope for it to guide them into glory. They weigh Man down with dogma and guilt despite their message of unconditional love."
Infernum: "They enslave themselves to the humans who give them power. What happens when this power turns against them. They are a dangerous element."
Magdalen: "How could a people so obsessed with knowledge have learned so little in all this time? They discovered the Morpheum, but missed the Hush-hush. They discovered the power of Mans soul, but missed the One Soul. They need a little guidance to discover true knowledge. And we believe they will."
Morrigan: "Valiant warriors against the Darkness. But their kingdom is only air. They have spawned many tyrants in their arrogance. They need to walk on the earth they manipulate and know what it is to be oppressed."
Nimrod: "They have risen out of darkness, and in their own way, seek to keep our kind from burdening the human soul. We respect and admire them, and cannot even blame them for imprisoning us all. Unfortunately, some of us had work to do outside the jail."
Peri: "Perpetuators of innocence. They would bring back the soul of the child to all humans, which brings a tear of joy to our eyes. What childs soul has ever been burdened but for what life and time have forced upon it?"
Phoenix: "Too consumed with destruction of what doesnt suit them. Occasionally, they join us in our fight for liberty, which makes us honor them. We wonder why it is their souls, orbiting the Ka, that are the brightest. What are they, really?"
Roane: "We have not seen their face in ages. They neither oppress nor free others from oppression, merely watching from under the oceans. But they do battle the Beast and bring light into the depths.
Saturna: "Our brothers who live where we wish to walk. We cultivate deep friendship with them."
Shonelkidar: "Untrustworthy and dangerous in their manipulation of life."
Tautha: "Their Sunedrion reaches its roots into the Ka of another Universe. The Tautha are trying to reach their roots into the one here, are they not? We watch them carefully and divine their true motives. Their path makes them very much like us, though they cannot admit this."
Terat: "They dance with the Ka on the edge of disaster. They are everywhere in the dreams and seek one day, in their arrogance, to become the dream. Though their motives are pure, are they still blind by the Darkness of their old Master. They will drag the Ka into darkness if they fail."
Sanguinary: We have slain its avatars and will one day slay it. It will look into our eyes as it is send flailing back into hell.
Silence: We dont find the Silence to be an inconvenience. We can fight without using serenades against our enemies. Sheol taught us that much.
Habitat: A unique place, but the destruction of freedom which threatens much of it with tyranny foreshadows a reflection of the Dominions which we can ill-afford to ignore.
Dominions: We never wish to see them again. There has only been misery for us there.
Crucible: A power beyond our power. Let it be. Its Ka is dying. Let us look to the One Soul of this universe.
Morpheum: A battleground for thoughts instead of action, we far prefer to defeat the Sanguinarys whelps out in the concrete streets, lest we burden humanity with the nightmares of our struggle.
Stratagem: We invented it, but it has changed from its original concept. Still, it keeps us from destroying ourselves. Whenever it tries to exert too much control, we rise against it.
Profane: It would be a miscalculation to underestimate the resources of breeds not shackled to the Stratagem. Many powers of this world are building, while other Prides have eyes for nothing but the mirrors of their own vanity.
Ingenue: The most blessed of immortals. They have received a great gift, even in the gravity of their mission against the enemy they should thank us.
Conundrum: Anything that comes from the Sanguinary is repulsive to us. The conundrum are a force that stinks of the beast and have cost us many brave brothers and sisters.
Sinning: We will do much to survive, but we prefer to ask rather than take. What the Ka gives us willingly, we are grateful.
Himsati: When all else fails, depend on your own blind animalistic soul to get you out of a tight spot.
Humanity: Twilights are really cool, but they need some guidance. We should rescue them from the Sanguinarys taint.
The Banjax believe in the One Soul since they have seen it. In essence, it is a vast energy cloud in which human souls emerge and return to, constantly. The Banjax believe that this is proof that human kind reincarnates. For some reason not clear to most Banjax (but probably known to the higher echelons), immortal souls are unable to enter into the One Soul. It is protected by a race of entities who call themselves Death. A minority of Banjax believe that the One Soul may be what humans have named God.
Banjax are very interested in the mourner
type of Goth, those who are utterly fascinated with death and what lies beyond. In many
ways, they could be keepers of the gate to the One Soul. However, there are a large number
The Banjax immortal must be ritually buried alive and pass over to the other side guided by gossamers.
It has been hinted at that the Banjax did not discover the rite of Lethe, but rather they learned it from some other entity.
It has been said that the Banjax may have been those that assassinated the Solitaire, though we now know the Solitaire is still alive in some form or another.
It was the Banjax that came up with the original idea of the Stratagem. However, after too much bickering and the fall of Atlantis, it was the Jury that brought the Prides to North America and refined the Stratagem into what we think of today. (Note this directly conflicts with 2nd Edition history)
The Banjax are thought to be the group that brought the final killing stroke upon the Dust in 1666 during the battle against the team of the Dust and the Dark Lady (the same battle during which the Transcendants took so many of the best out of the "game").
A few notes on the Banjax, Osiris, the Terat and the Incubus:
This next piece is a bit long, but this was from one of the people that were up for writing the Banjax Sourcebook, a student of Egyptian Mythology: