"We are shadows born on a quest for power over the enemy. We have discovered the most virulent substance in existence and make ourselves into its form to poison the beast. We walk the Labyrinth and understand what is truly contained there. Our crimes are many but just. Our strength enforces the Silence which lulls the Beast. In Talos, our shadows weave the mantle of power and rebuild the prison designed for the Beast."
Members of this nation of immortals prefer dark places, unnoticed by humans. This often includes wilderness areas and gardens removed from this dimension. Some members of the order also live in forgotten temples.
Pride Nimrod maintains its stronghold in modern day Russia within the Kremlin itself. The Kremlin contains a mantle which harkens back to the imperial court of Czars Peter and Catherine the Great. Other strongholds range through the territories of the former Soviet Union. Nimrod completely controls the cities of the region and have allowed the area to remain in a relatively inferior technological state to maintain this autonomy. Other Prides invested their power in the United States as a rival superpower to the Soviet Union, although interest in gaining a foothold in the current democratic Russia increases. Nimrod also maintains power in some Western cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels, San Francisco and New York City.
The Nimrod concentrate on influencing law-enforcement agencies throughout the world, although this is an arduous task which yields less results than they would like. Peripheral power in security companies, the prison system (which they share begrudgingly with the Phoenix) and companies dealing in government military contracts extends the enforcement capability of the Pride. Their economic resources are, however, relatively poor.
Nimrod Himsatis are distinctive from all others. While the profile of the Himsati generally reflects an animal of any sort, the substance of the form is pure shadow. The shadow shape of weaker members of the Pride are as transparent as real shadows, while members with higher Free Immaculum have opaque shadows with three-dimensional contours. Nimrod are able to release this shadow-form from their bodies and hold it on a silver leash much in the same manner as a police officer holds an attack dog. The shadow is capable of attacking as if a corporeal creature.
Members of the Pride are almost entirely female. Their ethnic appearance ranges the entire gamut of the human genome and there is no bias in the Pride based on this appearance. Members wear antique clothing. They are quite fond of emblems of all kinds and tend to collect them. Members of the Coven, the dominate dynasty of the Nimrod, are described as either "witchy" or "apocalyptic" in appearance. Their use of clothing to create an aura of mystery and power approaches the fine arts of the Magdalen and Anopheles. Nimrod favor dark colors.
The second largest house, the Amazons, cultivate an armored appearance cultivated from contact with the ancient Greeks. Their attire reflects that of the ancient warrior goddesses of the Mediterranean.
There is a small number of males in the Pride whose appearance corresponds to a more masculine version of the female attire.
Male: About 10% Female: About 90%
Members of Nimrod are quite serious and bear the weight of the knowledge that an elemental plane of purest evil is held back through their personal efforts. Because their Himsati forms are made of shadow, and because the shadows presence reinforces the borders separating Talos from the material world, Nimrod characters are acutely sensitive to the evil there. Members of the Pride thus experience visions of the place (see disadvantages, below.)
Strategically, Nimrod always form groups of three known as triads. A triad is the Nimrods sisters, her ultimate loyalty is given and received by the other members of her triad first. It is the goal of every Nimrod to achieve this configuration, even if she has other friends. With her ability to achieve the Triluminary, a mental link between her two sisters, the triad forms a powerful resource in time of need.
Nimrod are focused on preserving the Silence by meting out punishment or reporting those who break this law (see below) to their superiors. Whatever her pursuit, a Nimrod is required to investigate any ripple she encounters and prepare for the destruction or capture of any Droves attracted by it. While killing a Drove is a positive result of a ripple to a Nimrod, she would much rather see silence preserved to keep these creatures from manifesting corporeally in the Habitat.
Nimrod avoid prolonged contact with humans, and as such can be quite lonely when completing duties requiring their presence in mortal culture. Those humans who somehow discover the true nature of a Nimrod are either recruited into one of the Prides Quiet Cultures, or killed. No Nimrod is allowed to pursue an intimate relationship with a mortal under any circumstances without severe punishment resulting. The exception to this rule is through the Nimrod breeding program which attempts to create trysts, demi-human offspring with powers to create mantles. The breeding program is compulsory to those members it selects to breed with humans, and refusal to perform this sacred duty will result in scorn and censor from the rest of the Pride.
Nimrod fuel the feminist movement among mortals through the most subtle of means in order to provide possible recruits for their Pride. One of the chief goals of the Pride is to expand its numbers and thus increase the strength of its control on the borders of the Labyrinth. Most of their recruitment effort, like other Prides, is directed toward Ingenue.
The most sacred icon to a Nimrod, beside the triangle which adorns her clothing, is a knot, Knots represent the weave of shadows that binds the Labyrinth in its present configuration and also grants her additional power. The Ban on the Magdalen, for example, exists as a shadowy knot within the Nimrod crèche. Unraveling this knot will supposedly break the ancient curse. Other powers of the Nimrod tied to knots and will be discussed in the Nimrod Source Book.
A member of the Nimrod carries the reputation of being a witch, a baleful creature whose appearance only spells suffering for others. She is not well liked by most immortals, but she is respected.
Cultural Note: Talos and Darkle
According to the Nimrod, Talos was constructed infinite ages ago by the forces of Light to imprison dark forces which threatened to destroy their universe. The Labyrinth is composed of shadows which keep its denizens contained. Darkle is a solid manifestation of these shadows, the essence which gives them strength to hold the evil captive. The Sanguinary, an amalgam of these evil forces, supposedly broke through the barrier and escaped. Its lesser cousins ostensibly are still contained.
Imbedded in the walls of the Labyrinth are orbs of Darkle, cells of the prison which encase the evil entities exiled there. The Darkle used by Semiramis, taken from the Labyrinth by an Abzuli named Samiel (see Anopheles and Arachne histories) is believed by the Nimrod to be from the empty cell of the Sanguinary. Its existence suggests that the integrity of the Labyrinth is compromised. Semiramis used this substance and gave its attributes to the Himsati forms of her and her people, transforming them into shadows. Within the Kremlin, an orb to which all these shadows are tied exists. The shadows reinforce the other orbs in Talos itself, successfully so far. See the serenade "Labyrinth" in the First Book Of Powers for more information on this alien realm.
The Labyrinth does not extend into the Blue Air and is thus inaccessible by Spirits, even if they use the Labyrinth serenade. Anyone else using the serenade enters the Labyrinth at a random point, but always at the peripheral edge. Nimrod can enter the inner areas of the Labyrinth, which resembles a vast cavern of unrelenting darkness and mind-numbing evil architectures. Visage is required to remain in this place for any length of time. A 3 visage for a clash, a 6 for a scene, a 9 for an episode, a 12 for a series, and a 15 for indefinitely. The central maze of Talos spirals with mysteries of the universe and contains an obscenely twisted replica of the Crucible within it, possibly plans of the entities there for the realm of Light after they conquered it, perhaps something more sinister still.
Cultural Note: The Femme Darkle
After Atlantis fell, the Darkle vanished. Eventually it fell into the hands of the Anopheles, who used it as the heart to a mechanical feminine automaton used to guard their fortress in Sheba. This automaton awoke with the intelligence and guidance of the Sanguinary and escaped, later to return as a warlord known as the Dark Lady. The Dark Lady was slain in 1666 AD by a coalition of immortals and her head, the Femme Darkle, removed to a temple in Sheol where it would be guarded by elite keepers of all Prides and its power never again used. Semiramis has dreamed and made public that if the Femme Darkle were ever to leave the temple imprisoning it, the Invisible War which would culminate in the Rapture would begin. This event occurred in 1990, when the Femme Darkle was stolen from its temple and its guardians all slain. The final battle approaches.
Cultural Note: The Hunter and the other Poisoned Ones
The male members of Nimrod who were poisoned have vanished from their area of the Labyrinth. This is a great cause for consternation within the Pride. It is unknown whether these beings, changed by the Labyrinth, have escaped, or if they still wander its halls. Semiramis, who may know the truth, is silent. This has created an understandable feeling of dread which is the source of great strife between the Coven and Amazons, the two dominant houses of the Pride.
Players may wish to assume the characters of these poisoned members of Nimrod, but without any memory of who they are. It is up to the Narrator to create a suitable plot to unfold before such a rare character. Such a character will be under recruitment by the Nimrod and by Pride Phoenix, who wish to reclaim the poisoned ones into the ranks of the Horned Lord.
Cultural and System Note: The Silence
The Silence is the most sacred law of the Nimrod, one which is part of the Stratagem and which the Pride goes to great lengths to enforce. It forbids the use of a serenade where there is not sufficient skill, or where the serenade is resisted and therefore can cause a ripple if it is imperfectly played. In system terms, if a character has only a rank 1 skill in a particular serenade, the Silence prohibits him from attempting a higher rank of effect than 1. In other words, any time a player has to roll a die to play a serenade (rather than getting an automatic success) he is in danger of breaking this law. Once a ripple has been created, the perpetrator had better vacate the area and not be caught by Nimrod Scourges. Otherwise, punishment is imminent.
A Nimrod character must always be on the lookout to who caused a ripple and either punish that person (if she has the authority) or locating and reporting him. Each time a ripple occurs, Droves are attracted to the scene. The more Droves are summoned in this way, the more the Sanguinary is able to observe the corporeal world. Thus, to maintain the Silence is to keep the Sanguinary ignorant of the immortals goals and plans.
Legacies: Nimrod gain the first rank of the following legacies at no cost: Animas, Achilles Heel, The Seeking
Serenades: Nimrod 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 Nimrod characters. Animus, Anthropomorphis, Bare, Breath, Cantabile, Dowser, Epitome, Gambit, Labyrinth, Mien, Prism, Sovereign, Zen Shadow.
Nimrod Secret Serenades: Coda and Penumbra. See Serenades, the First Book of Powers, page 116-118.
Immune to Poison/Defense
Nimrod, because their shadows are the most poisonous substance known, are immune to other poisons. In fact, Nimrod consume poison in vast quantities in ritual observance of their responsibility to reinforce the walls of Talos. Because of her shadows toxicity, anyone who bites a Nimrod and wounds her suffers a poison hostile equal to the wound she took because of the poison lacing her blood. The hostile lasts until the Nimrods wound heals, and decreases as the severity of her wound does. This defense mechanism does not operate if the shadow Himsati is separated from the Nimrods body and wandering.
The Triad Mind
A Nimrod who is part of a triad can become the dominate mind between them and act as if all three were a single being. This skill is telepathic in nature and lasts for an amount of time decided upon by the apex (as the controller is called.) Each clash the Triad mind endures causes the apex to acquire 1 ennui. All members of a triad are equally susceptible to this control, thus a player character can also be taken over if the other triad member wishes to exert control for a critical moment in a combat when all three need to move as one. The other members of the triad need not be willing.
For the Triad mind to be possible, the triad must be sound. All members in the triad must completely trust the other two. If there is even a doubt of the loyalty of another member of the triad, the perk is impossible to initiate.
A Nimrod can step into any shadow within line of sight and transport herself to another once per episode by walking through the Labyrinth. This ability does not require the Labyrinth serenade, but is a power of the Nimrods shadow. She cannot use this ability more than once an episode, nor when her Himsati shadow is outside her body. Further, unless she possesses Visage, she can remain in the Labyrinth between the two shadows for any length of time. No one can accompany the Nimrod on her shadow-dance, it works on her only.
Collar of Silence
All Nimrod possess a silver chain used to bind their shadow Himsatis to themselves. If their Himsatis are not outside their bodies, they can use the leash to instead bind another immortal. While the immortal is bound to the leash, he cannot play any serenade. The hardness strength of the leash is proportionate to the FI of the Nimrod possessing it + 6. A strength roll must exceed this, or the collar remains attached. The Nimrod is immune to her own leash, but not the collars of other Nimrod.
All Nimrod experience visions of the Labyrinth and the feeling of fleeing down its endless corridors while a great evil presence stalks them. This vision strikes randomly and its frequency of occurrence increases with the accumulation of ennui by each individual. The Nimrod must be resting or sleeping for the shadow-weave visions to occur. The effect of the visions make members of the Pride dread rest and sleep and give them a hard edge other immortals mistake for bulliness.
The following are taboos which, selected for your character, grants you +5 starting memory motes per rank instead of the normal +3.
The Nimrod cannot abide strong light and experiences pain (according to the taboo rank) when standing in it.
The Nimrods kiss kills mortals. (rank 5)
The Nimrod hates men and is easily provoked by them. (Rank 4)
The Nimrod is unable to trust anyone and therefore cannot form a triad (rank 5)
The Nimrod must dance around in the presence of fire. (rank 4)
Her period causes a Nimrod to physically transform into different shape. (rank 3)
Shadows scurry in a Nimrods presence (rank 2)
Shadows whisper in a Nimrods presence (rank 3)
Lightbulbs burst in the presence of the Nimrod. (rank 3)
Draperies reach out and caress her when the Nimrod walks through a room. (rank 3)
Amaranth "Interlopers whose attempt to inspire man may lead to the destruction of us all. Dont they realize the Sanguinary is also being inspired by them?"
Anopheles: "Deadly and subtle. Take great care with them, but dont allow them to bully you. They are not the masters of mankind. No one must be!"
Arachne: "Madmen who wish to play with time after all of our carefully laid plans. They cannot be allowed to give alternative realities into the hands of the enemy, so we must govern them whenever possible."
Banjax "Perhaps they have unlocked a part of humanity the Sanguinary cannot seize. They despise us for locking them away instead of thanking us for bringing them into being and making them strong. One day they will understand."
Cur: "As long as they do not interact with the mortals they protect, there is perhaps a good use for these children. Certainly their hunting of Droves and the evil manifestations of the Beast are most welcome. Watch them, however. They perhaps dont know where their hate is to end."
Dracul: "Sensible and noble. We admire and respect them. They are close to our ideal."
Eremites: "Firebrands who want to ignite the human spirit against us. They are hardly worth calling allies. They have persecuted our shadows without understanding that we are the keys that keep their hell locked up. Fools. One day they will cross the line and become our true enemies."
Infernum "Even more dangerous than the Amaranth. Expunge them before they allow the Sanguinary to weaken us through the superstitions of his human puppets."
Magdalen: "Arrogant power-brokers who want to converse with the Beast. Do they not consider that their precious knowledge is not a carefully crafted trap by the Sanguinary to engulf them in doom? Perhaps they are to be the instruments of awakening it! Watch them with care and intrude always on their secrets."
Morrigan: "Besides ourselves, perhaps the only immortals worthy of ruling. They maintain their distance and acknowledge fully that mortals are anathema to us. Where they fail is that they dont care for humanity as victims. This makes them harsh and to be feared. Yet, how can we fault them?"
Peri: "Why are they even members of our Society? What can they possibly contribute but a foolish gamble to cage the Beast? They should have stayed underground rather than having to one day be buried."
Phoenix: "Brothers of our hearts because we have wronged them and because they have truly forgiven us. We share the knowledge of the destiny of the universe. Despite their violent natures, they are as consumed with deep fears as we. For that, we empathize with that and hear their counsel. Even so, we must remain their rivals so that they continue to better themselves."
Roane: "Noble and filled with a desire to heal the world with love. But is their love the same as the rest of ours?"
Saturna: "Our sisters in the mystic storm that cleanses the universe of evil."
Shonelkidar: "Their reputation and powers are greatly exaggerated."
Tautha: "Even as we once sought to become the darkness, they seek to become the light. We wish them well and praise them for saving enough of the ages to heal a wounded battlefield."
Terat: "The face of immortals that the Sanguinary sees the most. Their plans to place humanity into eternal sleep is ambitious and in harmony with the Silence. We hope for their success but watch to see that they do not slip back into the chains which once bound them to their evil master."
Sanguinary: It would go to sleep and forget us all if we would only keep quiet. Without our clamor it would lose purpose. Why then do so many immortals insist on provoking it? It must be allowed to sleep. The Sanguinary is the genesis of us all. Destroying it destroys ourselves.
Silence: Our reason for existence; only by halting the music of our serenades can we enjoin the Beast to sink deeper in slumber.
Habitat: This is not our world. We do not belong here.
Dominions: We took no part in the destruction of these worlds, yet we would return there and labor tirelessly to make a new start. We belong to the Dominions.
Crucible: In the Crucible many have laid up false hopes for long term survival or escape. There is no harnessing that kind of power. Let us focus on what we can accomplish here and now.
Morpheum: If we forsook that place, the Sanguinary would dream in an empty hall. We enter there only to prevent other Prides from breaking the Silence in the very lair of the monster.
Stratagem: We will support it up until the time when our visage is great enough to take control and force the others to follow us back to the Dominions.
Profane: The most dangerous immortals, for they have no laws to prevent their ripples. We must subjugate them and place them under the Stratagem.
Ingenue: Time bombs ready to explode with a shout of power. We must diffuse them wherever they are before they can cause untold damage through their ignorance.
Conundrum: We must collect them together and bury them in the Dominions, beyond all reach of the enemy.
Sinning: We do not rob mortals of their immaculum because we refuse to acquire taboos. We do not make ourselves visible by taking on all mortal superstitions.
Himsati: Our Himsatis are our slaves, as they must always remain. In enslaving our Himsati, we make use of the Sanguinary.
Humanity: Victims of the Beast, we can only help them by removing ourselves completely from their notice.
Nimrod's conviction against sinning has
exceptions, especially among the Coven faction within their Pride. This is not acceptible
to the Pride as a whole, and those who are caught breaking convictions are severely
punished. But most any Perpetual, Nimrod or not, will sin if the only alternative is
making the crossing to the Dominions.
Recently, the male members of the Nimrod, all (save the Horned Lord) who were
trapped in Talos within the Labyrinth, have turned up missing, and no, they haven't wound
up with the Phoenix.
We have been told that there is a fifth element that comprises Mystech, the ancient technology of the Abzulim (an example of which are lighters). This fifth element is thought (which the Blue Air is mostly comprised of some energy matrix of thought too ....), and that thought's physical form is that of shadow. Please note that the Nimrod are mentioned as the Abzulim's servants in 2nd Edition over time, something obviously that lends credence to the statements about their origins.
No, the Phoenix do not *hate* the Nimrod. They do suspect (considering the Horned Lord knows their true origins possibly) that there is another agency involved with the unwitting Nimrod, but they do not hate them.
The Nimrod also involve themselves to some extent in the Gothic culture scene as well.
QUESTON -- How did the
Nimrod manage to imprison everyone in Sheol?
As a side note, not only did the Magdalen escape the Nimrod, so to did Odin and the Valkryies, who also did not participate in the Shouting War.