Devourers

"It's been too long since I tasted blood on the wind. Tonight, we hunt once more."


The House of the Wild was granted dominion over every living thing that crawled, ran, flew or slithered across the earth. As the wilderness spread across the earth, the Angel of the Wild wove the countless strains of life into an intricate tapestry of beauty, majesty and power. The Angels of the Wild fulfilled their duties with solemn pride and a strong sense of personal honor, governing their realm with justice and compassion.

The birth of humanity was a source of both wonder and consternation for the Angels of the Wild. While God made it clear that mankind was meant to master the wilderness and every living thing within it, they were completely ignorant of its ways. This presented the angels with a paradox: Their duty was to protect and preserve the wild, but the greatest threat to the natural order was the ignorance of humankind, which they were forbidden to interfere with.

For all their reputation as impetuous, instinctual beasts, the Angels of the Wild were the most reluctant of the Host to consider defying the will of Heaven. In the end, though, those who joined the ranks of the fallen believed that there was no other way to be true to their mandate. Once committed, however, there was none braver or more devoted than the Devourers, who filled the ranks of the rebel legions and fought their former comrades without quarter across the length and breadth of Paradise. The Devourers were feared and respected by both sides, and they never lost their belief in final victory, even at the very end.

At first, the Devourers accepted their exile stoically, but separation from the living world eventually took its toll. Worse, the disappearance of Lucifer was a terrible blow to the spirit of the House as a whole, leading many to feel a deep sense of betrayal. As their anger and pain grew, they reverted more and more to their feral nature, trading reason and guilt for mindless instinct.

Upon their escape from the Abyss, the Devourers were shocked to discover how much the world had changed. The humans they fought and suffered for had forgotten all they had been taught after the Fall, raping the world of its dwindling resources and driving whole species into extinction. This realization was the last stroke for many Devourers, who surrendered completely to their monstrous urges in the desire to make mankind suffer for its crimes against nature. For the rest, the pain of the dying earth was enough to shake them from their fugue and spur them to restoring the earth and pulling mankind back from the brink of annihilation.

Factions

Devourers tend to fall into one of two factions, depending on how well their convictions weathered the agonies of the Abyss. Many Devourers still believe that their loyalty to Lucifer and the cause of the fallen must still be honored, and their newfound freedom comes with an obligation to reform the ranks of the infernal legions and resume the war against Heaven. Those who aren't Luciferians tend to become Raveners, as their sense of betrayal after the war and humanity's destruction of nature drives them to seek bloody vengeance on God's beloved children.

Outside these two factions, the next largest group of Devourers can be found among the Reconcilers. The Devourers in their ranks tend to be those who are weary of war and bloodshed, and feel that the only way they can atone for their past crimes is to rebuild the gardens that time has destroyed.

Less common are Devourer Cryptics, though a significant number seek answers to the manner of Lucifer's disappearance, both for the sake of their own honor and out of respect for their lost leader. These Devourers enjoy more success than might be expected, because other fallen frequently underestimate their intelligence and cunning.

Rarest of all are Devourers who follow the call of the Faustians, simply because deception is so foreign to their nature, and they chafe at the patience required for elaborate schemes. Those who are loyal to the faction do so because they believe that the only way to restore the earth is to subjugate mankind.

Prelude

On the surface, it would seem that Devourers would be drawn to people such as soldiers, drug dealers, gang members or police officers, individuals who have eroded their souls through lives of violence. Yet they are also drawn to stockbrokers, sales persons, fire fighters and political activists —- individuals who pit themselves against enormous odds and are often emotionally scarred by the experience.

Unsurprisingly, Devourers are also drawn to hosts who share an obsession to protect - or exploit - animals and nature. An environmental activist whose zealous crusades have cost him his own humanity or a cold-hearted poacher are equally likely possibilities, depending on the demons personality.

Faith

Devourers are masters at the art of reaped Faith. Indeed, their impulsive nature makes them more comfortable with such short-term gains than nearly any other demon.

Low-Torment Devourers are usually careful to restrict their reaping to criminals or individuals who by their actions are actively destructive to their environment. Even then, they avoid killing the individual if possible, preferring to gain Faith through acts of pain or terror in the hopes that the victim will take the experience as a warning and mend his ways.

High-Torment Devourers are less discriminate when choosing their victims. Anyone, even mortals who are sympathetic toward the demon's cause, can be a target. Faith is Faith, and such demons will take it wherever they find it, usually killing the victim in the process.

Devourers are drawn toward strong, aggressive individuals as thralls. They can be individuals who are no strangers to violence, such as gang members, soldiers, or cops. Conversely they can be driven intellectuals, political activists, corporate raiders or entrepreneurs. When it comes to thralls, Devourers have no use for the weak or timid.

Character Creation

It's no surprise that the feral Devourers favor Physical Attributes above all, but Mental Attributes come in a close second. Many Devourers have at least two dots in Alertness, Animal Ken, Brawl, Dodge, Intimidation, Survival, and Stealth. They may also inherit dots in Firearms and Melee from their hosts.

The less-common socially oriented Devourers tend to have high Intimidation and Leadership abilities, as well as knowledge appropriate to their profession. These Abilities are often balanced out with some degree of Athletics, but combat-oriented Abilities are less common, at least initially.

Devourers draw upon a variety of backgrounds. Thralls are a favored choice, forming a pack that the demon calls upon when needed. Additionally they may also have allies and contacts to help them out, usually inherited from the host. More social Devourers may have careers in which they wield influence and have high Resource ratings.

Starting Torment: 4

House Lore:

Lore of the Beast
Lore of the Flesh
Lore of the Wild

Weaknesses

Devourers have never been known for their tact, and most never know when to keep their big mouths shut. In situations where diplomacy is essential, Devourers can be brutally honest and quick to anger, prone to starting fights at the slightest provocations. It's fairly common for a Devourer to make a delicate situation worse by showing up.

Because of their lack of social skills, many Devourers can be easily manipulated. Some demons trick them into serving as bodyguards or assassins by playing off their sense of honor and obligation. Such manipulations are not without risk, however, for if the Devourer ever sees through the charade, he won't hesitate to seek immediate and bloody revenge.

Stereotypes

Devils: During the war, Devourers respected the Devils as noble leaders who sacrificed much for the cause. Their mortal connections are respected, and they always seem to have opportunities for combat.

Scourges: On the field of battle, Devourers would rather fight with the Scourges than against them. The suffering that their power inflicts, however, alienates all but the most Tormented Devourer.

Malefactors: The Devourers enjoy a close kinship with the Malefactors, going back to the days when the two Houses worked hand-in-hand prior to the Fall. Devourers respect and admire the demons of the earth, and consider them friends until proven otherwise.

Fiends: The Devourers have little patience and less understanding for the Fiends and their arcane pursuits. The movement of the planets and the groupings of stars seem trivial compared to the visceral joy of the hunt.

Defilers: Devourers love the Defilers for their passion and inspiration, but their merciful nature exasperates the steady, driven Devourer.

Slayers: The Devourers treat the Slayers with an equal amount of respect and pity, admiring their dedication to an onerous and painful calling.