Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Hate People

The iron god made dwarves and the forest god made elves and the war god made orcs and the illusions god made gnomes and the logic god made modrons and the snake god made snake people and the fire god made fire people.

And then there was The Hate God.

The Hate God made Hate People.

They didn't make evil people, because they made people who hated evil. They just didn't create good people, per se, because they created people who hated good. They made the Scoren.

Scoren are beings made for the biological purpose of hatred, as sure as they are created to survive and reproduce. Different Scoren hate different things. When you are born, you are born into a First Holy Hatred. This is usually adopted by a community through necessity, from isolation or proximity to a kind of hazard. Like a Scoren village in a forest may have "forest" as their First Holy Hatred. Much of life in this village and the work of the day will be concerned with beating back the forest, cursing the forest at prayer, gritting and screaming about the forest in the street, and championing anything which blights the forest, even if it blights your crops as well, even as you starve to death...

Except you won't. Because your First Holy Hatred sustains you. This is part of why the Scoren never leave the forest: hate provides, and the harder you hate the more robust and excellent a physical specimen you are. Food is YUMMY. Water is REFRESHING. But hate and air are all you really need in life.

At this point.

When you reach the Age of Rage (which is determined by your physical development at puberty really but custom varies by community) you come into your Vendetta. You don't choose this, and it may make your life very difficult in your current community (getting ahead of this, other Scoren are a common Vendetta of Scoren). The develops independent of you, and denying the nature of your hate (for sunshine, for tall people, for dwarves, for war, for purple) makes you actively sick and can kill you. You may have to leave home when this happens because you have to find the nature of your enmity and incorporate regularly hating it into your life; in fact, one of the holy duties of hate priests is to help a young person discover the nature of the hate within. This gives you the built-in resolve of a berserker, so that you may endure a great amount of pain, wounds, or disease by sustaining yourself with the healing power of hatred. It doesn't give you any cool magical powers though.

At this point.

This is when many Scoren begin their apprenticeships. In addition to any formal guild or trade training the receive, they apprentice themselves in hate, choosing a rancorcerer of a study of their choosing (hatred of the sky, hatred of drow, hatred of the country next door). They spend five years immersing themselves in all aspects of that which they've chosen, hating as hard as they can every day, their ire being guided and shaped by their masters. At the end of their apprenticeship, their master piece is internalizing all the hate they've learned and turning the gift of the Hate God to their advantage. For example, someone who hates water can swim in it without breathing. Someone who hates fire can burn without being consumed. Someone who hates the ground can hover. So on.

This ability starts off weak but becomes quite powerful as their hate builds and their understanding of the Hate God and his ways deepen.

Scoren are a very practical people. Because they are kind of born with a deadly addiction that also frees them from the concerns of much of agrarian society, they want to make certain that everything has a specific purpose or will speed them to some specific end. They don't make statues, except as hate fetish items. They don't have the same relationship many of us do with necessity but that doesn't mean they spend their time on frivolous things.

That said, they are a curious people, always interested in learning new things, since it may deepen their existing hatreds. They find devotion to other ideals and emotions bizarre and are skeptical of religions which teach love or forgiveness. They are skeptical of anybody driven by only altruism or pragmatism and not a holy hate. Particularly because, since their powers grow in connection with their god/fire of their ire, they are a very ambitious people, always hoping to rise to greater strength through darker hates.

Scoren stand about 5' and are generally ostentatious in dress, because they consider clothes the people around them hate to be haute fashion. Their hair as a people is fair and wiry, and they can be spotted at a distance by their deep, deep-set eyes. Scoren typically don't become adventurers unless their apprenticeship has been completed and they have their eye set on some higher prize of power or something bigger to find and hate. A common Masterpiece of Scoren seeking this lifestyle is hatred of light crossbow bolts, which they may "fire" away from them without use of an actual crossbow.

They can be swayed to a cause with an impassioned fury, because they find pedestrian hatred exotic, inventive, and sexy.