Rose the Hat
“Lodsam hanti, we are the chosen ones. Cahanna risone hanti, we are the fortunate ones. Sabbatha hanti, sabbatha hanti, sabbatha hanti. We are the True Knot, and we endure. What is tied may never be untied.”
The True Knot
Main idea (as this post is long): Rose the Hat is looking to rebuild her nomadic cult/family, The True Knot, consisting of psychic, semi-immortal, quasi-vampires, who feed on children's psychic abilities. Also looking for other individuals to do business dealings or run into conflict with.
So, Rose the Hat (her cult name, everyone gets one based on some quality about them and abandons their rube name), was the leader of the True Knot back in her world. Until all but her were killed, they were a group of nomadic, quasi-immortal vampires who feed on “steam”, which is another word for “shine”, an individual’s psychic abilities.
Unfortunately, as this becomes tainted as a person grows, the cult feeds on kids, when what they need is at its purest form – to extract the steam from them, first they locate them, over many miles, lure them in, then the poor victims are subjected to horrific torture until they are drained dry and succumb to their injures, resulting in death. This extends their lifespan, heals wounds, and restores some youth - they also seem to have enhanced strength too. They also store part of the child’s steam in a canister, so that they have a constant, but limited supply. Rose gets the say in when the canisters can be opened to feed the group, though one may appeal to her.
(An example of the “feeding”; note this is a gory and very uncomfortable scene so please take care)
I will explain more below, but aside from some NPCs I will have joining the cult, I would really like characters in Pandora to join– obviously, they would have to be adults (or 14/15 upwards), okay with murdering kids and have questionable morals.
Also, this is a very selective cult, and they must have some sort of ability to be able to join; preferably a psychic ability, and one that would be useful to the cult; for example, the members in the book/film all had telepathy, but individuals also had their own talents, such as erasing their physical presence from people’s minds, or the ability to make people fall asleep through suggestion. Its members look down on normal humans, or “rubes” as they derisively call them. Maybe your character is young and looking for a place to belong? Perhaps they’ve been dealt a shitty hand in their life, been alone? Or they could be older, wiser, but wanting something more?
Other skills are needed to from those gifted; those who are able to put on a good front when needed – as the Cult has other dealings too, as mentioned in other plots.
For all Rose might be a monster, she truly cares about the people in the Cult and loves them – to her, they are her family, and she will do whatever it takes to protect them, and in general the members have each other’s backs. When they’re not hunting down their next meal, they do have a lot of fun together, as the Cult moves from place to place.
With that being said, unless a plot down the road calls for it, I only want characters who are serious about this and won’t look to backstab her or use the Cult for its own gains.
Now, onto what just being a quasi-vampire entails:
- The turning process consists of first, the Cult or rather Rose noticing you, although I’m definitely up for people wanting to recruit others once they join; however, Rose needs to be involved too as the leader; and she’s hard to impress. But if she likes you, she’s very persuasive, and as she has psychic abilities, she’ll be able to pick up on your desires and demons (and a little from what she observes).
- After, the character would be taken to a remote location, and the ritual would begin.
- The ritual (here’s a clip from the movie) consists of the members surrounding you, chanting the phrase at the top of this post. The character would then be fed an amount of steam from a canister and go through a transformation into one of them – this process is extremely painful (essentially you are dying) and not everyone survives it (though, for plot based reasons, yours will ). They will then usually spend a day or so sleeping the process off.
- As a quasi-vampire, the character won’t need to feed every day – during desperate times, the Cult has gone for six months or more without steam, though it’s not ideal and luckily for them, Pandora is a lot less sparse in kids with the shine! Also, you can go out in the sun, etc, consume normal food/drink in between – there aren’t really any of the limitations that normally comes with vampires, apart from the “need to feed” every so often – otherwise, your character will begin to age and deteriorate.
- Although Rose probably won’t tell you this during her “pitch”, you are only semi-immortal, which means you will a long life, hundreds, maybe thousands of years, but eventually, time will catch up with you. “Eat well, stay young, live long,” is the deal here. Also, you can be killed through fatal wounds, if you don't have steam in time to rapidly heal yourself.
- The Cult is tight-knit, and are bonded, so if you’re a part of the group, you will be expected to stick by them as they travel from place to place – I understand though that not everyone wants to be as tied as that or be turned, so I have some more plot suggestions below:
- The True Knot, at least in the book, had various business dealings – obviously, they’re not going to tell you exactly what they’re up to – but they managed to have various locations in many, usually sparse places that they could use as their own campsites/rest areas – also locations where they can cover up their feedings and meetings areas when they discuss a potential target. If you have any shady business people, please throw them my way – course they’ll probably be talked into it another way – but at least it’ll look legitimate.
- Pandora is full of powerful people, much more so than Rose’s world – the True Knot IS very subtle in their killings and kidnappings – meaning as above, they take their victims to a sparse location usually that they own, and then dispose of the body – burial, etc. Right now, I’m not looking for the Cult to become a well-known group at all – they’re not trying to take over Pandora, but survive and rebuild in their own twisted way. But somewhere along the way, I’d love for them to get in a conflict – I’m not looking for an easy ride for Rose, no matter how good she thinks is she or above it all.
- Abra Stone was this in the book/film, but maybe there’s a particularly powerful child character of yours the Cult comes across and intends to use as a sort of “cow” – keeping them alive whilst siphoning steam from them for a number of years.
- Also, since they’re rebuilding from scratch, perhaps there could be lookouts, etc. keeping tabs on anyone wanting to oppose them – they wouldn’t know the true purpose of the Cult or who they are, but it could be a plot point!
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