Amongst the gargoyles there is a name from their mythic past that they are forbidden to mention lest they face the wrath of Emperor Zerustrun. Nevertheless with fearful glances over their shoulders for unwanted listeners and in hushed whispers they talk about their once legendary Queen Gargas.
It is said that once long ago the gargoyle people had twin rulers, Gargas and Zerustrun. The problem was that Gargas was beloved of her people and held in high esteem, as if Zerustrun didn’t even exist. For how could mere royalty compare to the divine.
It was a chance of fate, that when these two sat on the twin thrones, one would become a ruler the other would ascend to become a goddess. Though many speak of a betrayal, it is generally assumed that Gargas gave the power and mantle of leadership to Emperor Zerustrun, while she journeyed through the Megaverse to do her divine work. There are prophecies of old that one day she will return to protect and rule her people once again.
Much to the consternation of Emperor Zerustrun, in the last few decades the name of Gargas has once again come to the lips of his subjects. Even the inconceivable notion of her imminent return has started to ripple into the consciousness of some of the gargoyles. Already amongst his host, cults devoted to her worship have started to spring up. These he has crushed with an iron fist, but like an infestation more seem to take their place. Something must be done soon or his sovereignty will start to be questioned.
He has started to look for candidates for this outrageous and treasonous fallacy and his eyes have landed on the Paris flock as the likely culprits. That flock is an ally only and has never truly submitted to his right as their Emperor. Only the strategic importance of the area they rule in the gargoyle’s war against the NGR has prevented him from wiping out their hierarchy.
It seems someone there has eyes on his throne; something must be done to show them where they stand in the scheme of things as it is only by his grace they rule the Paris flock and the independence and leeway he has given them will only last as long as they don’t get ideas above their station.
Emperor Zerustrun knows full well that Gargas will never return, for he masterminded her death several millennia ago, to become sole ruler of the gargoyles.
Little does Emperor Zerustrun realize that it is already too late, Gargas has started to wake and those who know of her existence in the Paris flock accept her as their leader and worship her as their goddess. Once she has gained her full power she will deal with Emperor Zerustrun for his betrayal.
The story of Gargas told by the Paris flock is at once amazing, horrifying and inconceivable to the humans of Earth. There is a slight possibility that the humans of Earth may have somewhere in the darkest abyss of their psyche an ancient racial memory of what the Paris gargoyles assert.
The Paris gargoyles claim no less than earth being their ancestral birthplace, their home, and if it wasn’t for a quirk of fate, it would haven been them being the masters of Earth and not the humans.
The gargoyles articulate they were once mortal and they reached civilization on Earth, warring with other species for dominance, but with the ascension of Gargas, it seemed that it would be only a matter of time before they swept all before them and mastered Earth.
Not all were happy with this turn of events, Zerustrun grew jealous of the adulation shown towards Gargas, and there was nothing he could do to win the hearts of his people. It was as if he didn’t exist, he wasn’t even fit to be the shadow of Gargas.
Then as if some great magic had been worked, the Earth went through upheavals, causing great destruction and changes. It is said by the gargoyles that the catacombs of Paris are the only vestiges of their primordial capital. Drought and famine struck at their lands, pestilence festered, and brother fought sister for the scraps of carrion and dying comrades, even as great demons ran amok in their lands.
While Gargas strode out to do battle with the mighty demons pursuing them, Zerustrun led the Exodus of their people, but he did not follow the route that Gargas had planned. Fortune favoured them, for through a mountain pass, they envisioned a land of plenty, verdant and laden with life. There was enough to satiate the millions upon millions of hungry gargoyles that stumbled and crawled towards it. In that valley they would start their new life. They entered into this entrancing land and gorged themselves.
Gargas having finally defeated the potent demons went after her people, but to her horror she saw they had walked into a trap set by an incalculable intelligence. She could not leave them to their plight, and she hurtled into the lush valley, commanding her people to leave. The gargoyles were confused and dazed and couldn’t see anything wrong or threatening them. Their response to Gargas’ cries was lethargic if not outright insolent. Then as Gargas worked her magic, the fertile valley disappeared and a choking desert full of noxious fumes and searing heat revealed itself, but there was no sun in the sky. The gargoyles started vomiting as they saw what they had been eating.
The architect of the illusion revealed itself, and it was a primeval horror, beyond imagining and comprehension, and thousands of gargoyles died at the mere presence of such an abomination of nature. There stood Modeus, a Supernatural Intelligence, as Gargas whirled to do battle with him. Modeus flicked an appendage, a shadowy tentacle in a dismissive and arrogant gesture, as if he was disciplining a spoilt child, and the goddess Gargas was lifted into the air as if she was a rag doll and her broken, dismembered and crushed body fell far and wide: To a supernatural intelligence a god is, as an ant is to a human, insignificant and below notice. It seemed Modeus had simply stepped on Gargas without even realizing that he had done so.
Only Zerustrun was not shocked by this turn of events, for he had struck a pact with Modeus to deliver his people to him, in return for power and his total dominion over the gargoyles. Modeus was looking for a new army and it did not matter to him who led them into battle in his name.
Using the unimaginable latent power at the disposal of a supernatural intelligence, Modeus unleashed a force that would work changes in the gargoyle species across the Megaverse, whichever dimension his avarice eyes balefully gazed down upon a member of the gargoyle species.
From that moment on, in any dimension the gargoyle species was found to exist, they found themselves altered into the sub demons they are today. The new shape he had given them was a pale likeness of the image of Gargas. This he may have done on a whim or as a mockery, but the other reasons for the changes he sowed are understandable. He had to change the gargoyles into the sub demons they are, so that they could better serve him in the roles he had allotted them and his new minions needed to be better adapted to survive in the intolerably harsh conditions of the Hades dimension, where demon ate demon to win Modeus favour.
Zerustrun believes Modeus bestowed upon him vast powers, elevating him to the status and power of a god. Modeus told Zerustrun that in Hades he and his gargoyles had to carve their own dominion, wrest it from the other demons and if they succeeded they would be able to serve him, if they failed they would be destroyed by the other demonic forces. This the gargoyles eventually did, but their status in Hades is still the lowest of the low.
Modeus had wanted a new and at the time an unknown exotic weapon to throw at his rivals during his campaign to conquer the Hades dimension, and the gargoyles did this for him, paying a terrible price, with millions of them getting slaughtered in the service of their new master.
The introduction of the gargoyles into the fray had turned the millennia’s long war for the crown of Hades dimension in the favour of Modeus. It ended when Modeus was the undisputed Lord of Hades, and all acknowledged him as such. The status of the Gargoyles in the hierarchy of Hades did not improve even after such an accomplishment in the service of their new master.
Gargas was left for dead, lost in the endless morass of Hades. Even after they were altered, the elite troops, known as the Gaesates remained loyal to her. Thousands of them went to find her body and whisk it to safety to another dimension. Here they preserved and protected her body, and still worshipped her. They passed their story onto their descendents and their work to revive Gargas continued. Her body did not decay but she did not wake up.
Time passed and millenniums came and went, and eventually they came into contact with the Cardinal Lords. Who helped them to revive Gargas. It was with the help of the Blood Druids that the Gargoyles returned to Earth, Which was once again a place of magic.
Gargas has woken into a new body, in the Parisian Catacombs, which the Paris Gargoyles believe are ruins of their lost capital.
It is unclear whether this is Gargas or an avatar of hers, or something else. She has the devotion of her followers and once she comes into her full power, all the gargoyles will follow her, for in the gargoyles world, the mightiest rule.
She believes that the gargoyles are the true masters of Earth, and this she wants to accomplish. She believes that if the Gargoyles hadn’t been cruelly snatched from the Earth, humans wouldn’t have reached civilization, before they were snuffed out by the gargoyles.
Gargas wants to learn the full extent of the power Zerustrun has, for she is well aware that Modeus is quite capable of giving Zerustrun powers that would dwarf a god. She is seeking to learn all she can about him, before she engages him. She has even indirectly influenced the NGR to learn more about him, and encouraged from behind the scenes adventurers to go on sham quests in the areas where Zerustrun may be about, so that they will learn something about him.
Gargas like Zerustrun at the moment puts the defeat of the NGR ahead of any petty personal vendettas. She will not engage him until she is ready, but if the opportunity presents itself; she will gladly take it to get revenge on Zerustrun. The Parisian Flock will secretly side with and help Dyval against Modeus in the Minion Wars. They may well gain assistance against their enemies from the Lords of Dyval in return for attempting to thwart Modeus’ ambitions on Rifts Earth.
Powers and Abilities: Level 10 (TEN) Goddess and Gaesates. (Low level and power is due to the fact she is a relatively new goddess, however she is rapidly learning new knowledge and attaining new powers and abilities, in real terms she has only been a goddess for approximately a quarter of a century)
The Mark of Gargas (more commonly known as The Warrior’s Mark)
This is a proto deific ability of Gargas that she bestows on her most loyal and worthy warriors. It identifies them as her chosen, before the betrayal all Gaesates had the Mark of Gargas, now this is not the case. Today the Blood Torque symbolises a member of the Gaesates, as such not all gaesates have the Mark of Gargas, but all gargoyles with the mark of Gargas are gaesates.
The mark of Gargas is a scarified tattoo that appears on the face of the Gargoyle, (usually like the classic war paint tiger stripes). Other gargoyles and persons with warrior lore will immediately understand the significant of this mark.
They will understand that a great warrior stands before them (they will understand his experience and power level, amount of honourable victories he has had) How much the tattoo reveals will depend on how much the warrior wants to reveal about himself. Some gargoyles want to show how many kills they have made, others honourably victories, whiles others the amount of dragonwings they have defeated.
This power effectively turns the recipient into a variation of the Mystic Bestowed OCC from HU2 book.
On Rifts Earth: As a gift to the gargoyles, the mark of Gargas turns the gargoyles into the image they believe they were before Modeus turned them into subdemons. This image varies from gargoyle to gargoyle, but it means they become non-supernatural, normal human sized humanoids. It is in this guise that many Gaesates have infiltrated into the NGR cities. The NGR so far is unaware that some of the most powerful gargoyles in the Parisian flock have such an ability in their arsenal.
Gargas has so far bestowed this gift to her most loyal subjects sparingly, she is limited by her lack of power and also because she understands that if Emperor Zerustrun learns of gargoyles with this tattoo, he will sooner or later remember what the mark truly means.
In the Gargoyle flock there are scores of gargoyles with the Mark of Gargas, and many of these are thousands of years old. These are the Gaesates who rescued Gargas’ broken body and tended to it for millennia.
For Game Purposes treat these veterans as the equivalent of “Consort Immortals” from the Mystic China Book. They gained immortality due to their devotion, loyalty and close and constant proximity to Gargas’ body. It isn’t known if this was done deliberately or unintentionally by Gargas. It is unclear whether these Gaesates will still be immortal, now that Gargas has woken and as time goes they start to spend more time away from her presence.
The Warrior’s Mark is a proto-deific power available to all Warrior gods and goddesses, and it is also available to some of the pantheon heads and other powerful deities. Supernatural Intelligences are able to bestow a similar power on whom they wish but at no cost to them.
The Powers and Abilities the Warrior’s Mark bestows vary, depending on the Warrior deity and the warrior traditions of the recipient’s homeland. The Warrior’s Mark usually enhances the recipients fighting prowess.
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