Sins

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Work in progress factions get currently fleshed out and are not ready for review yet. Once they have been fleshed out in detail and are ready to be reviewed, they become submitted factions.


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Sins (Proposed Faction)

"You ever wonder why so many folk got those terrible scars around here? Back when the Sins attacked - Ma'visk tribe, it was, they used to be strong hereabouts, before the fighting - any man who didn't submit to wear Ma'visk tattoos was a rebel and he'd get his belly slit open. Then when the Red Guard came, any man wearing Ma'visk tattoos was a Ma'visk and he'd get himself shot. Burning off your own skin's a small price to pay by comparison. Dammit, is it a balancing act to avoid dyin' these days."

Northern Digsman

Basic Information

In the northernmost reaches of the lands that used to be Norway and Sweden, there are dozens of small feral or primitivised societies surviving in the frozen wilds, often in opposition to each other, all of them with their own particular traditions and beliefs.


To a logger or a farmer, however, there are only the Sins; tattooed figures, wrapped in furs, sometimes walking on all fours like an animal, glimpsed in a snowstorm. And, very occasionally, they will be unfortunate enough to encounter a whooping, howling, terrifying creature leaping at them out of the blizzard, tossing a crude spear. These creatures' ferocity and apparent inability to speak comprehensibly led to their disparaging name - sinssyke. But to some of the Christian remnants, the name has a greater significance - the Sins are torments sent to plague the populace for their own sins. The Sins themselves do not, of course, use this name, but refer to themselves by their own tribal identities.


It’s never been recorded just how many homesteads are attacked by Sins every year – certainly some tribes are more aggressive than others, but the gossip about Sin raids tends, one suspects, to exaggerate their barbarity. It is clear, however, from the events of six years ago when the Red Guard attempted to head north into untamed territory to quell the raids and found themselves assailed in vicious guerrilla warfare by a foe they could barely catch, let alone defeat, that the tribesmen are not to be trifled with. The Guard, quickly retreating, began to build a wall of sandbags, concrete and snow - less to contain the Sins than as a psychological measure - but even this was soon abandoned. Even smaller, more desperate communities, that themselves survive by attacking other groups, look down on the Sins as little better than animals.


Of the northern folk, generally speaking, it's only the scavenging, loner Digsmen who head deliberately out into the wilds to forage for buried artifacts that bother distinguishing between the Sin tribes, even taking the time to learn the curious mix of Old Norwegian, Old Swedish, New Blood, and unique syllables that make up their language. Digsmen will often hire Sins to guide them to underground caches or track wild beasts through the snow - though even some of these swear that Sins are simply not to be trusted, and tell tales of guides who slit whole parties' throats as they slept, or even led them into the middle of a freezing blizzard and abandoned them there.


Occasionally a Sin will survive in a 'civilised' settlement, (avoiding any Red Guard presence in the area, who treat the distinctive tribal tattoos as a death sentence). The least feral will make a living helping out with manual labour, and - frequently - drinking heavily or sating themselves on drugs. A very few, the most animalistic, prowl the streets on all fours like a beast at night, stealing scraps from bins, treated with pity by some, and anger by others.


Sins typically dwell in small dug-outs formed in the snow itself, just large enough for them to crawl into. Sometimes these are settled, and larger - but many Sins are nomadic, simply making new shelters for themselves when the sun goes down. This is partly out of convenience - hunting opportunities are scarce, and a Sin must travel to wherever the food is - and a safety measure. Shelters are always prone to collapse and the larger they are, the more likely that a tribesperson won't be able to dig themselves out. Firearms are exceptionally rare - they're simply too much trouble to maintain in the freezing cold - and most Sins use makeshift spears.


Mortality rates are high, and the individual tribes rarely rise to be larger than a dozen members at a time - but in such small numbers, the Sins can endure. It's likely that they will cling on to life in the far north months of even years after its last civilised inhabitants have fled or died.


Relationship With Other Factions

The Red Guard: Bad. Very, very bad. The remaining Guard, tired of peaceful occupation, are only too happy to take pot-shots at the 'savages' wandering the wastes...and, in return, the Sins have learnt to recognise the quasi-Soviet uniforms. A patrol that gets lost in the wilds may well find itself ambushed and butchered.


Menshes: Rarely do the Sins come into hostile contact with the wandering Menshes - one or two of the more nature-loving preachers have even been known to venture out into the wilds and attempt to find acceptance within a community.


Hvalbyen: Sin canoes, belonging to some of the coastal tribes, have been known to attack boats in the Skagerrak strait. Unlike the more technologically advanced corsairs, they can generally be scared away by Icebreakers or even medium-sized craft.


Aims

Because, seriously, to hell with Raiders. To hell with a feral faction, whose only real function is to get monged off their faces and horribly, brutally attack people, so that the player feels they can massacre them without the slightest moral qualms or complexities. Let's have the fiction of that...and the far more complicated reality behind it. Some of zenbitz' Norse-inspired tribal ideas could be very easily fitted in to one of the groups here.

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