“My youth was spend on white beaches, with white tipped, rolling waves that crashed upon its EVER-SHIFTING surface. The sun would darken my skin as my family played silly games nearby that spoke of joy and easy living. I still remember the faces of my father and mother as they would laugh kindly at my attempts at building a sand castle.
The agony of that time, for sure, has vanished. The joy of that simple existence has been lifted from my mind. Now, I experience only tranquility. No longer does the sun shine on my eyes, as I have none. No longer can I laugh, because I lack lips. No longer can I be hurt, because I lack any type of feelings. Except for total bliss. For I am remade in my master’s image. Empty, without a sense of self, and at peace.”
—Jasper ‘t Jong
Blind and Waiting
Vessels of Agony are eternal beings. Once they were like the other races. They were dwarves and goblins, humans and orc. But they were caught by the servants of Yulzhir, a being of tremendous power that usurps whole worlds. But everything that once was mortal has been stripped away from them. Their being carefully peeled from their psyche and body alike, to reveal a hideous form that has no relation to its former life. Pale, they stand anywhere from 4 to 8 feet tall, vary very much in weight and bodily structure and lack hair and nails. Their faces are always about the same, with their eyes melted away beneath their white skin, their noses reduced to slits and their mouth lacking lips. Ears are mere holes in their head and all orifices secrete a thick black oily substance.
They are blind, but they can see within a short range anyway. Simply sensing their surroundings. But they do not feel the need to interact with this bleak version of the world outside. Instead, they wait for their mistress to give them a task. Anything for the mistress, for she is all. Eager to be in optimal shape for these tasks, they feed themselves with a fleshy paste that they get from grinding down any type of living being. To be sure that their form pleases Yulzhir, they mutilate their bodies. Stretching limbs, growing fat, breaking bones, all to accomplish what they think is… Beauty?
Life of Agony
These vessels remember strongly what they once were: mortals with, most of the time, uncomplicated lives. Innocent and cheerful. Yulzhir lets them keep these memories but she bens them to being something else. They are what tortures a vessel of agony. And all they can do to escape it, is to stay awake. Driven past any sense of normality of self, they have accepted that the only way they can flee is by becoming the fleshy masses that they now are. And when the memories return, the only thing they can do is start mutilating themselves further. They must not resemble their past.
Their lives are spent in darkness, in ever twisting corridors that drip cold clear water in puddles. The sound of these drops echo through the hallways, unnerving them and setting their minds on edge. They crawl, walk, climb, and slide through this unseen world, finding each other in common rooms to only depart again. Their own screeches, caused by their many dreams of a better past, cut like knives in what remains of their souls. And all they can do is wait. For when Yulzhir calls, they have a purpose that drives the memories away. Ever loving mother, Yulzhir the Devourer.
Purpose and Pain
Vessels are taught the ways of the void. They have knowledge imparted on them by Yulzhir and her underlings that let them understand the true emptiness of existence. Yulzhir calls on them when the races that she tries to conquer seem to have forgotten their places. Often stepping into a world that already has been partially turned by the Brothers of Renesh and the Sisters of Gul, they take the lead in herding the people of the free world towards a common goal. To be productive and except the gifts that Yulzhir grants them. Because when they further this goal, they weaken the fabric of reality and that allows Yulzhir to come through when she is ready draining the last world she was on. This process can take decades and while almost no vessels of agony will appear during the first few, when the resistances finally get activated on these planets, they will come in numbers.
The vessels have many tools to achieve their goals. All tools of torture. They often mass dominate a large portion of a community and insert happy thoughts into their minds. Making them forget that they saw a family member being dragged away or a gruesome monster wrack havoc upon part of the world. They sift through the minds of mortals, hiding gruesome nightmares below the surface of ever stronger happy thoughts. The call this ‘curing the pain of mortality’. They know they are doing the right thing. Mother said so.
Vessels of Agony consider Yulzhir to be their mother. Without her, they are lost. With her, they can conquer worlds. They obey to the letter. They can only please her when she asks them to do something and they live in pure agony when she isn’t there.
Vessel of Agony Names
Vessels of Agony have no names.
Vessel of Agony Traits
Your vessel of agony character is unlike any normal race you have ever seen.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution increases by 2, and your Charisma score increases by 1.
Age. Vessels can live for eternity. Since they aren’t born but made, they have no sense of adulthood or old age.
Alignment. Though utterly mad (or not?), they are ever lawful to their mother. They are, ofcourse, evil.
Size. Vessels of Agony range from around 4 to 8 feet and have varying forms of body. They can be obese or thin, have longer or shorter limbs, but they always have the same kind of face.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You also have a comb speed of 30 feet.
Blindsight. You have blindsight up to a distance of 30 feet. Your blindsight isn’t dependent on any of your senses, so it cannot be subdued. Beyond your blindsight’s range, you are considered blinded.
Agonized Crawler. You can crawl as fast as you can walk en go from standing up, to being prone, to crawling without having to spend any additional speed. Your speed isn’t reduced by difficult terrain.
Continuous Nightmare. Although you think of your former life as the true nightmare, your ever-wakeful presence has made you resistant to certain influences. You have resistance against psychic damage and you are immune to the frightened condition. You also have advantage on saving throws against illusion and enchantment spells. You do not need to sleep. Instead, in order to gain the benefits of a short or long rest, you confront your fears for the same amount of time that a rest would last, screaming and yelling at your surroundings. You can suspend the need for a rest for up to seven days.
Physically Incompatible. While you do need to eat and drink, you can go without food or water for 30 days. Your physicality also grants you resistance to poison damage. You are also immune to the blinded condition except for when it already applies to you.
Static Awareness. When your environment is even slightly charged, you gain the following benefits:
- You register everything as negative space between white and blue glowing lines of electricty. You can see as far as a normal person would and your blinded condition doesn’t apply to you within the range of the charged environment.
- You can float 10 inches form the gound, and you gain advantage on stealth checks when doing so. This is stilll considered to be your normal speed.
A slightly charged environment can mean many things. The electricty network of a small town would certainly do, as would a laboratory of a mad mage who experiments with lightning magic.
Tortured Body. Your body functions as an always present set of thieves’ tools. You can extract metal pins, shards of bone, and the like from your body and use them as if they were thieves’ tools. You also gain proficiency in the thieves’ tools.