The road behind Anne was a patch of dark fog merging into a greater greyness, but somewhere on it were the men who had broken into her home and killed Gran, so she ran faster and deeper into the swamp than she had ever done before. Her sneakers and socks were wet and squishy. Every other step sank her deeper into the muck and mire, until at last she tripped over something and sprawled, gasping, in ankle-deep waters. She was tired. If she could avoid her pursuers, she might be able to find someone who could help her.
Somewhere above her, the sun was a hazy smear of orange struggling to burn off the fog. Her knee hurt; she'd bruised it somewhere, and her arm still tingled from where one of the men had touched her -- his very touch had seemed to violate her, and she knew without knowing how that somehow she had been marked. At any other time, Anne would have vigorously scrubbed it with soap and water. She wondered if she would ever know the joy of a hot bath again.
When she finally rose, the nightmare began anew. Standing not ten feet from her were her tormentors: three men, large and intimidating, and not one of them was smiling. "Nephallite bitch," one of them spat, and his voice had something of contempt in it. She remembered him as the one she'd poured the boiling water on. When they came she'd been preparing tea for Gran.
"What do you want?" It was more of a whimper than anything else.
"Nothing you can give us." That was the one who had spoken before. Anne tried her best to glare at him.
And then she noticed that they hadn't even broken a sweat.
Rage filled her: rage at the futility of her flight, at the callous way in which they had dispatched every stable thing in her life, and at how smug they were, standing so close to her and unafraid. She lurched forward, swinging her too-big, too-long arm, the one that made her different, and irrationally she knew that she hated them for having arms that were even and for their two good eyes and their smooth skin.
But she was as nothing to them, and the one she swung at caught her easily. Momentum took her beyond him; she stumbled and fell facedown in the muck. One of her captors kicked her. Pain flooded into her, and she knew without a doubt that the moment of her death was near.
As the last of her life leaked out into the rancid waters, she prayed, and it was the last thing she ever did.
And no one ever saw the three men again, not even the Superior who had sent them.
Nephallite Death Curse
Because so few Children of the Grigori and Nephallim are known to Heaven, organized information gathering on this phenomenon has so far been limited. This ability surfaces in roughly four out of five Nephallim and in five out of ten Children of the Grigori, but the conditions under which it surfaces are difficult to duplicate. In moments of great duress, a Nephallite may curse his tormentors, unconsciously working his Will in one final, desperate act. When the death curse is successfully invoked, his tormentors will suffer from a suddenly-hostile Symphony: this can occur in any manner the GM wishes, from simply inconvenient (i.e. walls bleeding, animals shunning the Nephallite's killer) to outright destructive (a massive, Symphony-racking explosion). Secondly, this ability only appears in Nephallim who are not Symphonically aware, or who are aware but unable to manipulate Essence. No instances of this curse's taking effect have been recorded in Nephallim who die peacefully; apparently, an essential component of the death curse is the stress and desperation brought about by an imminent violent death.
In game mechanics terms, a dying Nephallite or Child of the Grigori who fulfills the requirements (unable to consciously control Essence or not Symphonically aware) may attempt a death curse against anyone who they perceive has been hostile to them -- this is usually their tormentor or killer, but it may include mankind as a whole! However, the more people affected by the curse, the weaker the curse's effects per person. The curse's effects are always different, but not necessarily unique -- a GM is encouraged to be creative with the effects of a Nephallite death curse. At the moment of his death, the Nephallite must make a Will roll against double his regular Will, spending all of his Essence to improve the roll.
There is no known cure for a Nephallite death curse, but their effects have been known to fade with time. How much time is, of course, dependent on the strength of the curse and on the GM's needs.
Ten years ago, a team of earthbound Servitors serving different Words executed three siblings, all believed to be Nephallim or Children of the Grigori. Now, on the eve of the tenth anniversary of their deaths, the angels find that they are having trouble assuming celestial form. As night falls, they find themselves stalked by an unseen creature straight from Beleth's side of the Marches.
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