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Succubi in the Asura role role playing campaign setting are the spawn of Chaos. They are lustful and ambitious, but also subtle and sophisticated. They adore beauty and indulging their desires, but are also curious and often intellectual. Anyone who thinks them simple harlots and hedonists has sorely misjudged the Succubi.
Asura is a role playing campaign setting found originally on the Campaign Builders' Guild website. The Asura System is a FATE-inspired system, FATE meaning Fantastic Adventures in Tabletop Entertainment, which is a generic role-playing game system based on the FUDGE gaming system. Although it has significant features in common with FATE, it began its life as a game system unrelated to FATE and evolved, through further development and playtesting, to absorb many of FATE's more interesting and useful features.
It takes inspiration from a wide variety of other systems as well, and it diverges quite significantly from FATE in a number of ways. The main design goal, after all, was not to copy any particular existing system, but rather to create a set of rules that could help to provide an exciting, dramatic, creative, and audacious play experience.
A new day dawns. The White Sun, born of the death of an inscrutably malicious Ancient God, shines over the three Inner Planets: wild Aosa, majestic Sarva, and hellish Gehna. Each of them contains myriad wonders and terrors, but, foremost among it all is the wonder and terror of the Asura themselves. They were once human, but through their Conduits, they achieved mastery of Prana, the ancient and pure essence of the universe itself. The Asura are both natural and supernatural, wielding a staggering power, yet, at times, they seem all too human in their motives and failings.
A single Asura alone would be a force to be reckoned with, but in the vastness of creation, there are untold legions. On all three of the Inner Planets, affairs of man and nature are guided by Asura hands. From Aosa's exotic forests and jungles, to the Prismatic Imperium and Astral Council of Sarva, to the sulfurous mountains of the cursed city Dis on Gehna, powerful Asuras rule, and other envious Asuras conspire against them.
Far from the Inner Planets are the Outer Suns, each one possessing its own wonders. Among them, on a rustic world of mountains and forests, another of the Asura stands alone over a huddled mass of humans who have nearly forgotten their humanity, gently offering a stone tablet of ancient wisdom to a terrified but mystified primitive. With this, the long road of civilization starts anew for another people.
It is a road whose destination even the Asuras themselves cannot yet know. Yet, as they always do, clues to the future hide in the past.
In a dark time long ago, the universe was one of black sun and insubstantial madness. The first and foremost of the Ancient Gods was the malevolent force Chaos. Sadistic and irrational, it created life only to torment it; it only gave so that it would have something to take away. Jealous of its power, the other Ancient Gods created the Faeries and Revenants, first of the Asuras. The were once human, but they had the most ancient, primordial power in their hands, that of the Ancient Gods themselves. They created and destroyed with a fervor unmatched even by their masters.
The transhuman Progenitors, meanwhile, made their own way and constructed their own blessings, free of the influence of the Ancient Gods. Fearful, the other Ancient Gods made a pact with Chaos, granting it the secret of Transcendence, and giving rise to the Demons and Succubi. Yet, in its zeal, Chaos made its Asuras too strong, and too opportunistic. They broke the ties that bound them to it, and in doing so, mortally wounded Chaos. The univeres was shattered and then reborn by Chaos's death throes, and it then looked forward to a brighter future. The magical Serene Ones had the blessings of their newborn goddess, the Serene Mother, rising out of the ashes of Chaos' demise.
Since Chaos met its end, the Inner Planets have made nearly one thousand orbits; it is the year 991 in "standard star years," as the Progenitors put it. An end to Chaos did not mean an end to chaos. Storms plagued the cosmos, and storms of a different sort plagued the relations between Asuras as well. Each race of Asuras had a reason to distrust the others, yet, none of them were themselves unified, and infighting plagued them all. Some conflicts grew, even as other conflicts ended. A tenuous end to the war between Demon and Revenant only meant they could turn their gaze outward to threaten other worlds beyond their own hell, at least when they were not still fighting each other anyway. Political institutions once proudly waving the banner of revolution became more decadent and rotted from within, until they too were replaced in the fire of yet another revolution. The future of it all cannot be known. Time marches onward, and the fates craft infinite new destinies for all souls.
The next saga is yet unwritten, but it is the Asura who will write it.
Succubi, along with Demons, are the spawn of Chaos. They are lustful and ambitious, but also subtle and sophisticated. They adore beauty and indulging their desires, but are also curious and often intellectual. Indeed, anyone who thinks them simple harlots and hedonists has sorely misjudged the Succubi.
Succubi are found all over the Inner Planets, and scattered throughout the rest of the universe as well. They tend to keep a low profile, so their true numbers and influence are not immediately apparent; there are a great many factions and nations that ostensibly have nothing to do with the Succubi, but are in truth filled with the tendrils of Succubus power. Perhaps the place Succubi are most overt about their presence is on Aosa. They have a certain symbiosis with the Faeries there, as the Faeries create and shape, and provide landscapes for the often-hedonistic Succubi to seek out the beauty and pleasure that they crave. This relationship has caused Aosa to become a strange, wonderful place, breathtakingly beautiful in parts and yet terrifying in its incomprehensibility in others.
Initially, Succubi and Demons were the same lineage of Asura, with the males rising as Demons and the females rising as Succubi; masculine energy was thought to be tied to destruction, and feminine to creation. However, the two branches have since diverged, each group forming a unique identity. Unlike Demons, which now consist of both sexes, the Succubi remain purely female, believing the concentration of feminine energy to be part of the source of their strength.
Succubus Conduits arise in Farspace, and only there, formed from drifting remnants of the primordial energies of creation and destruction once contained inside of Chaos. Direct union with one of these Conduits is the most direct way to Transcend, but projecting one's soul into Farspace is difficult enough, let alone to travel to the sort of hazardous regions filled with ancient energies that would contain Succubus Conduits. The closer one gets to such primordial energies, the less the laws of nature apply... and they are already lax in Farspace. Fully drawn into the energies of creation, the would-be Succubus must face a bizarre world, more like the mind of Chaos than anything else in the current universe. The reward for successfully navigating it is pairing with a Succubus Conduit; the price of failure is being consumed by the energies.
More often, rather than binding directly to an astrally traveling soul, the Conduit will bind with small bat-like creature called a Fiend. Fiends are creatures of both Near and Farspace, and have a physical presence in both realms in a way that is not fully understood. Fiends bearing Succubus Conduits naturally seek out Succubus energies, so those who are already in contact with Succubi are more likely to come in contact with one. Succubi themselves frequently attempt to capture and hold as many Fiends as they can, for each one allows the Succubus to grant the gift of Succubus Transcendence to a follower; this makes having Fiends in one's possession quite the useful bargaining chip. Succubus cults and sororities naturally use this as a reward for their most loyal followers, but lone Succubi sometimes take on a protege as well.
Other times, the energy that draws in the Fiend is are simple and basic desires that sustain the Conduit it carries. A Fiend may arrive spontaneously at the site of some particularly intense acts of debauchery, seeking to transform the ringleaders into Succubi. The Conduit will strike a sort of subconscious bargain with the hedonistic reveler, promising even greater delights, as well as superhuman stamina and other perks to be able to continue the fun without any risk of a hangover or other morning-after regrets.
Succubi frequently appear as beautiful women, indistinguishable from humans but for a certain gleam in their eyes. However, there is a good deal of variety to Succubus appearances; some Succubi appear almost completely human, whereas others will always show some Succubus traits. While many have pretty faces that rely on a certain universal human appeal, others cultivate a beauty that is heavily influenced by local standards and squarely in the eye of the beholder. Like Demons, a Succubus's appearance is much more malleable than that of a normal human: when Succubi are Manifesting, a more feral aspect of their natures emerges. For example, their eyes appear more feline or vulpine, and their teeth and fingernails extend into something resembling fangs and claws. Carnal Succubi are particularly prone to this, and some can't quite hide their animal aspects fully. Other Succubi undergo various changes depending on their elemental alignment, as well. Succubi who have given into their temptations will of course appear less human, also.
The Succubus Conduit contains itself on raw emotional energy, fueled by creation and the energetic flow of the Stream of Life. While their source of sustenance is commonly described as "pleasure," a Succubus would find no satisfaction in the intellectual delight of reading a good book. They are creatures of Chaos, and require the emotional tumult of more primal states, most specifically, sexual lust. Direct sexual contact is, of course, the most efficient way for them to gain their energies, but far from the only one. Simply being admired and lusted for will give the Succubus a small infusion of Prana, but this will often only make her desire more. For the greatest effect, the Succubus herself must be drawn into the lust and pleasure as well. It should also be noted that the distinction between the Succubi and the Demons is, in practice, often far less concrete than it is among Asura scholars. There are certainly quite a few Succubi whose idea of pleasure is quite sadistic and warped, and their victims may not be having a very good time at all. It would seem that the Succubus' own enjoyment of the experience is enough to catalyze the transfer of Prana. Many Succubi also find the altered states of consciousness created by psychoactive drugs to be both beneficial for drawing more Prana out of their targets, and for making their own Conduits more receptive to the feeding.
Each of the five elements can influence a Succubus Conduit, resulting in five distinct strains of Succubi:
- Carnal: Carnal Succubi are aligned with Fire.
- Jeweled: Jeweled Succubi are aligned with Earth.
- Floral: Floral Succubi are aligned with Water.
- Heavenly: Heavenly Succubi are aligned with Air.
- Virtuous: Virtuous Succubi are aligned with Void.
Succubi themselves are not (generally) susceptible to the wiles of other Succubi, but this does not really diminish the amount of shadowy dealings in Succubus politics. They tend to arrange themselves into small sisterhoods, fiercely loyal to one another but with no particular ties to any broader community, save for when it would benefit the Succubi involved. As for the outside world, it should come as no big surprise, given their fondness for manipulating affairs from behind the scenes, that the Succubi align themselves with multitudes of different ideologies and causes. Indeed, a given Succubus may even lend her support to both sides of an issue, so that she may manipulate affairs in exactly the way that benefits her the most. Common points of contention in Succubus politics include how much involvement to have in the Circle of Origins, the magnitude of the threat posed by the Apocalyptic Covenant, whether any sort of reconciliation with the Demons is possible, and how best to deal with the likes of the United Coalition.
While Succubi are seductive and most often gain their sustenance from the lusts of others, to think of them as simple harlots is to completely underestimate them. They still have the wisdom and insight that comes from being an Asura, after all. Most Succubi admire beauty in all of its forms, and many of them, particularly Jeweled and Heavenly Succubi, can be quite introspective and philosophical. Most Succubi are quite good at plotting, scheming, and manipulating. Combined with their seductive nature, this can certainly give a certain "soap opera villainess" quality to a Succubus. Other good archetypes would be a wily noblewoman or other sort of vicious social climber, or even an artist or artisan with a secret dark side. A story about a Succubus is probably going to be, in some ways, about sex, but this doesn't mean it necessarily has to be salacious or lewd. It's much more interesting, after all, to tell the story of whom she seduces, how she goes about doing so, and what secrets and influence she gains out of it. What she actually does in the meantime can be glossed over if that is more comfortable.
- The Asura Wiki at the Campaign Builders' Guild - No Longer Available
- The original source of this article at the Campaign Builders' Guild - No Longer Available