The Tumor Fairy [Promethean: The Created]

Promethean: The Created

Small update and preview on Night Horrors: Tormented from Steffie. First (if you’ve been following the Monday Meeting Notes you know this already) the proofs are back with me. The art is AMAZING, Mike Chaney’s crew really knocked it out of the park. So many beautiful wretched creatures in there. Some of the chapter pieces legit made me tear up, because they so perfectly walk that line between hope and despair. I’m proofing it now, and hopefully we’ll get the book to you (and the amazing authors!) soon. (Depending on when this blog goes live, we may be there already—in which case, go team!)

Night Horrors is an antagonist series, and we ran into a little conundrum deciding which antagonists this one should have. Because what’s Promethean without Clones and Zeky? Except we didn’t have room to properly cover those in the Core, and we couldn’t exactly throw antagonists at you without mechanics for them. So Tormented fixes that: you get rules, narrative guidance, and amazing history on creating Clones (for your game—please don’t try to grow people in vats at home) and Zeky (also don’t try to create irradiated people at home; there are other ways to achieve multiplicatio).

Zeky are like ‘regular’ Prometheans in that they have a Pilgrimage, Azothic Memory, Refinements, and transhuman potential. They are not like other Prometheans in that everything they do is radioactive, and, boy, does that fuck things up. Even their Alembics work differently, the effects warped and channeled through a radioactive core. Every Zeka is unique, so Vulcanus for this Zeka works differently than for that Zeka. That means players get to customize their Zeka exactly, which is very cool. (Don’t worry if you’re the Storyteller just looking for a quick NPC—Tormented has three full Zeky and enough sample Alembics to tide you over.)

For the preview, here’s the wonderfully creepy and tragic Tumor Fairy written by Paolo Iantorno. Leave Paolo a note in the comments if you love it!

The Tumor Fairy: Dawn

What’s so special about you? Why do you get to check out?

Background

Dawn is sick. She woke up in her first hospital’s basement in time to see her parents run away. They left a note: “We’re so sorry, we love you very much. Stay in the hospital. Stay out of sight. You’re sick.”

They wrote it on a get-well-soon card.

So, Dawn waited, but they never came back. Days became weeks, weeks became months before Dawn decided they hadn’t been clear on which hospital she had to stay in. She’d learned all of this hospital’s secrets — she’d even met another Promethean on the graveyard shift. He told her what she was and a little more, but he’d been horrified when she showed him her trick.

Dawn went to another hospital. She’d learned a lot about hospitals: People went there when they were sick, and got to leave if they were better. Despite all her poking and prodding and an amateur imitation of the thing the doctor did with that little knife on a sleeping patient, Dawn had no idea what was wrong with her. She knew she was different, that she had to become human, but nobody else had what she had, not even the other Prometheans she encountered.

Dawn’s third hospital had a cancer ward. Biopsy waste containers might as well have been mirrors. The overworked doctor she asked said there was no cure for cancer, which made Dawn angry. She made his insides go bad. Let him be sick forever.

Dawn moves between hospitals every week or so, hiding from baffled doctors and concerned nurses, poking at patients and flipping through charts. She’s figured out the violent outbreaks spread if she stays too long, to say nothing of the first cancer ward she ruined. She’s gleaned a lot more about the Pilgrimage than one might expect from a Zeka, but she is young, unguided, and too powerful for anyone’s good.

Sometimes, Dawn gets angry when a patient recovers too well and gets to go home, especially if they’ve been mean. The parents’ smiles are what really pushes her buttons. Dawn makes those patients sick again. She might even cut them open to see if they get sick like her. She’s not sure why she cries every time they do.

Description

Dawn is a skinny girl with long, greasy blond hair and crooked teeth. She smiles big and often, and asks a ton of questions. Dawn puts on a carefree front. She knows where to find just about everything in hospitals, and how to get around without being seen. She’s even picked up medical procedures from nurses. If you need food, medicine, a place to lay low, or an escape route, Dawn is an invaluable friend. She’ll trade any of these for information with other Prometheans. Dawn is jealous of anyone with loving parents, though she takes most of her anger out on the children. Dawn wears a pale blue hospital gown, scrub pants, and a dark hoodie with plenty of pockets sewn inside. Dawn’s disfigurements are what she thinks her parents meant by “sick,” and it’s hard to blame her. Tumors bulge beneath her skin and break the surface at every node. Her features are distorted and swollen. Dawn’s eyes glow a sickly yellow. When she’s stressed, some of her extremities leak viscous neoplasm studded with blobs of pus and tumorous tissue.

Secrets

Once, Dawn met a nasty doctor on call in a cancer ward’s night shift. He gave her disgusted looks; she could feel the revulsion oozing between his teeth. Dawn felt shame for the first time. The night doctor later screamed at her, and hit a patient. Dawn heard some other doctors talking about “liability,” so she sat herself in the vents above his desk without moving for an entire week. She didn’t know everyone would get so violent. She didn’t know they’d die.

Rumors

“Stay away from the hospital downtown. It belongs to a Zeka. She looks so small, but she will kill anyone who isn’t of her Lineage.”

Dawn has scared away a few Prometheans by accident. She doesn’t mean to hurt them, but whenever they start using Transmutations, she gets excited and tries to copy them. That’s usually when they run.

“She’s Princess Nuke. Her genitor is the granddaddy of all granddaddies, the Tsar himself. He left her there to grow, and one day, he’ll come back to collect.”

Dawn’s parents were an Osiran and an Ulgan. They thought using the x-ray machines and other hazardous equipment stored in the hospital basement would unify their humours; they thought they were ready to be genitors, that they would never abandon their child the way they were abandoned. They were wrong. The radiation was too powerful. They blame it for corrupting their progeny. Dawn, for her part, would give anything to see her parents again.

“If you’re bad, the Tumor Fairy will come and give your cancer teeth so it’ll crawl through your guts and eat you inside out.”

Dawn has been a fixture at local hospitals long enough for younger patients to mythologize the glimpses they’ve caught. One of them pointed at her one night and screamed that at her. The girl wouldn’t stop screaming. She wouldn’t stop tearing at the life-support devices either. Dawn was hurt — she got so angry only the security guard’s presence deterred her from vengeance. She came back the next night to find out the girl had died. The name “Tumor Fairy” makes Dawn’s mouth taste like ashes. She’ll slink away to cry if she hears it.

Story Hooks

  • The characters needs a hospital, and find themselves caught in the crosshairs of a doctor-turned-hunter. The hunter may be missing a few organs and a leg, but he’s determined to kill “the monster preying on these patients.” Does he mean the young Zeka whose Disquiet caused a lockdown, or the sublimatus stalking the morgue? Between the staff, the patients, the hunter, the Pandoran, and the Tumor Fairy, the throng is in for a wild night.
  • A friendly Promethean couple shares their refuge with the throng, and tell stories about a Nuclear Promethean holed up in a hospital in the city. The characters find a young Zeka who has done terrible things, but wants to get better — she doesn’t want to be “sick.” Can they teach Dawn? Does the Promethean couple match Dawn’s stories about her genitors, and will the throng attempt to stage a reunion?
  • The characters know someone who works at the local hospital, who has described what sounds like a Promethean being held under quarantine there. They find a Wasteland threatening to enter advanced stages by the time they arrive, but it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Can they free Dawn from a hospital floor packed by human medical authorities, with more on the way? How will they react when she reveals what she is during their escape?

Dawn

Elpis: Recovery
Torment: Jealous
Lineage: Zeky
Refinement: Cuprum
Mental Attributes: Intelligence 2, Wits 3, Resolve 3
Physical Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 1
Social Attributes: Presence 2, Manipulation 2, Composure 3
Mental Skills: Computer 2, Investigation 3, Medicine (Surgery) 2, Occult (Prometheans) 3
Physical Skills: Larceny 2, Stealth 2
Social Skills: Persuasion 2, Socialize (Medical Professionals) 2, Subterfuge 3
Merits: Anonymity 1, Danger Sense, Small-Framed
Health: 5
Azoth: 1
Pyros/per turn: 10/1
Transmutations: Metamorphosis — Tegere (Metastasize); Sensorium — Vitreous Humour
Willpower: 6
Pilgrimage: 2
Size: 4
Speed: 10
Defense: 3
Initiative: 6
Armor: 0

Unique Distillation: Metastasize

This unique Distillation of Tegere is the Tumor Fairy’s curse.

Dawn focuses the radiation running through her to warp healthy cells into cancerous ones, creating a tumor in the body of the person she’s touching.

Cost: 1 Pyros
Dice Pool: Resolve + Medicine + Azoth vs. target’s Stamina + Supernatural Tolerance
Action: Instant

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: Dawn’s body reacts adversely. She gains the grave Sick Tilt for two turns.
Failure: Dawn’s tumors writhe and leak. She gains the moderate Sick Tilt for one turn.
Success: The target gains the grave Sick Tilt.
Exceptional Success: The target gains the grave Sick Tilt. If they attack Dawn, they take a further point of lethal damage per turn they do so, as the tumors she implanted attack their insides.

  8 comments for “The Tumor Fairy [Promethean: The Created]

  1. Second Chances
    October 2, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Sweet! Thank you!

  2. Jason Inczauskis
    October 2, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    Okay, this is awesome! I think I’m going to be very happy with this book.

  3. Yossarian
    October 3, 2018 at 2:46 am

    Paolo and co. did an amazing job on the Zeki. Playing one is a little like playing Promethean on Hard Mode…and it is awesome.

  4. Ryan Spinney
    October 3, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Scary, well done.

    • Anonymous
      October 3, 2018 at 1:29 pm

      A very sad story, but I think this is what is about. A Promethean’s life sucks and a Zeky or Pandoran even more so, at least in the first edition.

  5. Hector Rodriguez
    October 4, 2018 at 4:32 am

    Paolo, just wanted to tell you I loved this.

  6. Phaolan
    October 4, 2018 at 9:58 am

    This horrified me. This disgusted me. This made me breathless and weepy. In short, this excerpt made me feel all the feels I LOOOOOOOOVE about Promethean: The Created! Well done Paolo, and I am very excited (moreso than before) for this book.

  7. Grant
    October 10, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    Man this is great Paolo. I love Dawn she is my daughter. I have adopted her now, you can’t stop me.

    On an unrelated note I am now dying of all the cancer.

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