in the Shadow of Greatness

 

April 21, 2005

IMC :: Weirmonken

"...when the wars beckoned, against the dark things out of Shadow called Weirmonken"
They got as far as Jones Falls inside the borders of Amber. There were also multiple 'wars' separated by some distance or time. Corwin thought they were 'dark' and nasty.

IMC, the Weirmonken have not reappeared since that long ago time. But it is fun to imagine a group that could stage dangerous attacks against Amber from multiple locations and times. A group that could get into Amber and force a fight at Jones Falls. A group that might have some tangent to the Weir.

For some reason, this GM wants to describe the 'Weirmonken' as the anti-Weir of shadow. Weirmonken means 'twisted Weir' in this imagined reference.

So we 'reverse-engineer' our dark shadowy nemesis from what we know about the Weir. Shapers. Tough. Loyal to Eric. Not native to Amber. And IMC, practical, earthy, scrappers. Seems like it gives us plenty of creative room. Artistically, something about the Weirmonken ought to reflect the Weir the way Broken Pattern reflects dark elements of Amber through shadow.

Reverse shapers = immutables?
Reverse lycanthropes = magic astute rather than magic victims?
Reverse tough = delicate warriors?
Reverse practical = bloodthirsty?
Reverse earthy = elegant and refined?
Reverse scrappers = distance fighters? stealth rather than close contact?

We toss the above into a smelting pot and mix liberally with dark things and, in keeping with Zelazny's canon style, a noir sensibility that doesn't quite cross into horror. Regular army can fight the Weirmonken. This is implied by text. So we conjure a threat that can move/spread through shadow but can be faced by women/men led by Amber royalty.

This is fine by me. I think Amber games need more modest scale threats dealt with out of shadow; reasons, if you will, for royals to gather armies.

Well, first of all, the Weir IMC do not 'infect' their totemic powers in folks they bite/fight. So there is a 'twisted' connection that the Weirmonken could represent a menace that can taint opponents and grow larger if not contained. This would also explain the threat coming at Amber from multiple places and times. It would be a neat dramatic issue to be dealt with at PC scale: friends might become enemies if tainted by Weirmonken madness.

Weirmonken
(from the Begman origin: vere-mon-kin, ‘twisted kin of Weir’)

The Weirmonken are an aggressive and very dangerous race of shadow. They also carry a virus which allows them to dominate other beings successfully infected.

Few have ever analyzed the virus associated with the Weirmonken. Its point of origin in shadow is unknown. There is no known cure for Weirmonken virus, but there is extensive information available about its behavior based on the Golden Circle wars of several centuries past.

The Weirmonken virus (known in Begma as the VMK virus) is most successful in the infirm old or pre-pubescent young of a species. Natural resistance to infection seems to protect people after puberty or until some other aspect of advanced aging or serious injury has lowered the natural defenses of the potential target of VMK infection. While young and old animals are susceptible to the VMK virus, it is rare for infected animals to successfully spread the taint. People bitten by Weirmonken, or in the target age groups, or those that have a systemic failure of natural defenses, are 90 percent of the VMK virus victims.

While in some shadows, the Weirmonken virus stays dormant and never seems to cause secondary effects, the active taint is dangerous and can spread quickly.

The Black Goblins of shadow Lore were the first carriers of VMK to reach the Golden Circle. The first battles with mad goblins were tactical victories for the Begman military forces. It was many months before post-war casualties revealed the virus spread faster through open wounds or bites from infected wolf-mounts and goblins. The Black Goblin battles consistently exploited this effect at the direction of the hidden Weirmonken masters. This was unknown for many years.

Within three months of contact, several hundred recovered casualties of those early battles had joined the Goblins in laying siege to two important coastal cities. Among this group were also children from the families of injured veterans.

The Weirmonken wars had begun.

VMK victims regardless of species show common traits. They are bloodthirsty and difficult to control with magics that affect the nervous system (such as paralysis, charm, sleep, or mental access spells.)

The Weirmonken themselves are often mistaken for human children. They average fifty-four inches of height and weigh slightly more than four and a half stone. They have nearly immutable resistance to magic attempted on their flesh. While they are not physically strong, they are stealthy, nimble, and do have a limited sort of telepathy between themselves and virus infected species if only at very close range. Weirmonken prefer to battle with missile weapons. Their skill with bows of many creative designs is excellent. A Weirmonken pulley-bow can penetrate chain or plate armor at one hundred yards.

The Weirmonken culture is nomadic, elegant and mannered. They like to parlay and entertain, though seldom compromise their intentions or battle strategies. They do keep their word, though it is seldom given.

The Weirmonken shadow of origin is unknown. All known Weirmonken military expeditions and conquered peoples were destroyed throughout shadow thanks to assistance from Amber armed forces.

Damn their eyes!

Harken to a chilling version of Weirmonken from Tragic Glass: Weirmonken


Filed under : Amber, IMC at 21.04.2005