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Anttelius - The Curse of the Zartarians

Art by David Lewis Johnson
Today I present you another preview of the text of Anttelius - A World of Warlocks and Barbarians, which will be the setting toolkit for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells.

The Zartarians are a race of men and women who once dominated our world, but now live isolated and ever under their own shadows.

In their past, they made pacts with sinister entities in order to achieve their power and dominance over the other creatures of Anttelius. But now, even those born thousands of years after their empire has ruined have to pay the price of this pact, and are born with a terrible curse. This curse manifests itself in distinct ways in each Zartarian, making it almost impossible to determine all its effects. Some might have one or two manifestations of it, while others might have much more.

In the game, these curses can be freely assigned to Zartarian NPCs and creatures as the Referee sees fit. Players can come up with their own curses, or use some of the listed below, although they can be pretty severe.

What is this Zartarian’s Curse?
Their skin is completely transparent, make them seem like skinned corpses with their muscles, bones and veins completely visible. This may cause revulsion to others and more superstitious people may consider them a demon.
Their blood is of a deep dark color and their veins are visible through their pale skin. Throughout their whole body, the path of their many veins form a terrifying image.
Their eyes are pale and foggy as if the were dead. They still see normally, but their appearance is terribly unsettling to almost everyone.
Their bodies are completely covered with greenish scales which they occasionally shed off when producing a new layer of scales. Some cultures find this repugnant while other may consider this a sign of good luck.
Their blood is toxic, possibly harming anyone who touches it. This makes it almost impossible for anyone to treat them of more serious wounds.
They have a serpent’s tail coming out of their bodies. The tail seems to have a mind of their own and rarely stops moving and shaking.
A residual face appears somewhere on their body. Occasionally this face will make sounds and speak in an alien language that sends shivers through the spines of everyone around them.
They have an additional 1d6+1 strange alien eyes spread around their bodies. These eyes seem intelligent and look to things as normal eyes, but give no sensory input to the Zartarian. Obviously, this freaks out most of the people who see them.
The character has some animal traits, likely animal eyes, nose, fur, some appendage or horns. Typical animals include reptiles and amphibians.
They were born Inverted hands, having a left hand on the right arm and a right hand of the left arm. This doesn’t prove to be any hindrance to the Zartarian, but it quite unsettling to see for anyone else.
They have sharp teeth and a tongue similar to that of a snake. Some may have serpentine eyes also and a sibilant speech. This is usually met a prejudice from most men and women, as the legends of the terrible snake races terrorize the imagination of humanity for generations.
They expel a rotting smell when they sweat. This makes their presence very hard to keep unnoticed and their personas easily associated with death and evil. Many Zartarians were brought to the fire because of this.
They do not cast a shadow as all mortals do. This is clearly visible in the sunlight, which makes all others shun these individuals as they are seen as a bad omen.
They are not satiated with ordinary food and drinks. In fact, this makes them feel extremely nauseated. They instead consume blood, fresh human blood. They need a few liters per day, not much, but they will probably need to kill someone to get it or keep other humans as cattle. Of course, this is not seen in a good way among civilized societies.
They are highly allergic to a common substance such as iron, wool, wood or something similar. The mere touch of this material causes extreme discomfort and prolonged exposures to it can cause real and lasting harm (including causing damage).
They were born with grotesque deformities, ones that cause other people to see them as monsters. This may include tentacles, huge pustules around their bodies, melted flesh and anything your perverse mind can come up with.
Their bodies have demonic features such as cloven feet, horns, thick goat fur, forked tail, red skin or something else clearly identifiable as demoniac. This will certainly be used to the Zartarian advantage, but witch hunters will also be on the lookout for them.
They have deathly visage, with wrinkling skin, tight to their bones, and a cadaveric appearance. For many, this clearly marks the Zartatian as a creature of death and servant of the forces of thr Abyss.
They cannot stand in the sunlight for long periods without extreme discomfort and possible harm. This lead many people to believe Zartarians were related to the undead or even the legendary vampires.
Their mere presence projects a strong aura of rot and decay, causing plants and other vegetable material to rot and decay. Animals and more irrational creatures avoid and shun these Zartarians out of instinct.

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