Two Angry Ancestors
It's a lot worse than the usual "Haunted" Flaw, too, as trying to banish or harm the ghosts is committing an offense against your own lineage. What would you do in real life if your long-dead grandmother showed up and started telling you what not to do, and had some powers to back it up? That's the dilemma that the character has to deal with, but it's much worse considering how tight and all-important familial bonds are, both to your Kuei-Jin character's culture, and especially as a Kuei-Jin. Talk about family problems...
In the hopes of getting more players - and STs - to give this great Flaw a serious try, here's a pair of ready-made Vengeful Ancestors. With a little tweaking, you could fit them into almost any character's backstory, and with a little more tweaking they could be made to fit any culture where Kuei-Jin tend to appear.
Grandmother never got over (character's) strange disappearance. So much was riding on that willful child's fulfilling her obligations! Where could she have gone to? They looked everywhere, but she was nowhere to be found.
Then the younger granddaughter was found dead, her body ravaged by some terrible creature and left without a drop of blood. She was never the nicest little girl - she liked to tear the legs off spiders and watch them try to wiggle on the ground - but no one deserved that...
The shock was too much for Grandmother, and she followed the little girl into death less than a month later. Across the Shroud, Grandmother discovered the horrible truth: not only had Little Girl been killed by one of the hungry ghosts, but (character) had become one of their number as well!
The shame on her family was too much for her to bear, and she decided to spend her unlife watching over the truant. Maybe Grandmother couldn't teach (character) proper behavior when they were both alive, but, being dead, they now have a lot more time to spend on the matter.
And, of course, Little Girl - being an avid student of the things that killed her - was only too happy to come along and "help"...
The Old Lady looks like an old and sere grandmother, fairly common in appearance to her culture. (Depending on (character's) background, she might be dressed in the manner of a noblewoman or in the simple clothing of a peasant.) She's almost always wrapped in voluminous skirts, and appears while sitting down, somehow towering over (character), and sipping from a cup of tea that never seems to run dry (her Relic - no really special properties).
Little Girl, on the other hand, is absolutely freakish. She has a stark white face, long black hair, eyes that seem to have no lids and a very creepy, taut smile that never changes. In fact, her face seems frozen in a rictus grin of death. She moves like a robot that's low on oil, all jerks and uneasy slides, and tends to skitter just out of the side of view like a spider. She also carries a pair of rhythm sticks, and their noise can be heard in the Skinlands. (See Haunting, below)
The Old Lady always brings the smell of Grandmother's favorite tea when she's near. Little Girl is easily sensed, so (character) feels a little "off" when she's close.
Old Lady might appear by herself, but she'll usually have Little Girl along with her, either in hiding or clinging to her skirts. Every so often Little Girl shows up on her own, and, without Old Lady to rein in her more destructive urges, might go a bit overboard before tiring of her "game."
Under normal circumstances, the Haunting is a tag-team Haunting. Old Lady somehow knows when (character) is either behaving "wickedly" - subject to ST interpretation, as seen through Old Lady's eyes - and appears either just before she's about to go through with something, or just after she's done it. They tend to come when the character is alone, though.
It goes Old Lady - Little Girl - Old Lady. Old Lady appears first, and tries to cajole or scold (character) lightly to bring her around. If that goes nowhere, she'll turn up the heat a bit, permitting Little Girl to peek her head around the skirts and leer at (character). And if it becomes apparent that the character won't listen at all... she leaves it to Little Girl.
Little Girl is a sadistic little thing. Imagine the cruelest schoolgirl you ever met, then have a Kuei-Jin kill her brutally, let her have advanced levels of Pandemonium and set her to "correcting" another Kuei-Jin - ugly mind games a specialty!
Old Lady will let Little Girl do her worst for a while, but will eventually relent and call her off. She'll then soothe (character's) ruffles a bit, letting her know that she hated to have to punish her, but that it was for her own good. And then she'll leave one, final warning hanging in the air, and her and Little Girl will depart... often with the Little Girl staring back at (character) the whole time, as if to say "I'll get you..."
When Little Girl shows up on her own, however, all bets are off. Her artifact is a pair of rhythm sticks whose noise can be heard in the Skinlands (an odd 'clik. clik. clik clik. clik clik clik clik clik clik clik clik...' noise) She often plays with them to let the character know she's near, or coming, or watching. Sometimes she does it when she thinks (character's) being naughty, and sometimes she does it just to have a laugh and watch her squirm.
The Sticks are a Level 3 Relic. They cost one Pathos to activate for a turn, and induce feelings of panic and fear in any Skinlanders who hear them. They have to make a Willpower roll at Diff 8 to keep from dropping everything and fleeing. They don't suffer the effects of the Fog, but the need to get away from the scene is somewhat proportional to how the Fog operates (ST's discretion).
Of course, since both the Ancestors have (character) as a Fetter, they won't want to do anything to damage her... at least, not too severely. But they are not guardian spirits by any stretch of the imagination: they might actually consider it a fitting punishment for (character) to get the crap kicked out of her in a humiliating fight. And they should never be considered a source of help - if (character) ever deigns to ask they'll laugh and shame her for getting into such a bad situation in the first place.
If push came to shove, Old Lady might try and stop (character) from being killed, but it would highly depend on the circumstances. If (character) was behaving virtuously (as possible as it is for a Hungry Ghost, anyway) and facing something much worse than herself, than Old Lady might get involved. On the other hand, if (character) was behaving shamefully, or selfishly, then the Old Lady might consider her death to be a fitting end to the matter, even if that means the loss of her Fetter.
(As for Little Girl, who is incredibly selfish, she'll protect (character) from death if Old Lady has no say in the matter - as in, Old Lady isn't there - regardless of (character's) actions. This has more to do with losing a Fetter, and a wonderful plaything, than any real regard for (character's) unlife.)
Old Lady becomes a lot more verbally abusive when her P'o is in charge. She wants to make (character) so ashamed of herself that she'll take her own unlife. She also gets a lot tougher when she's in Catharsis, and might break things on her side of things.
Little girl loses all sense of wanting to protect the character - however brutally - and becomes The Monster, who lives to destroy.
Old Lady usually tries to get Little Girl to calm down and remember herself when Little Girl's in Catharsis. Conversely, Little Girl enjoys it when the the Old Lady is taken over by her P'o, even if the P'o starts abusing her, instead!
And when they're both shadow-ridden, it's a contest to see who can hurt (character) the worst...
Talents: Alertness 2, Awareness 2, Empathy
1, Expression 3, Intimidation 3, Subterfuge 2
Backgrounds: Living Family 1, Allies 1, Legacy 1, Notoriety 1, Relic 1
Passions: Teach (Character) the error of her ways (Duty) 5, punish the wicked (anger) 3, stand for decency (love) 2
Fetters: (Character) 4, Her home in (Home Country) 3, Her grave 3
Arcanoi: Way of the merchant 2, Embody 2, Puppetry 3, Moliate 1
Flaws: Uneducated (-5)
Permanent Angst 4
Dark Passions: Make (Character) End Herself In Shame (Hate) 3, Make Little Girl Behave Herself, Too (Envy) 3, Make My Hun More Pure (Consistency) 2
Thorns: Death's sigil (2) (The smell of tea), Shadow traits (6) (STR + 3 in catharsis)
STR 2 DEX 3 STA 3
Talents: Alertness 2, Athletics 3, Brawl 2,
Dodge 2, Expression 2, Intimidation 1
Background: Living family 1, Allies 1, Relic 3
Passions: Punish (Character) (hatred) 4, Find my killer (Revenge) 4, Be reborn (Envy) 2
Fetters: (Character) 4, Home 1, Favorite toy 2, Another descendant 3
Arcanoi: Embody 1, Keening 1, Pandemonium 4, Phantasm 2
Flaws: unregistered relic (-3), easily sensed (-3)
Permanent Angst 6
Dark Passions: PuNIsH EveryThing (Twisted Love) 5, Kill All KuEI Jin (Vengeance) 3, CeAse To ExiST (self-doubt) 2
Thorns: Bad luck (3) Devil's dare (7)