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Demon Shintai (Coil of the East)

The origins of the Demon Shintai are lost to the Fog of Eternityyet all masters of it consider this completely irrelevant, for the source of it is well known to all Undead: the source of all kindred evil and failing, the prowling beast. It is in the soul consuming mass of rage that the Akumas discover their demon forms, and draw them out. They meditate on their baser natures and commune with their beasts, some say even loosing themselves to them. To outsiders they seem pushed to commit atrocious acts of seemingly random violence. Yet to the Demons, these are not the acts of blind cruelty. They know full well of the hidden potential of the beast outsiders so fear, and they intend to tame it. These are calculated expressions of inhumanity, designed to awaken the lulling potential of the beast. For these reasons, Akumas are greatly fear and distrusted, yet their monstrous displays have impressed many Vampires across the Asian Continent, and many Undead Courts welcome them for their martial abilities. In certain courts where the practice is dominant, a member cannot rise or be accepted until he can don his true face before the Elder Monsters. Monsters is indeed a correct definition of the Akumas. The intense exploration of the beasts and the acts required to call it forth physically is harrowing in the extreme, and many disciples go insane before achieving any progress. Those who stand firm and survive, however, quickly begin to recognize their demon, the most concerted expression an individual beast is capable of. They must face themselves, and accept it. Each region (and sometimes courts) has its own particular rituals and practices to achieve this, but common practices involve acts of extreme sadism, masochism, asceticism and gluttony, and meditation and martial exercises...Elaborate ceremonies of debauchery usually follow a aspirants successful donning of a new form. Once acquired, the Demon form is a permanent part of the Vampires physiognomy, melding spiritual and physical, and they shift to and from their Demon form with relative ease, albeit they risk Frenzy. Each Demon form is unique, and vampires acquire different strengths and traits, such as extra arms, spikes or wings. It is believed that those rare Master demons who have reached the higher levels of the coil can remain in demon form indefinitely, and hold the secret to all demon forms, including the greatest one: that of the great Celestial Dragon. These attribute gains are dramatically reflected in the Demon Form, so that if all gains are in Dexterity, for example, the demon form is lengthy and flaccid, very pliable Each Tier also allows a player to choose a demon trait along the lines of these, or any the ST deems appropriate. These can be purchased multiple times, and should be considered merits: Demon Maw ( to ): Vampire acquires a huge gaping maw, or alternatively many small and oddly placed mouths that can be used to rip at or feed upon others (+2 aggravated damage from biting). Tentacles ( to ): the character acquires tentacles that can be used to grapple enemies, and hold them in place. One dot gives five tentacles, two gives ten, and three gives fifteen. These can be combined with other traits such as Demon Maw and Spikes. Demon Claws ( to ): the character grows claws capable of inflicting aggravated damage like Protean claws. First dot gives + 1 damage, second +2. Spikes ( to ): The character grows small spikes of bone around his body, usable for body slams, and causing lethal or aggravated damage (ST discretion). The second dot allows for tusks or horns, or spiked tails, etc Wings ( to ): Grants the character wings, which may be used to glide (first dot) or fly (second). Demon Scales ( to ): Each dot in this trait grants the character + 1 armor rating, which may take the form of reptilian scales, thick calluses, puss bags or even moaning shields and armors. Heightened Senses ( to ): The character develops monstrous sensory organs, which grant him appropriately heightened senses (add a number of dice equal to level of Demon Shintai for appropriate perceptions). These are always monstrous parodies of known organs: big malformed snouts for smell, or huge yellow eyes, or extra ones for sight; ears may be that of bats, while tongues may take the shape of tentacles or snake tongues, and greater touching sensitivity may be the result of flayed skinEach dot in this trait grants an additional sense. Etc The acquisition of any Tier of Demon Shintai calls for a degeneration roll. To shift into Demon Form, a willpower must be spent to rouse the beast, then a Resolve + Composure Demon Shintai roll must be made to avoid frenzy. Success enables him to remain in control of his Demon Form. The transformation takes a sickening three turns. Every time the character frenzies, he must roll his level of Demon Shintai. If he acquires any successes, he shifts into Demon Form, and endures a more sophisticated frenzy; that is, he is not in control, but the most refined and intelligent part of his beast is.

The shintai works like a five-tiered Coil. Each change is permanent to the demon form and cannot be undone later. Each tier brings with it increased physical attributes, which can be assigned freely by the player upon first donning a Demon form, as such: Tier 1: +3 attributes + 2 traits Tier 2: +2 attributes + 2 traits Tier 3: +1 attributes + 3 traits Tier 4: +2 attributes + 2 traits Tier 5: +2 attributes + NA

Tiers 4 and 5 automatically cause the loss of a humanity dot, in addition to the degeneration roll. These heights are so inhuman, that many devoted Demons go insane trying to reach them. Once acquired, the fourth Tier allows the Demon to shift to and from his forms without fearing the beast, and to stay in those forms indefinitely. In addition they can change into their Demon forms in two turns instead of three. Master Demons, those who have attained the fifth Tier, are able to change their traits at will. These changes are sickening displacements of flesh and bone, and take a turn per dot changed. The attributes gained can also be shifted around at ST discretion. At this final level of mastery, a Demon can change its form in one turn and may undergo only partial transformations if he so desires. Some masters use their human bodies but wear their demonic faces

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