Ever since the very first life on earth, dark forces have encouraged its demise. Waiting in the darkness, infecting the land with their toxins. As life evolved, those forces evolved with it, learning new ways to cause suffering for their own gain. As man came to be, it was understood the unknown creatures in the dark were not to be trusted, easily picking off individuals that strayed too far. With the creation of fire, man gained a temporary upper hand, able to ward off the darkness that waited in the treeline for their prey. Like man, these creatures adapted, evolved different methods of gaining the upper hand. The very first religions believed these creatures were not to be crossed and sacrifices could keep them at bay. For the most part, it worked, though when man grew too comfortable, thinking these beasts no longer a threat they would prove their true power and wrath as a warning they were not to be crossed. Many thought them gods, wrathful ones at that, as they caused entire harvests to fall to the blight, herds of animals to drop dead, entire communities to suffer a previously unrecognized sickness and cause people’s untimely demise. The creatures demanded sacrifices, blood spilled on the land man wanted to preserve. For many millennia, they got what they wanted.
Aconite is one of many. Named after the toxic plant that appears within his domain, thought to represent him. Originally found in mountainous regions, Aconite has spread his influence much further afield as humans have spread his toxic likeness. His range overlaps many of his kin, though they are still avoided, maximizing their coverage. In some instances, they have been known to work together to terrorize a particular community they feel haven’t pleased them, however those days grow rarer as time passes. Most of his time is spent in the darkest depths of the forests, preying individually on lost travellers and working with his dwindling following. Modern times have forced a change, and Aconite has taken to making deals with unsuspecting mortals for the blood and death he craves.
Few have ever encountered Aconite in physical form, though countless people throughout the centuries have felt his influence. In modern day, stories of the dark deity are nothing more than legend and superstition of worried peasants, so easy to disregard from the comfort of man-made cities and comfortable day jobs. The origins of the deity being worshipped are uncertain, it seems to precede any modern day religion, seen depicted on early cave paintings as a deer-headed bipedal creature. Remains of ancient ritual sites could be found all across the Northern Hemisphere, featuring the skull of a stag atop a human body. Priest or sacrifice, no answers were ever truly clear. History likes to forget the practices surrounding Aconite, a dark and twisted path of fear and blood sacrifice. Strongly associated with witches, werewolves and black magic, the church did its best to snuff out the followers wherever possible. They were not fully successful, as the practice remains today, though it’s a closely kept secret.
'The children of Aconite' cover multiple factions, some completely separate from one another, others realize their joined efforts bring greater results. Very few mundane human beings follow the practice these days, leaving it mostly to supernatural individuals with connections to the earth. Each group has different ways of worship, but all have one thing in common; Blood sacrifice. Aconite demands blood be spilled on his soil, and in turn grants the loyalest of followers his boon. Once indoctrinated into the cult, there is no escaping it without Aconite’s wrath. Not because Aconite dislikes traitors, he doesn’t particularly care for his followers, but because it will mean those sacrifices dry up, and the beast must feed. The few that have escaped have felt lasting effects of the deity’s influence, finding themselves haunted by bad luck and death.
Those that tend to associate with Aconite include:
- Isolated mountain communities
Aconite and his followers tend to dislike:
- Fire-based creatures
- Other creatures that would take dead or blood for their own use.
Protection against Aconite isn’t impossible, such things include
- Fire - Fire both brings light and burns, it has been the one sure way to ward off the creature entirely.
- Salt - Salt poisons the earth and prevents plant growth, in turn protecting against Aconite’s root structure. This however will not stop his disguises.
- Sunlight - Sunlight weakens the creature, which is why he often remains within dense forests where the sunlight only sparsely gets through the canopy.
- Extensive man-made structures - Concrete, asphalt and other man-made substances that block out nature prevents the spirit traversing it in his true form. He is weak, and cannot call upon the earth to sustain him in such places.