Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Devil Doll - The Manikins

The doll was perfect. Roughly a foot tall, it was the image of a young man with yellow curls and deep blue eyes. He wore a fine suit of clothes in the style of another time, a time before the Witches and the endless war and suffering they brought to Morden. He was a prince of Valkenholm or Steppengrad in miniature; perfect in every detail from the mirror polish on his boots to the small rapier the size of a hatpin he wore on his belt. Esteban was immediately taken with the little prince, sitting there among other, lesser treasures in a trinket shop. The old man picked up the doll and weighed it thoughtfully in his hand. The detail in its face and clothing was so fine that it almost seemed alive. He purchased the doll, for a pittance he thought, as a gift for his granddaughter and took it home with him.

When he arrived home, he set the doll in his study and went about his evening. All throughout that evening, Esteban had a feeling as if someone were in the house with him. No one was there, of course, but his mind was uneasy. With his evening labors finished, Esteban drank a glass of wine to soothe his mind and retired. All that night, he tossed and turned, his mind full of strange and troubled dreams. Just before dawn, the sound of his bedchamber door opening woke him. He lay there, perfectly still, holding his breath. There was no one else in the house, yet here was his door ajar. He listened intently and could hear something moving about the room. The old man could see little in the moonlit room, but was too afraid to strike a light. Suddenly, there was a rustling at the foot of his bed and something was there in the bed with him. There was a dark blur of movement, a sound like a faint child's laugh, and Esteban screamed. The last thing he saw was the doll rushing up the bed toward him, the point of the tiny rapier glittering in the moonlight.

Manikins are terrifying constructs built by the Crone as spies and assassins. They are, at their most basic, dolls or mannequins brought to life in a process similar to that of creating Golems. Manikins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, from basic child's toys to ornate, fully articulated mannequins used as reference by painters. Each one is powered by an unholy curse and is possessed of a human-like intellect and a fearless, single-minded determination. These qualities, along with their relatively disarming appearance, makes them well suited to clandestine work like killing and spying. They have nearly perfect memories, can retain a surprising amount of information, follow orders to the letter, and are nearly impossible to stop short of completely destroying them.

Each Manikin has its own unique way of killing. Some use their bodies to smother victims or strangle them to death while more advanced models can use tools and weapons. These banes are often equipped with small weapons like swords or axes built to their scale that, while they look like toys, are just as deadly as a full-sized weapon. Whatever their chosen methods, Manikins are incredibly effective and dangerous. It is a fool who makes the mistake of taking them at face value.


Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d10, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Subterfuge d10, Taunt d8
Pace: 6 Parry: 7 Toughness: 6 (2)
Gear: Razor Blade (Str + d4)
Construct: Manikins are manufactured beings. They add +2 to recover from being Shaken, do not suffer additional damage from called shots, never suffer Wound Modifiers, and do not suffer from disease or poison.
Hardy: When Shaken, further Shaken results do not cause a wound.
Reinforced Frame: The curse that animates a Manikin is interwoven with its body, offering it greater resistance to damage (+2 Armor).
Size –2: Manikins are normally less than 1 foot tall.
Small: Attackers suffer a –2 penalty when attacking a Manikin.
Weakness: Manikins suffer a Weakness to fire. Fire weapons do double damage, and a Manikin catches fire on a roll of 5–6.
Wild Card: Manikins are considered Wild Cards.

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