Host

So who or what are the Host?

At some point in prehistory, the demons now known as the Host were banished to a realm of endless darkness. Like Wormwood itself, this plane is far off the beaten track for dimension travelers and is ‘dark’ in that it has no ley lines, rifts or other features that make it more likely to randomly stumble upon it. Even those who find it once are no more likely to find it again. The Host cannot physically leave their prison, but if there is a willing subject on the other side of a portal, they can possess it in a way more deeply connecting then traditional forms of possession such that their physical body becomes one of the Host. However, the Host is now trapped within a physical body, and cannot hop dimensions as they once were able, unless they can get assistance from a mortal.

In appearance, the Host are 10 or 13 feet tall, with cloven hooves, very visible and protruding spine, ragged bat-wings. They seem like large diseased Wulfen, with an extra pair of eyes midway down their snout and bull’s horns as wide as their shoulders. The Host are immune to fire, poison, gas, and drugs. They can fly, track by scent, have perfect nightvision and can see UV light. They can also regenerate, regrowing a lost appendage in just 3 days.

When one of the Host first enters a world, he cannot use magic. When three or more occupy one world/plane, all become noticeably stronger and tougher, magic powers become available as well as a form of unconscious reality warping. Where they walk, the ground is blighted and all turns to corruption. Trees wither, grass dries, fungi grows, and the world generally becomes demonic, a suitable home for the Host of Darkness. It is this ability that allows them to corrupt Wormwood and use the powers of the living planet for their own ends. On Wormwood, they can also use most of the magic the Priests of Light use to shape and control the environment.

More than that, when 3 or more gather on a plane, one becomes considerably larger, stronger and more powerful. This is the Unholy, and he commands the Host of this world. The Unholy aside from being larger, stronger and more evil than his peers has a single special power called the Black Abyss, where he traps someone in a dimensional pocket similar to the realm the Host were banished to. The only way to escape this prison is to have a skilled Shifter, LLW, or Temporal Wizard on the outside to rescue you. Even so, success is far from guaranteed. The Unholy of Wormwood has had his top left eye removed, and can be identified as much by the eyepatch bolted to his skull as his size and power.

There are over 10,000 of the Host in the shadow realm, but only 19 on Wormwood. This is because they need willing hosts, who understand what they’re getting into, to free their brethren. Such a man comes along, perhaps once in 20 years.

Among the Unholy’s inner circle is Lord Lesion, his High Lord or second-in-command, loyal general and chancellor/vizier. Lord Krikton is the master of creating new life with dark sorceries, but aspires to usurp the Unholy and/or Lord Lesion.

In addition the Host has many minions and servitor races. Salome is a human shifter who has manged to become the close friend and pupil to Lord Lesion, and queen of the demon goblins. Shades are their elite warriors, while Worm Zombies are formed of the dead to serve as guards. Entrancers are demonic psychic vampires and masters of illusion and mind control. Demonic rat-men serve as assassins and spies. Air-fish demons serve as hunting dog packs, and Demon Hounds serve as faithful and loyal steeds to the servants of Darkness.

Also in areas that are demon controlled the Parasites that Wormwood creates become monstrous blood-thirsty threats to humans. Originally the planet created them to control debris and waste and help shape the land and they were never a threat to humans until the Host arrived and cursed the land. Even the Wormwood Symbiotes are corrupted by the Host of Darkness, resulting in Soul Batteries, Life Force Cauldrons and the fearsome Crawling Towers.

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Original post by Ahriman238 on StarDestroyer.net

Host

Rifts Worlds Vikshade