The Skarrd are Coming… and They Have Evolved

July 21, 2017 Cards  No comments

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So… we loom closer and closer to the official release of the first printing of Dark Age: Skarrd, and we wanted to whet your appetites a bit with four new and wonderful changes from the old Skarrd to the new and improved cannibal mutant armed forces.

In the past, the Skarrd cults each had their own specific traits and abilities to separate them from each other in both ability and feel on the battlefield. With the new 2017 rules release, these “Gifts of Evolution” still exist, but now take on a different style of methodology when affecting the tabletop.

In this article, we want to go ahead and show you the four different Skarrd Cult sub-factions’ new and fancy Gifts of Evolution and tell you a bit about why they exist.

First and foremost, with the narrative gathering of the Skarrd tribes at Fort Retribution, there has become an even stronger need for the individual cults and tribes to keep their individuality despite mainly all serving the same cause. This means that Cult forces (units chosen from the individual sub-faction lists) are distinct from the unaligned Skarrd Horde choices that any force may choose from. The Gifts of Evolution (previewed below) ONLY apply to the actual Cult models – Horde models working alongside the Cult do NOT gain these benefits.

Let’s take a look at the older Cults first…

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Empowered by both the blood shed of their enemies and that spilled of their own warriors, the Blood Cult are filled with pre-combat blood magic rituals and the rush of combat around them. This benefits the Cult in two fashions.
First, members of the Blood Cult have mystic and mysterious ways to draw the energy out of anything they face – even that which doesn’t truly “bleed.” It is this strange and wonderful power that allows some of their attacks to cut into a victim and cause what’s inside to leak out in thick gouts. Whether it is entropic-cell glop from within a C.O.R.E. bot’s batteries, the bio-energy reservoirs of Kukulkani constructs, or even the energies that hold together Dragyri elementals – everything can bleed under a Blood Cultist’s blade.

Secondly, and arguably more commonly useful, is the thrill that Blood Cultists get when they see violence and bloodshed around them. As the combat ensues and lives are lost, Blood Cult members can be invigorated, re-rolling important dice, after enough gore has splashed the ground muddy.

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The world of Samaria has evolved just as much as the Skarrd has, and the Toxic Cult has yet to master some of the new toxins and venoms that have come to the world – from the stars above as well as the abyss below. While they can be made to succumb to envenomation they have yet to put themselves through, the base effects of disease, venom, and poison still call out to the Cult. They can manipulate the filth infesting those around them in three interesting ways.

First, they can call out to someone who has been poisoned nearby to burn off the foul substance – removing the venoms from their body, but possibly in a manner painful enough to steal the breath from their lungs and even stop their heart.

Toxic Cultists can see the places on a body where poisons collect, making for perfect targets to strike from the outside –the end result being a much more efficient and deadly attack if it connects at that pocket of toxins.
Lastly, by absorbing the toxins infesting everyone around them, breathing and drinking in the essence of filth in their area, the Cultists can actually be strengthened. They fuel their physical form with it, allowing them to ignore what would be mortal wounds on lesser folk.

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The Cult of Metamorphosis has always been keyed in to the energies released whenever technology of any kind on Samaria malfunctions. The more catastrophic the failure, in their opinion, the better – even if it takes the life of an ally! In Dark Age, malfunctions of attack groups and psychogenics are commonplace, and the Cult of Metamorphosis can make the absolute most out of these bad situations whenever they arise.

When a Metamorphosis Cultist is close enough to a mishap such as these, they can fill themselves with energy – some believe it to be the energy lost by the malfunctioning technology itself, others say it is just them Cultists’ excitement at the spectacle. Either way, they are thoroughly infused with potential by technology’s failures (occasionally their own), gathering up such misfortune and using it for their own benefits.

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The newest of the Skarrd Cults, the Cult of Decay has a strange power over one of the oldest and most powerful forces anywhere in creation – the decline into oblivion… death. When the bonds of the physical world begin to fail around them, Decay Cultists can grab hold of the spindling threads and pull apart the weave of substance.

Decay Cultists can send a pulse of entropic energy into a target that has already begun to wither away, expending the weakened bonds in order to hopefully rip a hole into the target on the other side. This ability to reach out through the ether and rip at something already touched by death can be perfect to inflict damage at just the right time.
If using their mystical connection to death energy isn’t enough, they can also feed directly off something slipping into its demise. If a target is saturated enough with these energies that weaken and dissolve their physical strength when a Decay Cultist deals them a fatal blow, their fleeting life force can be drawn into the Cultist to mend their own.

Lastly, when something nearby is on the very brink of its existence – clinging to the fading wisps of life – a Decay Cultist can focus its own mastery over death’s embrace upon it. In the space between heartbeats a Cultist can snuff out that last spark despite any amount of medical attention or potential aid.

When the Cult of Decay has decided that it is time for a dying flame to go dark, it goes dark indeed.

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So… with just a few weeks to go before the release of the book’s first printing, we now know just a few of the interesting new tricks these inhuman monsters have up their sleeves. It goes without saying that there is so much more in store, but now at least you can be ready for these first few changes…

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