Please be aware that a cultist of Haugway is considered a villain concept, and to begin play as one, or to have it as a prominent part of your personal backstory, is a glory cost.
|Symbols||The symbols of Haugway are thorns, the monstrous cat eye that they carve into their foreheads and decorate their kills with, fungus, worms, and the eerie limbless dolls they hang in the trees around their camps.|
In order to enter the prayer state an adherent of the Haugway may do one of the following:
With these drums we call you, Eld One
Provide a heart for you to beat,
A pace for you to walk,
A destination for your vines and thorns.
For here, there is another heart,
Here there are open eyes,
Here there is a gift-
a beat that needs be stilled.
For some of those mounds have been blessed in a different way, and their creeping vines and ever-spreading fungus long for more bones to join those beneath the ground.
While most Vecatrans do their best to preserve the world their deity has given them, there are those who guard the hearts of the forests from trespassers fervently with their lives. They hunt with a ferocity that endears them to the Other and the Male Face, as they seek those that wish to disturb the cycle Vecatra has made. These are the worshippers of the spirit Haugway, the creeping death and the stalker amongst the burial mounds.
To those who follow Haugway, it is necessary to severely punish those who allow gross disruption of the natural world or who disrupt the balance. It is not enough to turn them back – they must be made an example of. The Blight must be reminded why they fear the forest and the deep green. They must be continually shown that they are unwanted in Vecatra’s precious spaces, and that their incursions will not go unanswered – sometimes for generations to come.
Farmers, loggers, and fishermen are often the unfortunate targets of followers of Haugway, for it is they who often take much more than is necessary from the land in a way that disrupts the balance of the world. Devotees loathe constructed settlements of any kind, and see cities as the most blasphemous disruption of them all. Fortresses, shops, and town squares are disgusting stains on what could be an untouched expanse of nature- and it is not merely those who build such things that are to be punished. Those who dwell within such places, or supply them, too, are favored targets of the Haugway cult. Anyone who spreads the Blight must be eliminated or their way of life destroyed.
They are the scourge to those outsiders who settle in new places or who damage the land, and their preferred method is to stalk their prey – driving them out of their mind with fear before they have even begun to truly hunt them. Their fear is part of the dance of predator and prey. But when this particular cult finally has their prey in their grasp, they enjoy drawing out the suffering of their victim. They fill their captive with terror in their last moments, burying them alive, flaying them and hooking them onto trees, slowly carving off flesh, and feeding them to wild animals until the victim is dead. Should their victim further bring insult to Vecatra by violating the cycle and returning from the grave, they will carry their fear with them and it will infect those they live with.
The methods of the Haugway often create Night Malefic, for such wretched torturous methods of execution are considered deeply wrong in the eyes of man. Yet the Haugway zealots are confident that such wrongs can eventually be righted, and in the short term, the presence of more Malefic will keep the Blight away. It is a necessary sacrifice in the now for a more bountiful future.
What Haugway is, exactly, is not well understood – for its songs are not wise to sing, and any records of it are lost. But it is deep, and it is old, and it spreads beneath the earth. It is the feeling of unease that one is somewhere they should not be; it is the madness of instinct and flight. It is green and brown and moist and dark. And it is something not meant for the humanity of today. Those who follow Haugway state that they are protecting the world by being its most devastating agents, and in their service they will be rewarded. What form that reward takes, is only known to those who worship.
Dead natural objects are preferred, as they represent the ending of the cycle, to be renewed along with the rot and decay. But the Haugway will also accept human blood and parts, fungus, dirt from burial sites, and symbols of damned human civilization such as guns. Ideally, sacrifices of human life should be done under circumstances that are as terrifying as possible.
Followers of the Haugway swear to: Destroy something made or born of man once a day. This would be a tagged item or a person.
Should they fail to do so, they feel themselves brought closer to final death as they forget large parts of themselves and who they are. Those who break their vow lose 4 touchstone memories, as if they had died against their Devotion unless they properly atone for their broken vow and make an appropriately impressive sacrifice by the end of the next three event days.
Should the follower accept their punishment and end the next three event days without rectifying their broken vow, they are no longer considered a follower of the Haugway, and will be unable gain a benefit from offerings until they have made amends through atonement and a precious offering.
Unless the follower made amends within the allotted time frame, the touchstone memories are lost, and new memories must be made in the standard manner.
Make an Offering
Anyone can trigger the shrine by presenting the proper offering and using the prayer ability, by swearing the following Oath:
“What stalks through the grave mist is the Other’s greatest tool; it remembers each corpse laid to rest in its path. The Haugway rights what is wrong, and scours the Blight from the land. It will not rest until the disease is cut away. Haugway, I ask you this day to grant me this boon, so I may further clear the path of our Mother.”
Swearing this Oath places them under the Vow of Haugway.
The following must be written into the dedications book as if it was a prayer. The use of an Altar or Shrine spends the user’s daily prayer ability:
Common Offering: If a follower places rotted leather, ragged leather, bones, or an animal corpse on top of the shrine, they may have one single Terror call that expires at the end of an hour or after it is used, whichever comes first.
Rare Offering: Forbidden Places – If a follower of the Haugway gifts it a straw doll, a mold or fungus, or a leonem covered in sanguine essence, then the follower may may get a tag from staff that reads, “whoever gets within melee reach of this tag gains a mild phobia of specific nature themed phobia.” This tag will have an expiration on it of dawn the next day and must be placed outdoors.
Precious Offering: Malefic Balm – By offering a human bone from a sacrificed person, destroying a firearm, or offering a rare gem upon the Shrine, you create a tagged object that will draw Malefic to it for the night. You can hide this object in a location or on a person, inform staff when you do so.
Requirements of an Altar
In addition to offerings at a Shrine, one may make a common offering to the Haugway at an Altar dedicated to it. The Altar must contain a straw doll, at least one of its symbols carved into a lump of clay, a representation of the spirit, and a tagged item associated with the sacrifice of a human.
Dedicate Burial Shrine
Dedicate a Shrine to the Haugway
In the dead of night, it walks. It winds its way through the burrows and graves, and watches the dead as they sleep. It needs no acknowledgement in the end, for it is inevitable. Caring only for the land of its mother, it progresses with the patience of the trees. She is the only constant in its heart.
Focus – The Shrine is formed on a small earthen mound made in a place that does not disturb the landscape unnecessarily. Within the small mound is placed an offering of an animal with more body parts than normal.
Offering – A slab of human flesh, taken from someone who was in a state of Fear or Terror when they died is held out above the earth, allowing the blood to drip upon the mound.
Liturgy – “I do not quake in your presence, Eld One, but bring a gift of justice; a feast for you so that you may grow in strength and protect this land long after I am gone. I remember the old rules, and that the deeper you dig, the darker it gets.”
Act – The worshipper digs a hole into the center of the mound and places the flesh inside of it. The flesh is covered with earth which is then tamped into place. A feline eye is carved into the top of the mound.
Offering – A skull is set atop the mound and behind the eye symbol. It should be in contact with the earth, and left to allow the mosses, insects, and weather to overtake it.
Creates a Shrine of the Haugway that may be used to give offerings for effects. Anyone can trigger the shrine, as long as they swear the Oath and use their daily prayer ability.