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Overview

The cambion are infused by the realm of Autumn, a realm of naked ambition and intrigue where complex webs of wealth and influence connect the eternals. They are ambitious, driven individuals who are never satisfied with what they have, always striving for greater mastery of themselves, their peers and their world.

Cambion are comfortable in almost any role but are especially appropriate to characters with political or economic motivations – senators and mercantilists are obvious, but a general driven to take the Throne or a priest who wants to reshape the Synod to better suit their idea of faith are also examples that might appeal to a cambion.

The cambion lineage is intended to appeal to players who want to play driven, goal-oriented individuals, and touch on some motifs associated with ruthless devils or manipulative supernatural creatures. This lineage gives players free rein to touch on expedient or ruthless roleplaying, but also encourage them to set themselves goals and achieve them. They are also fertile ground for roleplaying about concepts of politics, ethics and expediency – do the ends justify the means?

Sobriquets

Other terms for cambion, both within the Empire and in other parts of the world, include: Caliban, nephelim, rakshasa, the mazed

What they are not

  • Devils: Despite their name and their horns, the cambions are not associated with traditional devils or demons. The eternals of Autumn are political entities who wield and embody ideas of power and confidence rather than being evil.
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Serrusto Caeli Rezia di Tassato wears golden caps on his horns.

Iconic trapping

Each lineage has an iconic trapping; in the case of the cambion it is a pair of curved horns. Horns are the most common physical mark for lineaged characters but they are not a required element. If you do not have the iconic trapping, however, you must have at least one of the other physical trappings associated with the cambion lineage.

Curved Horns

Most cambion possess a pair of horns. These horns are similar to those of goats, sheep or bulls. They usually have a curved or spiral shape, often with ridges or fluting. They are likely to be either bone-coloured or metallic. They always occur in pairs and as a single continuous horn. Cambion horns do not branch like a stag's antlers; only changelings have stag's horns.

Other trappings

In addition to curved horns there are a number of physical trappings that mark someone as being of the cambion lineage. If you want to phys-rep one of the trappings with a slightly different technique or style to the ideas suggested here then that is absolutely fine. If you want to use different trappings to the ones listed then you should email us to discuss your plans.

Additional Horns

Cambions may have more than one pair of horns, although these additional horns still appear in pairs on the head.

Metallic Eyes

Cambions may have exotically coloured eyes. Cosmetic contact lenses can be used to achieve this. The pupil should be the normal shape but the iris can be any metallic colour.

Metallic Skin

Cambions may possess metallic skin colouration - in gold, silver, bronze or copper. This can range from patches of mottling or discolouration to a whole body effect. Make-up can be used to create this effect. If you are adopting this trapping for your character you should either paint or cover all visible skin or else design the areas that are coloured to make it clear that you have mottled skin - do not paint your entire face in one solid colour and then leave your neck and ears unpainted.

Metallic Talons

Cambions may have talons that replace their fingernails. These claws are never large enough to be used as a weapon. Clawed fingers should be metallic, with the claws short and protruding from the end of the finger where the nail bed would be. Wolverine style claws that protrude from the back of the wrist are not appropriate.

Labyrinth Marks

Cambion frequently possess birthmarks or scars that take the form of branching, maze-like or web-like shapes. Some cambions are entirely covered in a network of lines that shifts imperceptibly over time.

Metallic Hair

Cambions may have fine hair in metallic colours, often complementing their eyes or skin colour. Common colouration is bronze, copper, gold or silver. You can use a wig to phys-rep this or colour your hair.

Minor Trappings

Verdigris

Some cambion with metallic skin may evidence patches of blue-green colouration similar to verdigris]. These patches may also discolour their talons. It should be obvious that you have metallic skin, with the verdigris markings being in the minority.

Gallery

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Metallic talons
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Metallic eyes and branching markings
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Small horns, with marks along the hairline
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Curling horns
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Thick leather headband used to anchor horns
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Head covering concealing horn base
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Gold, copper, or bronze skin colouration
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Aditional curving horns

Roleplaying

Cambion in groups are often happiest when they are in charge of those groups - which can prove tricky if a group contains more than one cambion.
Being naturally driven, opinionated, and competitive can make it tricky for two cambions to be in the same room, much less cooperate.
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They may resist allowing anyone to have power over them, but few cambions have any problem with the idea of having powers over others.
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Cambions can be extremely ruthless.
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Cambion easily become cynical. They tend to be a little too aware of how the world really works.
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Cambions are drawn to political roles

Cambion are influenced by the power of Autumn magic, meaning they tend to have strong personalities. There are certain patterns of behaviour and attitudes that are common to every cambion, a symptom of this magical influence. Not every cambion expresses these qualities to the same degree, but characters who demonstrate these roleplaying trappings possess stronger lineage than those who do not.

Cambions are driven

Their blood pushes them to achieve all that they can. They are never content to rest on their laurels, always looking to the next accomplishment. They tend to have little patience for laziness or complacency and may become frustrated with peers – or worse, superiors – who express these traits. They also tend to be goal-oriented, although a cambion is likely to have many goals they wish to advance at any given time.

Cambions are opinionated

They find it difficult to accept the status quo and they seek to improve things – although each cambion will have their own idea what constitutes an improvement. They also tend to doubt received wisdom – hearsay and the opinions of others are useful to know, but a cambion would prefer to make up her own mind than take another’s opinion as their own.

Cambions are political

They seek to gain influence over others, and often view social interactions in terms of favours to be offered or called in at a later date. They’re not incapable of altruism, but when prompted to do something out of the “goodness of their heart” they remember it and may bring it up at a later date. People who don’t appreciate the idea of trading and owing favours frustrate cambions; people who consider themselves apolitical or above political concerns often annoy them.

Cambions are competitive

They love testing themselves against others politically, mentally and socially. To a cambion, winning and losing is less important than a challenging contest with a worthy opponent. They tend not to hold grudges if they are bested in these sorts of contests, but dislike people who try to avoid playing their games. A cambion will often end up with a roster of rivals, friends and enemies made up of all the other people who engage in political manipulation in their sphere of influence.

Cambions are stubbornly independent

They tend not to look to others for leadership. While they may listen to the opinions of others, and even take advice, nobody should be in any doubt that everything a cambion does they do because they choose to do it.

Cambions can be overwhelmed by the Autumn Realm

Some cambions become increasingly ruthless, potentially to the point where it completely dominates their behaviour. They regard others as tools to be directed as they see fit, and see morality and ethics as unnecessary straitjackets on their activities and ambitions. Some have the best of intentions – they simply know what is best for everyone around them. They see no problem with using and expending their pawns in pursuit of their goals. Woe betide those who get between a cambion who has been consumed by the influence of Autumn and what they want; they will think nothing of doing whatever it takes to remove their rivals.

Stubborn Will

The cambion boon is a powerful will that is difficult to suborn. A cambion who is exposed to a roleplaying effect that attempts to coerce them to follow another being can respond by becoming obdurate and stubborn instead. For example, a cambion who drank a Weakening Sun potion would still experience euphoria and have painful sensations muted, but could respond to the urge to submit to authority figures by becoming contentious and uncooperative instead. This quality has also proved in recent years to allow cambions to overcome the oppressive influence of the Black Plateau in Spiral by becoming instead becoming intractable and bullheaded. This has meant that Urizen of this lineage are in demand to serve as scouts and messengers between the spires there, although the very quality that makes them so useful also means they tend to be frustratingly intractable and prone to embarking on unrelated side quests that they have decided are more important.

Cambion Life

Cambion Children

Cambions are always born with their eyes open. Newborn cambions never cry, and they are always disturbingly alert to their surroundings. Some physicians believe that cambions learn to cry from watching other children - that when they cry it is as a form of camouflage. Understandably, cambion children are often described as unnerving, clever beyond their years, and stereotypically are always getting into mischief.

Almost all cambions have horns. At birth, they are little more than tiny nubbins, but they develop as the child gets older, usually reaching their full adult size when the child reaches physical maturity. Cambion blood is strong; the offspring of cambion are usually cambion themselves, and it is rare for someone unlineaged to give birth to a cambion unless the other parent is a herald or another cambion. Unexpected cambion births therefore often result in disputed parentage or abandoned children.

Imperial Cambion

Cambion often rise to positions of authority, or become sworn enemies of authority with which they disagree. Cambion children are often difficult to raise for parents without lineage and frequently leave home early to seek their fortune.

  • A Freeborn cambion will often find a position as a scrivener, appreciating the intermediary role such a position offers them.
  • Many cambion find a spiritual home in The League where they are especially encouraged to enter the priesthood.
  • The unveiled of Highguard include a few cambion, their horns sawed off to publicly demonstrate that they have renounced their heritage.
  • As mentioned above, the stubborn will of the cambion lineage has recently proved to provide a measure of protection from the oppressive atmosphere that dominates Spiral. As such, Urizen cambions are increasingly in demand as messengers between the spires of the south-eastern territory and are often sought out to perform scouting, support, or rescue missions there.

Becoming a cambion

  • The eternals Prospero and Ephisis can both offer boons to allow a character to gain the cambion lineage
  • The Brazen Convocation host a gathering in the Market of Brass and Bone over downtime that will grant an unlineaged human the cambion lineage

The scribes of Prospero make no secret of the ink of the spider; a powerful reagent that when used to draw labyrinthine markings on the skin can increase a cambion's trappings or even manifest the cambion lineage in adults. The cost of a vial of ink is almost always in favours offered and is relative to the petitioner's standing in the Empire. A vial for a senator would require more than one for a holder of a seat on the Imperial Bourse for example, given Prospero's opinion on the merits of both establishments, but there is always a cost involved.

Seneschals of Ephisis offer a far different exchange. A hard and fast price is set each season by the Invisible Hand based on the ebb and flow of the market and that is the cost for acquiring a writ of change; a parchment marked with the Rune of Plots, the Rune of Dominion, the Rune of Bargains, and the Rune of Wealth. If the writ is burned and its ashes mixed into water which is then drunk then it can induce manifestation of the cambion lineage overnight.

Downtime
The Brazen Convocation are a coven of Freeborn hakima who all bear the cambion lineage and are based in Torres, in Madruga. The Brazen Convocation hosts a seasonal gathering at the Market of Brass and Bone which houses a small, though persistent, Autumn regio. The market is usually a splendid affair, and the hakima maintain a contract with several sutannir who help ensure a festive air to the proceedings. Everyone is welcome. and the market is often joined by heralds of the Autumn realms, who engage in minor trade with Imperial citizens attending the market. Some of those heralds are able to provide eternal boons that allow an unlineaged human to become a cambion. There are also occasional stories of people who visit the market manifesting cambion lineage spontaneously over the course of a week or so, without reportedly having made any specific bargains. When questioned, hakima and herald alike tend to shrug and ascribe the unexpected change as a consequence of doing business under the auspices of an Autumn regio.

Inspirations

Inspirations for cambion might run the gamut from students of the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu, through spies such as Mata Hari and George Smiley to powerful figures such as Shakespeare’s Richard III and Lady MacBeth and Lord and Lady Aquitaine from the Codex Alera.

Useful Links

If you're feeling creative, the How to - Make cambion horns page shows how to make your own horns. Otherwise, many traders will make them to order;

Cambion Images

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It is difficult to get a cambion to do something they don't want to do. They love testing themselves against others, striving to best their opponents in contests of wit and politics.
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Further Reading

General Information

Lineages