Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war

An avenging demon of Saint Jasper. Pictures Mangled By: Me

Pictures Mangled by Me: Any picture with this in its caption means it is a collage I made using 19th and early 20th century illustrations. All these illustrations are public domain, meaning I didn't rob anyone by using these pictures for my own gains.

Author's Note: Here is some fluff and a pic of some upcoming monsters/creatures, made in honor of a faithful dog who was killed recently. A friend of mine knew him, his name was Jasper, and he will be missed. 

A common graffiti tagged on walls by worshipers of Saint Jasper.
 
Oh loyal one,
He of the pack and the hunt,
I have been trespassed against,
Tear from my tormentors their flesh,
Oh loyal one please avenge me,
Bear for me this yoke of vengeance,
For I cannot bear it myself.
- Prayer of the Aggrieved to Saint Jasper.

Encyclopedia Infinica – No. 4 Saints of the Street Church
The Infinite City is not merely a gathering of peoples, it is also a meeting place of countless cultures. Cultures that can maintain their individual identities, or merge with one another to form a union unique to the city.

While religions retain their purity in temples and cathedrals, they are intertwined and blurred on the streets into something completely 'other'. This other is a syncretic religion most commonly referred to as the 'Street Faith'. A religion of countless gods, goddesses, and other beings granted sainthood and prayed to on a regular basis. 

There are many trinkets sold in back-alleys dedicated to Saint Jasper
 
Which brings us to the faithful of Saint Jasper. This sub-cult within the greater construct of the 'Street Faith' is of note due to its focus on the figure of a dog raised to near-godhood. The origins of this sub-cult are obscure, as with the majority of the 'Street Faith', due to its dogma being spread solely by word of mouth.

As with any faith, the cult of Saint Jasper contains its own set of frightening and comforting figures. Common terms applied to these figures across faiths are angels and demons. Though, as with any faith, this one contains its own terminology.

While there are many 'Hounds of Saint Jasper', the one most commonly invoked is a demon-figure called a Tar Wolf. This monstrous canine figure will avenge the injuries of those who belong to Saint Jasper's faith. Though this creature is not completely evil in itself, it is a fearsome figure meant to instill faith in the aggrieved and fear in the unjust. 

A common representation of Saint Jasper in more humanoid form. Art By: Leon Bakst
 
These monstrous wolves gain their moniker from their peculiar form. Roughly the size of a small horse, their black fur slowly metamorphoses from hair to a tar-like substance as it nears the spinal ridge. Unnervingly, the “tar” drips upward, the perfect reverse reflection of what it would do if given the normal course of gravitation. This tar will slowly fade into oily smoke once it reaches a short height above the creature.

Its physicality is further demented by its overlong snout, and disproportional teeth. Lacking eyes, nose, or ears, it possesses a spare, but still disconcerting, appearance.

While the City neither affirms nor denies the possibility of claims made by any non-licensed church, it encourages its citizens to immediately report any sightings to the local constabulary. Remember, a faith is only worthwhile if it benefits the City, all other faiths are parasitic. 

This is what the pic started out as before I mangled it.