Here is my pitch for a thing that didn't end up happening. Find-and-Replace has been used extensively to file the numbers off. Questions will be met with silence.
Back after Christmas.
DIVERSITY, HORRIBLE HORRIBLE DIVERSITY
One interesting element of Necurat is that they might be the only major group to systematically turn 'imperfect' humans like dwarfs, 'freaks', those with downs syndrome, Asperger’s, disabled people, amputees, wheelchair-users, veterans with limb-loss or severe facial damage or any non-standard or physically imperfect individual.
I don't know what role this might have played in ***** ** ********previously, obviously, allowing people to play a Undead with Downs syndrome or a Thalidomide victim or anything like that, opens you up to potential criticism in a variety of ways, but there's really no reason that someone with a disability, be it physical or mental, shouldn't be able to imagine themselves as a magic Undead person. Or that we shouldn't be allowed to imagine ourselves as that person.
My rationale for this is that survival as a Necurat in the initial stages is so difficult that it has more to do with will than anything else. The will to separate yourself from shame and your former existence and to do the things you need to do to survive, whether that includes spending a week in a cistern without breathing or just straight-up crawling into a storm drain from the street.
And people with disabilities should be just as capable of doing that, of showing the will to survive, as anyone else. And, in some ways, they lose less than a 'normal' person since they are already right at the bottom of society. If you are already someone that people stare at in the street, or someone who needs to check for stairs everywhere you go because you are in a wheelchair, then how much do you really lose from becoming a hideous super-powered predatory monster?
And Necurat would naturally find themselves in sympathy with people like this.
The same goes for embracing very old people, like people in care homes, those 90 or above, abandoned by their families or just forgotten. Your opinion of the 'horror' of eternal life is probably veeeery different if you have spent the last 15 years in a medical prison asking people to wipe your arse because you can't and simply waiting for a lonely death. Imagine waking up out of that and finding yourself vital and strong, and (potentially) immortal. Quite a different experience.
Beauty has a hierarchy, ugliness is fair. The hideous are hideous together.
I really like the idea of the Necurat as a highly egalitarian culture with relatively flat power networks and a high degree of respect for individuality. A bordering-on-anarchist community with a nominal hierarchy created largely as a representative to the ********* and wider Undead society.
The Horrible Commune.
In Undead society as a whole they might be seen as a hyper-conservative faction, but within their own ranks tend to be more meritocratic. A degree of hypocrisy which makes the ********* nervous.
Extremely individually secretive, with many layers of trust. Within its own personal world the views of a Necurat could be anything.
So even though they might seem to have the same divisions and political and social arguments as the rest of Undead Society, in reality, Necurat are much more aware of each other than you would think from looking at them from the outside. They have their own reputational system that sits alongside and outside the status accorded from the *********. So a Necurat can be isolated and weird to the ********* but very deep 'in with the group' to the Necurat. (Necurat in-group status is always referred to as 'depth'. "How deep are you?" "He is a deep creature, best not to argue."). And the reverse can be true because the job of dealing with the ********* and doing all the official stuff that needs to be done is not necessarily a very high-status one within the group.
So, to Necurat, some crazy 500-year old hag living in a storm drain on the edge of town who communicates only in riddles, might have more status, and more influence within the group, than whoever deals with the Ruler of the City on the Groups behalf.
The quixotic adore/destroy relationship with beauty has been pretty well gone over by previous creators I think. I would keep almost all of that as it was and intensify it. A few ideas;
A 'murmuration' of Necurat where they are all inexplicably drawn towards an area or presentation of beauty like an art gallery or a fashion show. The artists, or models think they are interacting with normal members of the Bourgeoise then slowly, as the night continues, they begin to seem hideous, one by one their illusions slip away until the creators are faced by a crowd of horrible, stinking, dirty, predatory grinning faces, still asking the same bourgeoise questions.
(I always imagine them grinning, especially around other Undeads. They seem to me like peasants barging into a gathering of the beautiful nobility, deliberately ruing the party, licking the plates and wiping drool from their fangs with other peoples clothes.)
Some Necurat actually turn beautiful when they succumb to the beast adding an extra layer of dark addiction. At the moment when they lose control they pervert into almost supernaturally perfect beings and go mad, unable to speak or act unless it is to kill, though there is thought to be a language of death in the nature of the killings of these Necurat which others wish to study.
They can be egalitarian, sympathetic, compassionate, destructively violent, casually murderous.
I wonder if the Necurat are more likely to carry out an acid attack or to hunt the person responsible?
And of course there is a feminist story there if you want it about the victim of an acid attack being Black-Pilld and then wreaking terrible revenge.
There is a route there in which the Necurat's twisted relationship with beauty merely mirrors the general societal relationship as lensed through the gender wars. We compulsively drown ourselves in images of unattainable perfection and go slowly mad until we only want to reach out to destroy it.
And the idea of the Necurat as the lie that tells the truth. In an endless wash of perfectly toned, digitally-adjusted, Instagram-perfect, tight, peachy flesh, they are like a foul blot, like a spreading ink stain on fine calligraphy, but they are the truth beneath the image leeching out into the world, the product and obverse of our half-poisonous hunger for beauty.
Obviously they would be big fans of the film Necurat, both the original and the Herzog version. Big Klaus Kinski fans.
Also fans of 'Interview with a Undead', but they treat it as a comedy, throw things at the screen and boo whenever Lestat gets whiney. An Urb-Ex explorer beneath Paris reports coming upon underground Cinema showing Interview with a Undead with and audience of huddled, cloaked slouched figures. Hears a bizarre hissing, realises they are laughing.
Female Necurat love the Wicked Witch of the West from 'The Wizard of Oz', and are just fond of the Witch motif generally. Eyes Without a Face is a big favourite too.
Probably they like Spy stories and John LeClare.
They would probably have lots of scientists, be experts in medicine, big on limb replacement and artificial body parts. Much like a culture of war vets would have a huge interest in prostheses. If you want to go into a near-future dark sci-fi direction you could bring in cyborgisation in a quasi-real sense.
Big in cutting edge biology, especially animal biology, always looking for new freaky pets to mutate & create. Big investors in the projects to return extinct species.
HUGE on monkeys, especially the higher Apes, especially Gorillas, which they LOVE. A Necurat Ruler is nothing without at least one giant mutated animal helper. The ultimate in Necurat status symbols. Some have been censured for creating giant subterranean monsters in old missile silos. Someone is working on giant Undead mole-rats.
And I think if a Necurat feels compelled to Black-Pill someone who will have difficulty surviving due to their physical difference, because they have no legs or are warped or disabled in some other way, its a classic custom to gift them a 'pet' if they survive the initial weeks. Like a helper pet but a brain-slaveed, warped, white, monstrous version, like a giant boa-constructor, a piebald chimp, a huge patched hound or something of the kind. So if, during character generation, you choose, or roll some severe physical disability, you also get a free 'helper' from your sire.
I imagine them as having played a large role in the development of the internet, but for them the heyday was the mid 90's to early 21stC. The rise of facebook, twitter, and especially the loathed instagram, has enraged them. They see it as a colonisation of their digital space by their social superiors, those who have every advantage in normal life and did nothing to help create or extend the technology.
Like- Reddit, Usenet, Forums, Podcasts.
Hate - Instagram, Facebook, Youtube.
Probably were really into second life, now into minecraft. Big fans of computer games, they like RPG's.
If you want to bring in much more 'deep-modern' stuff then making Necurat masters, not only of the old-style internet, but also of the physical makeup of the internet, makes sense. Necurat fiddling with junction boxes beneath street corners, hiding in the vast server stacks filling otherwise empty buildings for the financial industry, creeping along the ocean floor and interfering with fiber-optic cables. Fighting to defend their old privileges over this modern technology from other groups that might not understand what the machines do or how the infrastructure works, but who are becoming better at taking advantage of it.
Necurat love trains and big trucks (all Undeads must love trains, one of the most reliable and safe ways to travel long distances. They like driving really fast but rarely get the chance to do it. A bulky figure drives a chugging old Dakota Indian motorcycle around the city at night, their helmet a bit too large..
Masters of paranoia and reality decay. Lords of Conspiracy. Probably their single biggest modern contribution to the Masquerade is that absolutely no-one knows what to believe about anything any more.
Internet-based reality decay would probably have happened to some extent anyway but the Necurat have leapt on it and systematically intensified and deepened it. They run agit-prop operations against everybody, they provoke and disrupt everyone, they keep internet culture wars burning. They blur the boundary between the real and unreal till everybody feels like they are living in an unstable simulation.
I imagine something like an internet 'troll farm', a huge complex full of nerds who's only job is to disrupt, occlude, and ruin online discourse in as many ways as possible, with promotions based on the subtlety and skill with which you can derail or extremify any kind of online community. Special awards given for conspiracy theories. All overseen by a single Necurat brain-slave. Then just repeat that for farm after farm after farm, all pumping out informational chaos, abrading the construction of consensus reality like a sea of chaos.
The nature and mythology of the Necurat would be utterly tied up with the existence of the city and with civilisation. For them, even more than with other Undeads, the only way they can survive is in the city, or deep in the wilderness. In any place in-between there would be nowhere to hide.
They would be a major influence on development of sewer systems and hence civilisation. The first sewer system of Ur might have been Necurat-designed. The Civilisation of Indus Valley, was theirs. They lived in the pools during the day. A big association with water, still water & black water.
And their role within the city would give them a very deep, hyper-specific relationship with how it is built.
They are in a very strange position, they need the city to work, if it falls apart or the population drops they are in trouble. But they need it to not work that well.
There need to be slums. There need to be sewers and tunnels, but there need to be cracks in those tunnels.
There needs to be a density of buildings, but it can't be too efficiently dense, there have to be dead spaces and rat-ways and places nobody goes.
On the other side, suburbia is bad. Necurat would *hate* suburbia.
The age of a city is important too, the longer it is continuously inhabited, the deeper its tunnels and infrastructure will sink, the more will be forgotten.
And so there would be massive and intense cultural warfare, and actual warfare, between Necurat groups and individuals based on aspects of planning and building that would seem almost incoherent to other groups. And probably warfare between groups based on structural aesthetics and how a city actually worked. A continual tug of war with some groups trying to produce sleek, modern, empty-feeling spaces with wide boulevards and sharp angles and the Necurat generally trying to drag the city back to dense, byzantine, dark, deeply-interconnected and almost-continually partially ruined systems.
Should a slum be raised, or redeveloped? How about a public transport system? Good or bad?
They would (generally) be obsessive enemies of high modernism. They would loathe Robert Moses, Le Corbusier and the redevelopment of Paris.
But they are the ultimate NIMBY's. All happy to see someone else’s buildings or sewers redeveloped for the good of the whole, but just not my sewers.
Bazalgettes sewers in London would have caused outright warfare, of course it all makes sense now, but think about the Necurat lairing in the Fleet river or the old sewers, hearing they are going to be rationalised into a modern, capacious, regularly patrolled and repaired large-scale sewer system?
In a way the Necurat are in a condition of "gardening" ruins. The climax system, for them, is a slumlike, but well-populated area, full of people, but riven with cracks and secret access. But such a place can only last so long before it is rebuilt or just falls apart and the population leaves so Necurat would have long-term plans for different quarters, bringing them into 'fruit' in different centuries.
They would be localists - have relatively little international of large-scale power, but obsessively interrelated with Local Politics especially local city councils, city planning, local authorities, low-level politicians, local police, highly geographic concentrations of power.
They would be embedded deeply into the social structures that guard and patrol the city infrastructure. The guys who repair the sewers and underground train lines. Anyone wearing a high-vis jacket could be one of theirs, and they would be heavily into unions because they create an alternative hierarchy outside the control of the state and largely opaque to state power. Why bother brain-slaveing a bunch of repairmen when you can control one corrupt union leader?
And they would have a deep and weird relationship with the poor and destitute of the city. They would be both protectors of that class, making sure nobody else preyed on them, and also consumers of them. They would defend the poor up to a point, but they must remain poor, remain vulnerable.
THE DEVELOPING WORLD
I would like to expand Necurat beyond Europe into developing world. In particular, to slums. Slums are important globally and they are a perfect developing ground for Necurat.
I imagine many of them living in giant trash piles in 3rd world cities. Whole communities in there squirming about like rats in tiny tunnels.
I'm really interested to see what you come up with for a global Undead mythos, it has a lot of challenges and opportunities locked inside it.
It has only just occurred to me that areas that have become the victim of location-based long-term environmental disasters would be a perfect place for Undeads to retreat to and hang out in, especially the more anarchistic ones and especially Necurat.
I'm thinking here places like Chernobyl, decade-long tire fires and mineshafts with dumped chemical waste.
In medieval times were big supporters of monastic life, and of leper colonies. Probably they still are.
I can also imagine weird Necurat Knights, or at least one or two. Maybe some crusader or famous jouster got Black-Pilld and wanders around at night on their strange pale horse wearing bulky armour, challenging people at river crossings in the dark.
Would be fine members of the Ugly Face clubbs and probably started them. (These were a real thing about the 18thC, groups of upper-class men who were all hideously ugly would get together in a club for regular meetups. If someone got married they had to pay their dues and leave the club, I will put in a table at the end that I got from a book that mentioned these.)
Machine Gun Summers of the great war - happy days for Necurat as they could walk about freely as veterans. A famous group of Necurat actually barged into high status Paris restaurant in full military uniform and demanded service as patriotic heroes then carried out an all night bacchanal over the sounds of waiters vomiting. Still talked about today.
Mexican 'Cave Lord' Necurats who came over on the land bridge & slunk into caves (exterminated giant ground sloth & still remember its taste), still living down there, really big & pale and weird, may have actual elemental powers. The war between Spanish Undeads and Mexican cave Undeads. Necurat being a big influence on meso-american culture, both good & bad.
'Brown Alex' claims to have spend the middle ages sleeping in an Irish bog, woke up in a museum in the CT scanner & ate the scholars, says he was just waiting for civilisation to come back. Still somewhat mummified.
They allegedly played a large part in extending (though not starting) the cold war as epochal tunnel-building projects were mana from heaven to them.
There may have been a Necurat civil war over whether to actually start WWIII & get everyone mutated. They were heavily censured by more powerful groups over this.
If you are keeping all the weird biblical stuff from ***, then it would be worthwhile doing some research into what we currently know about pre-history. I think it’s changed quite a bit since the 90’s. Locating the origin Undead story 5 or 10’000 years ago might not work but locating it 20 or 30’000 years ago, in a climax stone-age culture, could be interesting.
A potential translation of ‘Night Hunter’ in reconstructed Indo-European might be “Noqtis Nékami”
The Necurat had deep contacts in the submarine forces of all major powers, they have been involved in submarine technology development since its inception, but the cold-war war saw those contacts and that influences stripped away from them as it was feared that a few crazy Necurat might actually use their influence to start WWIII. They have been slowly clawing them back ever since.
There are rumoured to be deep oceanic Necurat, living in shipwrecks in the dark zones. They run the docks where the Russian fleets rust and are in charge of how those husks are deposed, planting them like seeds for darkworld colonies of sleeping Undeads. Abyssal shipwreck Necurat. Necurat rising out of sulphuric vents, encrusted in coral and dripping albino crabs to peer into the portholes of bathyspheres.
Maybe they can actually raise the wrecked and rusting ship and sail it about, pouncing on cruise liners in the night, then once they have fed, they simply scuttle the ship and ride it down to the sea floor where light will never go. Racing the dawn to the abyssal shelf.
There could be 'Wild' Necurat who inhabit river systems, especially slow, silty ones.
DEEP LEGNDARY STUFF
This is where we go deep into quasi-biblical and potentially high-fantasy stuff. Not exactly the brief I think you were looking for but fun to put in. If the storyteller doesn't want it in they can just make it old Necurat mythology.
The first, original, Necurat being a Nephilim, literally the child of an angel and human women, and this being the reason he was such a great hunter. And that being the reason they get on with monsters, and the reason they are so warped and fucked-up because the remnant angel-juice in their bodies reacts with the Undead stuff and it’s like milk mixing with vinegar. Gods Curse and Gods Blood curdling in the flesh.
This also makes the Necurat partially descended from angels, which is an interesting idea.
The first Necurat could be a daughter of Caine.
This is from Numbers 13:32
"The land that we have gone through as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants; and all the people that we saw in it are of great size.
There we saw the Nephilim (the Anakites come from the Nephilim); and to ourselves we seemed like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."
Nephilim under the earth. Many of the descendants of the angels & early human women escaped gods revenge by burrowing deeply under the earth, the Necurat search for them still and are in control of many major mining operations and geological processes in order to find them and destroy them with atomic bombs before they emerge. (Or take control of them and use them to take over the world).
Biblical Monster Island - All the Nephilim and giant creatures from the old testament and apocalypse visions all on a giant volcanic island kept secret by Necurat super-sorcery. Like the actual Whore of Babylon and she’s some kind of Godzilla-sized biblical Kaiju mega-beast.
Most Necurat believe almost instinctively that Freak-Heaven is somehow in the earth, that it is, in some way, an actual and real place and often end up trying to get as deep as possible in one way or another, worming their way deeper and deeper as they age. First through tunnel building or creeping to the bottom of the oceans and ultimately perhaps by simply starting to dig their way down on their own.
See "The Coming Race" by Edward Bulwer-Lytton and "The Morning of the Magicians"; tells the story of an underground city powered by the energy form 'Vril'. A race of magical beings lives off this magical primal energy.
Taken by some Necurat as being the blood of the earth, viate that comes not from living beings in the common sense but from the primal source of life itself, the earth and that ultimately Necurat can learn to subsist on this primal life energy without killing, forming a necessary part of the Entropic natural cycle, and this is a subterranean city where they live in harmony with the Nephilim.
Richard Shaver clearly fell into an early Necurat Reality-Decay operation beneath the earth, despite their attempts to fracture his memory he escaped and began to spread his 'Dero' mythology about hideous under-beings controlling everything from secret cities. Perhaps his madness gave him the occult power to escape the Necurat somewhat, or maybe they just let him go to help form a next-generation reality decay operation.
THE UNDERWORLD WAR / WORM WAR ONE
Underground Nephilim vs Rapey Gandalfs horror-creations. A war raging across geological time. Noahs flood washed the majority of the 'biblical' and 'unnatural' creatures underground, where many of them still are, and where they are continually battling the descendants of the Rapey Gandalfs paeleo-experiments which are growing within the planet like a pus-boil and would quite like to burst it open like a sore and escape into the blackness of space.
This is why the underworld Necurat aren't more important in the upper world, they are already deep in the grip of Underworld War One, a battle raging miles beneath the planets surface.