Servant of the Darkness


J. Edward Tremlett

Those who know of the fate of David Champolie IV - now "properly" known as Nyarlat-Seshet - might be tempted to feel sorry for him. However, they should rethink this. For while he may not have gotten what he deserved, given his many crimes and degradations, he has gotten what he asked for.

Much to the detriment of the world...


David was born into money and privilege in the early years of the 20th century. His family was well-established old money, having left the Continent for the New World sometime after the Napoleonic Wars. And he grew up wealthy, well-kept and utterly spoiled and indulged.

He wouldn't have been the only one, of course, but most children of privilege are allowed to go so far only for so long, and then snapped back into the "real world." David never was, and this was largely because his family had no "real world" to come back to. Somewhere in his family line, something had gone terribly wrong, and had never been corrected.

His father, much like his late grandfather, had singular habits and strange hours. He read odd books in his study, and had blasphemous conversations with like-minded friends had in there, late at night when the Moon was dark. He also played "games" with the maids {and, later, David's sisters}, with David watching and sometimes helping. And one night, in a fit of "inspiration," he had David hold a man down while he fished through his innards with his bare hands, looking for... something.

Were they ever caught? No, and even if they had, what could have been said? They lived in a world where money could buy silence and people as surely as it could buy luxury and privacy. And under the gaze of his demented father, David lived that ethos to the hilt.

The end result of this "upbringing" was an amoral and cruel fellow whose handsome demeanor hid a sadistic curiosity. Indeed, by the time he was old enough to have his own coming out party, he had killed two people, maimed five and ruined scores more. Thanks to his father, and his money, he walked away from each disaster with hands clean enough to lick sugar from.

And then he dove back in again, doing even worse than before.


But high-life debauchery and backroom sadism wasn't enough for David. He caught the gleam in his father's eye the night they'd opened a man up to find the truth, and wanted to find a truth of his own. Something to help him find an anchor in this changing world, with its strange politics and endless boredom. {He'd thought of enlisting when America entered the Great War, but decided against it - too boring, he thought.}

No: David, wanted a challenge that someone like him could both appreciate and see to its end. And he found it in the nascent field of Egyptology, which - ironically enough - his own family had helped along. Indeed, they had profited from it, amongst other, less "proper" adventures.

It transpired that one of David's more scholarly ancestors accompanied Napoleon into Egypt. There, he and his other "Donkeys" - as the soldiers called them - worked on gathering that land's treasures for study. The English may have taken the lot back to their homeland's museums, in the end, but the French had meticulously recorded and copied almost everything they'd found.

But then there were those things that most had never seen, and the British had never taken. By some strange luck, David's ancestor had preserved rubbings from a few, crumbling monuments that seemed to have fallen under especially bad times. Indeed, when they came to light, the local peasants shrieked and fled.

And it was lucky indeed that David's ancestor made the rubbings, for the next day a mob came to tear it down. The enraged people had to be shot by the troops before they would desist, and Napoleon had the incident stricken from his records, lest he be seen to not be in command of the situation. As such, he asked that those rubbings be likewise "stricken," so he did not have to explain why the monument was rubble.

David's ancestor was only too happy to help in this, and took the items with him. These followed across the Atlantic, and sat amongst the other, quaint curious the family accumulated over the years. When David found them, under his father's guide, it was like finding treasure.

Was this the gateway that would take him, at last, to where he wanted to be?


He delved fully into these new and exciting studies, and corresponded with various experts in the field, hoping to make some sense of what he'd found. The rubbings were old and hard to read, but David poured over them until he got as good a translation as he could.

But who was this Nyar-Rut-Hotep the hieroglyphics spoke of? They told of a God of power, but the name was not one that David had learned of in his studies. He assumed that, perhaps, this was a God that had fallen out of favor, but assumption was not enough. He had to know.

His further inquiries, all sent with the intention of going in person, met with a few replies. But none of the people he corresponded with seemed receptive to his more outré tastes and philosophies. He wanted people he could be completely open with, and not have to hide anything.

Finally, he got a letter from someone calling himself Abu Khali, from Alexandria. The man said that he knew of what David had to offer, for he had long been after the same, elusive quarry. And he also made it clear that he knew what David was clandestinely referring to.

With a few anecdotes of his own, he inflamed David's mind with the possibilities of studying with he and his friends. At last, here was someone of his own temperament, all but begging him to come and learn!

David packed and left for Egypt at once, telling his father only that he'd at long last found his calling. His father looked up from the morning's maid's nether regions and said "Well done, my boy! Write when you've sired your first?"


But he never got that letter, for that was the last the "civilized" world saw of David.

Abu Khali was grateful to have the rubbings David's ancestor took from the monument. But this was only to ensure that the words of his God were not in the hands of pasty-faced foreigners. One night, after he had met the man's other contemporaries, he explained to David that he would die, and - more importantly - why this had to be done.

He did, however, have the decency to let David see what yet remained of the monument. In fact, David died right under it: flayed and carved apart by experts to feed the hunger of Nyarlathotep, the God David had read of. The last things David heard was his name, which means "There is no peace/rest at the gateway."

And indeed, David found no peace there, only a new world to conquer.


David came through, into the land of the dead, a stunted and wounded thing. He was a Mutilé, bound to carry the wounds of his death forever. And this placed him right near the bottom of the Caste system, and fit only to serve in a menial way.

Needless to say, David was not content to be a base, crawling thing. He knew he was meant for more than suicide charges and such foolishness. Had he come this far only to be condemned for want of a "proper" death? He could do so much more than that, surely. If only he could get the chance...

So he served, for a time, but eventually he honed his skills to the point where he could be very useful indeed. The Mutilés had a single advantage over others, in that they could do a thing that no other Spectral Caste knew. They could tear the boundaries of reality asunder, and step right into the Skinlands. It was not a perfect Art, and had its own dangers, but with care and foresight it was a powerful weapon.

Then he heard the calling: something from the Labyrinth was whispering to him, calling with a voice he could not ignore. And so he went on a dark pilgrimage, into the primal maze, to find his purpose.

Before long, It found him, and he knelt before the shifting, insane form of the great God he had been slaughtered for. Perhaps it was how he died, and perhaps it was that he died for His service, but Nyarlathotep looked down upon this creature and called him a useful servant.

The restrictions of his Caste were rescinded, he was transformed into an Apparition, and his God renamed him Nyarlat-Seshet: "There is no rest/peace through the fire."

And so there has been no peace, for with his position has come many new tasks. He has a God to rekindle the worship of, and a world to corrupt, one new follower at a time. But David is more than the equal of these tasks, and has set about them in a very... personal way.

In fact, after years of praying to Nyarlathotep for His favors, Abu Khali and his men were indeed grateful when their lord chose to send a proper messenger - with instructions.

Nature: The Delver

Demeanor: The Rationalist

Psyche: The Savior

Life: Spoiled "Roaring Twenties" dilettante, murderer, would-be occultist

Death: Slaughtered by real occultists

Caste: Apparition {formerly Mutilé}

Purpose: Serving Nyarlathotep by gaining followers in the Skinlands

Physical: Strength 2; Dexterity 3; Stamina 4 {Untiring}

Social: Charisma 4; Manipulation 4; Appearance 0 {Splendor in Decay} {Demanding}

Mental: Perception 4; Intelligence 3; Wits 3 {What Lies Unsaid}

Talents: Alertness 4 {eyes in the back of his head}; Awareness 3; Brawl 1; Dodge 2; Empathy 4 {exploiting weakness}; Expression 4 {fiery speeches}; Intimidation 3; Subterfuge 3

Skills: Etiquette 3; Leadership 3; Meditation 2; Melee 4 {'natural' weaponry}; Performance 3; Stealth 3; Torture 3

Knowledges: Academics 4 {Archaeology}; Bureaucracy 3, Linguistics 3 {French, Latin, Arabic, Ancient Egyptian}, Medicine 2, Occult 4 {Egyptian magic}; Politics 3, Spectre Lore 4 {Spectral Theology}; 4 {Nyarlathotep's Ministry}

Backgrounds: Allies 2; Contacts 3; Mentor 2; Caste Status: Apparition 2; Shadowlands 3; Spectral Status 3

Dark Passions: Seek the Darkness and become part of it {Devotion} 5; Kill those who fail my master {Devotion} 4; Corrupt all I encounter (Longing) 3

Arcanoi/Dark Arcanoi: Corruption 3, Hive-Mind 3, Leechcraft 3, Maleficence 3, Pandemonium 3, Shroud-Rending 3

Shade Powers: Talons; Spectral Scream

Fetters: His own mummified and violated body 3

Being: Desire 7

Corpus: 6

Psyche: The Savior

Merits: None

Flaws: None

Composure: 3

Fronds: Mirror; Penance; Freudian Slip

Passions: Bring David back to the light {Love} 3, Protect David's victims {selflessness} 3


Image: David {now more properly known as Nyarlat-Seshet} is a monstrosity. He came into this existence bearing the horrible wounds that sent him here as a Mutilé, and he hasn't gotten any better since then. In fact, since he became an Apparition in the service of Nyarlathotep, he's gotten much worse.

He is tall and emaciated, and his skin is mummy-dry and hanging from his arms, back and lower legs in long, sinewy strips. He wears only a stained, bloody robe that leaves him naked from the waist up, and the pshent of an ancient Egyptian priest. His fingers and thumbs end in dark blue, lapis talons that can cut through Soulsteel, and his toes are rotting stumps attached to callused and twisted feet.

His chest is a gaping hole open from waist to sternum, with only his heart and kidneys still in place. They are constantly bathed in a stream of "blood" that runs down his spine and out of the hole in his chest, dribbles onto the robe, and then splatters on the floor.

Even more terrible-seeming are the four burdens he carries: four large, stone jars with animal heads for caps. Each one is attached to him through the hole in his chest, linked from his spinal column to the jar's lid with a stout, blue chain that seems to also be made from lapis. He drags the four jars behind him at all times, and even though it doesn't slow him down at all he looks like it's a constant burden

His face is that of a skull covered in rotting, beige tissue, with two glassy and dark red orbs that glare from under bright red eyelids. Those glassy eyes glow in the darkness of the Tempest, as well as any other dark area, hence his new name. And under the rotting skin his skull is set with lapis, the blue stones arranged in a repeating string of hieroglyphs that state that name proudly for all to see and fear.


Roleplaying: (Who) /has /called (me)...? (Who) /has summoned/ (the servant) of /the Darkness/...? And what would (he) give unto (me) for (my) visit...?

David remains a man of appearances and show. When he wishes to make himself known to the Skinlands, he uses Pandemonium to lower the light and create the illusion of glass blowing up and a wind coming into the room.

Then he rips open the Shroud, steps through, and slowly reveals himself. The Quick will hear a strange spattering, like a water fountain. Then they'll hear something heavy - several somethings - being dragged along the floor. And then they'll see a pair of dark red eyes lit up in the darkness, coming closer...

Once there, he demands to know why he has been disturbed from his "rest." This is whether he knows them, or if they're a first-time contactee. Too much familiarity puts his people at ease, and he won't have that; He expects constant groveling and service from those he blesses with his presence.

Speak royally and properly, so that they might remember who you are, and whom you serve. Even people who think they're fooling you into doing them favors are, in fact, fooling themselves, but never let them realize this. Any time you do anything for anyone, there must be something given in return, even if the person who's going to give it doesn't realize it yet.

And remember that your number one priority is getting followers, and not victims. You must be careful to temper your desire to destroy - this is why God invented failure, though...


Psyche: David, please... stop this madness. You know where what you are doing will lead! Take my hand and come home before it's too late for you... before it's too late for us all... please...

Even in a mind as corrupt and sickened as David's, there exists a conscience. It may have been a tiny little speck in life - perhaps born in the pleading eyes of a maid, or a sister {R.I.P., one and all} - but in death it has become stronger. This is, perhaps, due to the sheer irony of his demise, but irony wasn't enough to get him to see his folly. Only time and pleading will do that, so his Psyche does it as much as possible.


Malfean: Humanity's knowledge of the Nyarlathotep stretches back to the dawn of time, but the Never-Born was thankfully forgotten by the masses for aeons. It was not until the mad poet and magician Abd Al-Azred, writing the Kitab Al Azif, evoked His name that it was known openly once more. In 738 AD Al-Azred was devoured in broad daylight by an "invisible demon," perhaps as divine punishment, or perhaps as a perverse 'thank you' from the one he had evoked.

Nyarlathotep is one of the few of the Never-Born to have stirred from slumber, and one of the fewer still who has held His mind together enough to plan, and give lucid commands to His followers. Exactly when, or how, He fully awoke is not quite known. Al-Azred's book may have been it, but some say that the interest generated from the writings of H.P. Lovecraft in recent times may have been the catalyst,. {The gentleman from Providence would scoff at this, of course.}

Nyarlathotep rarely appears in humanoid form. He prefers to take the form of a great, stone creature not unlike the Sphinx, but more akin to the unholy nightmare that the Sphinx was perhaps carved to ward off. Words fail to describe His true appearance. Mediums who have caught glimpses of it have been known to make such utterances as "the burning, tri-lobed eye" and "all in one" before finding some quick and painless way to commit suicide. And any Wraith who sees Him without his disguise is supposedly turned to a Spectre upon mere sight of that horror.

He embodies the Kindling instinct very well. He wishes nothing more than to see the entire universe consumed by Oblivion's maw, and desires to be the one to open the sluice-gates on the Void for that one, final moment before all and everything are utterly devoured. To this end he seeks to corrupt and pervert. In the Shadowlands he seeks an end to Stygian interference in his plans, and has purportedly implanted many Doppelgangers within the Stygian government to hasten its demise.

His followers Moliate themselves into forms fitting the ancient Egyptian mold, all to keep the vision of deadly antiquity going strong both within and without. They are poised directly against Ialdabaoth's minions, for they feel that the lately-awakened Never-Born's "Barrow" method of advancing Oblivion is pure indolence. He has many other competitors as well, but no clear allies - yet.

His mortal followers seem culled from the ranks of well-to-do gentlemen's societies that dabble in the occult, desperate hangers-on, and archaeologists of questionable character. They see Him as a messenger deity who dances at the side of the Daemon Sultan Azathoth and interprets that creature's wishes and whims; it's not an entirely inaccurate model, either. He has His cult patrons engender schemes to lower the bar on Human morality and ethics, and create situations where people abandon hope and thought of tomorrow in favor of acting like the beasts they evolved from.

Sad to say, this works all too well...


Big Secrets: The best secret Nyarlat-Seshet has going for him is what he took from being a Mortwight - namely, their ability to rend the Shroud and walk into the Skinlands for a time. While others either have to learn the cumbersome Arts of the Proctors, or dance about in stolen flesh, he can just tear a hole between the worlds and speak to his followers directly. He finds that being able to take a direct hand in their supplications and degradations makes a great difference in the quality of devotion.

The other one is that he is, indeed, the "pasty-faced foreigner" that his chief group of followers in the Skinlands killed. They have no idea he's a ghost, and think he's a divine spirit sent by Nyarlathotep {details, details...}. If they knew what he was, and that his only Fetter is drying out in their catacombs, the tables might be turned.


And Then...?: If he doesn't get what's coming to him during the Great War, Nyarlat-Seshet rises quite high in the eyes of his Malfean over the course of the Maelstrom. However, he loses his shine after its close.

The widespread dissemination of Shroud-Rending, and its subsequent lowering of power, leaves him without his party piece. He loses his followers, his power, his standing in the eyes of his fellows... and finally, his standing in the eyes of his Lord and Master, who does not appreciate excuses.

Nyarlathotep recalls His wayward son to the Labyrinth for new duties, but Nyarlat-Seshet proves unable to adjust to "life" there, and is long gone by the time the 5th Great Maelstrom comes around.