Jade Court

The Dresden Novels as of the time of this writing (Ghost Story) only mention the Jade Court in passing. Thus all of this is made up for our game. However, if it gives you ideas for yours, feel free to use it.

The book (Shiro in Death Masks) talks about Southeast Asia as the place of origin for the Jade Court… there’s really only a handful of legends from that part of the world that are scary enough to justify “vampires” … so I am heavily basing them on my own experiences in Thailand and Thai Folklore. As a bonus, this particular monster also appears in Japanese myth and is especially suited due to the connection with the Shiro character.

Make no mistake… these are monsters. Bad ones.

Names

  • “Penanggalan/Manananggal” in the Philippines and Indonesia
  • “Krasue” in Thailand and Laos
  • “Ap” in Cambodia
  • “Leyak” in Bali
  • “Nukekubi” in Japan

Forms

They have two forms.

The first is the “hunting form” – which takes the form of a stunningly beautiful person. This form is difficult to harm, and is quite often a practitioner of “black magic.” Though it does not like the sunlight, nor the daylight hours, it can operate and function during the day without too much difficulty.

The second form is the “floating horror form” – The head separates from the neck and all of the interior organs (esophagus, heart, lungs, intestines, etc.) come up and out with the head. It levitates and flies around and the tongue elongates into a mosquito like proboscis and the mouth gains fangs.

Feeding

The creature feeds on the raw innards of human beings. Fear is like a sweet sauce for their feeding and the beast will do nearly anything in its power to maximize the fear prior to actually killing the victim and eating its fill. The only thing these creatures like more than raw innards of adults? The placenta of a mother and the unborn fetus.

These creatures will subsist on animal innards when/where slaying humans would give away its presence (or if its trying desperately to not give in to its monstrous nature) but eventually they always succumb to the “lure” of raw human innards sweetened with fear.

Tells

Just like sometimes the “flesh mask” of the Red Court slips, hunters that know what to look for can occasionally see the writhing innards around/below the collar bones and or the “seam” where the neck and the detachable head go together. Because of this, the creatures prefer to have tattoos around the seam, wear high collars, and/or wear chokers and necklaces.

Sometimes when they succumb to their Hunger, locals that live nearby will find animal corpses with their innards eaten and this is often a clue that one of them is in the area… but people are quick to dismiss such things as animal attacks.

Reproduction

Luckily (or perhaps ‘horrifyingly’ depending on your point of view) the Jade Court does not replenish its numbers easily. Two things are required to create the circumstances necessary to bring a new one into existence.

  1. One, violent and “wronged” death. – Any death that has a good chance of creating a “ghost” is the same kind of death that creates a new creature of the Jade Court.
    • “Free Ticket” – Dabblers in “black magic” who knowingly or unknowingly carry the bloodline taint of the Jade Court (see #2 below) will always rise as one upon anything but a natural death due to old age.
  2. Two, heredity. – There are entire bloodlines and families “infected” with the latent curse of the Jade Court throughout all of Southeast Asia, Japan, or the Asian Diaspora. Though the creatures can no longer bear or beget offspring, any offspring prior continue to carry the bloodline taint.

Fate/DFRPG Template

6 Refresh Version

  • Skills
    • Deceit, Rapport, and Stealth tend to be amongst its higher/highest skills and no less than Good
  • Flesh Mask (-1) (page 175)
    • Unlike a Red Court Vampire, the “Flesh Mask” of these creatures is actually quite solid. It remains behind when the head detaches (much like a decapitated corpse) and is actually even able to maintain rudimentary motor functions for a few seconds/minutes after detachment.
    • Though the creature can abandon the body and form a new one (or kill a new victim and “move in”) it’s a difficult process to adjust/adapt to a new “house.” Thus they tend to prefer to return to their existing body after the floating head finishes whatever it was doing.
  • Feeding Dependency (+1) (page 190), innards (heart, liver, intestines, etc.) – which affects the rest of the abilities listed:
    • Inhuman “hard to kill” package; The Catch: direct attacks to the innards, and natural plant thorns/barbs (+2)
      • Inhuman Recovery (–2) (page 185)
      • Inhuman Toughness (–2) (page 185)
    • Human Form (+1) (page 176) – the following are only available in the “floating head” form
      • Claws (-1) (represents: animated tentacle intestines, proboscis tongue, fangs, etc.)
      • Flight (-1)
      • Incite Emotion: Fear (-3) (page 172-173), Also: At Range, Lasting Emotion

Other Versions

  • A 4 Refresh weaker version would drop Incite Emotion: Fear to -1 (touch range only, no “Lasting Emotion”)
  • A variant would have the weaker Incite Emotion and/or no Inhuman Recovery, but have Supernatural or even Mythic Toughness.
  • A 9 or higher Refresh “Elder” version would add Thaumaturgy (-3) and it’s definitely “black magic” and would almost certainly have Lawbreaker (Second, Third, and Fourth are very, very common)
  • “Good” Jade Court – There are lots of tragic stories of these creatures being created by accident and who try to resist falling to their “monstrous” nature.
    • For example, a good woman who just happens to be of the bloodline who is killed due to violence. She rises as a Jade Court creature and possibly has no knowledge of her own death (or maybe amnesia). These stories often have the creature (for a time) trying to live her normal life/raise her children… without understanding why she’s always hungry…
    • If a GM wants to allow Player Characters of the Jade Court, it’s totally possible to do. It will most likely end in tragedy, but then again many of the best stories are.

Jade Court

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