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Old 12-13-2016, 11:12 PM   #1
Johnny1A.2
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Default ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

See here for general information about the Orichalcum Universe: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=70111

See here for information about the Malignium: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=147153

The CONSUMIDORO

The term 'consumidoro' is a result of a slightly improper English translation of a Spanish writing. The Spanish scholar Rodrigo Santana coined the term 'Malignium' to describe that strange and ancient entity. He also referred to those humans transformed by the Malignium into its minion as 'the consumed ones', or rather, he used the Spanish equivalent of that phrase. An early translator of that Seventeenth Century scholar applied the coined term 'consumidoro' to translate the phrases used by Santana into English, and the term 'stuck' and became the common English term for those few who knew of their existence afterward.

The consumidoro have existed since before the beginning of modern recorded human history, though they do not date back to the Antediluvian Age. According to the writings of Santana, the first recognizable consumidoro are to be tentatively identified in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, but in fact they date back to well before the First Dynasty.

A consumidoro always starts with a human, or a near-human. The enormous majority of consumidoro begin as normal Homo sapiens, simply because that species makes up the huge majority of the Homosapients of Earth. The near-human species are by no means immune to the power of the Malignium, however, and consumidoro of other Homosapient species have been recorded.

The process of creating a consumidoro begins with a suitable human coming into mental contact with the Malignium. This contact can be spontaneous. That is, the human in question may be contacted by the Malignium without any intent or action on the part of the human. The contact can also be the result of deliberate effort on the part of the human, though any of several methods.

The contact is almost invariably subconscious, however, at least in the early stages of the process. The contact can occur in dreams, or even deeper below the level of conscious awareness. The contact is almost always subtle, and usually the process unfolds very slowly, especially in the early stages. The usual process involves a temptation through some form of power, sometimes overt, sometimes subtle, or the gratification of some desire. Often, in the latter case, the desire is something subconscious, something the potential consumidoro is not even fully aware he or she desires.

Sometimes, though, the desire is quite conscious, and the human seeks out the Malignium in pursuit of that desire. This is enabled by various clues and avenues that the Malignium spreads throughout human society, to draw the attention of such people. The nature of these baits is such that they tend mostly to appeal to those humans who might be suitable consumidoro.

In these cases, however, the people seeking out the Malignium rarely if ever have the slightest grasp, the faintest comprehension, of just what it is they are contacting or the magnitude of what they are risking. By the time some real understanding is obtained, it is generally far too late to matter.

In any case, there is always some price to be paid by the potential consumidoro for the ‘help’ to be received from the Malignium. This price is really not what it seems. Sometimes, it is something that will aid the plans of the Malignium, often it is something that simply ‘commits’ the human in some way to the path he or she is walking. Almost always, the ‘price’ is something that violates the moral code or general behavior pattern of the human. Almost always, too, it is something that seems initially fairly minor, even if it does involve such a violation.

(Rarely is this first action anything like a murder, or a great betrayal. Usually, it is something relatively minor, something that might even be seen as justifiable...if looked at in a certain way. It will be some act or lack of action or course that can be rationalized. It can be just about anything, though.)

With each success, each thing gained from the Malignium, the human will find that the Malignium has imprinted somewhat more of its own touch onto their mind and soul, and often the body as well.

To be continued...
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

The consumidoro can be very roughly divided into two general categories, the lone predators and the subtle subversives. There is some limited overlap between these two groups, and the latter sometimes direct the activities of the former, often without the knowledge of the former, but sometimes in knowing cooperation. The 'lone' predators sometimes operate in small groups, as well, though this is definitely the exception rather than the rule. It would be rare predators who operated in a group bigger than three or four, and the large majority operate alone.

The predators are more purely monstrous, in a physical way, than the subversives. They often display visible somatic mutations, some come to appear rather inhuman. They more often than not display physical 'augmentations' that make them more dangerous in combat, or more effective as predatory creatures. They can be extremely dangerous in melee combat, or as a threat to individual humans, but they are rarely dangerous to large groups or organized societies.

The subtle subversives more often than not look completely human, and some display no physical changes at all, though most do possess some subtle physical enhancements. They may well display intellectual abilities that are not within normal human ranges, and often possess strange paraphysical abilities as well (though never true psionic powers, see below).

Either variety of consumidoro remains entirely mortal, and fully capable of dying by violence or other forms of harm. Many consumidoro are extremely long-lived, however, some are recorded to have survived for several centuries. The most common cause of death among the consumidoro is violence, from any of several sources, or accident.

Still, the consumidoro do have finite lifespans, though exactly how long they can live is difficult to ascertain, since so few die naturally.

As noted above, no consumidoro ever does or can display psionic powers. This is linked to their very nature.

As the Malignium changes potential consumidoro, it is also devouring the psychic essence that is part of what makes them human. This is one of the roots of the term 'consumidoro', and has as a side-effect the removal of the latent psionic potential all normal human beings possess. With that inner essence consumed and gone, the potential for psionic power is also gone. If an active psion becomes a consumidoro, his or her psionic powers will not survive the transformation process.

More fundamentally, this psychic essence is tightly linked to the biological life processes, its absence would normally be fatal. In the consumidoro, however, life continues because the Malignium continues to supply the necessary support in place of the native life essence. [1]

The original mind remains present and controls the body, but mind and body can remain integrated and operational only so long as the Malignium maintains this supporting power. If it is interrupted, even momentarily, or withdrawn by the Malignium, the consumidoro will expire immediately.

The changes made by the Malignium in the process of creating a consumidoro are both physical and mental, though the mix varies according to the individual case and the general category. The Malignium can and does stimulate the cells of a consumidoro to make substantial changes to the external appearance and (to a lesser degree) the internal structure and organization of the new consumidoro. Still, fairly hard limits to this ability do exist.

The Malignium can not cause the body to radically transform its structure, it must remain a mammalian biped, it can not transform into an animal, or grow wings and fly. Muscles can be bulked up and/or made denser, skin can be made tougher, but within biological limits. The body can be made to grow new teeth, in different shapes than natural human teeth, but not to grow a beak, or baleen. The body can be covered entirely in dense fur, or scale-like deposits, but not true scales.

Since the physical transformation can be continued over time, an older creature may show considerably greater changes than a new one, because more time has been available for the transformation process to unfold.

To be continued...



[1:] There is a remote similarity to the process for creating 'Antediluvian Revenants', as described here: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread...evenant&page=3
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Old 12-18-2016, 09:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

The process of transformation into a consumidoro can and usually does radically alter the mind. Intelligence sometimes rises, sometimes falls, but either way, the thought processes can change radically from the human norm. Priorities and goals often change totally over the course of the transformation, sometimes becoming essentially opposite to what the human sought at the beginning. Almost all consumidoro, of either general type, are very alien mentally compared to the human baseline.

As noted upthread, no consumidoro can display true psionic powers, but they can and do display paranormal abilities that might appear very similar. The key difference is that these abilities derive not from their own inner psychic essence, but rather from the link to the Malignium. In effect, they are wielding a small fraction of the power of the Malignium as if it were their own.

There a few effects that can be performed with true psionics that the Malignium cannot duplicate through its consumidoro. On the other hand, the Malignium is immensely powerful, and the effects it generates through its consumidoro can be far more potent than the psionic abilities on an individual human being.

Generally, the process of transformation occurs in small steps over a period of months, or even a year or two. If the human in question realizes what is happening, there are steps that can be taken to stop or reverse the process, though the further along it proceeds, the greater the difficulty of stopping. At the beginning, it is a relatively easy task, toward the end it is nearly impossible.

The underlying purpose of the 'lone predator' consumidoro is twofold. To begin with, their depredations on humans spread fear and pain and suffering, which the Malignium enjoys for their own sake. They spread both individual pain and suffering, and en masse they can spread fear and pain at a societal level, though the latter effect is more diffuse.

Also, and just as important to the Malignium, a lone predator consumidoro enables the Malignium to easily feed on the concentrated fear and terror and psychic essence of individual victims. Every time a predatory consumidoro strikes, under the right conditions, the Malignium is able to feed on the victim. This can be done whether the victim lives or dies, if the conditions are right.

If the victim dies, the Malignium gains a larger, more immediate, and more concentrated 'meal', as well as the pleasure of the death and suffering associated with that death, as well. Still, often the survival of the victim can serve the purposes of the Malignium as well as the death. There are various reasons why this is so.

One important reason is that some predatory consumidoro can 'infect' a victim with a taint from the Malignium. If this is allowed to take root and fester, the result can be the start of the gradual transformation of a surviving victim into another (usually predatory) consumidoro. Many of the legends of contagious lycanthropy, or similar, have their roots in this fact.

By no means is the victim of such an attack doomed to become another monster, however. It is merely a possibility, one that sometimes (often, in fact) fails on its own, and can often be resisted and reversed if it does take root. Still, this possibility is one reason why the Malignium can profit from either the death of a victim, or the survival of that same victim.

Another reason is that there is another form of taint that can befall such a surviving victim. A successful but not lethal attack by a predatory consumidoro can leave a victim more vulnerable to the telepathic influences of the Malignium, even if it does not actually infect the victim toward becoming a new consumidoro.

In practice, this can allow the attacking consumidoro to control, or at least heavily influence, some of its surviving victims. This last effect is also sometimes seen among the subversive consumidoro as well.

To be continued...
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

The 'subversive' consumidoro can be very different from the 'predatory' consumidoro. They most often appear entirely mundane, as noted above, and their physical changes, if present at all, will always be subtle. Their mental changes may be far more radical, but they will retain high intelligence and the ability to interact with humans in a convincing way. They often work as a member of a large group of fellow subversive consumidoro, and in fact the 'lone' subversive is a rare entity.

Unlike their predatory brethren, the subversive consumidoro tend to take the long view, and often work slowly and carefully toward complex long-term goals, either set by themselves or the Malignium itself. Some of the schemes pursued by 'subversive' consumidoro may require multiple centuries to play out in their entirety, which can make the motives and actions of such beings very opaque to normal humans with human time perspectives.

A subversive consumidoro may well seem to be engaging in beneficent actions, the actions may even be beneficial in the short term, which can be many decades in length. They might be an enemy or an ally equally well, as long as their long-term goals are advanced.

Subversive consumidoro are always subservient to the Malignium, and will defer their own goals to those of their master in all cases. That does not mean they have no desires and goals of their own, and sometimes they work active against each other, in pursuit of various goals and rivalries. The Malignium generally permits this, and sometimes even encourages such rivalry, as long as its own goals are not imperiled.

Whether predatory or subversive, consumidoro share certain weaknesses which derive from their basic nature. Animals tend to dislike them, and can often sense their nature. This even extends to a reluctance to eat their tissue. While that might seem advantageous, a reluctance to consume their tissue does not mean an animal will not attack them. The refusal of mosquitoes, or such creatures, to bite consumidoro can give away their nature to an knowledgeable observer, as well.

This reluctance is well-founded, because consumidoro tissues are toxic. Various chemical changes occur during the transformation that render the flesh of a consumidoro poisonous to most Terrestrial-derived life forms.

Animals can sometimes be trained to recognize the scent and 'feel' of a consumidoro, dogs and cats tend to react badly to them, horses tend to panic when even the subversive type is around.

Espers can be taught to recognize a consumidoro by their psychic effect, and even untrained sensitives often feel 'something not right' about them. This last effect is very difficult to screen or block.

The chemical/metabolic changes in a consumidoro make them very vulnerable to certain drugs and chemicals that are either less effective with normal humans, or in some cases totally harmless to normal humans.

To be continued...
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

It is difficult to describe in detail the various abilities and weaknesses of specific consumidoro, because each one is a unique combination determined by the native traits of the initial subject, the needs and intentions of the Malignium, and surrounding circumstances. Instead, it is simpler to make a list of the potential traits that a given consumidoro might display, in various combinations and degrees.

Any given consumidoro might display, without any visible physical somatic mutation, any of the following (modified GURPS 3e):

DX +1
ST +2
HT +2
IQ +1d6 (primarily 'subversives')

With somatic mutation, the changes may reach as high as:

DX +4
ST +10
HT +10

Any combination of the following Advantages might be displayed by a predatory consumidoro:

Absolute Direction
Acute Hearing (+3 or more)
Acute Vision (+3 or more)
Acute Sense of Smell (+2 or more)
Acute Sense of Touch (+1 or +2)
Alertness (+3 or more)
Disease Resistant
Extra Fatigue (4 levels absent somatic mutation, 4-10 with somatic mutation)
Extra Hit Points (4 levels absent somatic mutation, 4-15 with somatic mutation)
Hard To Kill (4 levels)
High Pain Threshold
Increased Speed (2 levels absent somatics, up to 5 with somatics)
Less Sleep (3-6 levels)
Night Vision
Peripheral Vision
Temperature Tolerance (3 levels without somatics, 4 or (rarely) 5 with somatics)
Toughness (2 levels absent somatic mutation, more with somatic mutation)
Very Fit
Very Rapid Healing

To be continued…
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

The following list of somatic mutations displayed by various consumidoro is not necessarily exhaustive, but is indicative:

Thin fur (protection from sunburn and similar, DR 1)
Medium fur (protection from sunburn, +1 HT against cold, protects as light clothing)
Thick fur (as medium fur, but +1 PD and +1 DR)
Thick hide/toughened epidermis (+1 DR/PD, may have other properties)
Claws
Lengthened/sharpened canines/fangs
Oddly colored eyes (red, yellow, other)
Massive increase in body bulk (muscle mostly), 50-100%
Lengthening of arms and legs
Lengthening of fingers
Scaly deposits
Keratin layers over parts of body
Razor-sharp bone spurs (usually in arms)

The more extensive the somatic mutation, and the further from the human baseline it takes the subject, generally the longer it takes to reach completion. Such transformations do not occur overnight, it might requires years for a predatory consumidoro to complete the full range of physical transformations.

Note that most consumidoro display only some of the above transformations.

The ‘subversive’ type of consumidoro is usually human to all appearance, though occasionally some very limited somatic mutations do appear.

Any combination of the following Advantages might be displayed by a subversive consumidoro:

Absolute Direction
Acute Hearing (+3 or more)
Alertness (+3 or more)
Attractive Appearance (or higher)
Common Sense
Disease Resistant
Eidetic Memory (1-2)
Extra Fatigue (usually 3-4 levels)
Hard To Kill (4 levels)
High Pain Threshold
Imperturbable
Increased Speed (2 levels)
Language Talent
Less Sleep (3-6 levels)
Night Vision
Peripheral Vision
Strong Will (2-3)
Temperature Tolerance (2-3 levels)
Toughness (2 levels)
Very Fit
Very Rapid Healing

Most subversive consumidoro display an increase in their IQ. This takes the form of extra knowledge and mental strength derived directly from the Malignium, and it tends to grow steadily with time. The basic 'reasoning' intelligence of the consumidoro may remain the same, but the additional knowledge and perception (and experience from a long lifespan) can 'leverage' this enormously.

As a rule, a subversive consumidoro will display +1 to IQ for every fifty years of life as a consumidoro, for 1d6 such periods, then level off.

Most subversive consumidoro display tremendous strength of will, derived from their connection with the Malignium, this is typically 2 to 3 levels of Strong Will, and can be more so in older individuals.

To be continued…
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

Along with the Advantages listed above, there are also some Disadvantages common to some or most consumidoro.

No consumidoro of any kind may use any form of psionic ability. This includes the Advantages Danger Sense and Empathy, neither of these Advantages is possible for a consumidoro. Nor can consumidoro access the Flux/Matrix directly, they may do so only through the Malignium.

Predatory consumidoro tend to have decreased IQ relative to their original human/near-human state. This is not so much a decrease in native intelligence as an array of mental Disadvantages, lack of focus and long-term thinking, and constant distraction. In a mirror of the subversives, the predatories tend to lose IQ with age, except for predatory cunning. That they tend to retain, and even increase with time.

As a loose rule, one might apply a -1 to all IQ based tasks for a predatory consumidoro for each fifty years of time as a consumidoro. The exception is anything involving pursuit of prey, combat, or related 'cunning', in which case the IQ is unmodified.

Predatory consumidoro tend to be unfocused, their minds racing back and forth between momentary distractions, interests, or thoughts. They become bored very easily, and are easily angered and outraged, though they can show great focus and restraint while pursuing victims.

While physical Disadvantages are rare among predatory consumidoro, because of their enormous regenerative abilities, mental issues are very common.

Disadvantages common to predatory consumidoro include:

Amnesia (usually partial)
Bad Temper
Berserk
Bloodlust
Compulsive Behavior(s)
Delusion(s)
Distractible (except when pursuing prey)
Frightens Animals
Gluttony
Impulsiveness
Intolerance (usually very general, such as entire races, species, etc.)
Lecherousness
Obsession(s)
Overconfidence
Mania(s)
Megalomania
Negative Appearance at any level (tends to worsen with time)
Paranoia
Phobia(s)
Sadism (almost universal)
Short Attention Span (except when hunting prey)
Split Personality

It would be a rare predatory who display all of the above, but most of them display at least several, and almost all display Sadism, though the detailed form this takes can vary. One predatory consumidoro might choose to break many bones in a helpless victim before dispatching the prey, another might bury a victim alive to suffocate.

One particularly common manifestation of Intolerance among predatory consumidoro is other predatory consumidoro.

To be continued...
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

SPECIAL PARANORMAL ABILITIES:

A consumidoro can not wield personal psionic powers, nor can they tap directly into the vast power of the Matrix/Flux. However, they can and do draw upon the power of the Malignium, which can enable them to duplicate many abilities they can not personally possess, or to do specific unusual things.

The list of paranormal effects a consumidoro can potentially invoke is long, and no one consumidoro has ever been known to have access to them all. Why the Malignium grants the specific effects it does to the specific consumidoro it grants them to remains a deep mystery.

There are some limits to the paraphysical abilities of a consumidoro. The abilities are drawn from the Malignium, and if the Malignium is distracted or occupied, there is a chance the ability will fail. Likewise, if some force interferes either with Malignium, the ability may be weakened, or it may fail entirely, depending on the situation.

Ordinary Antipsi is ineffective against the power of a consumidoro, but the more potent power of a Psychonull is another matter. The presence of one or more strong Psychonulls can always weaken, and sometimes entirely disrupt, the paranormal abilities of a consumidoro.

Further, and more importantly, Psychonulls represent an existential threat to the very existence of a consumidoro. Recall that if anything breaks their connection to the Malignium, they will rapidly perish. A Psychonull tends to interfere with this connection. Physical contact with a Psychonull is disorienting and painful for a consumidoro, and sustained physical contact can actually slay a consumidoro. Likewise, the sustained close proximity of a very strong Psychonull, or a group of moderately powerful Psychonulls, can also be a threat to the survival of a consumidoro.

In GURPS 3e terms, in order to use of his or her paranormal gifts, a consumidoro must roll 3d. Normally, the ability works on a 16 or less. Various circumstances, such as interference from a jamming device, or the presence of a nearby Psychonull, can reduce that target number substantially.

Subtract half the Power of any Psychonull within the immediate area (generally, about 100 meters) from the roll. Thus, a Power 10 Psychonull would force the consumidoro to roll an 11 or less on 3d to make the ability work, and if worked it would be weakened by the Psychonull.

If the Psychonull is touching the consumidoro, meaning flesh touching flesh, subtract the full Power of the Psychonull from the roll. So that same Power 10 Psychonull would reduce the target number to a 6, within physical contact, and even if it worked, it would be greatly weakened.

Since most paranormal effects can be likened to combinations of psionic effects, they have Power levels, and the presence of a Psychonull at hand will reduce that strength by his or her own Power.

To be continued...
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Old 01-11-2017, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

I love this concept. Plan on using it as an evil fire entity BBEG for an upcoming campaign
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Old 01-26-2017, 11:06 PM   #10
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Default Re: ORICHALCUM UNIVERSE SIDEBAR: The CONSUMIDORO...

The CONSUMIDORO continued...

The intensity and duration of the effects a consumidoro can invoke are varied with the situation and individual. Older consumidoro, as a general rule, have access to a wider range of powers, and greater strength and duration of use as well.

In game terms, any of these powers will have a specific Power, similar to the Power of a psionic ability. The duration varies. Generally, in game terms, each consumidoro has 3d 'power points', and can 'spend' them to lengthen the duration and expand the scale of any of their powers. Older or more 'important' consumidoro may have substantially more such points than younger ones, 3d is the basic level, it can go far higher. How high depends on the importance the Malignium places on a given consumidoro, and can change with time.

To use an ability, the consumidoro must roll against the target number on 3d, as noted above. On a success he or she can invoke one of the available abilities, at the point cost given with the ability. By spending additional points as specified, duration and/or scale can be expanded at any time during the duration of effect, but if the ability runs its course, the consumidoro must roll 3d again to invoke it once more.

Some consumidoro have the ability to 'override' their lessers, blocking the use of a given paranormal ability, or ending it before the duration would normally end. In any such case, the points are still used and gone.

Spent 'power points' return after 3d hours as a rule, though special circumstances may alter that.

If a consumidoro has used up his or her credit, so to speak, no paranormal abilities can usually be invoked. However, the Malignium might respond anyway in unusual circumstances (GM discretion). This would generally only happen in situations where the usually diffuse attention of the Malignium was directed on a situation, which would in turn generally mean either the involvement of a very high-level consumidoro or else a very unusual situation or circumstances.

The ability list is here: Ability List

The Malignium 'assigns' some consumidoro to the direction and control of others. This can vary from a loose association to an iron and inescapable bond of obedience. In this later case, the ruling consumidoro is called a 'lord', and his or her subjects 'vassals'. There can be hierarchies of such relationships, a given consumidoro may be a lord of many vassals but himself a vassal of a still mightier lord. In such hierarchies, as noted above, the higher-ranking consumidoro usually has the ability so suppress or end any paranormal effect deployed by a junior creature, at no cost to himself.
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