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Topic: Some basic info on the game, characters and story  (Read 2500 times)
Katran
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« on: November 14, 2009, 06:24:51 PM »

Here is some great info on the game that was archived and saved by Cabela and Victor, and then passed along to me by Cabela:


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Here are some transcripts from an old forum at 3dactionplanet that had great information about the game (now lost). I've kept it mostly as it was presented with a small amount of formatting. The developer is Peter Siefert, from the forums at http://undying.3dactionplanet.gamespy.com/. Many thanks to Jon “Cabela” Hunt from that site.

-Victor

 

 

First, some general info:

HP Lovecraft was the original inventor of the Necronomicon. Because it became so popular from his stories other authors began referencing it in their stories. Eventually it was created into its own book.

 

Clive pointed out something when he first got involved with the project. He noted that Undying was a curious fusion of Romantic Horror (House of Usher etc etc) and Lovecraftian Horror. While I hadn't realized it at that point he was dead on.

Sidenote: if you havent checked out the Game of Thrones series by George RR Martin it is well worth your while. Not horror but some damn well written fantasy.

 

The siblings were to some degree concious of their curse (David the most aware) but they all fought to control it or manipulate it to their benefit.

The King is just one of a number of entities out there. The are magic eating and magic manipulating so they dont really have one solid identity.

The souls of the siblings were pretty much destroyed or eaten by the king. One idea we were originally doing but got cut had them possessed by lesser servitors of the king. The Minstrels mentioned earlier by Devillo. Each of the children were housing a minstrel. If all 5 minstrels were released they were what awakened the king. I like the idea but it never made it in.

 

The pictures on the walls were definatley intentional. We wanted to forshadow the events in the game and have some fun with it. We didnt worry to much about justtifying why they had all the violent art but I guess it does make the Covenants a little creepier if you think of it that way.

SOme of he paintings were Aarons. Especially the ones that are paintings of Oneiros, Eternal Autumn etc.

Voice wise the most interesting thing is that Clive was the voice of Ambrose. This had been posted before but it is none the less a nice touch. He has a very gravelly voice.

One of the voice actors I believe was Duke Nukem. We have some outakes of him insulting one of our programmers "Keebler." Pretty funny stuff but probably wont see the light of day due to legal issues.

 

 

« Last Edit: November 16, 2009, 12:09:43 PM by Katran » Logged
Katran
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 06:26:22 PM »

Quote
Questions:

Q: What exactly was the Undying King? How did the whole situation work with the Covenant siblings apparently absorbing his power and then that power being released with their (final) deaths? Did each remaining sibling gain their undead siblings' power as Patrick destroyed them, making Jeremiah the most powerful in the end?

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(side note forgive me if some of this doesnt come across in game. We went through drastic cuts to get the game out the door. Multiplayer, 8 spells some levels and story all were hit)

The standing stones marked a nexus of mystical power. The Undying King was a godling attracked to the power and came to feed off the site. He was called the "King" because if you can imagine a side profile of the island beneath which the creature lay with the standing stones on top it would look similar to a crown on the creatures head. This also became confused with the myth of the sacrifice of the Celt mentioned below.

As he grew in power the people in the surrounding area realized this and came with a plan to stop it.

A Celtic King sacrificed his life to create a seal over the Undying "King" to keep it dormant and protect his people. That is who is lowered into the ground during one of the cutscenes.

Years later when the children did the ceremony they broke the Celt's seal and the Undying King was awakened. Jeremiah however cast a counter spell that recreated the seal in a unexpected way.

The children became a living seal. Each of them corrupted by the power they contained. However that same power sustained them even after death.

Not knowing how the power worked and realizing they might become more powerful if they were to eliminate their siblings the Covenants turned on one another. None of them had the power to truely destroy the other until Jeremiah met Patrick and had researched the Gel'ziabar Stone.

(Side note: the G stone potentially held many more powers. Good sequal fodder stuff. Why else would the Hounds be so drawn to it)

Now the definition of the corruption got redefined a couple of times and the back history as you can see gets a little complicated.

 

Q: Who among the siblings was the most powerful, in your opinion?

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Jeremiah was the most powerful at the end because he had absorbed the power of his siblings. Bethany was naturally powerful even in life.

 

Q: Patrick's monologue at the end of the game mentioned other gateways guarded by other monasteries around the world. Does this mean that this whole scenario could happen again, or was there only one book (the one the siblings used at the stones)?

 

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The book isnt nearly as important as the other nexi (plural??) of power. Each nexus allowed for a blurring of reality between different dimensions and amplified magic (only weakly noticeable in most of the modern world).

Supernatural creatures and those seeking to harnass its power (Keisinger) would be drawn to these areas.

The book allowed the children to break the seal created by the sacrifice of the Celt. Other nexus lay dormant or could have grown wild far from the sight of modern man.

The brotherhood of monks were watchers of any nexus they found. No one knows how to destroy a nexus so the brotherhood only hoped to oppose what ever might be drawn to or pass through a nexus.

 

Q: And what did happen to that book?

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Joseph took the book and hid it. The book was significant to the regional nexus near the Covenant family home but not as important to the global storyline.

 

Q: What happened to the scythe after Patrick is thrown off the isle of Standing Stones at the end?

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That was undecided.

 

Q: If the Scythe of the Celt separates the soul from the body, why was Lizbeth's head still talking after being severed from her body? Why is she the only one of the siblings to do this?

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Um that was our mistake. We thought it would be cool to have her talking and didnt really solidify the logic of the scythe until later. At that point no one wanted to remove the "cool" simply for the sake of consistancy.

To clear up an comment read in another post Lizbeth speaks both English and Mystical Chants. Thus why you might have only understood part of what she was saying.

 

Q: The skeletal monks seem to be minions of Lizbeth, but on several occasions in the boss battle with her, I was able to get them to attack her. Is this a game glitch, or do the monks only guard the monastery and catacombs against everyone, even Lizbeth? They usually ignore her and go after Patrick.

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The Howlers were Lizbeth's minions.

The Monks were an annoyance to her since she couldnt kill them. Need the Invoke spell for that.

The Monks simply haunt the catacombs and try to continue their job from life. They oppose the supernatural and are enemies to anything that wields or is infused with it.

Kinda didnt like Patrick for a couple reasons. One he simply used Magic but more importantly he killed em all in the first place. Indirectly of course but still you can understand how they might feel....

 

Q: Unlike the rest of his siblings, Jeremiah's appearance didn't change after death. Is there a reason?

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Jeremiah was killed by the blast from the Shaman (who is the model for the original lead character Magnus Wolfrum). He basically covered up his wound with all his sick bed clothes.

To be honest the main reason we didnt deform J horribly is becuase we wanted him to be the sympathetic friend you were helping. The depth of betrayal and manipulation needed to be hidden. I guess we could have had him show up deformed at the end.

 

Q: Why did Keisinger save Patrick at the end?

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He had plans for Patrick. Keisinger "died" (as much as evil sorcerers do) in Oneiros but his spirit lived on and he is capable of manifesting. Much of K's plan was how to get back to reality and he needed Patrick to unlock more of the powers of the G stone and find a means of crossing back over permenantly.

 

Q: Why didn't Aaron's ghost immediately come to take revenge on Bethany?

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The siblings were tied to their surroundings. Aaron couldn't leave the house.

Similarly Bethany, Liabeth and Ambrose could make jaunts back to the house but wouldnt be able to stay long before withdrawing to their place of "death." Bethany had already been to Eternal Autumn and had power there.

Its easier to return to the family home than it was to leave it.

 

Q: Why did Keisinger kill Bethany? And while we're in that vein...can you tell us anything about the cut Scrye event between Keisinger and Bethany?

Bethany lured K to Covenant House to try to steal knowledge from him. K was of course curious then greedy for the power he detected at the house.

The scrye scene actually was to reveal that Bethany attacked first trying to steal power from him. It went wrong and she lost.

However, sustained and empowereed by the curse of the Undying King she was able to return and defeat Keisinger and force him to retreat to Oneiros.

The scrye event was their second confrontation after Bethany returned from Eternal Autumn and drove K to Oneiros.

 

Q: Did Aaron really manage to find his way into Eternal Autumn, or was his journal entry about it a vision or a dream? If he did find his way in, how did he get there? Did it have anything to do with his connection to Bethany because he is her twin, or did he just find his way in by snooping around in her business?

---

As an artist Aaron had dreams of Eternal Autumn even before his death. It could have been intertwined with Clara's initial discovery of the realm. Being twins that would be a easy leap of reason.

It wasnt fully defined but Aaron was always artisically sensitive and much of his art wasnt acts of creative fiction as much as his translation of visions and dreams he experienced.

 

Q: Athena asked this question, but I'd like to ask a bit more about it, too--if Aaron wanted revenge on Bethany, why didn't he go after her? She is still making visits to the manor after his death. Or was it because his ghost was confined to the house and Bethany was in Eternal Autumn and he could not get to her?

---

The siblings could visit the house.

Aaron of course having died within the house couldnt leave.

Ambrose died after jumping off the cliff to escape the law.

Lizbeth died in the Mausoleum area. Sick and buried alive in a coma-like state but died there (see the scratches on the inside of her coffin -ed, jcoct).

Clara retreated to Eternal Autumn.

Jeremiah died from his wounds in the battle (ed-jcoct).

 

Q: If Jeremiah, as a child, cast a spell to counter the original awakening spell, how did he know to do this, and why was this plot point not mentioned? Did he understand the nature of the spell well enough in order to do this, or did he do it by accident?

Pretty much just read the next paragraph. He didnt understand anything they did they just were fooling around at the stones.

He had gleaned enough knowledge from his father and his book in order to say the words ("most of em..." he he) but not to understand what they would do. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

 

1. For what purpose were the Standing Stones built? Why?

Standing stones we all part of the seal that kept the Undying King from waking.

 

2. What is the sigil carved into each stone? Why?

They are magical symbols and once again contribute to the seal. Realize the King was feeding off the powernode at the location of the standing stones.

 

3. What is their purpose? (Perhaps to focus magic?)

The stones used that node against him to seal him into a sleep state. THe final piece being the sacrafice of a human life to activate the spell. Thus the Celtic King's burial.

 

4. Who built the Standing Stones?

THe Celts long ago.

 

5. Where was the Gel'ziabar stone found originally? (Not where Patrick found it.)

Never defined. It is a mystical artifact that has a habit of being found and lost over the years "one stone to find them all..." yada yada.

 

6. What was it meant to be used for?

It is a magical focus. Almost a transportable power node. It does have more power than Patrick or Jeremiah ever unlocked.

The stone amplifies magic naturally and allows the user to be more intuned with the mystical world.

 

7. What is Gel'ziabar supposed to mean?

Absolutely made up. Words with random apostophes just sound mystical dont they. I think Gel'ziabar sounds suggestive of a lost language.

 

8. Why *exactly* did Jeremiah want the Gel'ziabar stone?

See my description above of the stones powers. He knew the family curse was corruptive he hoped the stone might give him insight into how to control it.

 

9. Why didn't the Hound of Gel'ziabar kill Patrick the first time? (Or did it?)

The Hounds attacks those that abuse the power of the stone. In the first meeting Ambrose was the one abusing the power of the stone. Hence the reason he was attacked by the Hound. Patrick was just a nuscience to a monster with a bad disposition and got knocked the **** out.

 

10. Why did it attack in Oneiros?

By that time Patrick had been in possession of the stone long enough to draw the Hounds attention.

 

11. Why do you see it in the beginning chasing howlers?

The Hounds are extradimensional creatures. Their ability to enter this world are closely tied to the G stone. The stone had been on the Covenant grounds for awhile and they could warp in at times because of it.

 

12. Why is the Hound linked to the Gel'ziabar stone?

At some point the stone was used to open a rift between this world and the Hounds dimension. The rift never fully closed. The more the stone is used the more the Hounds are attracked to it.

 

13. Is the hound friend or foe?

Hounds arent really good or evil. They are a foe in the same way a hungry Tiger or a rattlesnake is simply unhealthy to be around.

 

14. How old is Kiesenger?

Very. This wasnt ever specific. To me he was a couple hundred years old but choices throughout the project started to blur that line.

Perhaps he could time travel and visit these times or perhaps their is and ancestral line and legacy that the Keisinger's have carried.

 

15. If he was under 2500 years old, how was he at the burial of the Celtic Warrior?

see above

 

16. More importantly, *why* was he there, if only to usurp the throne of the Undying King in 1926?

K is very hungry for power. He will search it out and seek to claim it whereever he can. Even if he knows of the existance of the power nodes he doesnt necessarily know how to claim them.

 

17. Or was it that he was guarding the portal to the King?

nope wanted to steal power. Didnt know what he was getting into.

 

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Katran
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 06:26:52 PM »

Quote
18. What were the missing spells? I am aware of Mindshatter, Powerword, and Ward; I feel I

have an idea of Phase, Firefly and Incantation of Silence, but what of Shalas (Shala's?) Vortex, and the one that I have absolutely no clue about?

---

Mindshatter -- disorients -- this is what the Sil Lith use on Patrick in Oneiros

Powerword -- scribes a glowing rune in the air. Anyone in Line of Sight take persistent damage from it. Very powerful but costly to mana.

Ward -- organic mines.

Firefly -- accuracy modifier (allows magic spells to seek. Makes opponents glow. Especially good in DM when people would hide in dark shadows.

Shala's Vortex -- originally defenses were broken into physical attacks (shield defense) and magic attacks (shala's defense)

Phoenix (turned into Phoenix eggs but it was a spell) -- Self guided firey bird.

Phase -- invisibility

Incantation of Silence -- Mutes sound.

Each of these would be affected by amplifiers making them more useful.

For Example: Phase would would make you translucent but not invis. Second level would make you invis standing still translucent when moving. 3rd invis walking. 4th invis running but trans firing weapons. 5th Invis at all times.

Some of these spells had more use for Multiplayer and we didnt justify in the single player game as much. Once Multiplayer was cut so was some of the necessity of spells.

BTW dynamite used to be a weapon rather than and inventory item. That was the slot Phoenix Eggs took.

 

19. (As pointed out before in another post) if the Scythe is evil, then why wasn't Patrick affected by it? Or was he?

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Originally the weapon was supposed to have blood thirst that would pull you toward your oppoenent in an uncontrollable way. You'll notice the alt mode still has a little of this functionality. It never quite worked right so we didn't force the issue.

The weapon wasnt really evil but the Monks who opposed all things "unholy" sought to destroy it. It is a tool and the weapon of the Celtic King before he died.

---

 

Q: How did the scythe come to exist? Why was it buried with the Celtic warrior? Why did it have such a negative effect on the monks? Was that Keisinger at the burial of the warrior, or was it not meant to look like him?

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The monks were corrupted by the presence of the King. They misplaced the blame on the scythe.

The scythe was the weapon of the Celtic King. When he sacrificed his life to create the seal over the Undying King the weapon was his legacy and symbol. Similar to Excalibur reprsenting King Arthur.

Um this is like a question in multiple parts you cheated on your numbering.

Keisinger or maybe an ancestor (i like that better) was at the burial. This was an inspiration of one of the artists on the project and wasnt driven by consistency as much as cool factor.

 

 

Q: Why was Evaline's body singing in the catacombs? Had she always been animated, and Lizbeth just found her, or did Lizbeth somehow reanimate her?

----

Lizbeth reanimated her. Not living just listlessly mumbling old nursery rhymes etc. Since Lizbeth never knew her Mother she had just a little obsession with her.

---

 

Q: Does Ambrose's name have anything to do with ambrosia, the "food of the gods", which would give immortality to mortals?

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Love this one. While I would like to claim we were that deep I cannot. I just grabbed the name from Ambrose Bierce. We wanted names that sounded older and uncoventional.

 

Q: why when you return from Oneiros when you open the door - you are in the mansion? Aren't you supposed to be on the roof or whatever?

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The flow and logic of how Oneiros has linked into the real world is very non euclidean. However the part of the house you do spawn back in at the end of the Oneiros section is at the base of the Tower inside the house. Back when the exploration of the house was going to be more freeformed this would have been more apparent. When we changed it this became pretty obscure.

Q:  where can you find the easter eggs??? I searched every door!! I actually ended in the end with 101 health packs =))

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Im hoping someone somewhere has outlined where the easter eggs are. I can tell you how to find the first one (Galaga). WHen you enter the house for the first time you will encounter David before you walk into Jeremiah's room for the first time. Instead of entering the room and cutscene walk to the end of the hall where the double doors are. If you shoot the upper left and right corners of the doorarch (you will see a small button depress if the shot is accurate) the double doors will swing open and you will find a minigame. As Bats and Flickering Stalkers fly by you need to eliminate them before they escape. there are 10 rounds of this. You win things forcomepleting it I believe. IF not just a silly challenge.

 

Look for Giant Sheep around the farm house near the Monastery.

Someone has to have an explanation for the others somewhere on these boards.

 

Q: why did Jerimayah(sorry for mistakes) give the stone to Patrick and didn't just still it, when he was sleeping???

And when did Jerimayah actually understood that the stone is a very unique and a powerful artifact? I'm asking this questions because i am just confused of that fact that Jerimayah didn't still the stone or kill Patrick. Of course there is the fact that he wanted Patrick to kill his siblings, but he could've done it with the stone by himself.

---

Jeremiah didnt understand the stones full significance until he returned to the Manor. Also he couldnt risk returning with it for all his siblings would know and try to take it. For the time it was safer with Patrick. Plus he had some long term revenge planned for dying on that field.

 

Q: In the catacombs of the monastery in one of the rooms there was some writing with how i uderstood mirror image - so u can read it only if you have a mirror, or is it just some old language?

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I believe the artists found some cool images. Of course there were many of these Scrye moments some of them legible others just creepy.

 

Q: The Verago. Whats their story, their origions, their agenda if you will.

----

Verago are the remnants of the inhabitants of Oneiros. They were great magic users who dabbled too much with the Arcane and ended up being corrupted and all but wiped out by it.

 

Q: the Skarrow. They didnt appear much in the game, but were referred as the oldest of the inhabitants of Oneirios. So were they like the primary citizens, or were all of the Onerios creatures just interdimensional loafers who after the city was blown into their relm, they took over the ruins?

---

Scarrow are interdimensional squatters. Think of them as magic scavengers. Oneiros has become a location for many displaced or transient races. The Flickering Stalkers have a similar background.

 

Q: And finally, the Monto Shonoi. Both Aaron and Bethany were able to summon these guys, with Bethany specialising in the Greater Monto'Shonoi. Was this a family thing, as they were twins, or were the Monto'Shonoi servitors of the King, similar to the Handmaidens, and all of the Covenents tied to the curse at the right level could summon them? Thanks for your time mate.

---

Monto'Shonoi are another interdimentional entity. Bethany is for all intents a summoner by nature. Since they are devestating hunters they are a natural choice for her "creature" arsenal.

Aaron on the other hand through his insanity and drug addiction combined with curse is able to see these other dimentions and tap into them through his paintings.

 

Q: I am so sorry for my english in my posts - i don't know english very well, i am from Russia and their is a lot of fans of Undying =))

---

You dont know how cool it is to realize we have fans all around the world. I am glad you found the site and I could help answer your questions.

Is there a Russian Translation or are you playing it in English?

 

Q: Why in the beginning Aaron attacks you in his real body and doesn't damage you? And why does he attack you? I am asking this, becaues it's also quite confusing - if he attacked in the beginnig then why does he then attackes like in that form(eatin by rats) Only when you kill Keisnger in his realm? I mean, why doesn't he attack you when he was searching for the book in the library or all those other situations?

---

Aaron wasnt actually a hostile entity. He simply wanted Patrick to leave and stay out of family business. So in the beginning he tried to scare him or drive him off by throwing knives plates etc. Aaron was simply crazy.

Later once Patrick had killed off some siblings and was starting to unravel the mystery Aaron became threatened and began to attack.

 

Q: Second question - Why when Ambrose "kills" Jerimayah there is No Blood? Or am i just mistaking =))

---

This was answered correctly by another poster... Jer was already dead. However only the Scythe could truly destroy a sibling so it was just a sizable inconvenience for Jer. It ended up being a convenient situation for Jer as well since it now seemed he had died and Patrick was driven by revenge.

 

Q: Third questions - Why does Jerimayah lets you actually kill him? He Knows that all his sisters and brothers are dead - chopped off head by the scythe. I just have this really mad idea - maybe he Was corrupted by the King and he wanted to free him - sacrifice himself and free the King.

---

Jeremiah mistakenly believed that now that his siblings were dead he could claim the power of the Undying King for himself. He didnt understand the true nature of the curse nor his role to play in it.

 

Q: Fourth question - in the end we see the king and then just slipes in the ground and (correct me if i am wrong) Turns into this horrible creature. But after you kill him it's not the king - it's a guardian to another portal? So ho is it in the end - The King ot the guardina - or the King aka The Guardian?

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K this is confusing (intentionally) because the Celtic King was the original seal to hold the Undying King in place. The children broke that seal but the body remained. SO when the Undying King was finally awakened the Corpse of the Celt was ejected and came crashing down at the feet of Patrick. In efffect this was done to deceive the player and maintain the surprise of the Undying King. Obviously by your question we did a real good job. (Pyrric Victory perhaps)

---

Q: And sorry for my stupid question - by what are this aeons you are talking about? I just couldn't understand =))

---

H.P. Lovecraft in his writings about the Cthulu Mythos had a quote "in Strange Aeons even Death may die." We used "Strange Aeons" as the original title of the game. that is why many of our docs and file extensions have an SA in them.

 

Q: And my last question(well, not thee last, just the last in this post) - Who wrote those creepy and magnificant songs in the menu of Undying? I just love this music? could you please tell me the name of the gruop or the singer?

---

Yep Bill Brown is the Composer. Hella talented guy.

 

Q; Why did Jer summon Patrick to the Estate to kill his brothers and sisters? Could Jer not do it himself or sumthin? Or did Jer just need an excuse to have the Gel'ziabar stone from Patrick?

Or was Jer unable to weild the Scythe as he was dead and therefore couldn't kill his siblings?

---

The scythe was an unknown to any of the siblings. Jer needed the G'stone because he figured it had power to throw the balance between the siblings. He also figured Patrick would be a good pawn to take down his siblings. Remember there were 5 siblings there was no way one could take down the others.

 

Q; Thanks very much for answering the questionas Roakana. I always thought the Scarrow seemed like miserible old men who mooched off others, lurking in alleys etc. Fantastic character creation. I dont want to have to bore you with questions about the origions of EVERY single creature and specise in Undying (even though we are the sort to ask), but for example, the Handamidens just seem to be there without much backstory. Its clear they serve Bethany, but because they serve the king, or like you said, she's got a nack for picking the really naty beasties. However... what is their story? lol. Sorry, had to ask.

---

Handmaidens are Bethany's creation. if you look up close they have porcelin masks like victorian dolls. behind it is a grotesque mockery of a face. They were her demented version of servants. Must have missed all the hired help around the mansion.

Bethany used blood magic to summon and create her minions.
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