Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tayxis: Santa Muerte

Santa Muerte is a sacred figure and feminine skeletal folk saint venerated throughout Tayxis. Santa Muerte literally translates to "Saint Death" or "Holy Death". Tayxan culture has always maintained a certain reverence towards death, so it was only natural that Santa Muerte would make it it's home.

Elements of worship include the use of skeletons to remind people of their mortality. The worship is condemned by the Official Church of Tayxis (OCT) as heretical, but it is firmly entrenched among Tayxis' lower working classes and various elements of society deemed as "outcasts".

Santa Muerte generally appears as a female skeletal figure, clad in a long robe and holding one or more objects, usually a scythe and a globe. Her robe can be of any color, as more specific images of the figure vary widely from devotee to devotee and according to the rite being performed or the petition being made.  Shrines can be found all around Tayxis, with skeletons propped up, covered in the gifts her supplicants have left her.  She has been known to intercede in the lives of her worshippers, offering boons to the faithful, holding back death from loved ones, or striking down those who have offended them.  However, Santa Muerte will often demand outrageous gifts or acts of devotion simply to gain the privilege of asking favor, and she will either grant or deny requests, seemingly without rhyme or reason.

Santa Meurte is often invoked by Cartel Assassins, who will leave tokens at the sites of their killings.  There are a small sect within The Pigs that worship her, as well.  Big Oil Men have been known to strike bargains, when it was in their best interests to do so.  While there is some commonality between Santa Muerte and Santeria, the Santeria Priestesses consider cults that worship Santa Muerte exclusively to be somewhere between Tasteless, Blasphemous and Pointless.

Should the PCs encounter a shrine to Santa Muerte, they can make a request of her.  There is a base chance that the request will be granted, depending on the but the odds will increase by 10% each time the PC completes a task that Santa Muerte demands of the PCs, determined randomly by rolling on the chart below.

Run Your Last Race – Must flee in horror, never to return, as that which they most fear appears before them
Request Denied – Santa Muerte laughs mockingly and refuses to hear the request after all
Little Death – Must enter Santa Muerte’s realm, to be released only when her cold libido has been satisfied
A Life For a Life – Must take the life of someone they have never met
The End of the Rope – Must jump from the bell tower of the nearest cathedral
Feast of the Grave – Must swallow a pound of dirt from a freshly dug grave
Feast of the Flesh – Must taste of the flesh of a freshly dead corpse
Feast of the Spirit – Must inhale the final breath of a dying man (or woman)
Death’s Head – Must accept a small part of Santa Muerte into their mind that will constantly urge them to kill.
Death’s Bony Finger – Must strip the flesh from their pinky
Death’s Icy Grip – Must immerse themselves in ice water for an hour
A Celebration of Life – Must strip naked and run through the streets, proclaiming the glories of Santa Muerte
Cash In Your Chips – Must gamble away every cento, every dolar that they possess
Supplication - Must leave town, then crawl on hands and knees back to the statue and kiss the hem of Santa Muerte’s robe
Sprout Wings – Must collect and present the wings of 50 doves
Feed the Fishes – Must wrestle a giant catfish from the river prepare it according to traditional burial rites, and present the corpse
Answer God’ Calling – Must convert three children to Santa Muerte’s worship
Trying to Catch the Devil’s Herd – Must round up 50 head of wild cattle on an open plain and surround them in a ring of fire.
The Choir Invisible – Must sing a hymn of devotion to Santa Muerte
Donation - Must give 50 Dolars to the shrine

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