The Dreams of Nightmares
The Green Men
The Mandragora Lineage is an old one. Most legends place the demiurge of the Lineage in the Mediterranean region when Greek and Italian mystics were influenced by Jewish philosophers. The writer Josephus from Jerusalem, among many others, held accounts of the occult nature of the mandrake root. However, other Prometheans argue that the first of the Green Men was created in Imperial China by a Taoist master. They point to the element of Wood in the wheel of Chinese Elements. Mandragorae who believe in the Chinese legend call themselves Wu Xing.
The name Mandragora comes from the Latin name for the mandrake root, which ancient alchemists believed could be transformed into a homunculus and used as a servant. In Jewish lore, the plant is connected with fertility. In modern times, it is used primarily as a hallucinogen for purposes religious or otherwise. All of these traits fit the Green Men, who are known for their creative and nurturing impulses.
Nicknames: Dryads, Wu Xing, Yakshini.
Humour: Mandragorae are goverened by the soporific humour of sap, which makes them calm and self-assured, but sometimes this degrades to being lazy or inflexible, so sure are they with “going with the flow.”
Disfigurements: When the disfigurements of a Green Man are visible, he appears to have plants shooting out of various parts of his skin. A sapling might be growing out of his chest, a thorny vine starting at his left shoulder and snaking its way around the arm, only to re-enter the body at the bicep. One woman’s hair is made of oak leaves. Another man has skin reminiscent of a redwood.
Bestowment:Arboreal Wisdom- The Promethean gains the 9-again rule on Composure rolls, and can spend a point of Pyros to reroll a failed Composure roll (which does not gain the 9-again benefit). In addition, the Green Man’s Composure is doubled for the purpose of using the Attribute to resist supernatural powrs (such as when there is a resistance roll of Azoth + Composure). Finally, the Promethean may purchase dots in Composure past his normal limits.
Transmutation Cost: Composure x 7
Concepts: Bodybuilder, Eco-Terrorist, Flower Maiden, Herbalist, Drug Dealer, Taoist Monk, New-Age Druid, Survivalist
Frankenstein: Must you be so angry all the time? Nothing good ever comes of it.
Galatea: Your beauty is the result of artifice. Mine is a force of nature.
Osiris: You’re certainly good at taking things apart, but how about putting them back together again?
Tammuz: I guess someone forgot to put fertilizer in your soil.
Ulgan: It’s probably all just a matter of belief.
Zeka: Stop destroying everything I create!
Vampires: I don’t get it. Why doesn’t everyone hate you instead of me? At least I’ve got some life in me. What do you have?
Werewolves: It’s probably best not to get involved.
Mages: You’re like gardeners of the soul. Just stay out of my patch, okay?
Mortals: You traded the natural world for your playgrounds of metal and mortar. Yet I’d still let you cut me down and use my bones to build your house.
Disquiet: When the Green Men inspire Disquiet in mortals, the result is a sort of obsession-compulsion. Everything must be in its proper place. Books are organized in alphabetic order, and then reorganized by the Dewey Decimal System, and then organized a third time to accord with some other pattern. Knickknacks are dusted constantly, and eventually thrown out because the color is a little off. Lawns are mowed daily, sometimes taken to by a measuring stick to ensure that every blade of grass is the proper height. In time, the Mandragora is seen as an agent of growth and wildness and…disorder. The Green Man has become another unruly hedge that needs to be clipped, at first with social slings and arrows, but eventually someone comes at the hapless Promethean with a weed whacker.
Wasteland: The Green Man’s Wasteland at first always seems beneficial, or at least curiously inverse to the Wastelands of other Lineages. Wherever the Mandragorae settle, plants begin to grow. During the first stage, a lawn that might need to be mowed once a week suddenly grows back in the course of two days. An apple tree produces more fruits than normal. However, as the Green Man stays in the area, the plant life produced quickly becomes wild and untameable. Invasive species like kudzu grow at an alarming rate, quickly strangling out native trees and taking over the landscape. The roots of a tree near a house that has never been cause for concern in the past suddenly twist and grow in a new direction that begins to destroy the building’s foundation. By Stage Four of a Mandragora’s Wasteland, invasive weeds and strangler vines have killed off any native species. Most buildings and pipes in the area will be in need of repair due to damage from roots. Some Rambles even describe plants in the most severe Wastelands that actually attack humans, sometimes to eat them, and other times as rebellion against those who have used and subjugated the green world for so long.
Mandragorae who develop this Athanor understand that the best way to conquer an obstacle is to try and try again until you get it right.
Associated Traits: Resolve, Athletics
Created Boon: The Promethean gains the 9-again quality on all extended actions.
Redeemed Boon: The mortal does not suffer any penalty from attempting an action multiple times in the same scene.
Pandorans: The Blight