Friday, November 18, 2011

Beastmaster Pits

This idea came to me while watching an episode of Samurai Jack. It's basically a psychotic version of the druid.
The Beastmasters form packs of primitive scavenger scum who live in the outskirts of a city, usually in a garbage dump or a scrapyard. A Beastmaster pack is lead by from 1 - 3 alphas, one or more of whom is a shaman. These shamans have the ability to command all kinds of animals (and even some animalistic humans) and force the minds of an animal and a human to change places. A Beastmaster pack always has a cadre of beasts with them, ranging from carrion birds to vermin swarms and frenzied, degenerate dog-things.

The favorite entertainment/justice system with many Beastmaster packs is to exchange the minds of two humans with two dogs and then pit them against each other in their makeshift arena. Meanwhile, the human bodies with the dog spirits inside are kept in their cages. When one or both of the combatants die, their original body lives on, and the beastmasters use the resulting creatures as shock troops and disposable cannon fodder.

Usually the Beastmasters pit captured outsiders against their champions, as the dazed victim usually has little control of his new body. Some prominent alphas even manage to intimidate the shamans to give them a sort of immortality; moving their minds to new bodies as they begin to age. Though this is a risky business, as the alpha is easy to betray when mindswapped.

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