Oh you the creator, you the destroyer, you who sustain and make an end, Who in sunlight dance among the birds and the children at their play, Who at midnight dance among corpses in the burning grounds, You Shiva, you dark and terrible Bhairava. You Suchness and Illusion, the Void and All Things.
Kali is the goddess of destruction, the Clawed Hands, the Blood Drinker... And that's one side of her, as it is for any god. If you knew her for thousands of years you'd know she could be all colors. The sky is black at night, but if your eyes were good enough, they could see the different lights of a million stars. Death is part of her because death is part of life.
You are the lord of life, and therefore I have brought you flowers. You are the lord of death, and therefore I have brought you my heart. This heart that is now your burning ground. Ignorance there and self shall be consumed with fire. That you may dance, Bhairava, among the ashes. That you may dance, Lord Shiva, in a place of flowers, and I dance with you.
1880's Benares, British India
The Empire is at the height of its powers. Union Jack is flying high and mighty all over the world as Victoria reigns supreme over the vast lands and countless nations. Our story takes place in the holy town of Benares in India. It revolves around a daughter of an American missionary from Boston named Vita Gardner; a charming young woman of American-French upbringing who has traveled from Americas to Europe and then crossed into Asia and married a Brahmin youth named Mohan Roy upon falling in love with him and settling down with him in town of Benares; his ancestral town. She's a confident, somewhat outspoken woman who loves life and whilst a charming young woman does not always behave in the most ladylike of ways. More information about the character can be discovered in spoilers text pasted below.
Mohan Roy, a young man educated in the West as a lawyer and a staunch Atheist came with his young foreigner wife to live in his hometown. There is of course shock a bit of a scandal as she is not quite easily accepted in the traditional and strict society. Not to mention her unconventional ways and thought coming from free world is seen as an anomaly of sorts. The British society in town also seem to view her with indifference as that
American woman like the way many from the nation are seen as uncultured, brash and assertive in this clash of sorts and her manners perceived as borderline arrogant and ruffian. Either ways, she has faces issues of a distinct sort from both stratas of society yet after few years on, there seems to have been formed a stalemate or even mutual understanding of sorts as she takes up position as a teacher at a local convent. Englishmen stationed are intrigued by her boldness and vast knowledge.
It is at this juncture that there has been a series of grisly murders in town. Mostly simpletons and people from towns far away who come in the town on pilgrimage. Inspector James MaCauly posted in the town has been charged with finding this deaths which seem to have a most peculiar method to them. All murders, committed with a sharp weapon and bodies have been grossly mutilated. Deprived of their limbs, arms..and even genitalia in many cases. Post-mortem fails to produce anything overly significant and the mystery simply continues to get thicker. Locals, even the men who work under MaCauly claim it is a sect called Aghoris
. A cult who use the bodies as human sacrifice and then to feast upon them as blessing from god. This particular cult and its men are known to gather at specific places in cemeteries but natives out of fear induced by superstition refuse to do anything about it. James MaCauly of course a man of progressive thought and rubbishing such foolish notions of natives decides to investigate the whole issue on his own.
Vita herself of course is intrigued by this cult which locals speak so fearfully about. Her husband, dismissing such thought as rubbish musings of simpletons carries on about his life with her, laughing it away whilst Vita herself engages in wanderings in the town of her own, until she actually chances upon a ritual at a cemetery which seems to alter her life forever as much to her surprise, one of the strange nearly naked men is not only able to approach her but also speaks in fluent English introducing himself to her stating this was a meeting which was pre-destined for she since her arrival has caused shockwaves in their circles on account of the fact that right before her arrival in town head priest Nathu Ram died before making a clairvoyant prophecy about arrival of a woman from West who shall be a reincarnation of Shiva. These revelations and the strange connection which Vita is able to feel to these surroundings leaves her puzzled before she flees.
Meanwhile MaCauly lands at dead ends until one night he finds Mrs. Gardner-Roy wandering around in a daze without a clue as to how from her evening stroll she ended up in the cemetery. Blood is smeared over her face and her countenance in general is of a terrifying nature. In ways unknown to her she has landed in this place subconsciously and her menacing sight causes his blood to freeze as she stands in all of her glory, giving in to the call of her true nature in the cemetery as remnants of a ritual are clearly seen about her. Inspector dare not approach and he flees.
This is the basic narration so far I have built up in my head. Of course the story is meant to kick off upon the marriage of Vita to Mohan and go through all the episodes mentioned above before delving in an element of supernatural as elaborated above. What happens after
incidents narrated above is for me and my partner to build upon. It's a seed which I think can be constructed into something truly complex and my primary inspiration as the plot came to me was to transport Edgar Allen Poe's Gothic style, particularly Fall of House of Usher
[Madelaine coming up from her coffin, that excerpt pretty much spawned this thing!], Ligeia
and few others and blend it with someone like Rudyard Kipling from his own horror stories about East. The clash of old world vs new world, particularly in light of a strong protagonist is something which comes to me from Henry James.
Just in case you are wondering about Aghori
as a sect, you can find more information on their wiki page here
. I see them apart from some extreme practices in certain ways similar to Thelemites, Left-Hand Path. I am not looking in here for one hundred percent accuracy or anything to that effect and I certainly don't expect that from my partner either. The intention is to craft an fun and enjoyable horror story which might offer some chills.What I am looking for:
- I will be playing Vita and the mysterious Sadhu so I need someone to play Mohan and James MaCauly. Alternatively, I also don't mind playing Vita and James MaCauly with my partner taking on other two 'primary' roles mentioned.
- Culture clash of multiple kinds.
- Non-linear narrative. Perhaps move back and forth. Maybe start with an entry from journal of horrified James MaCauly; I dunno.
- Development of relationship between Vita and Mohan. They are starry eyed lovers who are easing into maturity and love each other dearly. They will be a deviant couple to say the least and after initial arc how these strange happenings affect them as a couple.
- Interactions between high society of the town. I see Roy family as noblemen since generations and Mohan Roy is probably even popular with the Englishmen on account of his well educated nature and unconventional line of thought, able to garner their respect.
- A vast cast of NPC's including a loyal butler, tantrics, local townsfolk enjoying gossip etc. Apart from three characters mentioned above I also imagine a character who might serve as Nathu Ram's successor as head priest [the one who approaches Vita.] as a very important character. His past mysterious and sketched. I am keeping him blurred in this advertisement purely due to malleable nature he has.
- Discovery and coming terms with the fact that you indeed are reincarnation of a god/goddess and being faced with throngs of worshipers though small in nature are so extremely deviant, transformation which she undergoes as time passes and actually embracing the prophecy after initial denials. Vita though having a Christian upbringing is much like her husband an Atheist and to face such improbable only to have it come true in front of her eyes would be fascinating to explore.