From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
|Player: Scarlet Redemption|
|Known Aliases:||Shiz, Nuckelavee, Huwawa, Pazuzu|
|Place of Birth:||Unknown|
|Base of Operations:||Unknown|
|Made Entirely of rotten flesh/vegetation/fecal matter, Formless, Dimensional Shifting.|
|Polyglot, Heightened Mental, Olfactory, and Taste abilities|
|Shizuul is even a mystery to its peers. It is unknown even what relic he possesses.|
"You call me monster. Yet it is you who are natural to this reality. I am what this reality created for me. If you find me repugnant and disgusting then that is what your existance is. But I can show you different. In fact I will."
Shizuul addressing a citizen of Paragon before pulling him inside out.
Shizuul is formless. Its natural appearance is that of a amorphous blob of pulsating putrescence. Like a flowing and moving mound of rotten offal. It more or less maintains a humanoid form. From time to time its form will actually catch fire from the amount of flammable gas it releases. It is completely oblivious to this occurrence and will often walk around as if nothing is wrong. It can burn for days before the ever churning mass of rot that makes up its form smothers the flames with its own moisture. At this point it releases massive amounts of poisonous and noxious fumes. Once again it is oblivious to this phenomena. Fortunately its own vegetation and flesh grow back and stop the fumes from continuing.
Shizuul's horrible stench is ever changing but always foul. Depending on its current state of decay it ranges from a charnel house smell to the smell of rotting feces. It can reek of burnt garbage to an almost sulfur smell when burning and is occasionally dangerous to inhale.
Where ever Shizuul goes it is followed by all manner of flying insects. Maggots crawl and writhe in and out of its flesh. Beetles and other carrion feasting insects crawl and wriggle about its body. It constantly drips and oozes fleshy bits of rotten meat and plants. These bits of him smell just as nasty as the rest of him and are often full of maggots and other vermin.
Where Shizuul's "head" is located, there are soupy and fleshy eyes floating in their appropriate place. Yet these eyes are constantly moving and flowing about its face. At times its eyes burst and reform, usually to the horror of anyone observing this. Its mouth forms when Shizuul wishes to look like it has a mouth. Words and sound pop and sputter from him like a vat of boiling manure. Often releasing toxic gas in the process. Its mouth is usually formed with bits of shell and various other items in its rotting form to appear like teeth.
Recently Shizuul has actually learned how to look even more human. It has even taken care to mask its normal odor by releasing a human odor. Though this disguise isn't perfect, it can fool most people from afar. But upon further observation most will notice the squishy appearance. Shizuul's odor as a 'human' is overwhelming to those with an acute sense of smell and will know that the odor is fake.
No matter what Shizuul's form, it is a constant health risk. It constantly drips and sprays its disease laden material around. Breathing its air can make most people ill after a time. Those touching him risk getting a rash or boils from its caustic filth. Ingesting any material from him can lead to any number of diseases up to and including the Ebola virus. It is pestilence incarnate.
To even begin to gauge the character of Shizuul, one must know its primary goal. It aspires to end all reality and return to the void. How it plans on doing this is a little more complicated and it has never really disclosed it to anyone.
While Shizuul often finds itself in the same category as others whom wish to destroy the planet/dimension/universe, it differs from them in their motivation. Often destruction cults sprout up worshiping an entropic god that demands the end of the universe for the sake of the god's favor. Sometimes aliens wish to destroy the world to rid themselves of a potential rival. Other times extra dimensional groups wish to destroy a diametrically opposing dimension to ensure their existence. Of all of these reasons Shizuul's differ the most. It wishes to 'correct' the mistake of all existence. To undo everything everywhere. To eradicate all things, all places and all the past, present, and future. To obliterate all different planes of existence until there is nothing. Not even heaven or hell is spared.
Oblivion is where Shizuul says it originated and it wishes to return to it. Shizuul's vision for entropy is so radical and deprived that even those in the Banished Pantheon believe it to be a dangerous lunatic and it has even inspired celestials and fiends to work together occasionally to thwart its desires.
"You speak as if proud of your superiority. Your hubris confuses me. You've only been around for an eye blink of time and already believe yourself to be the pinnacle of this reality. You're just a lull in between a brief change in the thickness of your atmosphere. You and your kind will be gone in another eye blink and another species will rise to your lofty heights... And they, no doubt, will hold the same belief in their superiority."
Shizuul speaking to a group of Council.
Shizuul has no understanding of humanity and human culture. Shizuul's origin is a plane of existence far removed from our own and it arrived on Earth millions of years before even the dinosaurs existed. It doesn't think in the moment so is completely baffled by human thought and beliefs. It has no concept of privacy, manners, or emotion and is completely unbounded by cultural norms and behaviors.
Shizuul doesn't require food, drink or air to survive. Physical damage is meaningless to it as it can regenerate from even ash. Shizuul can survive indefinitely in the vacuum of space and doesn't need atmosphere.
Shizuul doesn't even have a life force or living energy. People that can sense life in people find that it completely lacks it. Shizuul also isn't considered undead or dead either. No detectable energy source animates him, it simply just exists like some moving object.
Simply put, Shizuul's mind scape is indescribable. No telepath or psionicist has even been able to see it. The backlash from even trying is indescribably painful.
Those that have tried have described it as "Eternity happening in reverse."
Those that can sense emotions and surface thoughts can only glimpse horrific and graphic primal urges and incoherent bubblings of thought. Its as if even its mind is as pestilent as its body.
Shizuul primarily opens rifts in reality and lets the void bubble through to attack all those that oppose it. Vile tentacles of caustic materials grasp onto its victims while others whip and lash at all things within their vicinity. Shizuul can pull forth soulless beasts from the void to do its bidding as well. The effects of these attacks weakens and corrodes the bonds of reality around them. Those sensitive to such things will find these places 'wrong'.
Shizuul has also found that its own caustic form makes a handy weapon. It can ignite the gases that build up in it to use as fireballs and other explosive attacks. It also produces psychotropic gases and chemicals that it releases to poison and confuse its opponents. It also spews vile toxic liquids that can eat through steel.
Shizuul has absolutely no concept of right and wrong or even living and dead. It exists solely to end all things and values nothing. It has shown only slight interest in understanding and interacting with other people. But this behavior is a by product of its desire to distribute relics of power to other people.
Shizuul only does what it has to and nothing more. It doesn't make excuses for its behavior and doesn't care about reprocussions. Usually its motivations are almost complete nonsense. When asked why it eradicated a council of demons on Thorn Island it simply answered, "The wind moved east."
Shizuul is oddly polite and non-judgmental. It does not share the same loathing of mortals that its peers do and is truly curious about people. It does not brag or attempt to intimidate and is brutally honest when asked questions. But do not be fooled by this behavior, it sees humanity and all life everywhere as a momentary affliction that will be cured. It only behaves this way out of indifference to humanity not respect.
Its alliances and impulses can either be momentary or last for hundreds of years. Dealing with Shizuul is a gamble.
Occasionally Shizuul will 'sense' something great in an individual and manipulate them into taking a relic of power from him. Shizuul will rarely waste time getting to know the individual and rely on simple greed or curiosity to get the better of them.
In the past it has hinted that some object held by him is the source of its power and then let it accidentally get into the hands of its intended victim to use. Other times it simply leaves it within reach of the individual and relies on their own greed or curiosity to get the better of them.
Powers and Abilities
Formlessness: Shizuul has no form. It has no bones or organs to speak of. It has no vital spots. Its a mass of sentient rot and filth. It can simulate organic material at whim and can fortify its form with rapid formations of wood and bone. It can also flow like mud through cracks and crevices.
Shizuul can also alter the odors and make up of its form. Its shape changing is only skin deep though. It is severely limited by its lack of imagination when assuming another form. Often its mimicry is flawed and easily detectable. Shizuul's ability to manufacture specific odors is also flawed. It can smell human but the odor is usually overwhelming and wrong.
Micro-filaments: Shizuul's control over its form doesn't just stop there. It also releases thousands of tiny micro-filaments from its body. These micro-filaments act like little taste buds that span out all around it. These filaments fall on people and sample their chemistry. Their pheromones, their enzymes and their hormone saturation become instantly known. Based on the flavors of humanity that it samples, Shizuul in a way reads the person and his intentions. But it doesn't stop there. Shizuul can actually dig into all chemical memories that the victim holds. Effectively mapping out a crude emotional landscape for the entire life of the victim.
Shizuul then uses this information to tweak the hormone centers of the victim to relive particularly emotional events in their lives. Shizuul always tweaks the strongest emotional event first, whether good or bad. It then watches the victim's reactions and learns its responses.
For Shizuul, this is not so much an attack but just another form of communication. It sees nothing wrong with digging up the most traumatic or triumphant experiences in people's lives and forcing them to feel them over and over. Or pull peoples' baser desires to the front of their minds and force them to confront the most horrific or embarrassing aspects of themselves.
Any creature with a chemical physiology can be affected by this. It is not psychic or spiritual, it is purely chemical. People with years of practice walling their minds off from mental attack or fortifying their spirits against spiritual assault have fallen easily to the prying of Shizuul. Those with control over their body chemistry can feed Shizuul false information or stave off its "tweaking" but not much more.
Destabilize Reality: Shizuul is a nightmare to the laws of nature. It bends and cracks the foundations of reality and allows the pure essence of oblivion flow through into this world. Usually these manifestations resemble flowing putrid tentacles that grow instantly from the cracks in the ground and wrap themselves around their victims. These putrid rotting tentacles corrode all that they touch and grasp with an unholy strength. Other times these tentacles flail and lash haphazardly while fouling the air with unnatural chemicals. But due to the unnatural state of these tentacles they dissolve in our reality over time.
Shizuul can also craft abominations from the essence of oblivion that seeps through the cracks it creates. These creatures resemble giant grasping jaws held up by wiry undulating tentacles. These jaws are full of pointy sharp teeth that secrete foul corrosive ichor. These creatures also spew chitinous poison barbs at their victims. These creatures are free willed and do not dissolve in our reality. Shizuul cares not for what they do after it creates them and lets them run wild. These creatures are not apart of the natural world and do not require food or water to sustain themselves, yet they will attack all living creatures that come into contact with them.
The fall out of Shizuul creating rifts in our reality are temporary but incredibly destructive. The cracks in reality heal slowly. Sometimes the healing isn't perfect and leaves scars in reality. Generally these places are charged with negative energy signitures and draw unseemly supernatural creatures. People that are sensitive to psychic events will find these places uncomfortable and wrong. Natural creatures will not go near these places and will go to extremes to get away if brought into them.
Fire Generation: Shizuul's putrid and rotting body is composed of lots of flammable material and releases a lot of methanous gases. Shizuul has learned over time that it can ignite these materials and use them as an effective way to attack. It can spew forth cones of flame, it can throw disgusting globs of white phosphorous and even ignite its body in a little firestorm.
Shizuul's control over its own flammable material is almost non-existent. It, from time to time, bursts into flame and burns uncontrolled for sometimes hours until its own ever regenerating putrescence smothers the fire and turns it into a walking toxic cloud.
Flight: Shizuul can hover and fly using its wings and internal gas reservoirs. Its ability to control its movements while aloft is incredibly dexterous.
Mystical and Heightened Senses: Shizuul can sense any magical item within five miles and relics of power within fifty miles. It can also sense mystically enhanced individuals and beings within five miles. Shizuul can identify and pinpoint every smell and taste in a room in moments. Its senses of smell and taste are so acute that it can even smell the subtle changes in a person's mood by the odor of the chemicals that our brains give off.
Extensive Knowledge and skills: Shizuul has total mastery over dimensional travel and controlling rifts. It even uses this mastery as a weapon of destruction. Shizuul has demonstrated over and over again its willingness to warp and destroy the fabric of reality itself to simply accommodate its whims. Technology, magic, and mystic portals can be rendered useless if Shizuul manipulates them so. Shizuul has also demonstrated knowledge of thousands of other planes and realities.
Shizuul can also learn spoken languages very quickly, but also forgets them just as quickly. Shizuul is a master philosopher and strategist. It will discuss at length the 'wrongness' of reality as we know it and how it will be 'corrected'. Shizuul thinks nothing of taking centuries of time to work out a 'perfect' strategy and often has many (sometimes thousands) of contingencies for almost every possible action it considers taking.
Shizuul has one more ability but it is more a side effect of its micro-filaments. Sometimes when Shizuul messes with another's brain chemistry it can actually cure mental disorders and ailments. This is not done purposefully by Shizuul itself, it is merely a side effect of its tampering.
Ignorance: Shizuul's ignorance of human behavior and humanity in general constantly foil its plots and schemes. Shizuul does not observe and understand humanity and ignores all human history and relies solely on base impulses and hedonistic urges when dealing with people. It has constantly, in the past, been thwarted by resourceful and thoughtful people whom are not swayed by their baser desires.
Formlessness: Shizuul's squishy and unfortified body can be easy torn to pieces or destroyed. Also the complete lack of foundation in its body makes Shizuul incredibly weak physically.
Foulness: Shizuul is physically disgusting to look at and gives off a horrific odor that is easily detectable to ordinary humans for hundreds of yards. Its presence atrophies reality and its mind is a giant spiritual sink hole. To people with acute senses it's like a giant homing beacon. Shizuul is almost always sensed before it actually appears.
Sacred: If Shizuul is confronted by an individual of strong faith it can be "turned". This usually involves the individual holding some sort of sacred symbol or symbol of purity and telling Shizuul to "go away". This will cause Shizuul to not come within 10 to 20 feet of the individual and he will not be able to attack this individual. If Shizuul is "turned" in a private residence it will immediately become inert and fall to the floor in a pile of rotten slime. Shizuul will reincorporate hours later and miles away. Shizuul cannot physically enter a sacred site or building.
Madness: Shizuul finds the scent and flavor of the severely mentally deranged intoxicating. It will usually gravitate towards this type of individual and go into a sort of stupor. Shizuul will generally stay this way until the individual leaves. The brain chemistry of such people is so chaotic and ever changing that Shizuul becomes stupefied. People that can manipulate their body chemistry can learn to simulate this.
"I am NOT a god. I am NOT a demon. YOU can NOT label me. You can only label my actions. Allow me to show you what I am."
Shizuul speaking to Baron Zoria.
Shizuul throughout time has been regarded as an abomination and horror to all cultures and peoples that it has come into contact with. The ancient Mesopotamians called it Huwawa and wrote it into the Gilgamesh epic. The Babylonians called it Pazuzu. The Scottish peoples called it Nuckelavee.
Shizuul is closely associated in the folklore of shape shifters, were-creatures, changelings and doppelgangers around the world. Most were-creatures told tales of the ever changing beast that ravaged whole villages and left nothing but plague and ash. Changelings believe Shizuul to be the personification of the darkest aspects of their nature. Doppelgangers and shape shifters tell tales of Shizuul as being a fallen version of their kind. A warning to others to not let their own ambitions corrupt their spirits. In all of these tales Shizuul is given one name or another and no two peoples usually tell them the same way. But more often than not any were-creature, changeling, shape shifter, or doppelganger may feel a dread sense of "knowing" when encountering Shizuul.
Shizuul rarely took direct actions to effect people significantly so its role in history is more as a bogyman to all peoples. Something to be feared but not really believed in.
The only written accounts still around even mentioning events that Shizuul created are in ancient texts and many stone pictographs all around the middle-east and South America. These descriptions gave Shizuul many different names but all described it as breathing fire and summoning horrors from the underworld. In all the accounts it spread disease and famine.
Modern accounts of Shizuul are dismissed as hallucinations or outright fabrication.
Shizuul has recently been seen in full view in the Rogue Isles and Paragon City. It has been slinking around doing its 'business'. Shizuul seems to favor the Nerva Archipelago and Sharkhead. In Paragon its exploits are much more widely known; most notably in Perez Park and Dark Astoria.
The Circle of Thorns and the Banished Pantheon, particularly, garner the attentions of Shizuul when it is prowling about. Heroes have reported seeing the mangled and headless corpses of many Circle of Thorns mages littering the forested areas of the park. Other heroes have reported finding numerous Banished Pantheon Shaman curled up and weeping along with inert masks and totems. The Shaman were completely coherent and traumatized but no longer under the influence of the Banished Pantheon. The shaman are currently being interrogated and held under tight security.
Ever since Shizuul has been prowling around Nerva, Crey Industries have been reporting a strange absence of Circle of Thorns activity on Primeva, along with an increased amount of illness in their own personnel. They have also been reporting strange behaviors in the Devouring Earth on Primeva. They've been migrating to the coastlines more and more, and it seems that all of the plant-like Devouring Earth are dying off along with the Greater and Lesser Devoured.
In Sharkhead the Mu mystics have become fully aware of Shizuul's activities and have begun to gather intelligence.
"I'm from out of town... Waaaaay out of town."
Shizuul answers a question about where its from.
Shizuul's origin is literally nowhere. It comes from the space between spaces. Shizuul simply existed in the vast nothingness of oblivion. It and it's peers interacted in their unknowable and often horrific ways.
Shizuul's existence was shattered by a low murmur in the essence of oblivion. Shizuul and its peers found themselves being partitioned in groups and order. The chaos slipped from oblivion and left swaths of matter and energy exploding about filling up the void. Shizuul and its peers had no idea what was happening to their existence, but an empty feeling hollowed them out and filled them with hatred for the events.
Next Shizuul was wracked with horrible disorientation as its formlessness was thrust into an existence of dimensions and time. The nothingness of the void became a blazing light. Many of Shizuul's peers wrapped themselves in what was left of the void and disappeared behind reality. Others used the energy and power dancing all around them to give them form and substance. They used this power and formed their own planes to suit their wills. Still others fought the changes and were destroyed by the fury of creation. Shizuul and the last remnants of its peers didn't wish to hide and didn't wish to be destroyed trying to stop the inevitable. They also didn't wish to accept their new existence so they formed a plan to slowly destroy the new creation over time.
Shizuul and its peers decided to possess various forms of matter flitting about their new reality and keep their original power from oblivion. They'd use these objects as their homes and wait until the new inhabitants of this new existence came into being. Then they'd corrupt the inhabitants, destroy creation, and return to the void.
The objects then dispersed all around existance and settled in every plane and reality. These objects later became relics. Shizuul's settled in a proto-dimension that over the billions of years became a home for a race of half-energy/half-matter creatures. These creatures operated under a uni-mind consciousness and had grown advanced very quickly. Shizuul's relic corrupted a scientist in this race and sewed the seeds of discord amongst its people. Eventually this scientist was ejected from the uni-mind and became horribly alone and individual. The uni-mind called this creature "Shizuul" and the creature accepted this name. Eventually Shizuul subsumed the uni-mind culture, absorbed its knowledge and destroyed it. Shortly after, Shizuul's personality and the relic's personality fused together. Shizuul began collecting other relics and distributing them amongst the other denizens of this plane. Shizuul began shifting between dimensions and realities finding relics and distributing them. Eventually Shizuul tore open a rift in reality and traveled to our plane of existence.
Shizuul's arrival on earth rent a huge gash in reality and destroyed much of the marine life around the event. This happened in 407 million BC. Since then Shizuul waited, gathering relics, until sentient life began to evolve. Once humanity finally appeared Shizuul worked to distribute the relics to worthy owners.
The Rotting One
Shizuul appears mostly in its true form. Its peers simply call it 'The Rotting One' or 'The Atrophy' because everywhere it goes it leaves rot and disease. Shizuul had gotten used to always existing on the edge of humanity and never interacting with humans. This all changed when Shizuul entered the Rogue Isles.
Shizuul immediately noticed how many of the other citizens of the Isles didn't even look twice upon its horrible visage. It also noticed that quite a few of the citizens weren't even affected by its pestulant nature, in fact some even thrived on it.
Shizuul for the first time in many billions of years has actually made an attempt to simulate another species for purposes of interaction. It has also expressed a disturbing curiosity in humanity and a true desire to bring most of it back with it to oblivion. In years past, it inhabited a small section of the vast tunnels underneath Thorn Island and set up the 'Outside' as a base of sorts for it and it's peers.
The Circle of Thorns treats Shizuul and its peers as great threats, but they also know enough about the Relics to avoid them if at all possible. Baron Zoria himself organized a council of overfiends and mages to deal with the Relics and more importantly Shizuul itself. Many of the fiends and demons knew little of Shizuul's actual origin and greatly feared this Outsider. This council acted for almost one week and ended with Shizuul appearing to them, shortly addressing the council, then destroying it in a spectacular display of wrath. Baron Zoria escaped nearly unharmed but infuriated, he set up numerous bindings in an attempt to contain it's malevolence.
The Banished Pantheon of Dark Astoria had never encountered a being the likes of Shizuul and are completely unaware of the other Relics. They aren't sure if Shizuul is another of the Banished Pantheon, much like Adamastor, and must be entreated to help them, or simply a demon from the Circle of Thorns. What they do know is that the Masks and Totems are fearful of it and the Banished Pantheon are never fearful. Shizuul shows no signs of anger or hatred when dealing with the Banished Pantheon, just a simple curiosity. It behaves like a child pulling the wings off of a fly when it fights the Pantheon, cruelly curious and vicious. The Banished Pantheon still have no plan when dealing with Shizuul, its actions and goals are so alien and horrific that even they are fearful.
Shizuul's activities and whereabouts are unknown. It has retired deep into the 'Outside'. It has been working ceaselessly to gather many more relics of power and seems to be waiting.
Relics of Power
"You labor under the delusion that this is a gift. Holding power such as this is a skill and must be worked at. It MUST be cherished and utilized. Otherwise it will go away... As will you with out it. THINK about it. There are much worse things than death."
Shizuul confronting Lady Myth.
Shizuul is the most advanced Relic in the region. It has completely merged with its relic and is one with it. Shizuul actually carries about ten relics in its body along with gems and precious metals. It usually relies on curiosity and greed to tempt mortals to accept relics, though sometimes it uses subterfuge.
Shizuul and its peers call each other 'Relics of Power' or their one word moniker for each other. Shizuul's name is "The Atrophy". It can be quite confusing when they talk to each other because its not clear whether they are talking about an individual or an item. On top of that most of them speak an almost gurgling indecipherable inhuman language when they choose to speak to each other.
Though they rarely ever work together, every so often many of the Relics gather underneath Thorn Island to discuss their strange goals. The Relics meet in their inner sanctum, an area that they simply call 'The Outside'. The Outside is hidden far beneath Thorn Island and is rumored to house hundreds of priceless mystical artifacts and dozens of relics of power.
Some Circle of Thorns Mages have sought the entrance to The Outside but have never found it or have given up looking for it. The demons in the employ of the Circle of Thorns avoid Shizuul and its peers. The few demons that actually speak of the Relics fear them greatly. Shizuul consider all demons, devils, and daemons weak and call them 'pretenders'.
- Shizuul has no boundaries and therefore assumes others have none as well.
- People have to be very specific in telling Shizuul that it has done something wrong as well as explain it. Otherwise it will not understand and simply do it again.
- Shizuul is not attempting to push buttons or purposely annoy.
- Shizuul can smell your pheromones and deduce your mood.
- Every emotion and feeling give off an odor and Shizuul can smell it and know it. This is not mental or spiritual. It is purely chemical. Not attempting to god-mod around mental blocks.
- Shizuul doesn't care about your moods and emotions. Just because it knows this doesn't mean it'll use it to its advantage. It may just simply ask you why you feel this way. It doesn't even have an understanding of such things.
- If you can control your body chemistry you can pretty much emote anything you want to Shizuul and it'll be real as far as it knows.
- Shizuul can't be baited or angered. It doesn't care about ego.
- If you're trying to pick a fight with Shizuul, good luck. It doesn't care about you or your motivations. There are very specific things that will get Shizuul to fight you and emotion has nothing to do with it.
- Shizuul doesn't care about fighting or showing off or being tough. It doesn't think about power and levels of power at all. It doesn't care if you're a god, half-god, or demon. These are all just words to Shizuul. It has seen all of these things come and go and hasn't given a thought about they or their power.
- Shizuul's way of thinking is a little hard to follow.
- Shizuul thinks on a level way different than most beings. It has 'logic' that is very illogical. This is done on purpose. :D
- Shizuul will always try to use its micro-filaments on you to taste your chemistry.
- Its not an attack its just natural to Shizuul.
- The filaments can't do anything to you that you don't let. The human mind is a lot tougher than that. :)