Discussion and feedback for the Asura are now being handled in the Asura Project on
Unlike here, that venue allows you to comment in the forum as well as granting access to a whole wealth of other Changeling and World of Darkness fan created Projects. All underlined words are links to thier respective sections on ShadownEssence.
The remarkable MrGone has created some interactive Character sheets for the Adhene which can be found at his website www.Menchhofer.com. The Asura Changeling Sheets come in at a 1 Page sheet , a 2 Page Sheet , and a 4 page Sheet . The Asura Inanimae have a 1 page Sheet and a 4 Page Sheet . While the Asura Adhene have a 1 Page Sheet and a 4 page Sheet
|AdhibhUta||(INANIMAE) The Indian fae of Natural Phenomenon|
|Apolliae||The Brahma Aria, concerned with the higher self, with honour, spirituality and ethics|
|Angiris||Dedicated to secretly watching over their wards and protectorates. The watchers and messengers of the Asura, Favashi (Angiris in Hindi) are dedicated and focused, some might say stubborn. They can match the Trolls for attention to duty and once they swear an oath it is hard to believe they would ever break it. Resembling, and possibly the prototype for, Western Angels, the Favashi are both Guardians spirits and the Voice on the wind. It is their control over their Voices that gives them their true power, able to sooth a broken heart or break down the walls of a cave, the songs of the Favashi are a potent tool.|
|Apsaras||The cloud maidens or 'daughters of joy'. Aerial Asura similar to the Inanimae Phyla Parosemes (Slyph). The Female companions of the Gandharva.|
|Araminae||The Vishnu Aria, concerned with the rational everyday mind, the most humanlike aria which breeds common sense and stability.|
|Astomi||In Hinduism, the Astomi are an ancient legendary race of people who had no need to eat or drink anything at all. They survived by smelling flowers. In truth the Astomi are the Peri and the Div, the Fae of Persia beautiful and shifting Fae who seek the pleasures of life and the manipulation of others.|
|Asuras||The Anti-gods. Divine beings (Demons) who are opposed to the Divas (Gods), corresponds to the western phrase 'Fae' or fairy and includes the Changelings, dark-Kin and the Inanimae races.|
|Bhutas||The ghosts of the living who haunt the waking world.|
|Caitya||Sacred places and groves. Asura Freeholds|
|Daityas||Giant Asurakumara with scorched flesh, children of the Goddess Diti. The Armies of the Asurakumara are made up primarily of the three castes of Daityas. Divided into three castes which resemble Sidhe Houses in a very cosmetic way.|
|Danavas||Half divine half demonic Asura, Banished to live in the ocean and linked in part to the Underworld. Similar to the Inanimae Phyla Ondines (Undines).|
|Dioniae||The Shiva Aria, concerned with primal needs, hungers, instincts and immediate gratification.|
|Gandharva||Earthly Asura similar to the Inanimae Phyla Glomes (Gnomes), the male companions of the Apsaras. The Gandharva are nature spirits associated with the fertility of the earth and durability of Stone.|
|Ishtadavatas||It was the Ishtadevatas who acted as chroniclers and emisaries between the myriad courts of the Asura and the Western Fae. They have a desire to know and to understand, to name and catalouge. Lords of the Vidyadhara courts in the Himalaya, the Ishtadevatas remained neutral in the wars between the Asura and the Devas and may well have actually been Devas themselves.|
|Khandromas||Servants of Kali and teacherrs of the Tantric mysteries, these Adhene are Feminity personified. They can also help Yogis who wish to further their spiritual progress since they are able to concentrate the powers that the Yogi releases. They kept alive and developed a tradition of classical music and dance. Beyond these historical facts is a vast area of myths and false propaganda.|
|Khrodharajas||Kings of wrath. Also called the Bhairavas or terrifying ones. These Adhene Eat flesh and relish in the pursuits of the Red Court.|
|Nats||The Nats are a group of Adhene Fae, similar in more ways than they are different. It is possible that they were once three independent Adhene but their similarities have caused them to be seen as a single entity in the eyes of the modern Indians. Born of the Dreams of misfortune and the untold miseries that might befall a community or an individual, the Nats delighted in the wretchedness they sow|
|Naraka||The Naraka will be described as two Adhene, those who were altered by the week of nightmares (and appear in DotD), and those who were not (including those from before that date).|
|Pacu Pati||The Adhene Lords of the Slums and the hovels. The creature is deemed lord of all beings of mischief. It is seem at night in cemeteries and places of execution. Pacu Pati Served the Elder dark Ardra by harrying the Asurakumara, causing their equipment to fail and their feet to trip.|
|Pey||The Pey are a predominantly Unseelie Asurakumara (may be reworked as Thallain). Seen by many as Vampiric demons due to their predations and Glamour draining practices, they bring misery and bad luck. Some legends claim they drink the blood of fallen warriors (war as art, ravaging the dying?). Pey are Asurakumara with a driving need to feed on tainted and pain fuelled Ojas. Pey Muse, Ravage and Rhapsodise only through diversity and Destructive methods, whether they be abusive love affairs or tormented Artists.|
|Pisakas||(vampires), who are opposed to the dead|
|Pretas||Goblins. In essence, any Chimerical being.|
|Purvajana||'men of former times'|
|Rakshasas||Beings who are opposed to men. A catch all phrase for the Supernatural beasties of India. The Asura consider the Rakshasas to be the same as the western Shadow Court while vampires of the Ravnos Clan claim the title for themselves.|
|rta||Cosmic and moral law|
|Vanara||Numerous in number and indomitable of Will, the Vanara are semi humanoid Monkeys. Amusing, childish, mildly irritating, badgering, hyperactive, adventurous, bluntly honest, loyal, brave and kind. The Vanara are also good and pious, but too arrogant to listen to advice. They share the Trickster mentality of all the Monkey-Kings and Monkey-Hero’s, a lust for life and a healthy disregard for the consequences of their actions. This Asura really do share a link with their animal counterparts, both physically and mentally.|
|Vidyarajas||Asura born from the fiery and passionate power that wisdom exerts over the forces of evil, similar to the Inanimae Phyla Solimonds (Salamanders)|
|Yaksha or Jak||A class of chthonic, generally benevolent Asura connected with fertility, and magic who are the custodians of treasures that are hidden in the earth and in the roots of trees similar to the Inanimae Phyla Kubera|
|Yazatas||Persian Kith, manifestations of Cosmic and abstract concepts. Guides and teachers of mankind. Demon hunters divided into 6 'Houses'|
As it was in Ireland, home of so many changeling kith and centre of Tuatha de Danu rule, so it was with a thousand other creation myths throughout the world. Each continent, country and hamlet developed its own traditions, seemingly different and startlingly the same. In each place resided an archetypal elder darkness and a guiding light, twin pillars of humanity's collective unconscious. In another culture on the other side of the world, pre-Vedic India and ancient Persia, dream casts its own bewildering array of creatures. Among these a class of beneficent creatures called Asuras and Devas. - Denizens of the Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing
The Asura were potent but mortal demi-gods, power seeking and dangerous creatures with supernatural or divine abilities. A class of titans or demons, the enemies of the gods and of men. The Devas (Sanskrit "divine") were the flip side of the same coin. One of many divine powers, roughly divided on the basis of their identification with the forces of nature into sky, air, and earth divinities. In the Vedic age the Asuras and the Devas were both considered classes of gods, but gradually the two groups came to oppose each other. Eventually Hindu mythology came to believe that the Devas were Gods the Asura, their enemies, were demons. Prajapati, the creator being, was the ancestor of both Asura and Devas, the former chose to follow falsehood and the later chose to follow truth. In the Time of Myths, the Asuras and the Devas together churned the milky ocean, in order to extract from it the Amrta, the elixir of immortality. Strife arose over the possession of the Amrta, a conflict that is never ending.
The Asura included Naraka, chaotic but civilized poets and philosophers who lived in high style in castles made of gems, and the healing Acheri. Ancient and adaptable, these creatures made the leap from animistic pagan totems to polytheistic conceptual entities without missing a beat. Hindu mythology took hold, transmuting the Asura into demons. The Naraka's artistry took on a new and malevolent cast as they went about punishing sinners in the 21 Hindu hells. The healing touch of the Acheri now brought sickness, corruption and death. - Denizens of the Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing
They had tribes and families, such as the Rakshasas, the Danavas, the Div, the Pey, the Daityas, the Dakini, the Khadromas, the Dharmapalas and the Drag-shed. While the Fomorians and their Adhene fought the children of the Tuatha de Danu for the supremacy of their own dreams in the west, the Deva and the Asura battled for the same thing in the east.
Nor were the all the sides taken in the war based on ideology or honour. The Acheri and the Naraka simply saw themselves as superior to the human rabble. The Acheri in particular desired to wipe the slate clean and return to the old ways, before even the primitive medicines practiced by Hippocrates, when humanity tried to ward off sickness and death by appeasing their angry gods. - Denizens of the Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing
When the war was over and the Elder darks defeated, the World of dreams was left to the governance of the fae. They didn't take good care of their prize and in a handful of centuries the shattering came. Those who are now called Changelings wanted to flee into the Dreaming, while their opposite numbers, the Adhene, wanted to remain on earth - though clearly there were defectors from each philosophy. The Asura were spared the horrors of the banal world for longer than their western cousins, but eventually even they could not ignore the tide of pain that heralded the shattering.
The Naraka and the Acheri remained closest to the realms of men. The Naraka continued to live in their gem encrusted towers, inaccessible to most silvered Trods, but sometimes appearing through the mists to fae and dreamers alike. Some Naraka wandered the Dreaming and many wound up fighting in the armies of the five great beasts.
When a great plague or other epidemic swept the Autumn world, a few Acheri might find a temporary passage back to wreak their vengeance on a world that denied them. Indeed with their pestilential powers, the Acheri spread the Black Death, both in the Waking and the Dreaming, encouraging the forces of inquisition and hastening the decline of the earthbound fae. - Denizens of the Dreaming, White Wolf Publishing
Asura and Daeva
What is the difference between an Asura (Ahura) and a Daeva (Deva)?
If you ask a mortal, even a scholar, you will get a hundred different descriptions of what it means to be Asura or Deva. They will tell you that the word is Sanskrit and it means "power-seeking" and "power-hungry". That it just means ‘Demon’ or anaya (non-Aryan) people of ancient India. There are some strange paths of thought who might go to great lengths to convince you that the term's derivation is Ashur, the Assyrian god, or from the breath (asu) of Prajapati, or from the root as (to be). Just as likely they will be convinced that a-sura is the negation of sura, an Indo-Aryan liquor, and refers to non-Aryan abstainers. A very few commentators, those derided even by their peers, will try to extol the belief that sura came to mean a minor god in contrast to a-sura, "not-god" or "demon," but there is no logical reason for this false etymology.
Scholars of Satapathe Brahmana tell a legend of how the Devas and Asuras both came from the God Prajapati, but the former chose true speech while the latter chose the lie. Another source, Aitarcya Brahmana, relates that Devas hold power by day and Asuras hold equal power by night and that might be one of the closest guesses so far. Philosophers and less lateral thinkers will expand on the theory that the Asuras are not necessarily evil while Devas are not necessarily good. That they are consubstantial, distinguished only by their mutual opposition, which is not conceived as an absolute ethical dualism. And a basic dictionary will simply state that Asura is a Central Asian word for the supreme spirit, or god.
Those who are familiar with older part of the Rg Veda will simply state that asura refers to the supreme spirit, like the Zoroastrian Ahura Mazdah, or to Vedic deities such as Varuna, Agni, Mitra, and Indra. They will certainly inform you that in younger Vedic texts and Hindu mythology asuras become demons or titans who war against the devas (gods). They might mention in passing that in the Iranian tradition ahura came to mean "god" while dacva came to mean "demon" and that this points to some cultural differences between the neighbouring Kingdoms. Non-Aryan beings such as the Danavas and Laityas were called Asuras and more than a few people who should know better state that these may have been peoples who were opponents of the non-Aryans and who were mythologically equated with titans and demons.
If you ask an Asura you will always get the same answer. ‘We were here first!’ Even those few Deva who are still able to pass on their views will agree with that statement. The Asura were the natural Dream spirits of India and of Eastern realms once ruled by the Persian Empire. That they were Primal beings formed from the fears and desires of the Dravidian cultures from those lands and that the Deva were the Dream Spirits of a collection of invaders. That the Deva claimed Dreams of conquest and rulership, of devotion and civilization as their creation..
HISTORYThe History of the Perfumed Empire and of the war between the Asura and the Daeva can be read here. .
ADHENE The Dark-Kin
In the Naraka section of 'Denizens of the Dreaming' three seemingly Indian names are given for the Ariá. Unfortunately they make very little sense, especially using Aditi for the Dioniae Ariá. Aditi corresponds to the universal and divine in humankind, almost the perfect definition of the opposite of the Dioniae Ariá. Her sister Diti, corresponding to all that is individual, human and divided might have been a better choice.
The God Prajapati, used to name the Asuras Araminae Ariá is little better. Prajapati is at best a latecomer or a cover for other gods and while credited in some myths with the creation of humanity (and which Hindu God hasn't been credited with such at some point in his worship) has no real connection with the rational everyday mind, or with common sense as the Araminae is concerned. In fact most myths paint him as a being driven by the urges of the Dioniae Ariá. Thirdly the God Brhaspati (misspelled as Brihaspati) is used to denote the Apolliae Ariá. Brhaspati was the "Lord of Prayers" in Vedic mythology, a minor figure seen as the preceptor of the gods, the master of sacred wisdom, charms, hymns, and rites, and the sage counsellor of Indra in his war against the Asuras. As such, Brhaspati is the heavenly prototype of the caste of Brahmans. Now this God does closely match the urges of the higher self, honour and ethics of the Apolliae Ariá, but I propose what I hope is a better trio of Gods (and Goddess Consorts) for the Three Ariá of the Asuras.
The Asura understand their Ariá as aspects already well represented by the three principle figures of the Trimurti: ("the One or Whole with Three Forms"). These Hindu Gods form a balanced Trinity, with Shiva the destroyer, dark and beloved force of nature being all too representative of the Dioniae Ariá. A mixture of a heroic figure and one unconcerned with the weighty issues of existence, Shiva is both creation and destruction, aesthetic celibate and wild sexual animal. Vishnu as the balancer and Preserver whose life seems all too Human at times represents the Araminae Ariá. Vishnu is often considered the opposite of Shiva and like the Araminae tries to control the Dioniae his constructive energies maintain an equilibrium with the instinctual urges of Shiva. That being said, he can be every bit as self-preoccupied as Shiva and is still influenced by his own base desires. And finally Brahma as the Creator and other worldly spirit represents the Apolliae Ariá, the 'Absolute' entity and the God concerned with ultimate understanding. When Indian holy men cut themselves off from all carnal and earthly concerns, it is Brahma's example they follow.
Their contemplation of their own drives and emotions goes much deeper than many other Adhene however in that these gods are mostly understood as the Aesthetic and passive forms of each Ariá. For the active and forceful drives of each Ariá, the Gods shakti, or consorts, make better objects of meditation. The Forceful aspect of the Apolliae Ariá is the domain of Sarasvati, wife of Brahma and Goddess of the sacred underground or Hidden river. The energetic form of the Araminae Ariá belongs to Lakshmi, Goddess of such human concerns as wealth and fortune. And for the powerful and potent form of the Dioniae Ariá, Shiva's consort Shakti hold sway. The difference between the male or female influence of each Ariá can be used to further quantify the Asuras Adhene or ignored, depending on personal taste.
|Ariá||Trimurti Ariá||Consort Ariá|
|Apolliae||Brahma the Creator||Sarasvati|
|Araminae||Vishnu the Preserver||Lakshmi|
|Dioniae||Siva the Destroyer||Shakti|
AdhibhUta - (Inanimae)
The Inanimae empires are vast and wide, and contain many Phyla. While Inanimae: the secret way listed five Phyla common in the West, they are not the only members of each Empire by far. The Dreams of the Indian Sub-continent have spawned their own Nature spirits, the AdhibhUta. These fae represent the different philosophies and concepts Eastern Dreamers have about the elements. In Classical literature each of the 5 elements has an attribute and an associated organ): Wood has sound (shabda) for its attribute and the ear for its organ, Air has tangibility and sound for its attribute and the skin for its organ, fire has shape or colour, tangibility, and sound for its attribute and the eye for its organ, water has flavour, shape, tangibility, and sound for its attribute and the tongue for its organ while earth has all preceding attributes plus smell and the nose for its organ.
digdha - smeared , anointed ; soiled , defiled ; poisoned a poisoned arrow R. fire oil a tale
"The poison cloud was so dense and searing that people were reduced to near blindness. As they gasped for breath its effects grew ever more suffocating. The gases burned the tissues of their eyes and lungs and attacked their nervous systems. People lost control of their bodies. Urine and feces ran down their legs. Women lost their unborn children as they ran, their wombs spontaneously opening in bloody abortion. those who escaped with their lives “ are the unlucky ones; the lucky ones are those who died on that night.”
- Rashida Bi, survivor of the Bhopal disaster
In 1984 a terrible tragedy occurred that hit the AdhibhUta harder than any other Supernatural race. The Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, India, leaked 40 metric tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) pesticide into the air. The leak also released hydrogen cyanide, mono methyl amine and other chemicals that hugged the ground and spread throughout the area. Blown by the prevailing winds, this cloud settled over much of Bhopal. The worst industrial disaster in the history of the world killed thousands outright and injured anywhere from 150,000 to 600,000 others, at least 15,000 of whom died later from their injuries. Some sources give much higher fatality figures and in the world of Darkness its safe to assume that they are right. The companies involved are still arguing about who is to blame and so no effort has been made towards cleaning up the plant and its environs of hundreds of tonnes of toxic pollutants. Toxins are stored in open containers or loose on the ground and Cancers and menstrual disorders are still on the rise in the area along with countless other diseases and birth defects (monstrous births). Some areas are reportedly so polluted that anyone entering the area for more than ten minutes is likely to lose consciousness. Rainfall causes run-off, polluting local wells and boreholes, and the results of tests undertaken on behalf of the British reveal pollution levels in borehole water 500 times the legal maximum in that country.
Rumours still circulate among the fae that it was agents of the Chayaka who allowed the plants numerous safety systems to fall into such disrepair and allow the unthinkable to happen in the first place. The same nebulous sources claim that it is these forces that have allowed Union carbide and its new owners, Dow, to deny aid and information and prevent Doctors from gaining enough data to treat the victims. For nothing has changed in the last two decades for the people of Madhya Pradesh. In December 1999, Greenpeace reported that soil and water in and around the plant were contaminated by organochlorines and heavy metals.
The Union Carbide Corporation itself was charged with culpable homicide, a criminal charge whose penalty has no upper limit. These charges have never been resolved, as Union Carbide, like its former CEO, has refused to appear before an Indian court. Thus the victims in Bhopal have been left in the lurch, told to fend for themselves as corporate executives elude justice and big corporations elude the blame. Dow’s unwillingness to fulfill its legal and moral obligations in Bhopal represents only the latest chapter in this horrifying humanitarian disaster.
The AdhibhUta of Madhya Pradesh, the state in which Bhopal resides, were damaged beyond belief. But it was the Apsara, Gandharva and Danavas who have been most altered by the disaster. The locals, and the world in general, saw the air being poisoned and that led to a corruption of the local Apsara. Vile and Twisted mockeries of the Cloud Maidens haunt the state and have slowly began to spread across the lands. The drifter nature of the Apsara has only added to the problem and while it is certain there must be a few corrupted Vidyaraja and Yaksha, it is the Air, earth and water AdhibhUta empires who were most polluted and of them it is the ‘Daughters of Pain’ who are most encountered across the sub-continent. Easy to recognise, with a form of shimmering mercury laced with oily black liver spots they corrupted Apsara, along with the other corrupted AdhibhUta seek to spread the corruption that damned them.
These Digdha, as the corrupted mockeries of the Inanimae are called are dangerous to all fae. They are Nightmare creatures that prey upon the unwary and the rural communities, spreading their corruption further. Where they pass, disease and pestilence follow. These ailments include blindness, extreme difficulty in breathing, and gynaecological disorders. Just like on the night of the disaster, people describe coughing with each breath seeming as if breathing in fire, orifices streaming and their skin feeling as if it were burning.
There is no doubt that the Digdha walk the vamachara or left hand path of the Chayaka. They appear to be completely in the thrall of the awakening Elder darks and to be dedicated to the destruction of the Vasus Dream. Unlike the majority of the Adhene, the previous servants of the defeated Darkness, the Digdha are united in their loyalty to the enemies of the light. The mass graves of Bhopal have become a gathering place for the corrupted AdhibhUta and they gather on moonless nights to commit foul rites in serving and worship to the Elder dark and plot for their eventual return. They share these revels with twisted shapeshifters of the Naga and Mokole and the Black Spiral dancers too.
Each AdhibhUta Phyla lists the alternative Birthright posessed by the Digdha. This is their pUtanA or Poisoned Birthright.