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The character page for Leviathan: The Tempest.

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Strains

Leviathans are divided into various families called "Strains", which were each spawned by a specific Progenitor.

    The Tribe in general 

Tropes applying to all Leviathans:

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Even a young Leviathan will at least be twice as tall as a human being when in Apotheosis. Elder can get the size of skycrapers.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Apotheosis, the final level of Depth a Leviathan can reach, transforms its user into an Eldritch Abomination the size of a skyscraper with insane level of health, biological armor and destructive powers who cause people watching it to lose their mind. However, the transformation is slow (6 to 2 turns, depending how much you spend) and very expansive in Ichor, you can no longer move nor breath out of water and exposure to air will gradually drain your Ichor. Really, you are better off sticking to lower levels of Depth in most situations.
  • Blessed with Suck: As is tradition in the setting. Leviathans are basically ancient gods with all the spectacular power this implies- and this comes at the cost of having a normal life, since every human around them is mind raped into fearing them and either end up leaving, going insane or turning into a bunch of crazy cultists obsessed with them.
  • Eldritch Abomination: They are beings from the Primordial Water who, according to the current order of things, shouldn't exist. They also look like horrifying sea monsters in their true form, and their mere presence can cause people to go insane on the long term.
  • Fish People: Most Leviathan have at least some fish-like features when they transform.
  • Immortality Begins at 20: Very downplayed. Like in this trope, a Leviathan will age normally before becoming immortal at some point in his life, but in his case, immortality begins at sixty. His Leviathan form doesn't age, but given what it looks like, it's not like you can actually judge how old it is anyway.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Well, it's in the name.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Leviathans are particularly vulnerable to electricity, which inflicts them Aggravated damages.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: Goes without saying when you are playing an Eldritch Abomination. Their powers tend to include a lot of Body Horror and unpleasant side effects.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Some of the collective names given to Leviathans include the Wicked Tribe, Earth's Most Wicked Tribe, and Earth's Most Wicked.
  • One-Winged Angel: While Leviathan typically have a human form, they have the ability to gradually shapeshift into an aquatic monstrosity. The transformation is gradual, with 7 levels of "Depth", each more powerful and less human-looking than the last.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Even a young Leviathan can have the ability to cause temporary hurricanes and earthquakes.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Leviathan get a free specialization related to swimming as a mean to represent their affinity with aquatic environments. In addition, their transformation allows them to hold their breath longer underwater at Depth 2, and turn them completely amphibious starting with Depth 3.
  • The Old Gods: The Tribe aren't the old gods, but they are the heirs to what remains of their power.
  • Walking Wasteland: A psychic variant. Leviathan don't technically damage lands wherever they go, but they do cause people around them to gradually go insane.
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    Bahamutans 
The Spawns of Bahamut. Best-known for having the most healthy offspring and cooperative culture, they generally prefer retreating from the world with their Beloved and not act much. This has resulted in them being stereotyped as mellow, but this is unreliable; whenever Bahamutans actually get angry, they deliver apocalyptic rampages. Their favourite Vestige is Vitality, with Awareness, Fecundity and Might as their secondary ones.
  • Aura Vision: One of their potential secondary Vestiges is Awareness, which include the ability to see people's souls in the form of an aura.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: They are calmer than most Strains, and tend to be instinctively protective of their Beloved. But as noted below, they are quite devastating when they get angry.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Bahamutans instinctively aspire to just restrain themselves and retreat into solitude with their Beloved so they will not destroy everything around them. When they do let go, however, the results are quite spectacular.
  • The Big Guy: Literally; they tend to be the largest of the Leviathan.
  • Gentle Giant: They have a reputation of being mellow despite their gigantic size. This is not an entirely reliable stereotype however; they are quite capable of Unstoppable Rage if you piss them off.
  • Good Parents: They are the only Strain known for having healthy and supportive families.
  • Healing Factor: Fecundity is one of their potential secondary Vestiges. One of the Channels granted by it, the Hydra's Rebirth, allows them to heal at an accelerated rate using Ichor.
  • Made of Iron: Their main Vestige, Vitality, focuses on making them more resilient.
  • Mook Maker: Another Channel granted by the Vestige of Fecundity, fittingly named Mother of a Thousand Young, allows them to spawn children asexually.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Even at Depth 1, one of the Channels for Awareness is strong enough that it allows them to identify supernatural beings.
  • Turtle Power: Their true forms frequently have turtle-like shells.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: One of the Channel from Awareness allows the user to see through the eyes of his followers.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The need for self-restrain is a constant irritation, so most Bahamutans are just accumulating rage. As a result, when they do let go, the results can be quite apocalyptic.

    Dagonites 
The Spawns of Dagon. The most fertile but also least healthy bloodline, Dagonites are manipulative, coldly efficient and fanatically devoted to their survival, reproducing at every opportunity. Their favourite Vestige is Fecundity, with Elements, Predation and Sanctify as their secondary ones.
  • Alluring Anglerfish: Their true form tend to look similar to creatures from the deepest and darkest trenches and abysses of the ocean, frequently with large black eyes, transparent and glowing flesh, and large gaping maws filled with needle-like teeth
  • A God Am I: They are the most likely Strain to revel in their powers and see themselves as gods.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Even by Leviathan standards, Dagonites families are about as healthy as their genetics, which is saying very little. They have a lot of in-fighting, and the only the way they can keep it together is by mixing them with their cults and ruling it with an iron fist.
  • Compelling Voice: One of their affinity Vestige, Sanctify, covers Channels allowing them to influence mortals through their voice alone.
  • Healing Factor: Thanks to the Vestige of Fecundity, they can have the ability to heal themselves faster.
  • The Leader: Dagonites frequently have an aspiration to leadership, and because they are the most numerous tribe, they often get that wish.
  • Manipulative Bastard: They are well-known for having great manipulation skills, which they use heavily to make up for their lack of physical strength (by Leviathan standards anyway). Moreover, their Mastery of the Vestige of Predation and Sanctify makes it really easy for them to influence mortals' emotions.
  • Mind Rape: They have an affinity for the Vestige of Predation, which includes many Channels allowing them to better use and focus the power of the Wake.
  • Mook Maker: Fecundity is their favourite Vestige, and they are known to really abuse the ability to reproduce asexually it grants.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: A frequent feature on their true form is to have a lot of teeth, as part of their Alluring Anglerfish aesthetic.
  • Mother of a Thousand Young: By far the most fertile of the Strains, thanks in great part to their mastery of the Vestige of Fecundity. Unfortunately, they also are the least healthy.
  • Natural Weapon: One of the Channels provided by the Vestige of Predation, Mortal Devouring Armory, grants organic features that can be used as weapons, such as fangs and claws.

    Lahamin 
The Spawns of Lahamu, and currently the rarest Strain due to their limited focus on reproduction. Secretive, they prefer operating from distance, using manipulation and indirect means rather than open display of powers. Despite this, they are surprisingly efficient in a straight fight. Their favourite Vestige is Awareness, with Predation, Sanctify and Vitality as their secondary ones.
  • Aura Vision: Awareness is their favourite Vestige, so this is a given.
  • The Chessmaster: Lahamin rarely act directly; they usually prefer to rely on subtle and indirect means, manipulating people or using their Beloved to infiltrate strong centers of wealth and power. Considering most of their Vestiges focus on detecting people and controlling them, they tend to be good at it.
  • Compelling Voice: Sanctify is one of the Vestiges they have an affinity for.
  • Dirty Coward: Other Strains tend to perceive them as this because of their habit to avoid personal involvement. While not entirely unfounded, this prejudice isn't entirely true; when cornered, Lahamin are just as capable of fighting brutally as any other Leviathan, and they do have affinities for the Vestige of Predation and Vitality.
  • Natural Weapon: Like for Dagonites, they can access this thanks to the Vestige of Predation.
  • The Smart Guy: They are the most knowledge-oriented Strain.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: Thanks to their affinity for the Vestige of Awareness.

    Nu 
The Spawns of Nu. Born from the oldest of the Progenitors, they are considered the most alien of the Leviathans. They are also frequently perceived as mystical and introspective. Their favourite Vestige is Element, with Awareness, Fecundity and Sanctify as their secondary ones.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tend to be stereotyped as introspective, shy and mystical. They also happen to have the most alien mindset among Leviathans, and their mastery of Elements holds some of the most destructive powers in the game.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: One of the Channels offered by the Vestige of Elements allows to generate earthquakes and manipulate earth.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Their true form tend almost entirely made of water.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: Their favourite Vestige, Element, includes a Channel allowing them to be one with the ocean itself.
  • Fisher King: Element allows them to influence the environment wherever they go.
  • Only Sane Man: They are cursed into being this to their Cult; their Beloved turn into fanatic idiots who will completely misinterpret what they order them.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Or more accurately, surrounded by fanatics morons who will always come up with the most convoluted interpretations for even the simplest tasks you give them.

    Oceanads 
The Spawns of Oceanus. Frequently associated with mermaids, they are well-known for being the most beautiful and majestic of the Leviathan, as well as for their ability to dominate mortals. Their favourite Vestige is Sanctify, with Element, Might and Predation as their secondary ones.
  • The Beautiful Elite: They are considered the most beautiful of the Tribe, and they consider themselves superior to everyone else.
  • Compelling Voice: Sanctify is their favourite Vestige.
  • Control Freak: Oceanads tend to value control over everything else.
  • Enthralling Siren: They are designed to invoke this image, being described as beautiful and having an affinity for the Vestige of Sanctify.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: They are well-known for their beauty and majesty.
  • Manipulative Bastard: They have the reputation to be this, being predators both socially and physically, and most famous for their dominance over the minds of men.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Oceanads are very strongly associated with mermaids.

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    Tanninim 
The Spawns of Tannin; obsessed with justice, they are considered the Tribe's most fearsome warriors. Their favourite Vestige is Predation, with Awareness, Might and Vitality as their secondary ones.
  • Hobbes Was Right: Their Wake turns people into violent brutes which in turn forces the Tanninim to become Hobbesian dictators to keep their cultists in line. Fittingly the Biblical Tannin might actually another name of the Biblical Leviathan, Hobbes chosen metaphor.
  • The Berserker: Wrath is their signature Vice, and their Wake tend to turn their Beloved into fanatic warriors and warlords.
  • Natural Weapon: Predation is their favourite Vestige, which include the ability to have organic weaponry.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: They are by far the most war-oriented Strain, and tend to have the best warriors.

    Thassalans 
The Spawns of Thalassa; considered the most adapted to human life, Thalassans tend to work inside cities and make deals with mortals like normal businessmen. They also frequently have a habit of hoarding treasures in their lairs. Their favourite Vestige is Might, with Element, Fecundity and Vitality as their secondary ones.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: They tend to have true forms looking very similar to crustaceans, bugs, arachnids and other arthropods.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Very likely to be this; Thalassans typically prefer to work inside cities, disguising their cults into corporations and doing business with humans unaware of their nature. But they also have an instinctive tendency to greed, so it usually is only a matter of time before they start abusing their power in their business.

Schools

Schools are the various methods Leviathans use to deal with their condition.

    School of the Abyss 
Those who seek to retreat from the world and find a place they can truly be at peace, even if that place is only a state of mind. They are the foremost experts on the Rift.
  • Bold Explorer: Because just living away from humanity and never doing anything would get boring very fast, many of them keep themselves busy by becoming explorers, seeking lost underwater cities and temples or just swimming in the Rift.
  • The Hermit: They try to deal with their condition by retreating from humanity so they can be at peace. To represent this, they can regain Tranquillity whenever they handle a problem by severing connections with humanity.

    School of Clay 
Those who believe that The Tribe hasn't made much progress but humanity has and seek to copy humanity both socially and scientifically.
  • Humans Are Special: The core idea of their philosophy is that Humanity has been able to progress while Leviathans have failed, meaning their best chance to survive is by copying them.

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    School of Fog 
Those who seek answers in The Tribe itself and constantly question both their cousins and the tribe's history. They specialize in building alliances inside the Tribe.
  • The Power of Friendship: Well, less friendship and more collaboration, but the School of Fog mostly solves its problems by building alliances within the Tribe.

    School of the Moon 
The high priests of the Progenitors embrace change. They constantly force their cults to adapt seeking to peel away centuries of misdirected evolution to discover the lost primordial way of life.

    School of the Reef 
Those who seek an outlet for the Tribe's strength and energy by taking the fight to the Tribe's ancient enemies. Reef Leviathans believe you can only rely on yourself in the end, and because of this, they tend to focus on being powerful individually.
  • Had To Be Sharp: A variant. They don't technically come from a place particularly forcing them to be sharp (not necessarily at least), but they consider that, since Leviathan are potentially immortal while everything around them isn't, the only thing they can durably rely on is themselves. Following that logic, they put a lot of effort into making themselves as sharp as possible so they can deal with anything of their own.

    School of the Sand 
Those who try to solve their problems using modern technology.
  • Techno Wizard: They are the best at using new technology.
  • Super Intelligence: Since Leviathan have no ability granting power over technology, they make up for it by using Atavistic Intelligence.

    School of the Sun 
Those who seek to solve their problems by acquiring ever larger cults and greater divine power.
  • And Then What?: Averted. The typical member of the school is a megalomaniacal god-king constantly seeking more and more power. But they believe when they get powerful enough they'll be able to fix the Tempest through divine will alone and thus redeem themselves and the Tribe.
  • Cult: All Leviathans tend to form Cults, but the School of the Sun make it their particular focus to build, grow and expand them.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: They typically instruct their members to not abuse their Beloved and act as more or less "benevolent" deities, not because it's the right thing to do, but because they are well-aware randomly eating and enslaving humans For the Evulz will just make them erode faster.
  • What Is Evil?: They tend towards philosophies that portray authoritarian tyranny as a good thing. Being Leviathans they pretty much have to be authoritarian tyrants, so they've decided to make the best of it.

Antagonists

    The Marduk Society 
The most recurring threat faced by Leviathans. An ancient group of Hunters, the Marduk Society was founded by the disciples of Marduk, the man who long ago managed to slay Tiamat and overthrow the Tribe. Becoming known as the Sky Wizards, these disciples have been using the Society to hunt down the Tribe as a mean to stay alive, since they expand their lifespan by feeding on Leviathan flesh. Recently however, the Society has gone through a civil war, which has ended with the more idealistic members winning and overthrowing the Sky Wizards. They still hunt Leviathans nowadays, but more out of altruism than for any darker purpose.

  • Being Good Sucks: They are one of the most idealistic, straight-laced good guy factions in the setting. Which in practice means they were manipulated for centuries by amoral sorcerers, and when they finally rebelled against them, it left their structure seriously damaged and hard to maintain. Being good definitely isn't easy for them.
  • Dark Secret: The organization was founded by the Disciples of Marduk after they killed their own master so they could retain their powers, and they have been using it since then to hunt Leviathans so they can feed on their flesh to stay immortal. They have been overthrown following a recent civil war in the Society, but the secret remains.
  • Death from Above: Leviathans are enormously powerful, but they can't fly. The Marduk society like to blast their opponents from the safety of the air.
  • Hero Antagonist: After the Sky Wizards were overthrown; the Marduk Society are just a group of idealists who want to prevent Leviathans from wreaking havocs.
  • Hunter of Monsters: They are an entire organization entirely dedicated to hunting Leviathans.
  • The Idealist: Discovering that their society of heroic scientists has been controlled by Evil Sorcerers for perhaps all of human history didn't make them give up their idealism.
  • Kill Sat: The most powerful weapon in their arsenal. Fortunately for Leviathans, they have always been reluctant to use it; the Sky Wizards would rather get Leviathan corpses intact, while the current leadership avoids civilian casualties and collateral damages whenever possible for ethical reasons.
  • Paper Tiger: Their main weakness post-Civil War. They still have spectacularly advanced technology, including a space station with an orbital cannon and jet fighters, but the purge has left their already limited number of recruits even smaller, and their infrastructure is shot as hell as a result of the recent conflict.
  • Science Hero: The Society's strongest weapons rely on highly advanced technology.
  • Shock and Awe: Fittingly for a society named after Marduk they like to fry things with lightning. The fact that electricity is the Tribe's Kryptonite Factor doesn't hurt.
  • Right Makes Might: Their technology actually gets stronger if the user is acting in a virtuous fashion.
  • Unwitting Pawn: In the first edition, most of them were genuinely idealistic people being manipulated by the amoral Sky Wizards. No longer the case in the Second Edition, where they have overthrown them.

    Empyrean Theurgists 
Priests who can call down power from modern gods.

  • Always Lawful Good: Averted. The book outright says they can be bad people. Of the two sample characters one is a Good Shepherd who helps her working class community and the other is a Well-Intentioned Extremist who fights global warming by running an alternative energy corporation and kidnapping people to sacrifice to the Aztec gods.
  • Religion Is Magic: In this case, their magic is powered by the gods they worship.
  • Right Makes Might: They gain power from virtues, just like the Marduk Society.

    Judges 


    Ahab 
People who were influenced by the Leviathan's Wake in an unusual manner, causing them to develop an obsession with killing the responsible Leviathan at all cost.

  • Brought Down to Normal: Ahab only keep their abilities as long as they are hunting; as soon as they kill it or abandon the hunt, they immediately lose all their powers and turn back into regular mortals.
  • Create Your Own Villain: How they are born; every now and then, a Leviathan's Wake will affect someone differently, creating someone obsessed with killing them.
  • Enemy Within: While Ahabs technically are people of their own, their powers come from becoming the Leviathan's self-loathing incarnated. Technically, they represent the part of a Leviathan's mind that hates himself and wants to die.
  • Hunter of Monsters: They dedicate their whole being to hunting Leviathans.
  • Power Born of Madness: Their powers are born from a specific form of madness caused by the Wake.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: They have a "Leviathan Sense" that attunes with the Leviathans who created them, allowing them to track them down even to the other side of the world.
  • Taking You with Me: Since Ahab are Brought Down to Normal when they finally succeed at killing their Leviathan, they sometimes die immediately due to the loss of powers that kept them alive, such as protections against the crushing ocean depths or the Leviathan's toxic corpse. They usually are more than willing to sacrifice themselves if it means reaching their goal.

    The School of Thunder 
A renegade School of Leviathans who try to solve their problems by begging for forgiveness to a different god.

  • Boomerang Bigot: They genuinely believe Leviathans are monsters, including themselves, and beg forgiveness for existing.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Like all Schools they open with a devotee of the school giving a speech to other leviathans. The School of Thunder's speech can be summed up in this trope.

    Typhons 
Leviathans who have succumbed entirely to the Beastal nature.

  • Non-Malicious Monster: They're barely able to think and often kill themselves because of things like having an instinct to hoard gold instead of an instinct to eat when they're hungry. They're still incredibly dangerous.

    Ophions 
Leviathans who have succumbed entirely to the Divine nature.

  • Always Chaotic Evil: The moral and good part of a Leviathan has to die before an Ophion can be born.
  • The Chessmaster: Their brains are hardcoded to act through pawns and proxies.
  • Evil Plan: They all have one, and most have dozens of them.

Others

    Atolls 
Humans who have the unusual ability to nullify the effect of the Wake, making them immune to it. Many Leviathans seek them as a result, since they are the only ones capable of granting them a somewhat normal life.

  • Kid with the Leash: To a Leviathan the company of an Atoll is addictive while even criticism is practically Mind Rape. Atolls can try and keep Leviathans on the straight and narrow, but it usually goes badly for everyone concerned.
  • No-Sell: Atolls are completely immune not only to the effects of the Wake, but also to any psychic ability granted by Channels and Mutation. Even a Leviathan's telekinesis cannot affect them.
  • Power Nullifier: Their very presence can prevent the Wake from functioning.

    Hybrids and Lahmasu 
Humans born from Leviathan ancestry. This leaves them with a weird genetic condition that results in more or less high level of Body Horror, though they still are technically humans. Those born from two Strains or more are just referred to as Hybrids, while those born from only one Strain (typically a Leviathan and a human) are called Lahmasu, and tend to have more predictable mutations and fewer drawbacks than regular Hybrids. While they can occasionally come into their full heritage and become Leviathans of their own, plenty of them stay what they are all their life.

  • The Grotesque: Unlucky Hybrids and Lahmasu tend to look deformed and monstrous, which really doesn't help when it comes to having a normal life.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Most Lahmasu are born from the union of one Leviathan with a human. Granted, technically speaking, all Leviathans have some human blood, but Lahmasu and Hybrids are functionally more human than they are.
  • Superpower Disability: Hybrids and Lahmasu are genetic mutants and there's a lot of ways a finely tuned machine like the human body can go wrong if you change it. Mechanically the more powerful a Hybrid is the more drawbacks it suffers, from being unable to walk on land to needing a precise drug regime to remain intelligent.

    Primordial Theurgist 
Wizards who try to channel power from Leviathans in order to fuel their magic.

  • Evil Counterpart: Arguably to Empyreal Theurgist. Their powers work similarly, except they channel powers from Leviathans. That say, just as Empyreal Theurgist aren't necessarily good person, Primordial Theurgists aren't necessarily bad people (though it is very likely to be the case, since someone willing to channel the powers of a Leviathan rarely has good intentions).

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