Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Torturers

Art by Brom
There are a lot of bad things that can happen to travelers in the Zuran Expanse, not the least of them is falling into the hands of the people of Algos. They're often called "algophilists," and though the ancient term was originally synonymous with masochist, the Algosians are not as particular about whose pain they enjoy.

Algosians are disciplined in their pleasure-seeking. There is an almost monastic structure to their society and a purity (if such a word applies) of purpose. They worship the historic torture cult of the Faceless Ones like gods. It's thought that they may in fact be the bioroid creations of those ancient sadists, designed to satisfy their creators' need for playthings who were durable, resilient--and even appreciative. The Algosians learned much from their masters and now apply that knowledge to those that fall into their hands.

Not usually given to direct attacks on vessels, the Algosians rely on kidnappings to get most of their victims. They operate clubs or brothels in some spaceports, though their involvment is usually secret. Some physicians and medical researchers seek them out in an attempt to gain access to their extensive observations  on the physiology of various in regard to pain tolerance or pleasure responses.



 The Algosians appear as pallid, thin humanoids. They are physiologically similar to baseline humans in most respects but have higher than average constitutions (minimum 12) and resistances to pain. Their natural recovery of hit points is at twice the normal rate, though medical care or biopsionics effect them the same as they would anyone else.

12 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Do they have a text they follow or inherently know? Interesting group. So they aren't hunted or arrested for kidnapping? I'm curious.

Trey said...

On what? Physiology? That's just the collected trial and error observations of their people.

They live in a lawless area (the Zuran Expanse). They could (and probably do on occasion) run afoul of authorities on a given station or habitat, but the law wouldn't extend beyond the confines of that station, or at best that star system. Those local authorities are also pretty easy to buy off.

Tim Shorts said...

Ah gotcha. Was wondering if they had to worry about the law.

Ben L. said...

Are the Algosians perhaps theologians of the Order of the Gash?

http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1093522-the-hellbound-heart

Trey said...

@Ben - Heh. Good thought! The Algosians are decidedly less mystical than the Cenobites (as are their mentors, the extinct Faceless Ones) but I think they'd generally approve of each other.

Aos said...

Reminds me somewhat of CAS' Isle of the Torturers.
These guys would be fun to kill.

Trey said...

@Aos - You've identified my primary inspiration exactly.

Aos said...

I can't help but think that a rival group, that views torture as a way to atone or pay for crimes, would hate these guys.

Trey said...

Interesting idea! Maybe the Faceless Ones have other "descendants" looking to atone for their crimes rather than perpetuate them.

Trey said...

Interesting idea! Maybe the Faceless Ones have other "descendants" looking to atone for their crimes rather than perpetuate them.

John Till said...

I imagine more than a few of them are negative empaths (your pain = my pleasure, literally as direct experience). This kind of psychic voyeurism might be part of the reason their old name has stuck.

Trey said...

@John - Good thoughts! I like that.