The Immortal Game
The Black One, The Black Mother, The Dark Mother,
Associated Abilities: Art, Athletics, Brawl, Melee, Occult, Presence
Associated Epic Attributes: Appearance, Strength
Associated Purviews: Chaos, Darkness, Death, War
“The Black One” is truly terrifying. She is divinity distilled in a half-naked, four-armed figure loosely circled by a belt interwoven with human heads and a necklace made of human skulls. A third red eye strengthens her fearsome stare. In many ways she is cremation personified—a burning, insatiable psyche raging from inside an emaciated and blackened body that consumes all in her path by swinging both a sickle and a sword.
Kali is the Goddess of annihilation, the fiercest of the Devas and perhaps most feared amongst any pantheon fighting the Titans. While her prowess in battle is seldom tested, even by the most powerful demons, her divine power is derived from her sway over time itself. She, in her various incarnations throughout history, is the end of the cycle of karma. Kali brings death to all so that the cycle of life can continue. The terrible demon Raktabija once resisted all attempts to destroy it by springing forth a clone of itself from each drop of its blood that touched the ground. Kali bested the demon by sticking out her long and hungry tongue to drink up all of its blood. She then placed the remaining copies of Raktabija in her mouth and ate him. Recently, Kali has been a citizen standing triumphantly atop a crumbling Berlin Wall with a worn pickaxe in hand. She’s been a drug-fueled child soldier in Africa, a plastic recycling Mogul and an arson expert. She is always a catalyst for change, whether it affects politics, social norms or even life itself.
The Scions of Kali always have a powerful personality born from a healthy respect for death and an unusual disregard for their own bodies. Whether that disregard is a personality-changing addiction, purposeful neglect or a willingness to jump in harm’s way, it is always present. They can be found as the strangely charismatic leaders of underground punk bands, efficient and enthusiastic pest control agents or as deep-jungle revolutionaries.Kali is the fearsome goddess of war, a terrible being who leaves death and destruction in her wake and cannot be leashed or controlled, even by the other gods. Black as night and horrible to behold, she is the goddess who destroys and the harbinger of chaos, the supreme goddess who devours all things in her path; she is also the goddess of salvation, as only through the violent destruction of mankind’s sins and misconceptions can they ascend to a higher state of understanding. She is the terrible mother who slays her children and the demonic soldier who clears the battlefield, and only her husband, Shiva, can hope to rein her in even for a little while. When Kali takes the field, enemies fall in drove and blood runs like a river; when she dances her dance of destruction, the world’s foundations themselves tremble.
Kali and Raktabija
When the terrible demon Raktabija menaced the gods, Parvati girded herself for war and, along with her servants, attempted to halt his progress and kill him. Much to their horror, however, they found that every drop of his blood that spilled onto the ground turned into another demon, so that he was incredibly numerous and undefeatable. Desperate and unable to defeat him, Parvati called upon Kali, who appeared out of the darkness, terrible to behold and awesome in her power. She slew all of Raktabija’s minions and swallowed all the copies of himself he had made, and when he turned to run she seized him and sucked the blood from his body so that he could not reproduce himself when she finally tore off his head. Victorious, she danced in bloody splendor on the battlefield, and Parvati and her servants, recognizing that they had succeeded and that they could not banish Kali now that they had called her, withdrew.
Kali and Shiva
When she had destroyed all those on the battlefield, Kali rampaged through it, drunk on the blood of her victims and dancing a terrible, dangerous dance, trampling all the bodies underfoot. Alarmed by the violence of her dance, Shiva laid down on the battlefield to absorb its terrible tremors and cried out; when she realized that she had almost stepped upon and injured her husband, Kali was ashamed and stuck out her tongue and bit it in penance before helping him return home. She returned to the battlefield, however, and again her terrible dance was so destructive that the gods began to fear she would crack the earth; they called on Shiva to control her, so he took the form of an infant version of himself and sat in the midst of the battlefield, crying in distress. Kali, finding her husband as a child, calmed herself and fed him tenderly from her breasts, and the gods were able to repair the damage she had caused.
Kali and the Lord of the Dance
Kali once took possession of a forest, and the natives of the area were thoroughly terrorized by her presence, even to the point that some of Shiva’s followers were distracted, causing them to pray to him for help. He came down from heaven to ask Kali to calm herself, but she refused, taunting him and claiming that it was her nature to be so violent. Though Shiva was well-known to be the Lord of the Dance, Kali’s fearsome and destructive dances were legendary, and she challenged Shiva to a contest, saying that she could dance more awesomely even than him. The two danced with such fervor that they shook the very foundations of heaven and earth themselves, until finally Shiva danced the Tandava, the dance of all creation, life and death in the universe, and Kali was unable to keep up with his steps. She conceded that Shiva was the winner and departed for heaven with him, leaving the earth as it was. The gods, shaken by the awesome fury that had occurred when both Shiva and Kali danced at the same time, resolved never to allow them to dance together again lest the world be shaken apart.