|Toothy brick entrance to the Underworld on Tristis V|
The Azwaj Brick Ape Demons are bi-phased quantum-locked creatures with some similarities to the Lunar Rock Aliens and the Lonely Assassins. The Azwaj were first created in distant times past to guard sensitive places such as the tombs of the Star Kings and Comet Khans, the laboratory-shrines of the Anapa, and countless time-lost labyrinths on dead worlds. They continue to be created today by sorcerers, priests, and psychics who seek to hide their dark secrets in lonely subterranean places.
The Brick Apes are made from three material components: the shattered clay of golems destroyed by their masters, the offal of demonic apes, and the blood of a dutiful apprentice. These substances must be mixed by hand and kneaded into a lumpy, rough, odiferous dark clay. The clay is shaped into bricks, each of which must be stamped with the artisan's personal sigil. The newly shaped bricks are then be fired for three days in a Demon Kiln. What emerges at the end of the process are coarse but otherwise quite unremarkable bricks which can be used to build walls and other protective structures in a sanctuary of labyrinth.
The bricks are of course alive and possessed of a crude and malignant simian intelligence. Once placed in their creche structure, Azwaj will wait patiently in their quantum-locked brick form for an intruder to pass into their zone. Once that occurs, a number of bricks will seemingly leap off the wall, battering the intruder from all sides. Upon hitting the intruder or the floor, a few invariably shatter into chunks of clay. However, the majority will immediately thereafter bust into a sudden whirling mass of grot-djini. A moment later, and the intruder is surrounded and attacked by demon apes. One among their number will always be the alpha of the group, and will typically have access to special spells or other powers.
Azwaj slain during combat shatter into clay rubble as soon as they are slain. However, at the end of any encounter, surviving Azwaj transform back into demon-bricks. These demon bricks coalesce in mid-air and fly back to fill niches in their home wall or structure, re-stacking as best they can to fill any gaps created by slain Azwaj. Beware of such gaps in Underworld structures, especially in subterranean areas with a malign aura: this is a telltale sign that Azwaj may be present.
The rubble resulting from slain Azwaj is a constant source of new threats in the Underworld. Such infernal kipple tends to coalesce over time, and this engrottment gradually produces new, independent Azwaj who are free of any bonds of loyalty to their original creator. The Free Azwaj have the ability to reproduce by chipping, and often wander away from their originary creche structure to found new structural communities deeper in the Underworld.
Any Maharalic Golem will recognize Azwaj on-sight - even when the creatures are in their quantum-locked brick form. The Gatherers of Gloom often use such golems to seek out Free Azwaj before they can establish their own independent creche-structure communities. Also known as the Dour Masons, the Gatherers seek out the Free Azwaj as their preferred familiars.
Brick Ape Alpha Demon (inimical)
- High Concept: Demonic Brick Ape Sentinel
- Trouble: Golems always see us
- Aspect: Loyal until slain the first time
- Aspect: Intruders shall not pass
- Aspect: The walls close in on you
- Careful: +1
- Clever: +2
- Flashy: +1
- Forceful: +2
- Quick: +1
- Sneaky: +3
- A Malign Intelligence: Take a +2 to Clever Approach when using demonic magic to Attack an intruder.
- Fecal Scratch and Bite: When you Succeed with Style on a Forceful Attack against a living victim, victim is infected with a demonically transmitted disease.
- Quantum Lock: Change state from Demon Brick to Demon Ape form, or the reverse.
- The Walls Move: Take +2 to Sneaky Approach to Create an Advantage over intruders by making the walls seem to shift and move around them.
Brick Ape Mooks
- +2 at: Surrounding intruders; Striking, biting, & scratching
- -2 at: Betraying their creator; Hiding and fighting Golems
- Aspect: Flying Bricks & Demonic Apes
- Stress: 6 (12 Brick Apes; 2 per stress box)