Heroes are the main antagonists of Beast: The Primordial. Like Beasts, Heroes have a connection to the Primordial Dream, which allows them to sense the presence of a nearby Beast. While principled, honorable Heroes exist, the majority are violent narcissists who will stop at nothing to kill a Beast.
In ancient times, Heroes and Beasts lived in a kind of symbiosis, both serving their communities and interpreting the terrifying wisdom of the Primordial Dream. While the Beast offered lessons, it was the Hero who interpreted them and spread the wisdom of the Dream among the people. A Hero might take up arms against a Beast only when that Beast overreached in their predations.
In the present day, the Primordial Dream is harder for most mortals to hear, and potential Heroes are steeped in fairy tales and myths where the protagonist slays the monster and is handsomely rewarded. Consequently, the type of Hero a Beast typically encounters has an unshakable belief in his own righteousness and a willingness to do whatever it takes to kill a Beast, no matter who else may be harmed in the process: these Heroes typically have an Integrity of 4 or lower. Heroes with higher Integrity do exist, but they probably aren't the ones actively seeking out Beasts to kill, so naturally a Beast will run across such Heroes much less often.
A Hero has the ability to track Beasts through both the Primordial Dream and the waking world. They are drawn to people or places where a Beast has recently used their powers or where their Horror has run rampant across the dreamscape, and can recognize a Beast on sight. In combat with a Beast they can use Anathemas to gain an edge over the Beast, or use various Heroic Gifts. If a Hero is injured, they heal at an accelerated rate and are immune to illness and infection. They may also recruit followers to assist them in their efforts, but these followers are mortals and do not benefit from any supernatural abilities.
If a Hero successfully kills a Beast, they gain a Gift, usually one that is in some way related to the Beast they just killed or how they killed it. Particularly successful Heroes thus have a number of Gifts, making them extremely dangerous.
Heroic Gifts Edit
- Amass Followers: A Hero’s legend draws those sympathetic and like-minded, sometimes overwhelming their better judgment and turning them into loyal – often disposable – followers.
- Champion's Endurance: The Hero resists damage as if they were wearing armor.
- Chosen Blade: One of the Hero's weapons (not necessarily a sword) is supernaturally enhanced. If the Chosen Blade is destroyed, the Hero loses this Gift, but can re-gain it after killing another Beast.
- Create Anathema: This power allows the Hero to force an anathema – a ban or bane upon a Beast. It’s one of the hallmarks of a Hero’s hunt. Most Heroes call out the ban or bane when using this ability.
- Enduring Legend: Heroes are exceedingly difficult to kill. The power of their legend keeps them pushing well after normal monster hunters would die.
- Family Rivalry: manipulates those with whom a Beast has Family Ties, turning them against the Beast.
- Kinslayer: The Hero can use their Heroic powers on other supernaturals, provided they have the Family Ties condition.
- Legendary Hunter: The Hero is better at tracking and stalking Beasts.
- Loremaster: The Hero can "discover" an Anathema by doing research, allowing them to place Anathema remotely.
- Open Gate: The Hero can enter the Beast's Lair by forcing a Primordial Pathway open.
- Real World: The Hero can prevent a Beast from imposing its Lair Traits on the environment.
- Saint's Whisper: The Hunter can place an Anathema through conversation with a Beast.
- Soul-Eater: the unique Gift of the Esser family, which allows them to see and manipulate souls, including a Beast's Horror.
- Stalking: Heroes pursue prey relentlessly, and intuitively know how to force their narrative forward.
- Vanquisher's Strength: Increased strength against Beasts.
- Warrior's Speed: Increased dexterity when fighting Beasts.
The arrogant, glory-seeking zealots who typify most active Heroes rarely work well as a team unless that "team" is comprised of their own followers. However, it's hardly unknown for two or more Heroes to join forces, either. Tokyo in particular is home to multiple organized "guilds" of Heroes who train together and share resources and intelligence.
Heroes and Hunters have also been known to collaborate, although such partnerships are rife with tension. In general, hunters regard Heroes as unstable monomaniacs who don't care about collateral damage, while Heroes tend to see hunters as mere cannon fodder, or wasting their time on "lesser" targets like spirits or slashers. At least one group of hunters, The Reckoning, primarily target Heroes rather than Beasts due to the tendency of Heroes to inflict mass destruction. Other hunters may try to goad Beasts into summoning Heroes as a diversion, or because the Heroes have powers the hunters don't, but such alliances are short-term at best.
Heroes may also be willing to work with other supernaturals against a Beast, under the assumption that the Beast is a bigger threat. A Hero getting help from a Mage or Changeling can be an extremely potent threat. On the other hand, a Hero is just as likely to see other supernaturals as the same sort of threat as a Beast, and while their gifts and Anathemas don't work on non-Beasts, guns and swords still do.
- , p. 28-29, p. 32-33