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[✗] [CA Race Lore] - The Skeletons of Mordtsom

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Spoiler

 

 

CA Race Lore - The Skeletons of Mordtsom

Grouping A - Starter Creatures

Read the lore for Mordtsom here

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Origin/Background/Culture

Spoiler

    Scores of swales marked the fields, as they did so many others. The day was cool enough for liking. Beams of gold between sparse clouds afforded a clear view of the site for perhaps a half mile away. Puffs of wind sent ripples through the grass, the blades of which alternated between dark and light tones as their faces were pushed from the light. Yet an eeriness was nestled there. A malignant stench had clawed its way into the swales, to dangle itself above the bones of age-old warriors. Perhaps out of respect, not a wind of the realm dared try to disperse the stale air.

    By sun’s last light a caravan was cutting through the fields, and it could be seen that a low-hanging cloud had formed within the swales. A good enough thing--any man could see more clearly where the fresh air ended and stifling unpleasantness began. Not that the travellers seemed the types to mind much temporary discomfort. When the last rays were choked beneath the horizon, an illusion promptly-dispelled made the mists seem red as blood. Then when the moon claimed its place, another illusion crawled forth--this time a noise almost like clattering earthenware. A musty smell soon touched the noses of the men, akin to that of decay and of damp earth upturned. The cart pulled onwards.

    Still the odors grew more intense. Perhaps some musks had been spilled? The notion was rejected with a simple glance out behind, but still the worries of the men held greater weight than their sense. Soon the cart had begun to slow. The beasts of burden pulled with their typical exertions, yet the cart listed and jolted as though the grass had given way to an invisible patch of flints. Some of the clattering noises had resumed. Before many more groaning protests from the animals were heard, the men had reached the crown of a hill and come equivocally to a conclusion; the cart needed some sort of inspection. With their descent from the cart, the men saw immediately their plight: surrounding them were the risen frames of soldiers. In droves, the undead shambled forth to claim their first bones for Mordtsom.

 

-----

 

Note: It’s realized that Iblees is being phased out through the pantheon revival project, and that the lore for his successor hasn’t yet been written. The announcement of the project occurred a good chunk of the way through the writing of this piece, by which point it was already settled that a new patron of Iblees was ideal for the skeletons. I didn’t want to have the lore sit around unposted for however long while waiting for Iblees’ successor to be written, only for it to take a month after posting--or potentially longer--to hear that the ST is looking at it and just as long to receive a verdict given the current pace of things. Aengudaemon names and purposes can be tweaked fairly easily as the lore for them is posted, as can details of the patron as they relate to the aengudaemon. I'm fully willing to adjust the lore as related pieces are developed and accepted, but at the moment the focus is to minimize the anticipated downtime and be a bit more efficient about all of this.

 

The singular cause of these skeletons’ reanimation rests with Mordtsom, the Bone Father; a patron to the heir of Iblees. Per his dominant purpose, he wanders across the realm in search of the unsealed frames of Descendants. A lucky few of them are touched--seemingly at random--with echoes of his power. Despite his claims over the risen dead and their professed loyalty to him, his reasons for assuming such a peculiar pace are obscured from their skulls. Nevertheless; each of the vessels he anoints are risen with a refreshed mind and spirit for the cause.

It should be noted that the primary purpose of Mordtsom’s skeletons is not to kill Descendants. He’s keenly aware of their weaknesses in comparison to the mortal races, and more so of the fact that any campaign against them with fledgling numbers would fail. For his plots of domination, he fills his skeletons first with a keen desire to study the realm. In their own time they collect knowledge, materials, weapons, tools, and even themselves; after which they begin to plot out what sorts of thefts they might safely perform. With the gift of thought, they realize how Mordtsom demonstrates no preference for skeletons hard-obtained or those freed stealthily. A great deal of unnecessary risk might be undertaken to liberate a living Descendant’s bones, when far less could be expended in digging up the mounds of those who are already dead.

 

 

 

Physical Description

Spoiler

Mordtsom’s skeletons are all filled with an opaque, gaseous essence which can be seen as the force animating them and enabling speech. This essence is produced slowly within the skull and stored primarily in the torso of the skeleton, from whence it is made to course constantly through the rest of the bones. During its travels the gas may be willed by the skeleton to condense, thus allowing for the restoration of ligaments and the slow mending of chipped or broken bones. In some cases, the gas also serves to alter bone colors or create vibrant orbs within the eye sockets of the skull. This, however, is merely a cosmetic change serving to instill fear or display identity. Those carefully observing the essence’ flow will surely realize how to put any of Mordtsom’s skeletons to rest.

Also apparent on skeletons is a general lack of clothing, armor, and heavy weaponry. While durable in their undeath, the creatures are not remarkably strong or fast. Newly risen skeletons might find themselves attempting to swing heavier weapons or draw large bows, only for their bonds to snap and limbs to go flying off pathetically. Others, in attempts to wear heavier clothing and suits of armor, would find their joints and sockets deteriorating at breakneck pace. Putting aside the difficulties of finding armor fitted for a skeleton, the additional weight makes potential reconstructions impossible. Even flimsier leathers and rags must have their shapes pondered; anything too heavy or loose could obstruct mobility at their joints, to say nothing of their ability to feign death and rise again.

In combat scenarios, one should note that any given skeleton is no larger or stronger than an average member of the Descendant race from which it came. What adventurers need be wary of isn’t the strength of the creatures, but their state of undeath. Skeletons fail to strike rapidly or with great power, but are capable of applying tireless efforts towards their assault. They are not the quickest, but may march for days without exhausting. They are not the keenest, but are able to observe endlessly. For Descendants to avoid being fatigued by the endurance of any skeleton, they need only be quick in wit or strong enough to land a couple of solid blows against the creature. The skeleton cannot feel pain from mundane weapons, but its threat can very swiftly be eliminated with strikes designed to break off limbs and crush bones. Heavier weapons serve best for this purpose, though any might be used with effectiveness--even one’s own fists, should the need arise. 

Those who carry weapons of gold have less to fear from the skeletons. The holy metal spurns the undead as it strikes them, inflicting sensations of pain that would otherwise be unfelt. Though the glimmering weapons may not carry the durability of steel, they sink into the bones of the skeletons with less effort and far more appreciable effect upon their psyche. Fine powders of gold may even be flung into their skulls and torsos. Being in contact with the multitude of aurum surfaces causes their essence to fade away, which inflicts sensations of burning pain and causes a great draining of their vitality.

For those having honed a magical art, there too is an opportunity. The essence which animates the skeletons condenses into a solid state at the joints and sockets, where it serves as a mimicry of ligaments and cartilage. Pyromancers and elemental shamans may focus the heat of flames upon skeletons' joints, thus causing the essence to liquify and limbs to fall apart. Water evocationists might conjure volumes of water within the joints and then freeze it, to force the bones apart or severely limit the joints’ movements at the least. Illusionists and mental mages might also affect skeletons with their spells, though it should be noted that pain, smell, taste, many emotions, and even simple economic concepts such as value are foreign to the creatures. Meanwhile, those holding mastery over life force may bypass the needs for conflict and deception altogether. A prudent transfer of the energy will typically placate any skeleton and allow for limited amounts of reasoning with them. If need arises, the exceedingly light weight of skeletons renders them vulnerable even to a frail mage's shoves.

Though the magical nature of the skeletons' essence renders their joints immune to alterationists' spells, large portions of the creatures’ bodies are still vulnerable. To maintain connection to the cranium and thus maintain a bone's animation, a thin stream of essence courses through the marrow. The greater part of the bone's volume is then left untouched by the essence, leaving plenty of room for mana anchors to be formed. Transfigurationists familiar with the properties of Descendant bones might attempt to weaken their structure, and telekinetics might rip the creatures apart or send them flying away--perhaps both at once.

 

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Mental Description

Spoiler

Mordtsom’s skeletons are bestowed minds and knowledge enough to effectively reason for themselves. They see that their frail bodies can accomplish very little independently, yet also that their reanimator has purchased them their own unique gift. They are slower and weaker than most trained Descendant warriors, but they are numerous and patient. In their liberation from the curses of the Four--yet subjected to one of their own--they are afforded the opportunity to pursue goals as a uniquely-forged collective. To whatever dark ends might be sought out, they each exhibit a desire to seek it alongside their fellow skeletons. Former race holds no bearing; what matters most is the presence of additional undead to bolster the cause, and to champion the strength of Mordtsom.

Skeletons typically refrain from communication with those who are not undead. Mordtsom’s loathing of Descendants is transferred unto his warriors, who keenly realize the risks of exposure to the living. Even for the few souls who’d profess wanting to aid the skeletons, a cold assessment is the typical first step. Such souls are often placed within bindings and subjected to cruel tests of will, after which only the most cursory of discussions and interactions might be held. There are no negotiations to be held by the living with the undead; they seek only what benefits them and their cause the most. From their hatred of the living stems a tendency to not wear disguises, or even wear clothing abundant enough to obscure the bulk of their skeletal forms. The creatures believe that attempting to hide their nature for the sake of the living is a disgusting thing, and one which shames their mighty reanimator. For those who similarly bear--or at least appear to bear--a curse of undeath, the potential interactions may vary. Whenever a plot might involve the sorts of risen dead which the skeletons are able to empathize with, there’s often a particular effort made to ensure safety and the general alignment of interests.

With no memory of their previous lives and an urge to hoard bones for their creator, many of Mordtsom’s skeletons undertake a quest to liberate the pale frames of the dead. Some of the undead march into the crypts in attempts to rip open the coffins. Still others--typically those skeletons which have elevated themselves above the rest--find themselves on hunts for musty tomes and diaries, to devour what lore they might before directing future incursions and forms of worship. A rare few of them seek out direct conflict with the living, that they might perform a riskier feat and attempt to rend open the flesh which hides a full kinsman. Whatever their methods, the skeletons bear little sympathy for the lives or emotions of the living. Though Mordtsom’s recognition of their efforts is unknowable to the skeletons, they feel a supreme sense of gratification in having attempted to aid the patron’s cause. Their greatest reward from him is the sight of new bones being risen into the ranks.

Behavior and craftsmanship amongst skeletons tends to vary, though Descendants are scarce granted the opportunity to note on such things. Many skeletons have little care for the quality or origin of their few belongings, and they’re hardly wrong to think so. They can reliably pilfer items from old battlefields as well as lonesome travelers. There are, however, a few signs of nuance in their ways of thinking. Some skeletons take it upon themselves to fashion implements for various activities, and not uncommonly is it seen that the undead have affixed small shields and quivers to their bodies. Even more often, the skeletons develop senses of position over and amongst themselves. A hidden society of the undead would undoubtedly be possible, and a concept encouraged by their Bone Father at that.

Despite the general silence of their creator, many skeletons engage in rituals designed--in theory--to capture his attention and prove their worth. Simple shrines are at times made from pilings of mud and stones, around which are leaned the lengthier bones of Descendants. Skulls of all types are often incorporated around of such shrines--and throughout much of the skeletons’ limited architecture--as sacred symbols. When unoccupied by their various plots, the undead are free to plant themselves near to the holy sites and ponder their services to Mordtsom. Uncanny happenings of nature, luck, and coincidence are recounted here and attributed to the patron’s mysterious might, in the absence of nearly all communication from him

Being creatures detached from most aspects of Descendant life, skeletons place little value on minas as well as many precious metals. It isn’t uncommon for those attacked by skeletons to be left at the scene with their coin purses and other valuables intact, where highwaymen and unscrupulous passersby might easily be able to scavenge leftover goods from the carcass. In more cunning plots the undead might even pile the gold in the entrances of roadside ruins and mausoleums, for a dark--and painfully impartial--surprise to be sprung upon the souls uncouth enough to attempt robbing such places.

 

 

   

Mental State

Spoiler

Skeletons’ minds are for the most part similar to those of Descendants, with a handful of areas lacking. Their emotions are fewer and generally less intense, often ranging from highs of great fervor to lows of deep reflection. They feel guilt whenever their plots fail or go awry, especially so when there’s damage to other skeletons--reanimated or otherwise--but generally pay little mind to losses of life or the reaching consequences of it. Insults directed towards Mordtsom will typically trigger enhanced feelings of contempt. If a Descendant cannot dispense knowledge, power, or some other clear benefit to the skeletons, then they bear no value beyond their bones. Pain, smell, taste, warmth--these and many other sensations are unknown to the creatures, shoring their scornful view of the mortal world. 

 

The Essence of Mordtsom

Spoiler

Mordtsom’s reanimations revolve around founts of translucent, gaseous essence planted within the skulls of skeletons. This magical essence flows throughout the marrow of the bones and constantly replenishes itself to a certain point. It bears a range of colors which can be viewed most clearly in the cavity of the torso, where a cloud of the surplus fog makes itself manifest. Being magical in nature, the essence within skeletons’ bones is immune to spells of alteration. As it only flows through the marrow of the bones, however, such spells may be projected onto the frame of the skeleton itself. A transfigurationist might apply an understanding of bone properties to weaken a skeleton, or a telekinetic might rip off limbs and send the creature flying away. The fount of essence within a skeleton’s skull serves also as a mind for them, and thus they are vulnerable to the spells of illusionists.


When further harnessed by the skeleton, Mordtsom’s essence provides abilities which go even beyond those immediately apparent. As the skeleton might realize after pondering the essence within itself, the substance is highly flexible in its uses. It already provides a fertile ground for sentience, binds their bones, and fills them with the forces for reanimation. Skeletons may attempt to direct their surplus essence into hollowed relics and even other bones, where it’s able to perform a host of entirely new functions.

 

Mordtsomic Banes

Spoiler

Mordtsomic banes are the product of skeletons’ efforts to harness Mordtsom’s essence for purposes reaching outside of themselves. They revolve around the forcing of skeletal essence into hollowed vessels--seeing as the essence would typically dissipate in the open air long before any effects could be achieved--where it's ordained with a new purpose; to affect the physical plane or the psychological. And to that, there are two types of banes: imbibements and jinxes. 
 

Imbibements are intended to manipulate the thoughts of Descendants by providing a particular sort of sensory input. It might be an object that seems to whisper to those who walk nearby, or one that plants images of people being buried alive in the dreams of those who are sleeping relatively close. Perhaps the person who comes near feels a slight chill, or detects a peculiar stench in the air. The potential effects are up to the skeleton to discover; though there are limits which should be considered. For one, skeletons aren't immune to all of their imbibements. Sensations they're incapable of feeling will remain unfelt, though imbibements which involve the projection of sounds and sights will still affect the creatures. There's also the fact that no imbibement can control Descendant minds or behavior directly, and that the effects of all imbibements may be pushed past with distraction or sufficient willpower. 
 

Jinxes, then, are the sorts of banes which alter the physical plane. A large difference between them and imbibements is that they require close proximity and much longer periods of exposure for their effects to be felt. Typically, jinxes are used to cause the development of minor ailments in living things. A Descendant might have a jinxed shackle placed upon them which slowly drains the coloration of their skin, or a relic within their home jinxed to cause cases of rashes and boils. Headstones marked with jinxes could be scattered around a site to cause the withering of plants. A tree could have a jinxed item tucked within its trunk to cause pustulent bloating among the insects nested nearby. Again the variety of jinxes are up to the skeleton’s imagination, but again there are limitations. No jinx is capable of killing a Descendant by its own effects, and the time it takes for the effects to become apparent is far too long to be viable in combat. Items marked with jinxes also consume their essence supply far faster than imbibements, leaving them depleted after three (3) IRL days under ideal conditions. Unlike imbibements, skeletons are immune to jinxes as non-living creatures. They’re able to employ them as they might, with careful thought given to their applications so as to better manipulate Descendants.
 

Like enchantments, banes drain from the skeleton creating them. A skeleton can only hope to fill one or two moderately-sized objects with essence per day, though multiple skeletons are capable of contributing essence towards a bane within a larger object. Banes are also found in various states according to the conditions of the objects which house them. The full list of states is as follows:
 

Active
The item housing the bane is fully intact and filled with essence, so that it emits its effect.

 

Depleted:
The item bearing the bane has depleted its supply of essence and is no longer emitting any effects. It may be refilled to return to an active state.

 

Damaged:
Enough damage has been caused to the bane-holding item that flaws have begun to manifest in the seal, causing essence to leak out from it in a visible manner. The remaining lifespan of the effect is cut in half, and refillings of the essence supply will have their maximum potential lifespan halved.

 

Destroyed:
The item has been broken open or pierced to the extent that essence can no longer be held within, and none of the bane’s effects are capable of being emitted.

 

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Abilities

Spoiler

Ability – Feign Death – Combative

 

Description – The skeleton may suddenly purge all of its essence and dissolve the connections between its bones, to collapse into a disjointed heap.

 

Mechanics – It takes 1 emote for the skeleton to feign death, after which it can remain in that state for as long as it may.

 

Specific Red Lines –

- The skeleton cannot move of its own accord after feigning death.

- After feigning death, the skeleton has no control over its bones. The effects of the environment must be roleplayed. (E.g. bones being carried away by the current of a river or rolling down the slope of a hill)

- Any piercing or crushing of the skull will result in the death of the skeleton.


 

Ability – Skeletal Reconstruction – Combative

   

Description – After a feigned death, the skeleton may reattach all of its nearby bones over the course of 6 emotes.

 

Mechanics – The 1st and 2nd emotes are always a “tell”; they begin the more noticeable stage of pouring essence out from the skull and gathering it for use in reconstruction. Emotes 3 & 4 can contain either a continued gathering of essence in the torso or a slow reaching of the essence towards the bones of the limbs. Emote 5 involves the essence being shot out to the furthest bones within reach and fully reassembling the limbs. After which, emote 6 is the point where the limbs are replaced in their sockets and able to raise the skeleton. Only after emote 6 may the skeleton make any actions other than standing. (See the example emotes below the abilities section for additional info)

   

Specific Red Lines –  

- If the skeleton is surrounded by conditions which would obstruct direct paths between the bones, reconstruction between those bones cannot occur. (E.g. loose clothing falling into the joints, bones sinking deep into the terrain, etc.)

- The skeleton cannot perform any other actions during reconstruction.

- The reconstruction process is highly noticeable and should be made clear in all emotes.

- If any bone is laying over a foot away (roughly ⅓ meter) from all other bones, it cannot be reached during reconstruction.

- If the skull has been moved over a foot away from the rest of the skeleton’s bones, the essence cannot reach and reconstruction cannot occur (does not necessarily mean the skeleton’s death).

- If the skeleton’s skull is pierced or crushed at any point, reconstruction fails and the skeleton dies.

- Reconstruction does not repair damaged bones.

- This ability may only be used after a feigned death.

 

Ability – Mordtsomic Bane – Non-Combative

Description –     The skeleton may prepare an item by carving out its interior (if not already done) and tightly sealing the space, so that the essence needed for a bane is able to be stored within. That essence then emits a single sort of effect in a fixed radius, the size of which is determined by the type of effect being emitted rather than by the size of the object. 

 

Mechanics – Over the course of four (4) or more emotes, the skeleton pours surplus essence into an object prepared for the holding of a Mordtsomic bane. Imbibements entail minor sensory and psychological effects which are felt immediately by all creatures and Descendants who come within a five (5) block radius, while jinxes cause the slow development of minor ailments upon living things which are kept within a one (1) block radius.

 

Specific Red Lines – 
Banes - General

  • Banes of any sort may not be placed upon items of gold, as the metal will rapidly dissolve any essence placed within close proximity.
  • The date of the bane’s creation (or that of the last replenishing of essence) must be included in the description of the RP item or on a sign(s) where it may readily be seen. If this information is not included, all of the bane’s effects are null.
     
  • Any one object can hold only one bane, whether it's a jinx or imbibement.
  • A creature may be affected by both jinxes and imbibements, with the maximum set at two of each. (Four banes in total)

 

Banes - Jinxes

  • Jinxes act far too slowly to be viable in combat. There is no fixed point at which the effects of a jinx must be RP’d, so that this is left up to the player subjected to it.
  • Jinxes will never kill creatures or Descendants, and cannot bring them close to death.
  • All jinxes are depleted of their essence supply after 3 IRL days. The item ceases exuding its effect at that point, though any changes caused by it will remain until healing naturally or otherwise being reverted.
  • A maximum of two (2) jinxes may affect any living thing at a given time.

 

Banes - Imbibements

  • The effects of imbibements are never overpowering, and may be ignored through distraction or conscious effort.
  • Imbibements cannot directly control Descendant behavior 
  • All imbibed objects become depleted of their essence supply after 7 IRL days, at which point they cease emitting their effect.
  • A maximum of two (2) imbibements may be felt by any creature at any given time.


 

Ability – Essence Evaporation – Combative

 

Description – The skeleton may suddenly evaporate the condensed essence at a single point of their body. It may at times be done with swinging motions to send limp skeletal limbs flying outwards, though not at any great speed when accounting for the limited strength of the creatures.

 

Mechanics – In 1 emote, the skeleton may evaporate the essence holding any two bones together. 

 

Specific Red Lines – 

- As soon as a bone or limb is detached (with this ability or from any other cause), the stream of essence is cut off. The skeleton’s control of the bones ceases, and the limb’s components all assume relaxed positions.

- Bones that are detached will require the use of essence condensation to be reattached.


 

Ability – Essence Stream – Non-Combative

 

Description – An ability typically used by shorter skeletons in order to reach objects tucked a little too far away. While grasping a detached limb with their hand, the skeleton can push a flow of essence through its palm to grant limited control over the bones. After ending the ability, the limb falls limp.

 

Mechanics – The first emote involves grabbing the bone if it is not already held, then moving additional essence towards the limb which is holding it. Emote 2 details when essence is first pushed through the new limb, after which control is gained over the appendage.

 

Specific Red Lines – 

- The skeleton cannot use this ability in combat or wield weapons with it.

- Only 1 limb may be manipulated with this ability, which cannot be longer than either of the skeleton’s attached arms.

- The essence stream continues only for as long as the skeleton is grasping the end of the bone. If the hold is interrupted, the stream will be cut off and the control of the limb lost.

- The appendage being manipulated has no more strength than the skeleton itself, and will be weaker in its capabilities due to the additional length.

- The ability only works on skeletal limbs.


 

Ability – Essence Condensation – Non-Combative

 

Description – During a moment of calm the skeleton may use the essence within itself to reattach limbs, mend damaged bones, and alter their tone and color to an extent.

 

Mechanics – Emotes 1-2 involve gathering essence within the torso and moving it towards the bone(s) being mended/altered. Cosmetic repairs and tone changes require 1 additional emote to be performed per bone (for a total of 3 emotes), attachment of limbs requires 2 additional emotes per limb (total of 4), and all sorts of fractures will require 4 or more additional emotes as well as some appropriately-sized cups of bone shavings to be packed into the site per fracture (6+ emotes total).

 

Specific Red Lines – 

- Essence condensation may not be used on other skeletons.

- Essence condensation may not be used during combat, and a loss of focus will interrupt the process.

- New bones cannot be fabricated with essence condensation.

- Skeletal essence is designed to condense into tough and flexible solids which mimic ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Thus, bones cannot be manufactured from the essence.

- Bones attached to the skeleton must come from Descendants of similar size. No splicing larger bones onto smaller skeletons, and no transfers of skulls from smaller bodies onto larger ones. 

- Bones repaired by essence condensation are no stronger than they were before, and the ability cannot be used to reinforce bones beyond their original integrity.

- Bone colors obtained with essence condensation should fit the server’s setting; use common sense here.

 

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Example Emotes & Notes – Feigning Death & Skeletal Reconstruction

Spoiler

The skeleton emits a harsh rattling and a hiss as it is besieged by the adventurers. Another sound is to be heard; this time a sort of wail as the murky gas stored within the creature is purged, and its body suddenly collapses onto the ground with limbs uncoupled. A tiny stream of the fog oozes from the skull’s base afterwards.

 

X amount of emotes pass with inactivity from the fallen skeleton, and the stream of essence continuing throughout. The rib cage or any other bone must be laying within one foot (roughly ⅓ of a meter) of the skull in order to progress to the next emote. Then begins the six emote reconstruction. If the skeleton is concerned with its bones being damaged or scattered too far from a fall at regular height, it can bring itself closer to the ground before feigning death.

Alternative to the example below, the emote count can be restructured by gathering a dense cloud of essence over four emotes and then rapidly expelling it towards the limbs over the remaining two (or however you might like to distribute it, adhering to a minimum of six emotes in total). Note that this process will also be highly visible and should be stated clearly in all emotes.

 

    [!] More of the colored smog begins to pour from crevices of the skull. This gas grows thicker by the moment, and crawls in droves of tendrils towards the skeleton’s ribcage.

 

    [!] Within the cavity gathers a cloud of the macabre smoke. It fills the sockets of the shoulders and snakes its way consciously down the vertebrae of the skeleton, to begin collecting also within the pelvis.

 

Again, the pieces being reached for must each be within one foot of each other. The essence will be unable to reach otherwise.

Note: Not being able to reach a particular limb(s) doesn't necessarily mean the end of the process. The skeleton could potentially be able to attach an arm or leg first, then drag itself closer to the remaining bones. Nearby bones from other skeletons may also be used, or might be pushed closer by outside forces.

 

    [!] From the sockets of the scapulae and ilium, the unliving’s essence lurches outwards to grasp the femurs and humeri. Clouds of the essence condense into blackened films near the tops. All the while, the smog crawls further down along the bones to marshal itself once more.

 

    [!] After reaching out and touching the lower bones of the limbs, the effect of the fog upon the skeleton becomes increasingly apparent. All of the bones within the hands and feet have their animation rekindled, as do the pairs of bones within the forearms and shins. With a clattering and a scraping noise the limbs begin to drag themselves back into place, evidently mobilized by the smog.

 

    [!] Murky clouds of the gas pour into the joints of the arms and legs. They continue for a lengthy time before receding, after which the limbs begin to move in an articulated fashion. The clouds snake upwards along the repaired limbs; a murky substance has settled to furbish their heads.

 

    [!] With a distinct CRACK the limbs plunge themselves simultaneously into their sockets. The skeleton moves itself in a slow fashion, full of jerking and sounds of scraping bone, before settling in an erect state. Its skull steadily pivots about as the immediate surroundings are observed.

   

     

General Red lines/Restrictions

Spoiler

- Skeletons are given an entirely new consciousness when they are raised. They retain no memories of their previous life, share no speech patterns or behavioral habits, and have no emotions for the person they once were.

- Skeletons resent the living and will not align themselves with, submit to, or willingly aid them without clear benefits for their own cause.

- Descendants may be forced to assist with the plots of skeletons as seems beneficial to the undead, though they become worthless once their purpose is fulfilled.

- As the skeletons are risen from dead Descendants, their maximum sizes are tied directly to those of whatever race they came from.

- Skeletons are always slightly weaker and slower than their average Descendant counterparts.

- Skeletons cannot learn any magics.

- Skeletons cannot wear heavy armor, and kinetic energy will travel through whatever they wear.

- Pertains more to full suits of armor; single plates and other lone lightweight pieces may be worn, though the limb will be noticeably slower in its movements.

- Skeletons are still vulnerable to bladed weapons, and even more so to all weapons of aurum.

- Skeletons (obviously) have no reproductive functions or desires. No sexual FTB or related RP involving them.

- Skeleton CAs may not be made from creatures already requiring their own CAs (kha, hou-zi, ologs, etc.).

- Skeletons are subject to CT revival rules whenever they are killed, and excessive deaths within short time frames may warrant a PK of the skeleton. Suicide is still a PK.

- Skeletons may not incorporate any non-Descendant bones or create bones from their essence.

- When making skeleton CAs, the player should note the population and culture surrounding the race of their skeleton. Orcs should be some of the least common due to fewer numbers; general combat prowess; population of shamans, and hatred of undead. Humans and elves are likely to be the most common varieties of skeletons, as they boast the most populous societies and are most frequently affected by violence from war, raids, and crime.

- As well, any orcish skeletons will possess strength only slightly greater than human skeletons.

- Skeletons are not burned by malflame.

- Skeletons may have their essence drained by mystics, thus weakening and potentially killing them.

- Lutuamen are capable of purging the essence of skeletons and sending it to Kor, who may PK them or offer a costly bargain for their lives.

 

     

Purpose (OOC)

Spoiler

People want good antagonists for their groups to be developed by, and conveyed to the players has been the idea that they shouldn’t be so dependent upon the server’s event staff for this. I agree. I think that a strong source of antagonism can come from a creature that’s designed specifically for that purpose, and more so from a creature that can act independently of other players. These skeletons aren’t any more powerful--and in fact are designed to be less powerful--than many of the races and creatures that have been available to the general playerbase for years. They have no endgame, no progression (referring to abilities; character development is fine), no magics, no remarkable strength, and no abilities beyond what could naturally be attributed to an undead. They’re already widely understood and a frequent inclusion in fantasy environments. Even then, this lore isn’t a new concept on LotC; roaming skeletons and other undead have existed as sources of conflict on the server since the origins, but have faded away as a side effect of poor writing--for the skeletons as well as Iblees--and the mob spawns being removed over the last few maps. At the very least, this lore might allow for a more fleshed-out variety of skeletons to be used in events.

    It’s expected that some people are going to dislike how unremarkable the skeletons are written out to be, and that others might not like the concept of another skeletal creature being available to players. For the role which these skeletons are fated to fill, I’d argue that it’s better for them to be somewhat weak. The current pitches for undead endgames are designed to be powerful and relatively few in number; it’s their purpose to create scenarios that an average character can’t expect to counter without special knowledge and tools. Mordtsom’s skeletons would create scenarios which are designed to be more commonplace and far more easily dealt with; though it should be noted in both cases that combat is not the sole manifestation of conflict. Concerning the worries of overlap, the primary issue there rests with the skeletons being skeletons. It could be argued with a bit of hyperbole that the aesthetic is similar to the pitches for archliches and darkstalkers--the far more powerful products of a Descendant-held magic--and thus the rest of the content is invalid. But I’ll point out that numerous magics, races, and cultures on LotC have been able to thrive despite such similarities due to their unique origins and themes.

I know that the reputation and accessibility of undead creatures has also been something thought about by players.  b In order to play even the lowest rank of undead they’d have needed to know someone who plays a necromancer, and then to keep tabs on them in hopes that they might eventually have an opening that isn’t reserved for a friend. In the past there was also a widely-deplored progression system, wherein players of such undead were given the blunt objective of needing to kill Descendants for more strength and their chance at reaching the endgame. This lore would try to bypass such behaviors and issues by giving better purpose to the creatures and not including any progressions of strength to begin with. Conflict is going to happen between undead and Descendants no matter what; so it might as well happen naturally rather than being dictated. As for accessibility, that would be increased with writing designed to fit into CA group A (a roughly Descendant-strength creature which anyone not blacklisted can apply for) rather than group C; the greater strength level which previous undead were written at, and one which would require a player creator.

 

     

Citation Spoiler

 

boners LOL

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put a ring on it

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BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES BONES

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Now, I ain’t one of them big magic or creature fellas, hell I don’t have one of either, my opinion is just one of the average player.

 

I adore it! The general idea of driven but sentient undead really appeals to me, with an overarching goal but enough space to seek it in their own way, and actually develop a personality beyond a ‘grr bad guy’ sort of sense. They’re not brute strength big bads (obviously) which I like because, from a player perspective it really makes you need to strategist, and think before you get into a fight. If one were to fight them as well, it would very easily make someone underestimate them.

 

They’d be fun antagonists, but good lord would it be even more fun to play as one. They’ve got enough room to develop their own personality, while not being able to develop as a ‘token evil team-mate’ so to speak, unless it outright benefits them to cooperate with someone.

 

Finally, and something I really appreciate is that, overall they don’t need to rely on a shadowy cabal of Necromancers, on specific cliques to give them an ‘in’. They have to rely on each other, teamwork and all that, which I think is a really nice touch, and from an OOC standpoint makes them not only actually more accessible, but the general vibe a lot more inviting since, as you said yourself it’s not so much a ‘you need to know a guy’ type deal.

 

Sign me the **** up if this submission gets approved, as I adore the overall concept.

 

PS, sorry for typos it’s five in the morning.

EOqjyfRi_400x400.png

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Interesting

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im biased but theres no need for this.  100% this will lead to the same issues that the morghuul factory had by being an open race.  It got to a point where ghouls no longer felt like ghouls, so if you saw one you shrugged because they were so common and partook in generic slice of life RP.

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Nice work on the skins btw.

However I think this has a very, very big chance at just becoming what morghuuls became towards the end of the last gen of Necromancy. They were pumped out like some assembly line and most necros had very little, if any standard when it came to who played them. With something like this there isn’t any gate for entry which means everyone and anyone could play one. Devalues the meaning of being undead a fair bit when they are commonplace and will inevitably be accepted in some descendant-based communities.

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1 hour ago, Skylez1 said:

Nice work on the skins btw.

However I think this has a very, very big chance at just becoming what morghuuls became towards the end of the last gen of Necromancy. They were pumped out like some assembly line and most necros had very little, if any standard when it came to who played them. With something like this there isn’t any gate for entry which means everyone and anyone could play one. Devalues the meaning of being undead a fair bit when they are commonplace and will inevitably be accepted in some descendant-based communities.

ill have u know that only one morghuul ever mattered

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the big mamook himsef

 

+1 because i endorse the skeleton wars

 

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While I enjoy the concept, this fruit is destined to rot. And rather quickly, at that. 

 

Only fools would ever want some kind of devirad 2.0. With the ghouls making out with descendants, and the slice of life. This isn't what its about. This isn't something that can be freely given out, for players to meddle with unchecked. While yes, this is a hub of creativity and creation, allowing everybody to be play sans undertale is going to create a cesspit in roleplay, as well as poor creativity. I trust that some people can assure a great level of role-play... Others however, just be  b o n e  p e o p l e  chilling in Sutica. 

 

no.

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3 hours ago, Dardonas said:

100% this will lead to the same issues that the morghuul factory had by being an open race.  It got to a point where ghouls no longer felt like ghouls, so if you saw one you shrugged because they were so common and partook in generic slice of life RP.

 

2 hours ago, Skylez1 said:

However I think this has a very, very big chance at just becoming what morghuuls became towards the end of the last gen of Necromancy. They were pumped out like some assembly line and most necros had very little, if any standard when it came to who played them. With something like this there isn’t any gate for entry which means everyone and anyone could play one. Devalues the meaning of being undead a fair bit when they are commonplace and will inevitably be accepted in some descendant-based communities.

fair, but the same loss of identity and acceptance into communities happens with most sorts of player-accessible creatures. As people manage to get ahold of any opportunities for rp they’ll try to do what they like, and push the boundaries as they’re able. Any piece of lore can only do so much to encourage certain behaviors.

i’d say that ghouls fell as far as they did in part due to being populous, yes; but also because they didn’t have as clear of a purpose and realized just how powerful they were (considering RP abilities as well as the old necrolyte buff). I’ll also point out that many ghouls were able to weasel into Descendant-filled places by slapping on suits of armor and claiming to be human. As for the value of being undead, I feel that’s more of a concept which applies when there’s a small number of necromancers existing. They’d be expected have qualms about raising too many undead and being outed, while a patron cares exclusively about numbers and having their goals accomplished.

 

1 hour ago, Jentos said:

Only fools would ever want some kind of devirad 2.0. With the ghouls making out with descendants, and the slice of life. This isn't what its about. This isn't something that can be freely given out, for players to meddle with unchecked. While yes, this is a hub of creativity and creation, allowing everybody to be play sans undertale is going to create a cesspit in roleplay, as well as poor creativity. I trust that some people can assure a great level of role-play... Others however, just be  b o n e  p e o p l e  chilling in Sutica. 

if people try to label their cities as undead-tolerant then that’s a problem on their end which ought to provoke conflict, similar to what happened with llyria ??‍♂️

and again that’s not a view unique to skeletons, but a problem with the people who try to push boundaries their way and end up tainting the image of any given lore piece. Those players are going to try to do what they like so long as there’s no quality assurance team poking at them; though their poor conduct shouldn’t end up stifling the people who want to provide good RP, whatever group they’re in.

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Looks absolutely awesome

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