The Place Where Your Dreams Become a Subject for Debate|
[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 13 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Friday, September 9th, 2011|
They Who Dwell in the Shadow World
Once, long ago, there was a way to the world of dreams. Not a door, but a means to make a door. In the world of dreams, there was nothing but what the traveler brought; on their backs, but also in their minds. Here dreams were clothed in substance, beliefs writ as law, ideas given life.
In the time that this way was found, it was deemed of little worth. Dreams could not be brought back to the living world, and could not reveal any truth beyond what lay within their maker's head. There were some who were tempted to dwell there, forsaking the true life to surround themselves in fantasy. These faded from existence; as they put their will into the surrounding space, less was left of themselves, until they lacked the strength to maintain themselves.
Then the cataclysm happened. A chaotic power blew across the world, turning all mortal might to ruin. Cities fell, and farms fell fallow. Rivers dispersed and dried, oceans overturned the coasts, mountains sank and new ones rose up. All that was once dependable became uncertain.
Convinced that their way of life must now come to an end, many fled to the dream world. Together they built a great city of shared dreams, made solid and strong by their common belief in it. In the same way they were maintained by one another's belief in their own existence. They survived, not changing or aging, surviving without life across many centuries.
Time went on and the living world stabilised. Life resumed in a more orderly way, though the shape of the world and the ways of those who lived in it were greatly changed. Those who dwelt in the dream world feared to return, feared to leave their shadow life and age once more, but moreso feared that they would have no place among the living who were now so different from themselves.
And so they went on, in the shadow world. But they began to fade. Lacking hope for a true future, losing the clear memory of the world they had not seen in millennia, they were no longer so certain of their own existence. Their skin became translucent, showing the veins and muscles beneath. Their minds became uncertain, and they took to wandering to and fro without purpose for weeks or months at a time. Their civilization dissolved, and their city became tarnished, its golden gleam becoming pale and ghostly.
And so they are still, ghosts in a world that is but a shadow to our own. Torn between fear of death and obsoletion, and the desire to truly live again, they haunt the ways that would lead back to life, forgotten yet wishing to be found.
|Sunday, August 31st, 2008|
Some Mythical Swords
I like to design things, as well as creatures. Especially I like to design weapons, but since I usually draw them out as well as intimate their stories and powers, I tend to put these works on DeviantArt. So here's some of those creations. (Some others can be found under the same artist)
This is a three-part tale of the creation of some powerful weapons in the World of Isles, one of the many story-worlds I cultivate.
The images along with their backstories are here:Part 1: SoulbanePart 2: MorningcallPart 3: The Sword of Power
The drawings are rough, and the history that I've detailed here is brief, but I like these weapons, especially the particular way that they are related.
|Wednesday, December 5th, 2007|
Mythological Creature: Frerwyn
Overview: The Frerwyn are a magical, tranformational race. They have the ability to transform between any of three specific animal species: humans, wolves, and cougars (panthers).
Specific attributes: A frerwyn can change from one form to another at will. While in a form, they have full self-control, though their minds are limited to the nature of the brain of that form. They can also mix the attributes of any two of their available species; thus, they can become a human with the eyes of a cat, or a cat with the nose of a wolf, or any other imaginable combination. They cannot, however, normally mix the attributes of all three species.
The transformational power of the Frerwyn is tied to the phases of the moon. The fuller the moon is, the more quickly the change takes place; on a full moon, it can occur in less than a second, depending on the Frerwyn in question and the degree of change taking place. Right before a new moon, the transformation is as slow as five or six seconds, and in some cases may take up to eight or nine seconds. During a new moon, the transformation cannot be done at all, and Frerwyn are always careful to pick a suitable form in advance since they will be stuck that way until the moonlight returns. The effect of the moon's phase works regardless of physical barriers, and lingers after the moon has set, until roughly the time that it rises again, so even if a full moon is not actually up, if it has been in the sky within 12 hours or so, its effect will remain.
Additionally, while the moon is full, the Frerwyn are able to transform into a creature known as a Greyn, which mixes the attributes of all three species to the greatest effect. The Greyn is extremely strong, agile, quick to respond, intelligent, and has highly acute senses. Because of this, the territories of the Frerwyn fall silent during the time of the full moon, as all living things take refuge lest they stir the ire of the Greyn.
Finally, Frerwyn have a weakness for silver; even when cold, it burns them as though white-hot. Frerwyn are known to say that the moon's rays feel like the warmth of a fire, though slightly different, and that the touch of silver is like a more extreme version of that warmth. Because of this and the similar color, many have conjectured that the energies emitted by silver and the moon are somehow related.
Culture and social structure: Frerwyn consider themselves of each species and none, taking no favoritism over any of the three, though many prefer one form over another in general. Within their territory, they hold what is known as the Pact, an accord that no wolf, human or cougar may kill a member of the other species. If such a thing happens, they are subject to the harsh and often fatal justice of the Frerwyn. The Frerwyn hold themselves to this Pact as well, and never hunt the native wolves, cougars and humans that live nearby, except in cases of socially-accepted retribution. However, those species are still wary of the Frerwyn, partly out of supernatural fear of their shape-shifting powers, partly because of the profound control over the area that their powers give them, and also because consorting with the Frerwyn inevitably lends itself to all manner of complications. For example, the child of a Frerwyn is always a Frerwyn, regardless of whether the bearer is a Frerwyn or simply a natural animal. This can lead to difficulties when a she-cougar suddenly finds a sometimes baby or wolf-cub on her hands, and finding the actual father is often a difficult prospect.
Frerwyn live in a highly scattered social structure, some living in town-like settlements, others moving in nomadic family packs, and still others taking a loner's lifestyle, so there are a number of potential radical elements in Frerwyn society. However, even the loners are generally kept track of, and there exists a certain amount of communication between all Frerwyn communities, regardless of their preferred form.
Some Frerwyn are given to a certain degree of arrogance, pushing around the outer species out of a sense of superiority. Their reasoning is that they have a singular perspective of the world, and that this three-fold view gives them an unparalleled understanding of nature. Recently, a movement in this direction has become increasingly popular.
Language: when in wolf or cougar form, Frerwyn use the natural languages of those species, as the forms are ill-suited to alien forms of communication. When in human form, however, they tend to use a human vocabulary, taken from a neighboring human kingdom and altered to a very distinct dialect over time, but tempered with the grammar and syntax peculiarities of the other animals. Word order is based on wolf language, as well as words describing times and places, and also honorifics. Cougar language lends itself mainly to insults and colorful exclamations.
The resulting sound of Frerwyn language is odd, punctuated by growls and hisses and certain unusual gestures and possessing a certain directness and simplicity that many human languages lack.
Because the moon is of such primary importance to the Frerwyn, they keep not only a lunar calendar but also a lunar clock. A day begins when the moon rises and ends when it rises next, and night is considered that period when the moon is not in the sky. This sense of time is said to come from the wolves. The position of the sun is largely ignored by the Frerwyn; daylight has little meaning to a race who can adjust their night-vision at will.
Because of their extreme adaptability and the sheer power of the Greyn form, the Frerwyn are considered a class A threat.
|Friday, October 19th, 2007|
Mythical Creature: Sparklies
Sparklies, as they are most often called, are a difficult beast to classify. Though insect-like in appearance and behavior, their unique makeup puts them in a category unlike almost anything else. Sparklies are one of four known distinct groups of inherently fire-based animal. Compared to the outright danger of Elementals, Salamanders, or Fire-Eyes, however, sparklies are a less conspicuous threat. Born from millions of shell-like eggs the size and consistency of ashes which travel on the wind and can wind up literally anywhere, they begin life at less than a millimeter in length, and as such are almost impossible to detect while young. The glowing sparklies then crawl across whatever surface their eggs were imbedded in, consuming any flammable materials they touch instantly and growing in size as they do so. Where two meet, they combine into one larger body, so that a million tiny sparkly larvae can grow into a single gigantic flaming insect within the space of half an hour or less. There is no known size limit to the things, and there are records of them reaching more than a hundred feet in length. At such a size they can destroy an entire city in short order, and should be regarded as a high-priority threat, so it's crucial to keep an eye out for the insects while they are still at a manageable size.
Sparklies will continue to grow as they consume flammable substances until they run out of them, at which point they begin to move sluggishly as they search for more food. They can survive, depending on their size, for up to an hour without sustenance. If they do not find any, they will gradually shrink as their body consumes itself, and finally die, expelling thousands of ashen seeds into the air upon death. Even a partially starved sparkly, re-introduced to food, will have a low chance of survival. The seeds often wind up in fields and across the ground, and are known to make their way into the pores of wood or grain plants. Such environments are perfect for sparklies to thrive.
When sparklies are found, they should be smothered immediately to keep them from growing. They most often hatch from within logs during burning, lulled into awakening by the flame, so be sure that a fire is completely extinguished when you are done with it and keep an eye on any sparks to see that they die out. Water is ineffective against sparklies of any size; it proves more of an inconvenience to them than a weapon. However, soaking the area where they feed will inhibit their feeding, and rain may make it impossible for them to find consumable materials, and may even prevent volitile eggs from being able to hatch.
Some people use sparklies as a light source, though in most civilized countries a permit is required to keep them. Placing a handful of the bugs in a jar or other enclosure with a tiny air hole and a wad of paper is the most common method. The lack of airflow restricts the sparklies' consumption, allowing them to survive on the paper for a long period of time. Few find the prospect of living flames worth the trouble of keeping them, however.
This creature is a class C threat.
|Thursday, October 18th, 2007|
The Heart Box
The Heart Box is a very ancient and revered object, its exact origins, purpose and nature unknown. It is also unknown whether there exist more than one of the object; due to poor documentation, only scant references of it exist in history. However, specific documentation of its existence and nature has been made on several occasions throughout various centuries. As these references are consistent with one another, and their scribes credible in their own right, they can be taken as true. The following is what is known specifically about the object:
The Heart Box appears to be a small, wooden cage, painted red. (those of a macabre mind may be tempted to make assumptions about the nature of the paint, but a series of very complete tests by the last holder of the Box proved that the paint was ordinary, though attempts to carbon date it were inconclusive. The wood, incidentally, is rose.) The Box is approximately the right size to hold a human heart, though there is no record of it having been used for this purpose, nor any hint that this was its intent. Rather, the name Heart Box seems to have come about because of the Box's size and colour.
The top of the Box is hinged, and held closed by a golden clasp. Under normal conditions, it can only be opened by its rightful owner. There are apparently exceptions to this, but none are known for certain. Some rumored exceptions follow:
Allegedly, if the owner of the Box is male and was born by C-section, his mother can open the Box.
Allegedly, the owner's spouse can open the Box by picking the clasp with a sewing needle. This method is known to have been used at least once.
Allegedly, the owner's second son can tie a lock of his own hair around one of the Box's bars, and by doing so will become its owner, allowing him to then open the Box at will.
Allegedly, during a waning gibbous moon, a paring knife applied correctly can pry open the Box's clasp.
Other rumors exist, but the above have each been told repeatedly through history, and so are the most likely to be true.
As for the Box's actual function, once opened it is able to capture and contain a single human soul; that of its rightful owner. This cannot be done to any person other than the owner, or against the will of the one giving up their soul. The exact method for filling the Box is unknown, but seems to work on a mental stimulus. Once the Box is filled, its inside will glow with a faint blue light.
The one whose soul rests within the Box will be left with all of their mental faculties intact, but devoid of emotion or intuition, and incapable of experiencing rage, fear, lust, etc. They will still feel pain and pleasure but will not react to them. All of their actions will be determined entirely by the logical mind. This has the benefit of shielding the person in question from encounters which would otherwise be maddeningly terrifying, enraging, beguiling, etc.
The other benefit of the Box's ministrations is tenuous immortality. So long as the Box remains intact and sealed, the one whose soul it contains will be unable to die, no matter how gravely injured. Again, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are not adequately known.
If the Box is opened, any soul contained within it will return instantly to its owner, leaving the Box empty. If the box is smashed, the soul's owner will die. The exact fate of the soul from that point is unknown.
Interestingly, though there are numerous reports of individuals storing their souls in the Box in order to reap the benefits of such, these individuals have never shown any subsequent inclination to regain their souls or indeed to protect them from harm in any way. It is suspected that their loss of fear of death is responsible for this.
|Thursday, March 22nd, 2007|
Mythical Creature: Dark Wolf
Though not as ubiquitous or cruelly destructive as werewolves, dark wolves are in many places more dreaded. Werewolves have been known to be identified by certain signs and hunted down, but while ransoms for the skins of dark wolves stand in some countries, there is no record of someone having turned one in.
Slightly larger than their natural cousins, the gray wolves, dark wolves have black fur and icy blue eyes, which are often described by survivors as being human in appearance.
Although their behavior differs little from that of gray wolves, and they tend like their cousins to avoid humans, they are feared because of their single magical property: they cannot be killed at night or in complete darkness, by any known method, force or power. No matter what danger is brought down on them, they will emerge from any situation unscathed. Once the sun has risen, however, this protection dissipates.
Dark wolves are brazen hunters at night, attacking any vulnerable animal in their territory, being naturally unafraid of harm. However, there are no reports of dark wolves having ever attacked human settlements. It has been theorized that they fear the light produced by human contrivances such as lanterns and torches, though these devices are not believed to strip them of their invulnerability. During the day, however, dark wolves remain well-hidden in their dens, and are almost never seen.
This creature is a class D threat.
|Sunday, October 15th, 2006|
Mythical Creature: the Unseen
(not terribly original, but interesting nonetheless)
Alternate names: the Hidden, the Blind, the Unseeing, the Eyeless, the Seeking Dead, the Invisible Ones
Overview: A class of undead, the Unseen are, as their various names imply, invisible. They are also blind, but can sense the presence and location of life. Interestingly, they are invisible only when within the line of sight of a living creature. During this time, they are also insubstantial, able to move about but unable to interact with other physical objects. When outside of view, they become visible, technically, meaning they can be captured on film, if not seen by an actual person. In addition, their presence can be determined by some creatures, most notably cats and ravens, though they become invisible within sight of these animals as with any others.
Behavior: It is only while visible that the Unseen can attack. Preferably, they will attempt to inhibit their prey's sight, and ultimately remove their eyes. By doing so, the victim will eventually become one of them. If this is not possible, they will simply kill or injure the prey from behind. While visible and insubstantial, the Unseen are also vulnerable to attack, and can be injured or killed. Anything less than decapitation or bifurcation will not be fatal, but injuries sustained do not heal.
Appearance: the dead Unseen appear to be simply human corpses, blue and bloated as though drowned, completely without hair or clothing, and having no eyes. Unseen that have been killed will soon be reclaimed by their fellows, to not be seen again. The reason for this is unknown.
This creature is a class B threat.
|Sunday, September 3rd, 2006|
Mythical creature: Hagspider
The Hagspider, native originally to the jungles of Jurnspodd, is a ferocious creature especially dangerous to humans. Capable of reaching heights of over ten feet, they can easily devour any animal or person that crosses their path. They are all female, and need human genetic material to reproduce. This, coupled with their lethal mating habits and seductive appearance, make them a passing threat in any jungle.
Hagspiders hatch from enormous round eggs, about 7 feet in diameter, which are planted by a mother along with three or four others in a nesting pit dug for the purpose. Upon hatching, they are already near their full size, with the abdomen and legs of a spider (though infinitely bigger) and where the thorax and head should be, the upper half of what appears to be a beautiful young woman. They use this beauty to lure wayward men into their webs for mating and subsequent feasting. The details of the process are rather horrible. They cannot speak, but can sing wordlessly with great beauty. It is the mature hagspider, however, that is truly dangerous. The beauteous youngling may call foolish travellers to their doom with a lovely song and fair face and body, but their whiles can be resisted and the younglings lack the stamina to chase prey over any considerable distance. When they come of age, however, the upper body changes from that of a young woman to a hideous and wrinkled old hag, and it is this form of the creature that is most deadly. Her call, though by no means lovely, ensares the mind of any creature nearby, and once under her control, there is little hope for the prey. The mature hagspider is a clever and quick-witted creature, known for setting ingenious traps and surviving against insurmountable odds, and can excrete a thick webbing that immobilizes anything it touches almost instantly. She can reproduce on her own, but will only do so if numbers of the species dwindle in the area and are at risk; after laying the eggs, she dies, and they are completely unprotected for the 18 months they need to develop fully.
Hagspiders that attack humans are usually of the juvenile variety, and as such can be killed by normal means, although adequate precautions should be taken to fight such a large and powerful creature, and provided one takes care not to be taken in by their appearance or song. They also have a fear of open fire, and can be driven off by such if necessary; in addition, their webbing is highly flammable, and their nests can be destroyed quickly by even a small flame. Once the nest is destroyed, a hagspider of any age will often die of starvation within several weaks; it will cease to hunt, and will spend all of its time wandering aimlessly. Mature hagspiders should always be avoided unless you have magical means by which to protect yourself. In particular, a spell of deafness should be cast so that the hagspider's call will not take control of you. Fire will be useless against them; they neither fear it nor are vulnerable to it. Mature ones rarely stray far from their nests, so destroying them is a tricky prospect. If a jungle area is infested, it may be better to set fire to the entire jungle in order to hopefully destroy the nests.
This creature is a class A threat.
|Saturday, June 10th, 2006|
So it seems that at one time in a certain country, the king was getting old and had no children. Rather than pass on the crown to one of his daft and untrustworthy cousins, he decided to have a contest. After some thought, he concluded that it must be a contest of strength. In an ancient war, a siege engine had knocked down a piece of masonry into the royal courtyard, and no one had been able to remove it, thus ruining the feng shui of the place. Whoever could prove the greatest strength by removing the giant stone, the king decreed, would be the heir to the throne.
On the day of the contest, thousands of prospective rulers arrived, each proudly boasting their strength and ability. One by one they went up to the stone and pressed and pushed and pounded with all of their might, but despite their best efforts no one could move the huge piece of masonry so much as an inch.
The day wore on. Finally, a man appeared from the crowd who was different from the rest. His arms were not so thick as the other contestants, and he was not so boastful. The spectators observed him with humor, thinking that here was a fool who would soon be put in his place. But after a moment of taking the stone into consideration, the weaker man whistled, and from among the watchers came hundreds of other fellows, strong and weak alike. Together, the hundreds of men pushed and shoved at the stone until finally it began to move; first an inch, then a foot, until finally it was cleared of the courtyard.
The crowd watched in confusion. They looked to the king, who fortunately was having one of his clear-headed days. He stood and, with a great grin, pronounced the man the winner. The courtiers and other contestants were outraged. "He didn't move the stone by strength alone," they cried. "He just called up his friends and had them help him."
The king looked around for a while, his grin growing wider. "Friendship," he said finally, "is the greatest kind of strength."
|Tuesday, May 9th, 2006|
Creation Myth: Hassa and Gacci
Long, long ago, when all the world was empty and shrouded in mist, there were two races: the hirwain, and the hatha. The hirwain were wild and without number, and roamed all realms without bound. The hatha, however, were limited, though great in number, and possessed ordered minds and forms. The hatha therefore held dominion over the hirwain, and with concentration would control the great herds hither and yon across the realm. The hatha were all of one great family, and were always at war with one another; after a breadth of time so great it could not be counted, their numbers had dwindled to less number than the stars in the sky. Eventually, there were only two left: the strongest of them all, the brothers Hassa and Hagga. These two fought one another for eons beyond number, until they were weakened by battle and near to demise. It was at this time that Hagga, being the quicker of the two, struck forward and pierced his brother with his spear; and a great flow of blood [lit. life's water] emerged from Hassa's side, and he was greatly wounded; but he was not finished, and using the loss in Hagga's guard, immediately struck off his brother's head, killing him. It was only at this time that Hassa was able to survey the world and realize that his kind was now extinct, save for him. He mourned for his people, and set forth to create some new race to fill the world.
So it was that he took his blood and formed it into the world; and this he divided into two planes, that of the sea, and that of the sky. Then he took the great herds of the hirwain, and divided them into two tribes, and one of these he sent forth into the world, and they became the wind. And he dredged the waters so that the dry land emerged, and he sprinkled his blood over the world as rain, and where the rain fell, trees and plants grew. Soon the trees and plants had covered the world, but Hassa was not content with such a trivial form of life. He struck off his hand, and from its flesh he formed the animals of the world, and set them down upon the planes to feed off of the plants and off of each other. And then he took the remaining of the tribes of the hirwain, and sent them forth to become horses, and these would hence be the leaders of all beasts. But still Hassa was not satisfied. So he took the flesh of his hand and mixed it together with his blood, and made men to rule over animals and plants alike, and he granted them the wisdom of his fallen kind, the hatha. But even so Hassa was not satisfied. So he took the last of the bone of his hand and mixed it with his flesh and blood, and made the gods who would rule over all things: man, beast, plant, wind and water. And for each element of the world he created a god, so that no thing would go without care and protection. And above all of the gods he set his firstborn, Gacci the Horse-headed, and his wife Gacca the Cow-headed.
But Hassa had other sons, and some of these were not happy with these arrangements. First among these was Gadri the Hawk-headed, Hassa's secondborn. He incited rebelion among his brothers, and they went as one to the heavens where they made war upon Hassa and those who followed him. It was in that war that Hassa himself was slain, and at the moment of his death the world was shrouded in darkness. But Gacci was overcome by rage, a rage that burned so brightly as to re-illuminate the world, and called forth the winds and rains to his aid, and thus the dark army was defeated. Gacci cast down Gadri, into the underworld were he may never see light again, and peace was restored to the world. But Gacci was overcome by sadness, which rivaled his rage, and even now his voice dims in the evening of the year, when he mourns the loss of his father, and all of life suffers. But it is always followed by the newing of the year, when his light shines forth greatly and life flourishes again.
|Monday, May 8th, 2006|
Mythical Creature: Ilkin
Generally regarded as the most dangerous member of the Imp genus, ilkin come in two varieties: the tame (those raised from infancy by human trainers) and the feral (those raised in the wild by their own kind).( Read more...Collapse )
This creature is a class B threat [on a scale from A to F, with A being the highest, and a special S class above that].
Well, I feel the need to make an introductory post here, presumably for the sake of newcomers who are unsure of what this community is here for. It's not terribly complicated, though: the idea is to create, discuss, evaluate and reinvent myths and mythological components. If that sounds hopelessly broad and confusing, that's 'cause it is. But the basic idea is that this is a narrower version of a world-building community, where the focus is on fables, magical creatures, legendary events, and other things that make up the less reality-based portion of an original culture or world (although these myths could be real within their own worlds. It doesn't really matter for our purposes). I'll put some examples here in short order, but keep in mind there's no specific rules to content or style. I have my own way of writing these things, and I hope lots of people will show up who have different ones, so we can all inspire each other.
I'm probably being too meaninglessly longwinded here for my own good. Hopefully a few example posts will get my point across.