Worth the Candle, Ch 138: Stats for Nerds II

PHY

8
7 POW 21 Unarmed Combat 21 One-handed Weapons 21 Two-handed Weapons 21 Improvised Weapons
7 SPD 21 Thrown Weapons 21 Dual Wield 0 Stealth 0 Bows
7 END 21 Rifles 20 Parry 20 Dodge 21 Athletics
MEN

11
10 CUN 27 Engineering 11 Shields 10 Unarmored 13 Medium Armor
10 KNO 7 Heavy Armor 20 Horticulture 0 Vibrational Magic 0 Still Magic
10 WIS 30 Blood Magic 30 Bone Magic 21 Gem Magic 0 Tree Magic
SOC

4
3 CHA 0 Fire Magic 0 Water Magic 0 Velocity Magic 0 Revision Magic
5 INS 21 Skin Magic 30 Essentialism 30 Library Magic 9 Debate
3 POI 20 Analysis 3 Language 9 Flattery 9 Comedy
  1 LUK 6 Romance 10 Intimidation 9 Lying 13 Spirit

Level: 14


Quests
God Botherer: There are gods in this world, titans of power and masters of domains, each their own creature with their own special rules. Tread carefully around these creatures, especially if you wish to someday join their ranks.
The Lost King, Found?: Five hundred years ago, Uther Penndraig, figure of legend, King of Anglecynn, and ancestor of Amaryllis, disappeared from this world while on a quest of grave importance. This enduring mystery must have an answer for those brave or foolish enough to seek it, mustn’t it?
They Say You Can’t Go Home Again – He had a life, before you, and you had a life, before this.
Through the Lashing Glass – Far inside the Glassy Fields exclusion zone, the only place on Aerb where glass magic still works, lies a castle coated in shards. The treasures within are unknown to the world, but you could unearth them, if you dared.
Taking Root – The world has but a single druid, tending to but a single locus. With the locus so constrained within a magic bottle, no more druids may be inducted, but removal might prove fatal. With your help, druids might stalk the world once more. (Companion Quest)
The Slayer of Horrors (0/13):
Murder in Duplicate – As soon as it was discovered by a precocious young girl, the ability for a person to duplicate themselves was excluded to a thousand square miles and that single person. Doris Finch lives her life in duplicate; to complete the exclusion, it will be necessary to kill every single one of her. (0/9,532,119)
Manifest Destiny – The fall of the Second Empire was, by some accountings, inevitable, but by others, it was the work of a single incident. The exact nature of the magic that allows the immortal man named Manifest to puppet his subjects from a distance is unknown, as is his exact location, but it is clear that with the magic excluded, his range is limited to only Lankwon, once the Imperial City, now the City Made Manifest. Defeating him will be an impossible task, but one that you have taken upon yourself.
A Door Into the Soul – Caldwell Gatesmith has the dubious distinction of being responsible for two exclusions. Through his portals, he keeps watch over his domain. If he spies you, and you do not meet with his satisfaction, his portals will cut with an edge designed to cleave time and space.
The Z-word – Captain Blue-in-the-Bottle is the reason that no one says it. That’s his word.
Everything Eater – More monster than man, no one has seen Rove’s face in four hundred years and lived to tell the tale. He sits at the center of a half mile of dirt, flesh, and garbage. If you slay him, you will be the first to have survived contact with him.
Better with Loops – Through magics unknown, a young boy of eighteen found himself reliving the same month over and over again, with death only bringing him back to the same crisp spring morning. Time does not behave within his exclusion zone, and only bringing a permanent end to his life will restore the area to normalcy. Beware, lest you be trapped in the cycle.
□ [REDACTED] – The more you [REDACTED], the more you [REDACTED], until [REDACTED]. Merely knowing his name makes him [REDACTED], and his gender alone is a piece of information you might wish you didn’t have, if [REDACTED]. Better to go in blind.
Unwavering – In the beginning, they said that the goblin inspired loyalty, until it became clear that what he was doing was more literal than figurative. To kill him, you’ll need to fight through a veritable army of his loyal servants, if you don’t end up becoming one of them yourself.
Fleshsmith – For millennia, fleshsmithing was a noble trade of Pendleham, one practiced by noscere and ignoscere alike. When a small cabal took the craft too far, exclusion reared its ugly head, leaving Pendleham as the City of Flesh, where none dare tread.
Aches and Plains – Perhaps farming might seem an innocuous thing to evoke the exclusionary principle, but given the time and attention brought to it by a billion minds, it was inevitable that someone would breach its deeper secrets. The land of Pai Shep is now guarded by a single warrior-farmer, his fields impeccable, his power absolute.
Guardian of the Underworld – A machine of vast intellect, funneled into the body of a broken man. The people of Aerb have yet to pass his tests, but perhaps someone of a different world has the wherewithal to be allowed within his inner sanctum.
Finger of the Sun – When the elves broke Celestar, there were a small few who continued on with their research. The product of their effort brought nothing but pain.
Gone to Seed – There is a place on Aerb considered worse than the first four thousand hells. Fel Seed sits on a throne of living flesh, unable to spread beyond his domain, but with a rule of horror within it. You know his weakness.
Birth of a Nation: You’ve set out to become a real power in this world, no longer independent agents bumbling from crisis to crisis, but instead a nation, bumbling from crisis to crisis. Quest completion entails becoming accepted as a member nation of the Empire of Common Cause.
Tragedy of the Commons: Following the discovery of the Void Beast, void weapons and tools were made illegal under international law, usable only with expensive permits or in situations that called for it. For a time, this was sufficient. Now the Void Beast stirs once again, and imperial regulatory schemes won’t be enough.
We’re Going To Need Books, Lots of Books: The latest report from the ‘Infinite’ Library is that the world will stop publishing books roughly two years from now. The man who left the library changed the future, and if you go in, you’ll change the future too — but perhaps that’s for the best.

Amaryllis Penndraig, Loyalty lvl 23

Amaryllis is the most direct descendant of Uther Penndraig, the Lost King, which gives her special claim-in-fact to a fair number of his estates and heirlooms bound along cognatic or enatic primogeniture, ultimogeniture, and gavelkind rules. She was once a keystone member of a bloc of power within the Lost King’s Court, but now she has been cast out through means both semi-legal and downright nefarious. Her homeland of Anglecynn is forbidden to her now, at least until she’s gathered enough power to wedge open some doors.

Grakhuil Leadbraids, Loyalty lvl 18

Grakhuil comes from the largely parthenogenetic clan of dwarves in Darili Irid (loosely, Gold Hole). Due to da nad skill in the game of Ranks and overall empathic nature relative to da nad kin, Grak was selected to leave Darili Irid for the Athenaeum of Barriers with the plan that da would return and become the next master warder of the clanhome. Upon returning home, da was entered into a rare arranged pair-bond with another dwarf, and fled from Darili Irid after refusing the Kiss on da nad bond night. Da has spent da nad time looking to make amends for the damage da nad absence caused to da nad clan.

Six-eyed Doe, Loyalty lvl 7

[I’d closed my eyes and paged through after my little experiment in experiencing awe and wonder, only to find that instead of text, the Six-Eyed Doe had a picture that expanded outside the box it was meant to be set within. This was the first time that the game interface had shown me anything other than text, symbols, or lines to make boxes.

The picture had various scenes, devoid of any clear chronology and bleeding into each other where they met. When I looked at it, the view zoomed in, leaving the rest of the game interface behind and filling my vision with only the pictorial story of the Six-Eyed Doe. Most of it signified little to me, because it was focused on rivers and forests, with the occasional animal. I focused in on people, where I could find them, and ended up looking at a full-on orgy with writhing, naked bodies of a hundred different species. To one side of it, up and to the right, armored men were coming in and slaughtering the people, but toward the bottom there were a handful of pregnant women sitting around, and beneath them various women giving birth, with naked children walking away through the woods, and some donning leather armor of their own to fight off the attackers.

This was the story of the locus, as told by some insane artist who had the ability to paint photorealistically at a yottapixel scale but lacked any idea of how to tell a coherent narrative. It took me some time to find the bottle, which sat all by itself, away from everyone. There was no attempt at being literal; it was only barely big enough to contain Solace, who sat with legs folded and her staff across her lap. It was such a small thing, in comparison to the rest, and that was probably the point.]

Valencia the Red, Loyalty lvl 26

Valencia is a nonanima, a humanoid without a soul, created by the essentialist Fallatehr Whiteshell in the Amoureux Penitentiary where she lived for the first seventeen years of her life. Until recently she was subject to repeated possession by demons and devils at random intervals, but now, touched by your magic, she has become something to be feared, for much different reasons than she was before. She is nearly a newborn, in some ways, trying to find her feet.

Bethel, Loyalty lvl 12

Bethel is not just an entad, but a meta-entad, capable of taking magical items and adding them to itself. Initially created by Omar Antoun using funds and labor provided by Uther Penndraig, it stood empty for several years until Uther returned. Once he discovered the house’s abilities, he began adding entads to it, eventually raising it to a sort of sentience, and after that, despite its objections and pleas. Five hundred years later, it had sequestered itself partway down the Boundless Pit, until you came along.


Entads and Equipment of Note

Group:

  • Marzipan Urn: A ceramic container filled with small cubbies where marzipan fairies grow. Each may be consumed for healing, but serious injuries will require more than one. Doesn’t restore lost blood. Doesn’t regrow missing bones. Bound to Amaryllis.
  • The Egress: A ship whose exterior is modeled after the “Cloud Gate” sculpture in Chicago. Moves with little regard for physics, and at extreme speed, without disturbing the people who fly in it.
  • Bottle of Manifold Space: Appears as a large, five gallon glass jug. When a person touches the spout, they’re (apparently) shrunk down and fall inside it, roughly two miles down. The interior space of the bottle appears to be roughly a mile and a half across. A set of wards provide support to the interior ecosystem, ensuring the movement of water through the bottle, and regulating atmosphere. Currently inhabited by the last known locus, whose domain covers the entire interior of the bottle. Exiting the bottle requires either some appropriate magic, or leaving through the spout.
  • Teleportation Key: Allows the user to teleport himself, plus another four people, and all the equipment they carry on them, up to 200 lbs each (plus any amount of objects carried in extradimensional space). “People” is defined rigidly, and does not include non-anima, sentient entads, or the locus. People in extradimensional/warped space still count against the limit.

Juniper:

  • Sword of Transient Metal: Once per day, with a command word, the sword will change so as to pass through metal (though not anything else). Bound to Amaryllis, invested in Juniper.
  • Slink-thief’s Dagger: A throwing dagger that returns to the person who threw it shortly after it’s either missed or hit its target. Exists in whatever spot is remotely plausible for it to exist on the wielder, meaning that it can be drawn from a cuff, inside a jacket, pulled from within a waistband, etc. Stays hidden when the wielder is searched.
  • Ropey (the Eternal Golden Braid): Sentient length of rope. Entirely prehensile. Bound to Amaryllis.
  • Sander’s Bow: A bow with a sandstone grip. When activated, arrows fired from it will appear to hang in the air for thirty seconds before resuming its previous velocity.
  • Unicorn Bones: Aside from their other properties, they can be pulled on to allow extremely short time loops (from the perspective of the user) and multiple lived timelines (from the perspective of everyone else).
  • Sapphire: An expensive gem, precisely cut and useful for gem magic, worn around the wrist on a leather thong that can be shifted to put the gem in the hand for better contact/use.
  • Void Rifle: Uses void effect to put holes through things. Can fire a maximum of once every six seconds. The void effect travels through half an inch of steel, six inches of flesh, or five hundred feet of air.
  • Ring of Partial Incorporeality: Allows the wearer to make a single part of themselves incorporeal, so long as that part is contiguous and does not create two non-contiguous stretches of corporeal matter (ex. it can make a hole of incorporeality in someone’s palm, but not one which was wide enough that both fingers and wrist were corporeal with nothing connecting them). Bound to Pallida.
  • Bracelet of Panacea: Cures the wearer of any short-term (less than 24-hour) poisons by purging them. The mechanism that allows it to work is unknown, but it’s believed to be predictive, as it has previously responded to poisons both novel and unknown. Its power allows the wearer to breathe fouled air, so long as there’s sufficient oxygen.
  • Cloakshield: A cloak which, when swished, causes it to become as hard as a metal shield for one second before returning to cloth form. Bound to Pallida.

Amaryllis:

  • Immobility Plate: Stops the wearer in place with a thought, then allows them to resume motion with another thought. Contains inertial dampers to prevent injury to the wearer. When immobile, becomes much harder to affect with kinetic weapons/forces. Immobility is not absolute; sufficient force can still move it, but it takes a lot. Reference frame is Aerb.
  • Ancestor’s Amulet: Contains a facsimile of a previous owner, which can be overwritten. This ancestor can be spoken to, and has some ability to form new memories based on conversation, as well as ‘feel’ emotion, though personality is static. Currently, the ancestor is Cyclamine Penndraig, Amaryllis’ great-grandfather.
  • Flickerblade: A sword that can blink in and out of existence with a thought. When the blade materializes, any material in its way is instantly removed from existence.
  • Sable: A vanta black glove, capable of putting things into a limitless extradimensional space after ten seconds of contact and a thought (the thought can come any time after the initial ten seconds of contact, so long as contact is maintained). Objects stored within the glove must be “whole” objects and will exit if they split. There is no breathable air. Decay and other processes continue to happen. Anyone who wants to can easily exit the glove with a minimum amount of exerted will.

Grak:

  • Temporal Plate: Allows manipulation of time to give the wearer more time to perform actions. In physics terms, behaves as though time were accelerated for the wearer. Doesn’t allow for more powerful punches or greater kinetic energy (does allow for faster wards and better aimed pistols). Bound to Pallida.
  • Spectrum Glasses: Eyeglass which, when worn, give people colored auras. These colors are clearly non-random, but the meaning behind them is opaque. Most civilians show up as somewhere between blue and orange. Most allies show up as purple. Most ‘enemies’ show up as red. The unclear significance of these colors, false positives, and false negatives, mean that they’re rarely if ever used anymore. Bound to Amaryllis.
  • Hair Axe: An axe that causes anyone cut by it to grow an extra foot of hair, where ‘hair’ excludes eyebrows, body hair, etc., and full effect may vary by species. Depth of cut does not matter, and with magical healing, the axe may be used cosmetically. Can be returned to his hand, sailing through the air, with a thought. Bound to Grak.
  • Warder’s Monocle: Allows the warder to see magic at various wavelengths. Burns the retinas if used too long. Superceded by warder’s sight.
  • Warder’s Wand: Allows for the warder to create or manipulate wards, drawing on their concordance.
  • Ironwood Fist: A wooden left hand, harder than iron and fully mobile, with joints that bend both directions, greatly increased grip strength, and the ability to slowly change shape on demand.

Valencia the Red:

  • Red Armor of Arramor: Prevents physical/kinetic damage to the wearer, then transfers the entirety of the damage that would have been at the top of the hour (minus whatever the armor itself would block or redistribute), as well as dealing the same damage to whoever had damaged her, so long as they’re still living. (Note: Valencia has no soul and does not take the damage, though damage is still prevented.)
  • Crown of Malingering Thorns: Prevents poisoning and purges existing poisons. Any poison negated in this way is “paid back” with a mental affliction. (Note: Valencia has no soul and does not receive magical mental afflictions, though poison is still negated.)
  • Memory Blade: Becomes sharper the more it hits. Each hit removes memories from both the wielder and the person struck, with the magnitude of memories removed dependent upon the severity of the strike. (Note: Valencia has no soul and does not have her memories removed.)
  • Handguns: Two, holstered at her hips.

Solace:

  • Cloak of Leaves: Extradimensional space, accessed by putting things behind her back. Storage space is limited to approximately nine cubic feet.
  • Flower buds: Various effects.

Raven:

  • Orb of Three Spirits: A small orb, carried about the person. At a thought, three sea-foam green orbs appear above her, each of which can be fired off in a straight line, carving through any solid or liquid in their path with no resistance. Each orb, once used, will take one week to recharge. Bound to Raven.
  • Anklet of Reactive Radiance: When someone increases their physical abilities near her using magic, typically bone magic, her own physical abilities rise an equal amount. This effect also matches the effects of permanent increases from entads. Bound to Raven.
  • Banded Grasp: Worn as a single band of metal, usually under the clothes, allows armor to snap around the user with a thought. Doesn’t cover head or hands. Armor is extremely resistant to kinetic damage, and absorbs a fair amount of power from other attacks (heat, electricity, radiation, etc.). Disbands with a thought. Bound to Raven.
  • Shadow’s Cloak: A pseudo-sentient cloak, which will twist and flutter in an imagined wind unless instructed otherwise. Has a wide variety of weak powers, including extradimensional interior pockets, resistance to tearing and ripping, and the ability to defensively react to threats. Bound to Raven.
  • Mirrored Blade: A blade that can be summoned to hand with a thought and disappears into extradimensional space when not in use. The blade itself is made of a slice of stilled time and capable of cutting through nearly anything. Bound to Raven.
  • Brace of the Bound: A brace that can store information from books in it when the wearer touches a book. A single book at a time can be made manifest with a thought, though it’s not a “real” book and cannot leave the wearer’s possession. Holds 32,768 books, with new books requiring an old one to be cast out. (Currently full.)

Pallida:

  • Trident of Bubbling Flame: With one command, this trident will activate, allowing it to warp and bubble away at a wide variety of materials. Bound to Pallida.
  • Inkscape Armor: Skintight armor that can retract or cover at will. Wardproof, and makes anything it covers wardproof as well. When covering the face, it provides air supply.

Bethel:

  • Contains multitudes.

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Worth the Candle, Ch 138: Stats for Nerds II

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