Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ghosts in the Machine

Mortal. That is what I was, once. A human, even. Not even a mage, or one of the Tla'mxi, the Wolfrunners who have lived in the forests here since before the City began. My name was Vana, and, when the Keserathi invaded, I volunteered to be a soldier.

Strong as the City of Bells is, they had too many. They were a nation, and we were, while massive, for what we are, still nowhere near as large as they. And, too, they had mages at least as strong as ours, even a few using Hedgemagic, from what I have learned since, and that is something even the elves, corrupted fae as they are, have trouble controlling or countering.

So we adapted. That is not a thing most think of when listing our capabilities in war, but it is one of our strengths, just as our magic is, for those who cannot adapt in this place, melting pot and ever-changing, even the streets bearing no guarantee they will be the same from hour to hour, as it is, end up dead, or subsumed by those stronger and more flexible than they.

Mages and artificers - sometimes one and the same, as the two professions require similar skills and mindsets - worked together to craft huge constructs, armed with the best weaponry their imaginations and wills could produce - and the imagination of those in this place is not to be underestimated.

I was fighting beside one of those, when I died. But as I fell, we were caught in a burst of wild magic, and I returned as a ghost, possessing a cloud of steam that had escaped from a rent in the construct, though its freedom was short-lived, as I moved back inside, and took control of it, for my new body could manipulate its limbs with but a thought...

After the war, I set to work learning to construct such bodies, and, eventually, made one for myself, hence why I look as human as I do, rather than being a thing designed solely for war - though I can defend myself, if I must, for everything here has to, often enough. It is simply that my weapons are less obvious, being inside my body until required, rather than out in the open for all to see like that sword on your hip.

1 comment:

  1. * adopts nonchalant demeanour and attempts to shift cape over scabard *

    That's an interesting way into it and a whole world of built successors opens up. It would be good to have somes spells for that kind of thing too...