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The Lost Dragon



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Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:51 am
soundofmind says...



MONSTERS

Also note: Enspoilered things are actually very spoilery. Read at your own risk.

This post's update of monster info is entirely credited to the brilliance of @sherlockhson, so pls thank him. This is all directly quoted and written by him.

Class System For Monsters

    Class A - Gigantic and mostly rare monsters (Mountain beetles, fully matured stone golems, Leviathans.) Anything bigger than a castle.

    Class B - Large monsters (Young stone golems, Manticores) Anything reaching the size of a big car or house.

    Class C - Average size monsters and wild animals, not commonly referred to as Class C in conversation since it's such a broad spectrum.* (Wolves, lions, griffins, dogs, cats, etc)

This is a fairly simple and archaic system for the old hunters guild to quickly categorize hunt requests and add them to a priority list.
Spoiler! :
Clanny is probably one of the last people to still use this system since it had been lost with the dissolving of the hunters guild.


*Would sometimes be used as banter to make fun of smaller than average Class B monsters by some hunters.

Mountain beetles are borderline fairy tail stories as they're so rare that no one alive today has seen one. Legend has it that the beetles are even older than the dragons.

According to stories, stone golems were an issue during the calamity when magical forces raged harshly but have since been dealt with. They all start the same as rocks that simply begin rolling. Scholars assume latent magical energy encased in a geode causes them to jump to some form of living. They live their lives rolling and collecting small debris to feed their energy and continue rolling. Most of these young golems will be stopped by natural forces (rivers, quicksand, thick mud, trees etc) and their magical energy will eventually fizzle out, resulting in it just becoming a rock again.

Some historical records show that a small few golems managed to collect enough debris to start picking up smaller stones and rocks, and eventually taking on a almost human shape and resorting to walking instead of rolling. Records say the biggest one ever recorded was easily as large as 5 men stacked on each other's shoulders, but there's no evidence and some documentation has been lost to time.
Last edited by soundofmind on Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:53 am
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soundofmind says...



This week's chapter until I finish it up to post!

Spoiler! :
Wearing hope as a badge marks you as a lesser man in the eyes of a hunter.

It becomes a weakness to be extorted, and they seize the moment to stomp out the remains of that flickering flame without any hesitation. Because any hunter knows that a truly hopeless man will not fight.

So we learn to keep our sacred hoped closely guarded in our hearts; too afraid to even give a whisper to their name, like one breath would blow them out. We wear resignation on our faces like a garment, and dole our quiet defiance out in small glances. Sharp gazes. Waiting quietly for the opportune moment to-

A memory fought its way to the forefront of his mind. A chill ran down his spine.

Breathing. Slowly.

The cold night of the forest wrapped his skin in a cold blanket as he burned underneath, pain and fever causing sweat to drip down the back of his neck, down his back. His body ached from malnourishment and mistreatment, all amidst the discomfort of being tied to the tree, with his arms above his head, feet barely touching the ground, like a sack of meat.

Out of the corner of his eye he closely watched his tormentors sleeping. There laid Butch, the bounty hunter whose massive chest rose and fell far too peacefully for a man filled with so much wrath. And then there was Dagger, the only name he knew the slimmer man by.

The two of them laid on the ground with their blankets wrapped snugly around them. The light of the small fire sent sharp shadows over their faces, and the sliver of a moon in the sky laughed at them.

It was the worst night to try and escape. Without the fire, the forest was a formless, black void; a labyrinth of darkness that he could just as easily get lost in as caught in. But it was also the only night that the medic, keeping watch for his nighttime shift, seemed vulnerable enough to take pity on him.

Day after day, the medic look away as Butch and Dagger made his waking hours a nightmare, and cleaned him afterwards just like he was told. "You job is to keep him alive," Butch would tell him, like it were a joke, that James's life had value to anyone.

And then obediently, the nameless medic would bow his head, and tend to James's wounds but never meet his eyes. Though the medic could bear the aftermath, it was clear that he did not share the others' morbid fascination of toying with their bounty before delivery.

But the days were running together, and he knew it was only a day or two before they'd reach the kingdom borders. If he wanted to escape he had to do it now. All he had to do was pull on the medic's weak stomach. All he had to do was look pitiful, and work up a few tears to draw the man close.

"M-my leg," he whimpered as he held back tears. "Please."

The medic's face fell to his bound up legs, and the axe-length bandaging below his left knee. And he knew he had won.

Regret. Pity. Sympathy. All of it made itself known on the medic's face as he loosed James's bonds, freeing up his legs.

And that was when James swung up his leg, and watched with a giddy, adrenaline and fever-filled relief as the medic fell with a thud to the ground.

At least, until a wave of dread washed over him, and realization crept in like a thick fog.

He'd become just like his captors.

James closed his eyes.

Had James been writing on a piece of paper, he would have crushed it in his fist and thrown it up against a wall. But it had been exactly four days since he'd written on pages and it had been close to four years since he'd had the liberty to do something as petty as pelt a ripped out journal entry at a wall. Nevermind alone, in the privacy of a room, without the fear of someone reading over his shoulder, psychoanalyzing him and undressing him of his fake persona with one gaze.

He took in a deep breath and rolled his shoulders, straightening up in his saddle. Tension that he wasn't even aware was there made itself known in knots by his neck, and by his shoulderblades. His stab wound ached like a bone-deep bruise and itched on the surface where his skin rubbed against the bandaging.

They were one day out from Ruddlan. They'd spent three days hurrying towards the city, away from Alexander and out of goblin territory. The anxious uncertainty that hung in the air between him and Clandestine was left unspoken, but he knew what she was thinking. What anyone would be thinking in her position.

Wondering if he was worth the trouble. If he was trustworthy. If he was anything he said he was. Things he could never prove in words, even if he wanted to.

He reached up to rub between his eyes in an attempt to clear his mind and ease his lingering headache, but his hand shot down to the horn of his saddle as Elliot's weight shifted to step over a rotting fallen log. As if to spite him for his inattentiveness, the sun pierced through the trees overhead and right into his eyes, momentarily blinding him. He winced and squeezed his eyes shut, looking away as spots of light danced beneath his eyelids.

"Maybe you should put your hat back on."

James squinted over at Clandestine, who had stopped a pace or two ahead of him. She was a blurry shape atop a bigger black blob for half a second, but a few persistent blinks brought her back into focus.

She was grinning, and something about the way she was looking at him made him feel like she could see right through him, but in a way that was almost pure. Something in her vibrantly green eyes evoked a kindness that made James feel... seen. It made him want to put his hat back on to hide his face.

But as he stared back he realized, for the first time since her rescuing him, he was actually looking at her. Not just past her. Not just to catch every outward tick and emotion. He noticed that she'd pulled her ponytail up higher, and her thick black bangs were starting to grow past her eyes, resulting in them getting pushed to the side in a wavy swoop.

He could feel his empty stomach flutter, and he looked down to his hand gripping the reins. In their few seconds of eye contact he'd completely forgotten what she'd said.

"You okay there, cowboy?" Clandestine asked, tilting her head to the side.

James nodded sharply and rode Elliot up beside Clandestine and Billy.

"Does that mean 'yeah, I'm okay,' or does that mean 'nah, but I don't wanna talk about it?'" Clandestine asked, leanding forward in her saddle in an attempt to catch his eye. He flicked a glance at her, and set his jaw, taking in and letting out a short breath through his nose.

"I've just got a lot on my mind," he admitted.

Clandestine's eyes lit up at his confession, but just as she started to open her mouth, he spoke.

"That I don't want to talk about."

Immediately the light was distinguished, and she looked forward with a pout. James's lip twitched to the side in a frown before he set it back to neutral. He brought both hands to the reins and gripped them a little tighter.

He knew - no, he feared - that if he stayed with her long enough something would slip out, and that the moment it did he would get attatched. He was afraid he already was.

With flexed fingers he buried the thought deep in his stomach, and he reminded himself again that: she doesn't even know you.

Yes. And that was how it would stay. And when they reached Ruddlan, he would say goodbye, and
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Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:22 pm
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soundofmind says...



Some goblins you might recognize from the story and then a Carter doodle :)
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Sat May 11, 2019 8:56 am
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soundofmind says...



RELIGION AND WORLDVIEWS


Post-Calamity

In Lettera magic is worshipped. Those who practice it are heretical radicals who are trying to be like the gods (dragons). Magic belongs to the gods and anyone or anything outside of them that has magic is unnatural and corrupt.

It is common to run into temples and churches dedicated to dragon worship. People will often visit temples when in need, to get in the dragons' good graces, or to maintain peace with the gods. There is a solemn reverence as they give small offerings and honor dragons. It is common for them to say little prayers to dragons. "May the gods bless us," is a common saying.

One of the dragons that is especially revered in Lettera is the earth dragon, known as Jord. This is mainly because they are a large agriculturally based community.

Those who don't ascribe reverence to the dragons or view them as gods are likely to believe in Vah - not magic, but what is considered just the force of life. It's not treated as a sentient being, more in the way that people believe in karma, or the natural order of things. Vah is just the thing that upholds all life. Vah is a common belief in Goulon and the Moonlight Kingdom.

In the Moonlight Kingdom (especially), it's almost a universal belief to think that magic messes with Vah, or the natural order of things. It reinforces the belief that magic is evil and malicious.

In the Isles and the deserts, most people are on the fence about things or don't ascribe to either named belief. Like in our world, there are people who are skeptical about things. Some people don't think dragons are real. Those that do often feel apathetic about them or greatly dislike them. It is common to hear people (especially in places like the Outlands) say "the gods have abandoned us," with a tinge of bitterness. The gods, of course, are the dragons who disappeared a little over a generation ago.

In the deserts, it's common for people to talk of "fate," in similar terms that Goulonians might talk about Vah. There are just different nuances. Vah explains more about life and existence and fate is more of an ideology - that things that are meant to happen will happen. It doesn't rob them of their free will of course, but it's often used to explain things that happen as if they were destined to be.

Of course, there are different levels of conviction among different people. But in general, the north/Lettera is seen as more devout. Devout worshippers of the gods from the north will conflict a lot with someone from the Moonlight Kingdom, but at the end of the day, they both believe that magic should be outlawed among men, just for different reasons. That one thing is what keeps them in relative peace.

Magic in Particular

People who are interested in magic with the interest of learning more about it/how to use it are shunned or jailed, and people who practice it are killed. In the Isles, Moonlight Kingdom, and Goulon, there are guilds of mage hunters who actively enforce this and hunt out those who practice magic. In the north, the guilds have some influence but the religious orders (that worship dragons) are also a large enforcer against the use of magic.

Pre-Calamity

The people of the north have always been more religious even before the calamity and the dramatic shift in attitude towards magic. Their reverence of dragons carried over through the midst of tragedy but their views on dragons shifted a little bit.

People of the north strongly believe that the calamity was a punishment from the gods. They believe that their wrath was brought upon the earth because of the misuse of magic, which led to their belief that not only are humans unworthy of using magic, but unable to wield it in a worthy fashion. Over time it evolved into a hatred of magic among humans/humanoids that is similar to the current Moonlight Kingdom outlook.

It's often said in the north to "not anger the gods" as a warning against using magic.

Before the calamity, though, magic was widely used. Even outside of Lettera, dragons were revered, but they were mostly just seen as beings to be respected because of their power and history. There were a lot of rumors and there was a lack of clarity on what exactly dragons looked like even then though. Dragons have always been more elusive people and haven't revealed much about their kind to the rest of the world. They only intervened in small ways to help people here and there, or to help nature by bringing more rain or something.

A lot of the pre-calamity stuff is really fuzzy though for me. :,) So that's all I got for now.
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