Question: If we wanted to choose an animal that does not naturally come from North America, do zoo animals count as domesticated? Just wondering, since that's a bit of a gray area for me.
IC is here.
In books authors always talk about a sudden flash, or boom. A wave of sounds and air that rushes away from a center point. In real life nothing is ever as obvious, or as dramatic as the way things happen in books. Maybe that's why no one commented, announced, or otherwise made any note of the way everything had changed. It was likely just that no one noticed anything other than a strange buzzing sensation, and after that everything seemed to go back to normal. In any case it wasn't something that everyone felt. Only one in a million felt the rush, maybe less than that.
You know the feeling you get sometimes, where all the noises around you are overwhelmed by an odd buzzing noise, and the world spins and fades in and out a bit? Like when you've been sitting for too long and you stand up to quick. If anyone noticed anything, that's all they would have felt. Nothing they hadn't felt a million times before. Except that it was different.
Over the span of a few hours it had passed over the whole world once in a giant wave, and then it was gone.
Strange how something that would cause such a huge shift in the world would go by so unnoticed, but that happens more than we think. The second wave was something no one could have missed. Truly it must have started sooner, for everything to happen as quickly as it did, but no one was aware of it beyond seeing some strange new stories and dismissing them.
All over the world animals were suddenly flying, walking, slithering, galloping, and sneaking into buildings. Bears ambled up to the 18th floor of office buildings, eagles flew in through open windows, macaques swung through doors and onto desks. They all seemed completely focused and un-phased by anything, or anyone, they encountered. They were obviously going somewhere, and they were all doing it at the same time.
But no one knew why.
This RP is set in a unnamed city somewhere in North America. The premise is that the ability to use magic has been fully reawakened in humans who had the latent ability before. In order to use this power each newly awakened person will be approached by a wild animal who will ask to become their familiar. The animals are all wild, not domesticated in any way. They are unaccustomed to people and their habits, but at the same time as this ability was sparked in the minds of certain humans a select few animals gained a higher level of intelligence as well as an unavoidable calling towards a specific person.
These animals have been given a sort of mental boost. They can communicate (small words and basic concepts, feelings, pictures) telepathically with the human they are drawn to, but their own personality and tendencies aren't curbed very much at all other than making them a bit more tolerant of being near humans in general. Towards their particular human they feel strongly drawn, but, depending on the animal's past experiences with humans, they may have more or less trust. The familiar bond is strong, but it is breakable if both parties want it strongly enough. It's a bond that takes work to strengthen and maintain, and how strong the bond is has a very large effect on the powers and abilities of the team and how fast they progress.
The game begins on the day everything happens, around 10am, before the familiar shows up. Since we will all be playing together at the end of your intro post your character will wind up in a coffee shop named 'Cool Beans', I don't care WHY you have your character go there, but they show up with their new familiar in tow. You can come from a different city that's nearby if you like, but at the end of your intro post you will wind up at the coffee shop. If some of you want to have your characters know each other ahead of time that's ok...but since there are very few people who get a familiar it's unlikely we'd ALL know each other.
Feel free to include a certain amount of police/security guard drama about the wild animal thing...how far you take that is pretty much up to you until you get to the coffee shop. Realistically having a moose tailing you through downtown would cause at least some funny looks.
If you've read books by Mercades Lackey (the Valdemar novels), or Anne Bishop (Pillars of the Earth), the magic is a sort of blend between those two styles.
Magic can be seen, with the help of a familiar, after a lot of practice. In the beginning a magic user can only use the magic they have naturally within themselves (which is exhausting very quickly) and the magic their familiar can feed to them very slowly and carefully. That is one of the first things they will learn via the familiar bond, since the bond itself is a sort of constant low-level magic transfer. The familiars can sense the streams and nodes of magic as well as their proximity to them , but they can't truly see it until they have a strong enough bond with their partner, then they teach their partner to see it and the real work begins!
The elements are:
Each human-familiar team can have up to three strands of magic, but the more elements they carry the weaker they are in each one. If a team has only one element chances are they will be quite strong in it, but no guarantees. The only real divide is between fire and water, no one can have both. Using their powers can happen in a few different ways.
Initially a lot of it will be accidental, strong emotions cause a surge of power and that can be released inadvertently. Until the human partner has learned how to properly ground or store the energy caused by these surges they can cause a lot of damage. Even once the emotions have worn off the power will stick around until it's been grounded, so this will be another early lesson.
Once the teams have gained a bit more control the power can be called up in a slower and much more controlled manner, but this takes a lot of practice and the power must have somewhere to go or something to do. It can be stored within certain objects, or used to mold things into a certain shape or structure. The trick is a deep concentration and holding the shape of the object to fill, create, or change while you're funneling the power in. Of the three actions each has a down side; filling a power object is a good task because it stores a lot of power for later use by it's creator but it often takes more energy than you would think and once you start you can't finish until the object is filled and stabilized, creating takes a lot of energy and relies entirely on the maker having an unwavering image of the object they're trying to make or it will turn out very strangely, changing one thing into something else is the hardest of the three because you have to hold the image of what you have as well as what you are trying to create and tie the two together. Changing one thing into other things isn't possible until the first two have been mastered because it has elements of both to it.
Innate Skills (you just instinctively can do these, depending on your elements):
-Call small sparks or mini flames for a brief second (no flinging fire balls!)
-In the case of strong emotions your hands will heat up to the point that they will burn highly flammable materials like paper, wool, ect
-Small bursts of wind, but uncontrolled
-In the case of strong emotions little dust devils will spring up
-Pebbles, sand, or little clods of dirt can be flung around without any control
-Strong emotions cause little tremors, or sudden dips in the ground
-Water droplets can be summoned, but not really controlled
-Strong emotions cause short showers or water in containers to spill, no control about it
Other powers and abilities will be added as we go along I'll put together some information to PM to everyone as we go about their individual abilities.
All the familiars must be wild animals. You can pick your own, but keep that in mind. Also, it'll work best if you know some things about your chosen familiar, even just the basics is fine. What they eat, how long they live (familiars will have an extended life span), when/where they breed and live, ect. You can pick any wild animal from anywhere within North America, they can be any age (as long as they are old/young enough to feasibly make a trip from the middle of the wilderness to a city without starving to death or getting predated...no wolf pups! Just sayin', lol), they can be either gender. Their personality is up to you, but the goal here is realism. Eagles will not magically be really super nice to your boss just because they are now your familiar...keep that sort of thing in mind.
As of now I'm picturing everyone playing their own familiar....if you guys are interested we could do some sort of draw. So you'd pick the stats for your familiar and then we'll draw names and have everyone playing someone else's familiar. Might be a fun twist.
More to be added as we go.
Description: (picture or description, no anime pictures realism is preferredPersonality:
Name: (They will not prance up to you and say "Hey! My name is Penny!" animals don't think that way...be creative as to how they get their name in the game )
Other stuff: Anything else you think I need to know
You don't need to be super detailed in the sheet, but have fun with it and give the rest of us some things to work with.
-All the normal Guild rules appl
-I am the GM, so what I say goes.
-Please no fighting in the OOC. Your characters don't need to get along, but the players do.
-No speed posting/cyber sex/Mary Sues/ect.
-I'm going to be pretty lax about most things, but you must post at least twice a week. I don't think that's unreasonable.
Michelle Tereshkova and Mister (Jakhi) - Earth/Water
Ada Varley and Ashfur (Bumblebee848) - Fire
Nathan Clark and Kyo (Xartarin) - Water (Ice)
Alan Mason and Toc (Nemaisare) - Fire/Air
Accepted, in the wings
Annie Napoyak and Ittuk/Tuktu (Trivia) - Earth
Mirabelle (???) and Moose (Closetmonster) - Earth/Water
Marcus Hurst and Hypatia (Carceri) - Earth
Jakob Waltz and Shikari (hyena) - Air
Kenneth (???) and Aetos (Forever Is Now) - Fire (lightning)
Dante (???) and Luna (Faen) - Air
Question: If we wanted to choose an animal that does not naturally come from North America, do zoo animals count as domesticated? Just wondering, since that's a bit of a gray area for me.
The main reason I said not domesticated is because, for the purposes of the game, wild animals have a stronger connection to the Earth and therefore are capable of becoming a familiar. So a zoo-born 'wild' animal, while not domestic, certainly isn't wild enough for my purposes. And in any case zoo enclosures are pretty sturdy and are built to contain the animal they hold, so even if they DID become a familiar they would have a seriously hard time escaping.
...so, short answer...probably not allowed. That being said, I'm pretty lenient so if you PM me your reasoning/back story ect and can plead your cause I may consider it. You'll also need to have a way for this animal, even with a little intelligence boost, to escape their enclosure.
How much freedom do we have with the powers? Do we have to use the innate powers you listed, or can I make a water element character that freezes everything he touches?
<Xartarin> I've been RPing all day, I need to do more productive things with my time, like drawing cartoons
<Xartarin> ^basic summary of my life
Xartatin, everyone will have close to the same 'base' of powers...but within each branch your character can definitely have a more of a kinship to water in it's frozen state, rather than liquid or gas. What I mean is that the base power is generally agitating your element in whatever form surrounds you, so your character might cause ice crystals to form, water to turn to ice in small amounts in the beginning, ect. I'm fine with that, but you would also have some effect on the liquid form.
Name: Ada Varley
Personality: She has a childlike essence to her, full of curiosity and bubbly excitement. There is a certain innocence and naiveté to her, but she can just as easily be sneaky and immature, loving to play tricks and pranks on others. Fun is her main focus in life, and she always tries to keep an optimistic outlook, in order to live her life to the fullest.
There are rare occasions, however, when she might lose control of her temper. In these cases, she can become very nasty, with a sharp tongue and a mean streak. She won’t hesitate to throw out hurtful insults in the heat of an argument, and often regrets them later, beating herself up over any little thing she might have said.
History: Ada grew up as a single child of two loving and free-spirited parents that taught her to treat happiness and optimism as a way of life. At the age of 14, however, she lost her mother to breast cancer. Her father withdrew from the world, neglecting her for several years. During this time, she learned to take care of herself, but went through a bout of depression and anxiety. When she entered high school in this state, she felt she may never heal from the pain of her mother’s death. It wasn’t to be, though; during her sophomore year, she met her best friend, who had lost her own mother, but kept a positive outlook on life. This girl was responsible for inspiring Ada to become the girl she is today, choosing to follow her mother’s way of life as a way to honor the deceased woman, but still has unhealed scars from the traumatic experience.
Species: Bobcat (Lynx Rufus Californicus)
Age: 9 years (Live up to 16 years in the wild)
Personality: She is a bit of a foil to Ada. Her personality starkly contrasts with the girl’s bubbliness. Callous and short-tempered, she can be difficult to get along with, and it takes time for her to warm up to people. With a strong sense of independence, she illustrates the term ‘loner’ quite nicely, refusing to ever be carried or held by a human. Sometimes, though, her natural laziness will contradict with that, and she might command someone to carry her across long distances, or loan her their lap as her bed. She is naturally careful and wary of all humans, distrustful of men in particular, but she does share Ada’s natural sense of curiosity as well, which can often lead her to explore things outside of her comfort zone.
History: Her early life as a normal bobcat was relatively uneventful. She would explore with her two siblings, and travel with their mother, learning how to hunt on their own. During their first year of maturity, however, she lost her mother and brother to illegal poachers, who had set up leg traps in the forest. Her sister disappeared to live on her own shortly after. That experience stayed with her, causing her natural distrust, and she generally has an agenda against human men. Having never encountered a female human before Ada, she is unsure what to make of her, but remains cautious. Having never had offspring of her own, for fear of losing them as well, she seems to enjoy treating Ada as if she were her own cub.
Other: Ada likes to call Ashfur ‘Ash’ or ‘Ashy’, much to Ashfur’s chagrin.
They primarily identify with each other because of lost loved ones, and this is just about the only reason that they can maintain their bond at all.
- - - Updated - - -
I wasn't exactly sure if that's what you meant by how the familiars get their name, so i just went with that. Let me know if I need to change it, and I'll be happy to.
Last edited by Bumblebee848; 11-27-2012 at 01:09 PM.
Bumblebee, I think this is going to be a popular question, so I'll try and answer it here.
The animals who become familiars are, before the change, just animals. The same wave that awakens power within humans causes the changes that make a 'regular' animal into a familiar. So she wouldn't have a name, or any concept of what a name was until she became a familiar.
Basically one of the first few things the human-familiar pairs will do is figure out what to call each other. The animals will want to call their people things that make sense to them, but they don't really 'get' names yet. They'll be identifying 'their' humans by something that seems most obvious to them. So an animal with a powerful nose might call their human 'pleasant scented one', or an animal who relies on their ears might say 'You with the nice noises', ect. Until the idea of 'names' is explained to them (which should be a lot of fun IC) they'll have no idea what those strange sounds we use to identify each other are.
So your character will 'name' the familiar IC, basically.
I hope that's a better description...I do love the little story though Bumblebee. You could work that in by having your char ask Ashfur about defining moments in her life, or something like that...
Alright, thanks for clearing that up. I'll just take the story out for now, and I might work it into the IC post somehow. I'm assuming the familiars can't communicate in full sentences, so could she just share a brief memory with Ada, or something of that sort?
She sure can! Sharing memories is a bit like meditating mixed with dreaming, and they will be able to do that right off the bat. Part of the initial bonding includes a sort of hightlight reel of the other partner's life to date. That doesn't mean you'll understand what happened or why, but you'll know the important bits of the other partners life. Sort of like...talking points.
Familiars communicate mainly through emotions, brief memories, and short words and ideas...interpreting the meaning will take some practice though. But aside from basic communication both partners will be able to share full memories, as they recall them, but they have to be fairly calm and in a quiet place for it to work best. Especially at first before the bond has been strengthened.
- - - Updated - - -
Name: Michelle Tereshkova
Nickname(s): Mishka, Mish
Elements: Earth/Water (Strong in Earth, weaker with water)
Personal Items: Mishka has a thin silver chain, with a fair-sized sapphire pendant wrapped in silver wire. Her mother made this for her. Aside from her necklace Mishka also has a well worn leather backpack that carries a book or two, her drawing pad, a pencil case of art supplies, and usually some sort of snack food.
Likes: Mishka likes drawing, reading, and baking, but her true love is wilderness. If she ever collected enough money at once together she would buy a small peice of land as far away from other people as possible and live the rest of her life out in the woods somewhere, living off the land.
Dislikes: Most people, being indoors...she is a bit claustrophobic, so anywhere she has to go that's enclosed puts her a bit off. The exception seems to be caves.
Habits: Miska is very direct, overly so. She tends to say exactly what she's thinking, and usually regrets the way she said something, if not the thought itself. She fiddles with her hair when she's nervous, and whenever she's feeling uncomfortable or anxious she places herself near doors or windows without thinking about it.
Personality: Aside from her directness Mishka is usually a kind person. She is very comfortable in her own skin, and thinks everyone should feel the same way. Her outlook is that nature doesn't care what you look like as long as you can gain the skills to survive, so she doesn't care either and she doesn't understand people who are self conscious. Her personality is fairly balanced between being nurturing and helping people grow, and being fiercely protective or her personal space and the, very few, people she has let into her life.
Biography: Mishka was born in Russia, but her mother emigrated to North America as soon as she was able to travel. Mishka doesn't really know why, but over time she started to think it was because Irena (her mother) wanted to escape from Mishka's father. Her mother worked a lot when Mishka was growing up, but there was always time for Michelle and her homework. Irena grew up in a small village where she lived very close to the land, so a lot of their produce was grown in a home garden and Mishka learned a lot of survival skills as she grew.
Every fall Irena would manage to scrape together enough money, sublet their apartment, and take their harvest and Mishka to a cabin in the wilderness for a few weeks. If Mishka was supposed to be in school the homework would be brought with them, but the focus of these trips was Irena teaching her daughter the skills she had learned growing up poor in rural Russia; hunting, fishing, making tools from what they had, and also forest husbandry and where to find food in the wilderness.
Mishka never knew why, but since her mother refused to answer any questions and always seemed very concerned if Mishka didn't seem to catch on quickly enough she learned to just do her best and learn as fast as she could. The only thing Irena would say about the topic at all was "Better safe than sorry.", her motto.
When Mishka was just 19 her mother passed away in her sleep, it was a huge surprise to everyone and it had a huge effect on Mishka. She took a backpack and a few basic tools and vanished into the woods for a few months, but when she came back she had gained a stronger sense of self and seemed at peace with her mother's passing.
She never kept a job longer than a year because she kept up the habit of going to a cabin every fall for at least a month, and there are very few jobs or schools that allow that sort of break. She mostly works as a waitress, or a cashier at some sort of store, but it's very clearly a means to an end.
She has very few good friends, but she is very loyal to the ones who last. It takes quite a bit to earn her trust, but she is rarely unfriendly to strangers on purpose, a habit gained from working customer service jobs since she became old enough to get a job.
*note* Mishka works at Cool Beans coffee shop She may have seen some of you before. *hint*
Species: Ursus arctos (Grizzly Bear)
Age: 12 (average ranges from 22 in the wild to 40 in captivity)
Personality: Mister is a calm and steady fellow. He would always rather be alone than with other animals, of any kind, and he doesn't like noise, lights, and over powering smells. If he had his choice he would live deep in the forest, where he was born and raised, far from people. Now that he's met Mishka things have changed; his main purpose now is to protect and teach her, but he would still rather take her off into the forest with him. Not many things startle him, which is a good thing because he's huge and unaccustomed to being near the city.
History: Mister was born deep in the wilderness of BC. His mother was a shy careful bear, and she taught him to stay far from the scents of humans, regardless of how good their food and waste piles smelled. After he left his mother he moved a bit south, but stayed near the rivers where the salmon run in the fall. The fat and richness of the meat helped him grow huge, into one of the largest males in the area. Shortly after his last growth spurt he claimed a sizable territory and set about fathering cubs, he had a few years of that before he felt a strong pull to move east and towards the cities he had always avoided.
That's...much more in depth than mine xD I'm wildly curious about her familiar now!!
Oh, and can I say that Ada was a regular at Cool Beans? Considering she'd be in her first year of college, I was thinking that might be the local hangout where she does her homework and stuff like that.