[Venora] First Birth

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.

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Alistair
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:29 pm

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17th of Ashan, Arc 716
"Alistair," the Necromancer called to him. The student looked up from his table where he had been writing a great deal about Subject A, William Grayson - everything there was to know about his behavior, his movements, the ease of control. The man who he spoke to was of course The Bishop of Yaralon, Father Damien, the Lich that taught him most of what he knew. "Do you know what day it is?" The man asked him, Alistair's eyes pausing in motion as thoughts rolled into his head.

"Henry Venora III, one of our best Dukes, died two hundred sixteen years ago on this day." He replied. The Lich rolled his eyes and walked forward, awkwardly as all Liches did, placing his cold hands on Alistair's back. "No, try again," the man mused. The Venora shrugged his shoulders. "Emilia Anhalt of Lesterly founded the village of Lesterly today. It has since then served as a hub of farmer's markets and musical talents in North Venora. This was about sixty or seventy years ago. I think." He scratched his forehead, trying to recall whether it was in the sixties or seventies . . .

"No. It's my God sodding birthday, you wiseass. Well, my mortal birthday. My rebirthday, like when I became a Lich, was on the 19th of Cylus. You missed it. Too bad, Ellasin and I had a wild party to celebrate." That caught Alistair's attention, and he turned his head in genuine curiosity. "Holy - did you really? Get Ellasin to party?"

"No."

"Of course not," the Highborn replied. Shittin' Damien was always trying to play Alistair for a fool, and of course he succeeded most of the time because he couldn't exactly constantly be trying to prove his instructor wrong. Like when the man told him all of these crazy outlandish things a Necromancer could do - the man just had to believe it, because otherwise he might miss an important lesson. Of course, Liches couldn't really levitate horses with their pinky and they couldn't really infuse an undead body with a potato seed instead of a functioning well. But the damn nutter Damien would try to convince him of these things anyway, just to tease him at their next Coven get-together. Whenever the hell those were.

So, whatever. No Ellasin partying, no potato minions, and no levitating horses. More importantly he wished to know what sort of bullshit Damien had in store for his day of 'first birth'.

"I want a pony," he said. "A pony?" Alistair replied. "A soddin' pony? I don't really have that sort of money available to me, to just gift you a pony." The man scoffed. His master was such a doofus. Alistair was sure that this, too, was just another bullshit jest.

"You're a bloody Necromancer, Alistair. Just go kill one and reanimate it. I'll accept an undead pony." The man had to laugh. Undead pony. Now that was something little toddler girls could aspire to. But of course, that was impossible. Alistair didn't have the physical strength to just haul a dead pony back to his lair and reanimate it. And if he reanimated it, the pony would be under his command, not Damien's. Now he knew the man was jesting.

Before he could say anything though, Damien spoke.

"I'm shitting you. I don't really want a pony," he admitted. Alistair rolled his eyes. Of course. "But I do have an undead horse, and I think you could use one too. Undead horses are very stylish, you see. They're a fashion statement to all the other Necromancers. Even my transport is dead. Very fashionable." He said this with such an obnoxious look on his face that the student could only scoff. "Next thing you'll tell me to reanimate a cow so that I can have undead leather satchels," he said sarcastically. Damien merely nodded. "Brilliant idea, actually."
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Last edited by Alistair on Sun Jul 31, 2016 2:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Alistair
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Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:50 pm

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"Firstly, Alistair, we need to find the horse. Venora is a rich region with plenty for wild horses to eat - so there are plenty of wild horses to be found, logically. But where would they be? Grass plains, savannah, places like that. I don't believe this land has much in the way of savannah, so plains it shall be. We met here, near Innsmouth, for that particular reason - the proximity to great quantities of grass plains." The man stepped forward, and beckoned Alistair to follow. The time was already passing sunset, and so soon all would return to their homes and be blind to the events around them. Even now that there were people about, he did not fear detection, as they were few and far between and Damien certainly knew how to handle himself.

In the distance he could see hills that separated the town from other environments. They were merely small hills, however, and could be climbed by meager human steps. If he could recall, there was a meadow of sorts beyond the hills where wild horses did like to prance about. But they were not always there, and sometimes they did not return for a while. Horses were far nomadic than humans could ever be, at least the ones of Venora. There was a lot of food to be had in the Duchy, but also a lot of people who wished to encroach upon them and break them for riding. The acquisition of a single horse, even, seemed dubious at best; he could not ensure himself that he would succeed in gaining the mount that Damien wished for him to acquire.

"Damien, are you certain that we'll be able to nab them? What do horses even like? I'm not a good hunter. Can't shoot one-"

"Shut up for a moment, Venora. It's not all about killing or manipulating. Sometimes the answer lies in opportunity. Say you can't kill the horse. Say you can't trick it to trusting you. There are other ways to own the situation. If you can't defeat an adversary entirely by yourself, you may sometimes rely on other variables forwarding your chances of success." The man looked forward. "Other animals don't like to hunt horses for meat, as their flesh is exceptionally sturdy - it's quite a tiring process to try and feed on them, sometimes not even worth the hassle. In desperation there are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Another issue is that horses are very fast, and so animals that wish to kill them often find themselves outrun. Some of them will go for their 'ankles' or other weaknesses in their legs to try and get them to keel over. Humans tend to try and kill them from afar before they grow cautious. A necromancer preys on weaknesses, secrecy and opportunity - taking notes from all the greatest predators into singular forms. We can own animals, men and monsters alike, which makes the Necromancer a highly diverse foe. And there is also something else - later."

The student raised an eyebrow. "And that is?"

"Corrosion," Damien replied. Alistair sighed. He already knew corrosion - he'd been doing it for years, after all. How would that assist in this situation? "I don't-" He was silenced. Damien patted him on the shoulder. "You will understand. Let me explain."

The Necromancer pointed at the horses that were grazing; their last meal before their rest, as night was incoming. "The strongest horse of this lot is that adult over there. Presumably male based on his appearance. He has a dark brown coat and a black mane. You can tell how strong he is by his size, and the toned nature of his muscles. I could corrode his legs and have him fall over, but that would defeat the purpose of all this, as you wouldn't be able to ride him. So instead I must go directly for the killing. Wolves like to lead their foe around, into one another, into traps and ambushes. The smart ones do, at least. I wish for you to operate like a wolf - and lead him to me. I can corrode his flesh from afar, and I will go directly for his jugular. He will simply turn and run too quickly if I try it as we are right now. I need more time - bring him running towards me." That seemed like a simple enough command, but Alistair couldn't possibly lead this horse exactly in the direction he wanted. Certainly not from this angle. He looked at the field that surrounded them - he would likely have to sneak all the way around and run at the horses from behind, leading them forward and thus directly towards Damien. But this was just being idealistic, and considering he was merely a singular human, they might actually stomp the shit out of him instead of run. He didn't know. He had virtually no experience with horse behavior.

This was going to be a real tizzy, that was for damn sure.
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Last edited by Alistair on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Alistair
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Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:58 pm

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The man slowly weaved his way around, crouching alongside the border of the hill, trying not to be seen by the horses. Or heard. Or smelled. He didn't really know the depth of their senses, so he simply had to assume the worst and be as quiet and cautious as possible. He looked back occassionally to see Damien laying chest-down into the grass like a slug, finding the whole scene amusing. He wondered what the man would do if the horses came, feet stomping, directly at him. Maybe he'd die and Alistair could loot his corpse for all that conduit and well shite. Ellasin probably wouldn't mind.

One image he noticed immediately was the sublime contact between little horselings and their parents - he spotted at least two babies frolicking about. He didn't actually know that they were babies, just that they were very small little horses that seemed dreadfully innocent. They were actually sort of cute, though he'd never say it out loud, and he would probably still slay and reanimate them much the same as any other if it brought him the same benefits. Unfortunately, though, the man was incapable of being suspended and carried about by little tiny ankle-biter horses, so it would have to be their burly father or uncle or whatever relation he had to the little ones.

The man continued to make his way around, trying not to grow distracted by all the images around him. The baby horses, the silly Damien laying in the grass, the tall plains and the vibrant flowers. It was sunset, too, which made it all more beautiful. He could at least take in the air and enjoy himself for a moment, even though his next few hours were going to be spent operating on the carcass of a dead horse to ensure he was properly aligned to it. The man went for a bizarre angle, crouching along one end of the hill. To the direct right of him was the group of horses - he just needed to get behind them. So, he would. Finally, with the black and brown 'alpha' in his direct sights, he ran behind them and dashed forward, the horses freaking out - some of them ran past him on each side, while some ran to Damien's direction. The largest of them, his prize, reared up almost threateningly. That behavior, however, did not last long - Alistair threw a large rock at it, and the creature ran like all the others. They weren't much when it came to bravery.

However, it did not run in the direction that Alistair and Damien intended. Instead, it pressed past his left and ran with some of the younger ones, away from the valley altogether. Alistair paused, essentially accepting that he was going to escape. As the horse began to make distance, however, he was encircled by an almost barrier of sorts that blocked his movement. Damien's fingers pinched his conduit, and the man rose up from the grass from far away. "Nice one, Alistair," the Lich said sarcastically. The Venora rolled his eyes. "It was all about whether or not he'd run towards you, or away. Problem was, you were lying in wait in what I'd consider a dead-end. Wasn't your position what compromised this?" He narrowed his eyes at Damien, who grinned. "Nice catch," the man said.

"Are you testing my logical capabilities here?" Alistair asked. The man simply shrugged. "Anyway, let's finish it already. I don't like to dawdle around with my prey. That's rather mean." The other Necromancer agreed, and so he stepped into the enclosure he'd created through Abrogation and corroded the neck of the horse, the beast laying over dead.

The Venora stepped forward, inspecting the body of the dead horse. As a surgeon, he had an interest in the beast's anatomy, but dissecting it with a scalpel made its practical usage much less obvious. He, instead, gestured for Damien to come over and assist him. The man did, as he was here to teach Alistair a lesson rather than watch him do what they'd always done. "This creature has sturdier flesh than a man, and a different anatomy altogether. You've had undead squirrels and dogs before, so recall those lessons. It's similar in that you must adapt to their differing biology. With this horse's flesh exceptionally sturdy, it becomes more difficult to maintain its body through corrosion. You have to spend more time maintaining it than with a man. However, that's sort of the point. This horse, more than just a mount, will give you something to practice corrosion on consistently. It could be an hour a day or so at first, and then when you improve, much less so." The Lich stepped back, allowing Alistair to operate on the creature. This wouldn't be difficult, reanimating it. He was a bit worried about controlling it, though. If he suddenly lost control while mounted atop it, he could possibly die depending on the terrain and the severity of the fall.

The man steeled himself, placing the well within the creature. He glanced at Damien. "Do you have an undead horse of your own?" He asked. The man merely laughed. "No, I prefer living ones. I find it too much a hassle to keep the dead ones preserved," he explained. Alistair could certainly understand that. He wasn't quite sure he'd possess all the time necessary, either, especially considering he could be a Duke in the relatively near future. "It will be good practice, though, as I said," the man made sure to mention again. Damien mentioning something twice was not uncommon, but he did seem to truly believe the whole corrosion training thing was proper for a Necromancer.

Alistair nodded as he always did, and channeled his energy into the well as he inscribed it into the creature's body. He stepped back a bit, then onto his knees, focusing.
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Last edited by Alistair on Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Alistair
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Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:47 pm

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Channeling life into the creature was not very different than with men. In fact, it was easier than with a man. Somehow, he'd always felt that the energy necessary to maintain obedience depended on the docileness and intellect of the creature itself. With a mere squirrel, it was practically instantaneous, the process of reanimation. With dogs, slightly less so, but they weren't intelligent or highly choosy. Men were the hardest, and by a longshot. So very willful, distinctive, intelligent. He couldn't feel the same resistance now as with them, suppressing all that was the beast's nature. He could envision a picture in his mind as he channeled energy through his conduit and the well, one painted clearly; he had gotten better at this whole process, and the horse was not one to reject his power. This process laid into question whether or not he was merely suppressing personality alongside his recreation of life. He always felt a resistance of sorts - that was the challenge in Necromancy.

Before long, however, the horse's eyes opened. The beast squirmed about, as Alistair hadn't gained full control of its motions. He began to suppress them, ensuring the horse did not land a lethal blow by kicking him in the gut as he attempted to mount him. The sentience of the creature was questionable, but Necromantic minions often had a sort of kneejerk reaction to things if they weren't properly tamed. He knew that well with Wilkund, the first man he'd reanimated, who at first nearly bashed through Alistair's skull when he gained that level of undead awareness.

"You know, I just thought of something," Alistair was already preparing his eyes, as he imagined they were soon about to roll back into his skull. Damien always forgot to think about, or mention, the trivial parts of these rituals. "How the hell are we going to get this thing up? It didn't die on its knees, it died on its side. If I recall correctly, don't horses have an exceptionally difficult time getting up from their sides?" He swore he recalled something about that - it was unwise to let an unhealthy one lay on their sides, or something of the sort. Damien shook his head. "No, that's weak ones," he confirmed. "This one should have the strength to gets itself back up. You just need to tune your connection to it so that its functions are as they were in life." Alistair nodded. He supposed he was wrong about that fact, though he was certainly nervous when it came to getting this creature into an upward and proper position. Moving this thing already felt almost taxing. He knew it was because it was a new connection, but also, he was trying to command the body of something greatly anatomically different than a man - and not a small creature, either. This was the largest animal he'd ever animated.

He tried as he could to draw a connection to its muscles, getting it to stand upward. The whole thing almost felt like trying to reach your toes without bending over, landing awfully close but without making contact. The creature merely laid as if still dead, slightly squirming to try and regain forward balance but without succeeding. Sweat had begun to form on his brow, especially as the Ashan heat began to rise. Damien stood quietly, scrawling things into a notebook. He'd loved to write as Alistair performed his rituals, though he was unsure as to what he wrote. "Why are you doing this, by the way?" He asked the Lich. "This is your birthday - a day of celebration. Instead, you've offered your services to me, guiding me about as I foolishly struggle with a dead, oversized mule. Doesn't that sort of strike odd to you?" He looked to the eye of Damien, who merely looked back. The man did not say anything at first, placing his notebook in his pocket and grinning faintly.

"Perhaps my birthday is best spent on excursions with my favorite student," he replied. Alistair would have been happy if that were the answer, but a part of him knew better. Perhaps that was partially the truth - Damien always did say that Alistair was his first student, his best student, and his only student in terms of who he'd actually had hopes for. But that wasn't the answer. It was something else. And - he gave Damien that look, like he knew it was something else. The man had merely needed to reveal what that was.

And so he did. He practically threw his hands into the air and laughed. "Fine, fine. You're more perceptive than I remember you being," he said with a chuckle. Alistair didn't really smile, at least not genuinely, but he did feel a sort of happiness in getting his instructor to reveal his oh-so-secret intentions.

"This day, I turn a hundred and three. When I was but a child of three years old, my father bought me a pony. Yes, a bloody pony," he laughed. Alistair could see in his eyes that he was reminiscing, envisioning the days of his youth, from long before. The Necromancer couldn't help but find a beauty in that - Damien, despite being so old and so corrupted by power, could recall the days where he was merely a child roaming about, gleefully pestering a miniature horse.

"This was one of the happiest days of my young life, you can imagine. I loved that creature with all of my heart. It died when I was twelve, and I don't know if I've ever cried harder." His eyes fell into a nostalgic sorrow. For him, one who had lived so long and seen so many things, it was always his earliest memories that were the most charming, and also the most painful. The first time he'd seen a new thing, the first time he'd experienced a new pain. That little pony was his first love in this world, and his first loss. He could see his eyes swelling up with sorrow, and he was reminded that unlike the other Liches of the Coven, Damien was most like a man. He could still feel as men did - and that was why Alistair had grown closest to him. He did not want to abandon his humanity in this quest for power, even though he had begun to feel that fate inevitable. Damien was a reminder that he could beat the fanatical obsessions of the trade.

"What was the beast's name?" He asked. Damien's eyes lit up. "You're going to laugh," he said. Alistair gestured that he continue regardless. The man crossed his arms and looked over his shoulder, as if trying to cast off the embarrassment. "Frumpybutt," he said. "Frumpybutt?" That was odd. He could have sworn "frumpy" wasn't in the typical three year old vocabulary.

"It's because my father always called my mother frumpy to piss her off," he said, with a slight grin. "I called my horse Frumpybutt to join in the teasing of my mother. I was an arse, I know." He couldn't help but laugh at the whole thing - remembering the reactions of his mother as she heard the name. Frumpybutt!? she exclaimed, growing temperamental and angry at her essentially infant child. She always had temper issues, even as she aged to that of a prune, watching her son remain at what must have been his early thirties for all of his life. Such a freak he was. He struggled to recall her reactions without a bit of sadness - that she had never accepted who he was. Who he really was.

"So, what will you be naming this horse of yours, Alistair?" He asked, trying to change the subject. The Venora smiled honestly for once, looking to the Lich's eyes. "Frumpybutt," he replied. For but a moment, he caught a sorrowful glee in Damien's eyes as he said those words. They shared a look that lasted for far too long, and he could feel something of a bond swell in his heart. He'd never gotten so close to Damien's life before, seen the days of old with such a shining perspective. The sunset they shared together, even while struggling to get Frumpybutt afoot, was one of laughs and stories of their long lost days.
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Point Bank Thread

Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:56 am

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Peer Reviewed: Rewards!
Alistair


Points!:

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/ 5 (solo thread)
Structure: 5/ 5
Knowledge:

Basic
Father Damien: A lich
Father Damien: Birthday 17th Ashan
Father Damien: Rebirth Day 19th Cylus
Father Damien: Had a pony at aged 3
William Grayson: Reanimated
Necromancy: Reanimation of animals
Necromancy: Reanimation of humans is the most tricky
Necromancy: Does not include levitation.
Necromancy: Remember to tune to the eyes
Animal Husbandry: Wild horses like meadows
Animal Husbandry: Techiniques for identifying strength in horses
Animal Husbandry: Baby horses are cute
Stealth: Keep low when sneaking in a field.
Frumpybutt: Your horse is undead, dude.

Specialised
House Venora: Ancient History: The Life of Henry Venora III
William Grayson: Effects of Reanimation
Lesterly: Founded by Emelia Anhalt
Father Damien: A dreadful tease.
Father Damien: Nostalgic
Father Damien: Retained the most humanity of the Coven.
Animal Husbandry: Horses have few predators
Animal Husbandry: When startled, horses are likely to bolt.
Stealth: When hiding from animals, consider all senses.
Necromancy: Corrosion must be used differently depending on the animal
Necromancy: Reanimated horses might need corrosion up to an hour a day.
Necromancy: Horses have a stronger will than dogs or squirrels




Loot:

Losses: 1 well
Gains: 1 undead horse named Frumpybutt (NB: will require regular corrosion)


Fame:

-2 (witness to an act of cruelty)
-1 (general bad deed)

Overview:

I really enjoyed reading this thread. I like Father Damien and Alistair's relationship - they seem to be much more friends than maybe either of them is prepared to admit. The pair of them trying to get the horses to go in the direction they wanted was fun too .
General comments.
I am aware that you gained knowledge in a number of skills not listed in your CS - but as you attempted to use them, it was appropriate. A good read and a thread which I enjoyed thoroughly. I look forward to reading more of Alistair and Father Damien as time goes on.
Story A well written story, which flowed well and was a pleasure to read. You kept the pace up well and made sure that the story itself was consistent.
Structure Your writing is clear and adds to the structure of the story itself. No issues at all.

Please remember to mark this thread as "Reviewed" in the request for review thread.
Please record these points in the "Skill Point Ledger" you have in your CS.
PM me if you've got any questions at all!
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"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

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