The Pursuit of Hexcellence

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:08 am
Race: Undead (Ghost)
Profession: Undeadly Ecoterrorist
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The Pursuit of Hexcellence

Continued from Distant Horror...

Deep in the bowels of the world beneath the world, in this ghostly, ghastly land of ne’er-do-wells and bogged bandersnatches, and frightful words for terrible beings, there did not live a man, for he was a dead man, and his watery soul being slowly dragged to the abyss by way of his own mind and his own mistakes.

The truth to the matter was simply that he accepted this-

-Not that any cared, not that he didn’t care; he was quite alone in the venture. Still, he thrived as he inched towards another state of death with every lost memory, and every forgotten tone, scent, or sensation bleeding from his soul like the thick, honeyed blood of a diseased cow ridden with the maggots he bathed in now.

The memory, “Oh, the memory,” he mused as he seemed to awaken with vigor after the prior trials spent in damnation. ”How long have I spent reminiscing in my empty mind upon thoughts I no longer seem to have?” Too long, he knew without ever truly having to think. It was just the habit of the mortal mind to lie to itself, to stay sane in this world without the love and warmth life wrought.

Here in the hollow of the tree, it was damp, and the insects crawled to excite his memory of the nerves he once had, filling him with those disgusting emotions he once felt in life so naturally, and the sensation of an upset stomach churning with reaction to the bouncing feet and sliding bodies of those meticulously busy grubs questing for their own collective survival.

Surreality was the game, to a ghost, and Egaro was doing just fine pandering to his own desires at the steep, dangerous price he paid. He’d forgotten this memory, after all, and all it ever did now was play on a loop. He’d come to expect when a bug would bite him on his calve, and beneath his knee, a crawling ant advancing up his shirt following the same old trail before disappearing into the mulch wrapping his frame like a thick, cloying blanket of festering life.

Numb to it all, Egaro was content here. Gone were his human inhibitions. No longer did he fear the chance of envenomation at the jaws of the spider tickling over his closed eyes. Except, he knew he had to do more if he ever wanted to live, and that little thread kept him sane to the path he’d set for himself all those nights ago.

”Can I share this sense of life with others, for them to appreciate it as I do?” he wondered, but he seemed to know from what he had seen of the ghosts from before and their Hexmarks that this was in the realm of possibility. ”Oh, but I can. Charming.” At once he sat up with the determination filling his soul back to vibrancy, a chisel and an old rag appearing in his hands.

The hollow evaporated around him as he broke through the memory and stood beside it, peering into the underlying structure until he saw the scaffolding-the rune stone he’d carved. As he studied the stone, he became familiar with the many different aspects he could pull from.

The first sense of the memory he understood was resonance, the tonal architecture which coalesced into the sound of the memory, dull to the ear as he then struck it with the broad side of his chisel. It rang, sending gentle quietness through his soul punctuated by the mystique of crunching leaves and the panting of wolves, residual information from the memory becoming more apparent in its analysis.

The second was the very physical reality of the memory, conveying the sense of touch through the underlying textured lattices of bumpiness, coarseness, and the temperature upon them like a sprinkled spice for the once-living nerves to feast upon. Indeed even the weight and the very physics of the memory depended heavily upon these powerful details.

The third sense was of the visual perception, the lie upon which all things share themselves to others. This gave the memory its colors, its shapes, and its glow, or lack thereof. It seemed to closely match the second sense, and for there to be a mismatch would be a blatant lie, and Egaro recognized this in his close study of how the memory layered itself together. Lies were useful on occasion, but sometimes the best lies mimicked the truth utterly.

The fourth sense was the odorous cantankerousness present in all things, the fickle domain of wispy motes of whiffs in their many inclinations indicating indices of what was indecent or indispensable in equal measure. This sense could overpower and dominate.

The fifth, the most powerful of all, was the primal force that drove and informed hunger, the sense of taste upon which the living body primarily motivated itself to action. Egaro began to theorize that this sense was closely tied to to the others.

On the whole these senses coalesced to create desires within the being, and he understood this on an instinctual level through this memory of the hollow as the taste of the musty air played across his mind to the tune of nature working its realities in the inky blackness of the hollow.

Egaro determined that the deep hunger within all beings was the foremost desire, capable of training men like dogs by serving their need to survive, and dogs to handle the whims of men by doing the same. Other desires, such as lust and greed were different entry points into the mind, while the inverse of desire, disgust, followed a similar pattern that his focused mind understood well. As he sought to isolate the proper segment of sensations from the scene to unease the living, these ideas were invaluable.

It stood to reason in his mind that the living had preferences, and each was an animal of habit prone to enjoying or relinquishing specific kinds of sensations. The most unpleasant of sensations that were universally disliked by the body often dealt in primal fears of sickness, pain, injury, or death.

There was also the matter of the canvas he worked with, the memory of that grubby hollow he worked upon. This factor was the limiting factor, and it was separated the ghosts from gods. ”To think, if I had all the world and its life to drive me as its canvas, I could reshape reality with these hexes,” he mused. Until he could figure out a way to acquire more memories to work with, his options were limited, and evocating new facsimiles was a long and costly process prone to disaster.

All of this understanding came together, binding with the twine of knowledge to create a process for the craft.

It was time, so Egaro stepped into the memory and found himself laying upon his back, surrounded by the hugging roots of the tree in this dirty place. Egaro lifted his chisel, and struck down between the edge of the reality he chose, the segment of the scene detailing what it was like to be within the hollow, being touched in all those places by the vermin therein. With a crack, the boulder shattered all around him, the rune carved in two. The piece he sought remained, while the rest of the memory became fragmented and hazy, damaged beyond repair with that gaping hole left behind.

Sitting up to kneel, he propped up the cool stone with his hand and wiped the muddy earth away from the surface, further chiseling away every trace of the senses he felt were making it unstable--he didn’t yet understand nor have the power to stabilize multiple senses at once, so he focused on the simple, the simple touch of those vermin.

Working his tool into the stone, he chipped away the excess and soon ended up with just those sensations he wanted, and from those sensations he still felt it wax and wane, overloaded with the complexity it still contained. “Hum,” groused the mason. “Then you will not feel the earth, nor the bark, but just the coalescence of these many insects. Will that suffice, fickle memory?” Clink, went the tool, and the rest of the memory faded away like dust to leave behind that single Hexmark primed and readied.

Only, it looked to be a fragile thing, so flimsy. It was dried out, merely the information and not the power. Egaro looked about himself, seeing the tattered remains of the memory drifting around him, and he lifted a single arm to to command it. Feeling the connection pool through his soul, he drove it down into his precious creation, and the formless energies swirled around before disappearing into the maw of that black abyss.

As the last of his billowing ectoplasm abated, Egaro peered over the creation, feeling its spongy form in his hand as he squeezed and mashed it between his spectral fingers. It felt appetizing to him as he studied the creation that he felt could influence the senses of the living. So appetizing that he hadn’t noticed his hungering, starved soul had opened ever so slightly, beginning to devour the very creation he had spent so much to create.

”No!” Just as it happened, he shut the tap and sneered, hiding the precious Hexmark away within his coat pocket before he could damage it any further. “What a trifle,” he said aloud, running a hand through his hair. “Control, self control,” said Egaro to himself. “Where has it gone?” He rubbed the bulge in his pocket wearily, knowing that he must protect the memory from not just others, but himself as well.
word count: 1629
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Wealth Tier: Tier 6


Re: The Pursuit of Hexcellence




Hex: Memories play on a loop
Hex: Hexmark - Isolating a memory segment
Hex: Hexmark - Understanding the five senses to be manipulated
Hex: Hexmark - Desire or disgust are the point of manipulating senses
Hex: Hexmark - Creation of a Hexmark
Syphon: Hungrily syphoning some of own hexmark on impulse

Loot: 1x Bug-Infested Tree Hollow Hexmark

EXP: 10


You went pretty in depth with how Egaro thinks and perceives the world. He felt like more of a force of nature than a low level ghost, I liked it! My favorite part was his dialogue since it really showed off his attitude. All in all a neat training thread for a not so common skill in this game. I wonder what kinds of nefarious things Egaro will end up doing when he finally masters these abilities.

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