[Approved] The Still

Statues that creep on you. Tristan, beware!

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The Still

The Still


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Alternative names: Living Stone, Sculptor's Sneer
Lifespan: Unknown.

Habitat: Limestone, marble, soapstone and alabaster deposits throughout Idalos.

Rarity: Very rare.

Physical Appearance: The Still have no set shape in their primitive form. Originally from Emea, the creature is nothing but a mist once it finds its way into Idalos throughout small fractures deep underground. Living in the stone, especially in limestone, marble, soapstone and alabaster, they feed off small quantities of Ether that gives shape to the world of Idalos. The Still does not reproduce, and despite it's slow growth, they often infect large quantities of rocks. In consequence, these rocks tend to be enhanced, which, in due time, transmute the stones they plague into a higher quality deposits.

For this reason exactly, the Still are often ripped apart from their natural habitat, mostly by sculptors that seek high-quality materials for their craft.

As the artisan carves their art within the stone, the Still continue growing and spreading throughout their limited stone.Whatever the theme of the sculpture or carving does not matter, although most Stills recorded throughout the times did take form of full-body creatures. Once the stone is fully infected, a process that often takes arcs, the Still begin searching for new hosts in order to continue their growth. As they cannot spend their Ether into growing any further due to the lack of surface, the Still gain supernatural abilities once they begin overgrowing.

It is important to note that most of the statues the Still inhabit tend to be rather disturbing. They often take shape of individuals stuck in extremely awkward poses, such as if they were laying in bed, taking a bath, or reading a book that was missing. Furthermore, the amount of detail and realism tends to qualify them as masterpieces, and they are very appealing for rescue and posterior sell or storage.


Behavior: The Still are, in their essence, moving statues. As such, and as their name indicates, they do move, but they are never seen doing so. It is unknown if the stone takes life, or if they use some sort of teleporting method, as they cannot move or teleport whilst being in a creature's eyesight. This does not only include humans and animals, but also insects, which often makes said statues unable to move for hundred of arcs, if ever. In a tropical biome, for example, the fauna is so large the Still are unable to move. Deserts, on the other hand, can be traversed in their entirety in mere trills, once they have developed their movement to that degree.

The Still crave growth, and as such, they seek viable hosts for this task, which are always living creatures - preferably humanoids. The last individual the Still came in contact with becomes the immediate target, which often changes once a new host comes across them.

This becomes extremely dangerous once these carved pieces are found by a vagrant and taken into their residence. Considering the lack of eyes present in most individuals' homes, the Still are able to quickly creep upon a resident when his back is turned or their eyes are closed. Once the Still makes contact with an unaware individual, he is infected with said mist, and their flesh is transmuted into the same type of stone that hosts this particular Still. From that moment onward, the Still growths within the new surface, and once the space is lacking, their need for growth resets the cycle.

Despite their supernatural abilities of fast movement, the Stills cannot interact with their environment. They cannot transport across walls, nor open doors.
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This is very interesting.

But there are a number of details I'm confused about.
You say they can not move at all prior to their entire "body" being infected with the mist.
1.) Do they then immediately gain this movement ability?
I realize you are presenting this as something that the people of Idalos do not know details of, but as its creator, are YOU saying that their body parts never change position, and that they teleport whole, with not so much as a tweak of a stone fingernail?
I'm fine with that, but that raises a couple more questions.

2.) Does the eye contact of living creatures actually negate this movement ability? Or is it more that they sense it and so remain still so as not to give themselves away?

3.) Are they also unable to spread the infection to a new host until their entire "body" is first infected?
I ask this because even though they can not move to initiate contact before they are fully infected with the mist, you have sculptors carving and carting chunks of partially infected stone out of their "natural habitat". So these carvers are likely to touch infected stone while "ripping them apart".

Then, given that a Still has been fully carved, fully infected, and is seeking a new host surface; when it touches a new host, we can assume that the victim feels the contact and turns to see his statue right there, and possibly freaks out about this alone.

4.) But outside of that, does he "feel" the infection? Are you saying that his body now starts slowly turning to stone, starting with where the Still touched him? If it takes several arcs to complete the infection of the original stone, it must take possibly even more to fully infect a new host. Or does flesh infect faster?

If not, the victim may not notice this affect right away if there is no discomfort. But I expect there will soon be a large numb spot after a few months and he may go get it checked. At this point, he is given the bizarre news that his body is turning to stone.

5.) Is there anything that can be done? Can the affected area be cut out surgically, assuming that it is not of life-threatening size?

6.) And since this victim's body is not fully infected, is it correct that this secondary contact would not spread the infection to the surgeon?

I imagine the stone eventually starts to transform internal organs. I assume this will kill the victim long before he is actually fully transformed.
7.) Does the rotting corpse of someone who has had his lungs petrify keep changing?

8.) One last thing. If the Still can affect flesh, why wouldn't it choose to affect the rug beneath it, or the wooden cabinet it sits within or some other alternative substance it has contact with?
Answers
I absolutely am NOT willing to let this sick idea go undeveloped. Therefore I am taking it upon myself to answer my own questions and approve this abomination. :twisted:

1.) No. They must begin developing movement ability, and it is slow enough going that someone living in a home that has a Still will note it being out of place. Now, the real hazard is in the likelihood that they, and others if a large piece, will bare-hand it to put it back, thereby risking infection. Otherwise, IF THEY HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS THING, they may know better, and handle it with gloves or seek to destroy it. I would say the thing can develop an increment of 5 feet of initial and additional movement per trial, but only if they actually DO this movement every trial.

2.) They sense the eye contact and refrain from moving.

3.) Yes, full infection of any entire piece is required. However, this means that a partially infected statue could be an infection threat if a fully infected PART of it is broken off. Example: The right arm is fully infected, but none of the legs yet. It will be a long time before full infection will be achieved. But if that right arm were to be broken off, it would embody a fully infected unit and could spread infection. I am going to say that a piece MUST be at least equal in mass to a 2" x 2" x 2" cube to be able to infect. Otherwise we'd have these being ground to dust and drifting on the wind to infect thousands at once.

4.) It will take the same amount of time to fully infect a living host, based on size. Figure a small dog to take 1 arc. a man to take 2. a Horse to take 3, give or take. Now during that time. There will be reasonable physiological symptoms showing that something is seriously wrong. Even though the insidious nature of the infection will try to go undetected by developing away from the surface first. The first point of surface contact will be a point of numb, cold hardness. And even after that, a petrified muscle section WILL affect body movements related to that muscle. Example, try to make a fist without any of your triceps muscles showing any movement. Figure that if in the midst of that muscle mass, there is petrified tissue, there is going to be only limited success.

5.) Who knows, at this early stage, what remedies there may be? Has anyone done any research on this? I am not aware of any. :twisted: Immortal intervention, or possible alchemically-based ward treatments, taken from the original source of that infection, MAY work. There may even be some bizarre cure (like when rain kills the otherwise unstoppable aliens in some lame sci-fi movie). Cutting out the infection is entirely feasible. But are you sure you got it all? Better take the whole arm off to be sure. :o

6.) It is unlikely that the surgeon would cut with such precision as to remove a perfectly cut section embodying only the infection, with no uninfected flesh attached. So no, the surgeon is probably safe. BUT...if he leaves it around, perhaps as some sort of display sample of the infection to show off to his colleagues, it will infect the remaining tissue pretty quickly, to become a threat again. Keeping it frozen, or in some traditional chemical "holding" fluid, will have no effect on the growth of the infection. There may be some magic, blessing, or alchemy that can achieve this. But again, no work has been done on this at this time.

7.) Yes, the condition of the host body is irrelevant to the process of transformation. The growth of the infection will continue regardless.

8.) What can I say? Call it one of the mysteries of Emea. Also, it's more fun RP-wise this way :lol:
Now, I would say that a piece can be melted down to be destroyed, but here is a chance that some or all of the original mist may escape this destruction to begin again.

Also I have referred to the "RISK" of infection. It is not absolutely guaranteed. There is a reversed application of Resistance skill to percentage that governs if infection occurs. Example, If a PC has a 51 in Resistance, there is a 49% chance of infection. Roll and link to confirm if threaded.

Oh yeah, I love that image, but no, they can not move through walls, unless the walls themselves are made of stone. But then they are slowed to 1 foot per break (to give NPCs a chance to notice and avert disaster).











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OMG, I don't think I've ever been happier to approve something!! :twisted:
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