[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Since the birth of the city, Ne'haer has struggled to maintain peace with the territories surrounding its borders. While some of the other territories work with Ne'haer in search of peace and protection in the region, others resist, determined to fight back against Ne'haer and what they perceive as an attempt of colonization. Ne'haer and the territories exist in a constant tug-of-war that threatens the very region.

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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Jonathan Burr » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:26 am

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25th of Ymiden

Jonathan had arrived in Lysoria humming with excitement. He'd left most of his belongings behind in Kaelserad, only bringing his lone mare and a pack of foodstuffs. A little change of clothing, and of course objects he'd sculpted with Hob's help. Transmutation had certainly helped bring the wonder of Emea to life through stone. Though he would have had to work through a Fracture and killed a Harvester to obtain a skull similar to Hob's, the Harvester had helped him with a working model of his own. He'd also helped him work through small, fist-sized sculptures of himself, Daeva, and the other Harvesters Hob knew. He was bursting with energy to talk about them. Hob had been around for a decent while and knew other Harvesters (if only in passing). While he'd tried to nail down their basic biology for Victor, it was astoundingly difficult. Every Harvester needed to have things in common to be of one species, but all Jon could get out of Hob was that they all consumed ether.

He covered up, as was usual. Gauze taken from Kaelserad around his face and neck. Long sleeves to hide the topaz bursting free of his forearms and back. He was lying if he told himself he wasn't nervous. The last time he and Victor had met he wasn't nearly this...mutated. He was a master Transmuter now and his skill in Abberancy wasn't far behind. He was far and away different from the novice pup that Victor had met.

Thankfully the palace was easy to find. His mare was tired after the ride from Kaelserad, and he hoped she would be able to find a decent rest here. Hob had been prevented from manifesting on the road; the second he'd tried the mare had thrown Jon. She clearly hadn't been a fan of the predator, and for the rest of the way Jon nursed his bruises and asked Hob to refrain. He'd written Victor a letter telling him he was coming to work on their research together. He hoped the man had gotten it alright; it was his first time writing a letter. Hopefully no one had tossed it for looking too common, and Victor wouldn't be caught too off-guard.

The palace loomed above him, and Jon pulled the mare up short. He dismounted, holding her reins. He wasn't quite sure of where to go. He could feel Hob's slight frustration. There wasn't really a doorbell to ring, now was there, and Jon was afraid of going up to the guards. He hovered, unsure of himself.

'Oh for fuck's sake.'Hob growled at him.

Jon cleared his throat and slowly steered his mount toward one of the guards posted at the gate. "Um...hello. My name is Jonathan Burr. I believe I'm expected here?"
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Victor Amielle » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:37 am

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The residence of the Lord of Lysoria wasn’t really a palace. It wasn’t like King Cassander’s palace in Andaris at least that was the subject of so many stories, but rather a stronghold. To somebody who had never seen a palace it would probably seem like such though. The guards watched Jon closely from the time he appeared on the street that led up to the front gate with a mixture of curiosity and a certain amount of suspicion due to the fact hat his face was covered which implied that he had something to hide. As he stated his name, one of them stepped forward though and informed him, in a tone that was cool, but nevertheless polite, “Lord Victor is waiting for you in his room, on the second floor. A servant will take you there, Mister …” The man hesitated a bit, unsure of whether that was indeed the correct way to address him or whether he possessed some sort of title after all. “… Burr. If you will follow me, please?”

~~~

Perhaps, Victor thought as he stood in front of the window of his room and looked at the garden below, he had had to leave in order to truly appreciate his homeland and be ready to claim his birth right. As a boy he had been desperately unhappy with his life, he had wanted to see the world and everything it had to offer and not be trapped behind these walls, but after he had spent arcs travelling, he had realized that there was no place quite like Lysoria where mages could walk about without fear anywhere. When he had been younger, he had felt like a prisoner, but now the very same things made him feel free. He had grown tired of playing the part of the mild-mannered scholar, he had grown tired of all the places where his family’s history didn’t matter. Lysoria had so much more potential than Scalvoris had ever had. Here, he would be allowed to conduct the research that he wanted and not be forced to submit to a professor’s whims.

His thoughts were interrupted as a heard a knock on the door. “Enter!” he called before he turned around. He had been waiting for Jon impatiently. He had met the man a few trials earlier, quite by a chance while he had been investigating strange happenings in the forest and found himself fascinated by him in spite of – or rather because of what he was – an Aberrant, a kind of mage that was hated in most parts of the world – and justifiably so. He stepped forward in order to greet him – only to stop again abruptly and furrow his brow. “You didn’t mention that you had an accident”, he remarked, figuring that was the most likely reason for why Jon had wrapped those bandages around his face. He didn’t know about his mutations – yet. “If you had told me, I would have arranged for a doctor to examine you. I have access to the best in Lysoria …”

If Jon took a moment to study the man in front of him, he would notice that Victor looked quite different as well. He was no longer dressed in dark clothes that would allow him to blend in with his surroundings, but wore fine silk instead, as was befitting of a man of his station. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up, and the top buttons were undone as it was quite warm so that Jon could see the feather-like markings that covered the other man’s arms – the Blessing of Delroth – and the curious glimmering cracks that threatened to creep up his neck, the most obvious signs of his growing proficiency in his chosen magic. There were other mutations as well, but they were not as obvious.

When they had first met he had opted to keep his bond with the Immortal of Greed a secret, as he had not trusted Jon sufficiently yet and it might have given him an edge in combat, but the man had turned out to be quite different from what he had expected an Aberrant to be like – and thus he had decided to be open with him – to some extent, at least.
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Jonathan Burr » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:40 pm

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Jon offered back a smile to the guard. He was friendly, even if the guard was suspicious of him and the way he dressed. Well, he might have been more suspicious if he saw his face. People with Jon's sort of mutation were either men who had caught the unfortunate axe to the face, or those whose features were imitating their Harvesters. Both raised questions that Jon didn't want asked. "Thank you." he said politely, and followed the guard. He was certainly impressed. This place was huge! It was impenetrable from the outside, and on the inside it had the sort of cool professionalism that most castles built for war did. Utility rather than just noble posturing. That Jonathan could get behind. He still couldn't resist putting his hand against the stone as they passed, absorbing information about where the rock had come from. If Victor had transmuted any of it, he couldn't feel it. This stone was dead and carved.

He was thrilled to see Victor, so different from when they'd last met! He was dressed in rich, fancy clothing and looked utterly serious. Not only that, but Jon could see beautiful crackles in the man's skin next to his neck. His eye was drawn to them immediately, as were the tiny little feather-like things on his arms. He shook his head and grinned, unwrapping the gauze from his face. "I see I'm not the only one with weird features. I didn't know how the guards would react." he said. All four of his lips were spread wide in a grin. The long split just under his nose down to the curve of his chin opened his mouth impossibly wide. Jon even rolled up the sleeves on his own shirt to show Victor the rest. The glittering topaz scales that decorated his forearms, catching the light like stained glass windows. "I've been advancing in magic. I woke up, and the rest is history. Aren't you nervous, showing yours like that? I had to bundle up like a fool just to be comfortable going on the road. I'm sweaty."

He threw his arms around Victor in a tight hug. He was happy to see him. He put a hand on Victor's cheek then gently turned his head to the side to look at the cracks. "Gods, yours are so much more understated than mine. How far do these go down?" he peeked down Victor's shirt. Excitement was one of the things that was quick to catch its hold on Jon. Boundaries were off the menu with friends and lovers, especially when he wanted to investigate something.

'Don't take it too hard. He's just curious, doesn't mean anything by it.' Hob appeared in a sitting position on the floor. 'Jon. Leave him alone. Don't tear his shirt off. You have some things to give him don't you?'

Jon blushed and let go of Victor, smiling sheepishly at him. "Sorry." he muttered in embarrassment, and pulled the pack off of his shoulder. He plopped it down on the ground and pulled it open. He pulled out spare sets of clothing and dumped them on the floor, pulling out the sculpture of Hob's skull. It was heavy and granite, and Jon set the six-pound stone on the ground with a heavy thunk. The rest of them were small, artistic sculptures of Harvesters Jon had seen. The tentacled pregnant woman Hob had destroyed. Daeva's human-headed cat form, with the paddled tail like a salamander. Oor, probably the most normal out of all of them, looked like a burned corpse. "I brought you some of the ones I've seen, and Hob described some of the others. I have a few names but, I thought we could lucid dream if we had the time."

'Now you know what I live with.'Hob chuckled coldly.
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Victor Amielle » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:14 am

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As Jon unwrapped the gauze from his face, Victor held his breath for a moment. He had expected to be confronted with a grisly wound, festering sores or part of the other man’s jaw simply missing, but not with that. As the Aberrant revealed his four lips, he furrowed his brow slightly before he made a step towards him so that he could take a closer look. Ever the researcher, he found the change curious and fascinating rather than disconcerting as most sane men probably would and wanted to know more about it. “This doesn’t appear to be the result of an accident”, he observed. “And neither does it look like a Transmutation mutation. Aberration, I assume?” he asked and raised an eyebrow.

“Does it bother you?” he wanted to know, wondering if it impaired Jon’s speech or made it harder for him to consume food. It was just then that Jon revealed the gemstones on his arms though. There was something quite striking about the way that they seemed to catch the light, he had to admit. “May I?” he asked before he extended a hand in order to let it run across the scales, wondering if they were hard and if Jon could feel his touch before he stepped back, furrowing his brow once more, this time in mild irritation.

“Weird?” he asked and shook his head as he touched the feathers on his arms that seemed to sway gently in the breeze that drifted into the room through the open window. “I wouldn’t call them weird. These feathers are not due to my magic, and showing them will have little consequence, even in the centre of the Faith. Last arc I was blessed by the Immortal Delroth. Maybe I will show you what kind of abilities he granted me later on. As for the rest, in Lysoria mages can walk about without fear”, he spoke and stopped abruptly as Jon put a hand on his cheek and peeked down his shirt. It made him feel like some sort of research subject which was something that he didn’t appreciate particularly – even though he had inspected Jon’s scales just a moment earlier. Another part of him, the part of him that had been touched by the Immortal of Vanity, quite liked being looked at and admired though.

“The cracks are only on my shoulders and part of my back so far”, he spoke and allowed Jon to take a look at him for a moment before he abruptly decided to pull away. “They may spread as I advance in my chosen magic though. They are the only outward sign of my transformation. Most of my mutations are internal. I seem to be able to see better in the dark and tolerate heat better, and the way that I perceive the world around me seems to be changing. It seems as if the mutations can differ greatly, even among those that practice the same kind of magic.”

As the Harvester warned Jon not tear his shirt off, Victor raised an eyebrow and looked at Jon questioningly for a few moments before he decided that it didn’t matter and that he wasn’t particularly put off by the other man’s preferences and finally turned to inspect the sculptures - with no small amount of fascination. “Did you make them all yourself?” he wanted to know. “You are quite skilled. What are their names?” he asked before he shook his head with a certain hint of regret. “Lucid dreaming? No, I’ve never been capable of lucid dreaming, I’m afraid. Unless you mean something else?”

“Perhaps he will be able to curb his curiosity in your presence now that he is working with me”,
he remarked somewhat dryly as he heard the Harvester’s complaint.
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Jonathan Burr » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:48 am

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Jon nodded. "It doesn't hurt. I can keep them together like normal lips. I just can't relax them all that much unless I want water leaking out of my face when I drink. It makes kissing better, so I guess it's an equal exchange" he said. He offered his arms to Victor to examine, smiling at him. He could feel his friend's fingers glide over the stones. It felt strange and a little far away, like when something touched fingernails. It wasn't as electric as skin to skin, but there was feeling there. He was very proud of them himself; the topaz was utterly stunning. His magic had chosen an expression of himself that he approved of completely. He'd wear the crystals on his skin the rest of his days, and happily.

The feathers were a little more convenient than his own mutations. He ran his fingers over Victor's arm slowly, reverently, like at any moment he'd shatter one of those fluffy little feathers. He looked up at Victor for a moment when the Immortal was named. This was a blessing? He could see it. The feathers were artfully arranged on Victor's skin and he could believe that a god had graced him with it. He smiled and nodded at him, then became distracted by the pleasing cracks in Victor's flesh. His mutations seemed to marry together so well, so gracefully, so beautifully. "You're gorgeous with them." he complimented. "I think it makes you look like some sort of unearthly angel, or an Avriel." Mutations were fascinating to him. The sparks all seemed so different from one another. Every single one was tailored to its own mage. He wondered how far the mutations for Aberration went, especially given the strangeness of the bond they made with their Harvesters. He didn't imagine things like growing tails or fur would be completely out of the picture.

Then, the sculptures. Jon picked them up and set them on a table so they could examine them better. "Well the first.." he grunted as he lifted the skull and settled it in front of Victor. "...is Hob's skull. I think he's got a good grasp of his own anatomy, certainly better than humans. I didn't really understand what was so strange about it until I hunted a rabbit, and looked at what a normal skull would look like." Jon rooted through his bag and unwrapped a small, palm-sized bone from a spare handkerchief.

The rabbit skull he placed next to Hob's, and the similarities were striking. They both had the same basic shape; the way their skulls effectively curved in a wide arc and compacted closer to the brain case. The large hole for the auditory meatus was exhaggerated in both parties, but the eye sockets were where they differed. While a rabbit's eyes were oriented to the sides, Hob's skull reproduction had wide, wing-like zygomatic arches the same as any predatory cat. Similarly while the rabbit was delicate, with the tiny little fenestrations in the body of the rostrum, Hob's was solid. It was thick and reinforced, designed for crushing and biting. The rabbit's teeth were arranged neatly, with two large shearing incisors at the front and paired grinding teeth in the back. Hob's teeth looked like a dagger collection designed by committee, and only organized themselves closer to his molars. The comparison was fascinating. It was easy to see how the spirit had taken the idea of the rabbit, and simply twisted it to suit his own needs. Removing weaknesses and adding a certain predatory edge.

Jon looked at the smaller sculptures and nodded. "It took me a while. I can only remember so much from dreams. Hob had to fill in the gaps. I tried to make them as soon as I woke up, when the dream was fresher. It fades so fast." he said in disappointment. "While we can't dreamwalk, we can try to dream, and when we wake up, we can take copious notes. It would be less of a sleep thing and more of a...series of naps. Where do we want to start? Anatomy and physiology? How they come to be? The individual Harvesters themselves? Hob knows of a lot of them but he says if we want details we'll have to ask. I'm strong enough now that they'd at least take a second to think about it before attacking, and he says he's fairly sure we can bully the rest into giving us what we need."

'I wouldn't mind beating up a few of them.'Hob mentioned.

Jon sighed. "I don't want you to hurt them. Just...restrain them from hurting us."
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Victor Amielle » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:49 am

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“Did you know that Delroth is the father of the Avriel?” Victor asked as Jon compared him to one of the winged beings and met his gaze. He spoke those words with unmistakeable pride. Just like the man that stood opposite of him he approved of the changes that the Immortal as well as his magic had affected in him completely and would happily wear his marks for the rest of his life, and he enjoyed the compliments that he had been given. “Since the trial that he marked me I am able to grow steal feathers that are as sharp as any blade on my arms – and do so much more besides that.”

He decided not to talk about his chosen Immortal any further though, at least not at the moment, but decided to inspect the first sculpture that Jon had placed on the table in front of him instead. He let his fingers run across the monstrous skull almost gently for a moment before he touched it with both hands, held it and willed a bit of ether to flow into it in order to find out what it was made of and how all of its different parts fit together, in a way that wasn’t possible by simply examining it with just his eyes and his hands.

“Rabbits are prey animals. Hob on the other hand is a predator”, he spoke in a matter-of-fact tone as Jon alerted him to the differences between the sculpture and the rabbit skull that he had placed next to it. He was not a zoologist – he specialized in the supernatural and not in the natural – but it was obvious, even to him, what set the two creatures apart. “And his skull is shaped accordingly. It’s most obvious in his teeth. His eyes are different from a normal rabbit’s as well. It’s almost as if he took the basic shape or a rabbit and changed it in order to suit his own needs”, he murmured and turned to the next sculpture, a human-headed cat, furrowing his brow.

“I’d like to start with anatomy and physiology, with the things that they have in common - if there is anything that they have in common”, he decided. “And then move on to their differences. Do they consume anything besides ether, for example? Do they ever procreate, and do they ever die of natural causes or exist in Emea for all of eternity?” he wondered – and stopped again abruptly, realizing that it would be best if they tacked one question at a time – and started with the questions that were comparatively easy to answer. “We should also take notes while we talk”, he added and gestured towards his desk where he had prepared pens as well as a stack of paper. Jon would be free to take some, if he so desired – or leave the note-taking to him.

“As for dreams”, he continued. He still wasn’t sure about Jon’s suggestion. It seemed like a fairly pointless venture to him, but he decided to hear him out nevertheless, mostly for the sake of their budding friendship – even though he didn’t know how wise it would be to fall asleep in the presence of a creature like Hob that considered his kind a delicacy.

“Perhaps there is something to be gained from writing our dreams down. How will we be able to tell if what we dreamed is real or just a figment of our imagination though?” he wanted to know. “Do you know anything about Emea besides the fact that it is the home of Hob’s kind?”
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Jonathan Burr » Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:25 am

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"I didn't." Jon said in amazement as he looked at the feathers. That was what an Immortal's blessing could do? Give steel feathers that could cut through things? Beauty and function married together. He had to admire this Delroth. "Your Immortal is a wise creature. I like how he puts together the form of the feathers and the usefulness with the steel. It's a very interesting combination. Very artistic." he approved. He smiled when Victor turned to the sculptures; maybe he hadn't wanted to delve too deep into the mark. Maybe the Immortal would become angry with him if he revealed too much. Or, unlike Jon, Victor was a private person. Either way Jon was eager to get into the academics of it all.

He nodded. "See how the eyes face front? Just like a cat's. As far as I can tell they're all predators...even if it doesn't matter the size of them." Jon said. "They've all got sharp teeth. Daeva..." he pointed at the small cat sculpture that Victor held. She had been a strange creature. Her face a featureless mask with a very female mouth. She could open up her entire face and most of her throat like a zipper, revealing a black mouth and throat studded in fangs. "...was my old Harvester and was another variation on that theme. All of them seem to be predatory in some way or another. Ripping beaks, claws, fangs. I've noticed even on the few I've seen that there hasn't been a flat tooth among them. No uh, horse teeth or the like despite the fact that ether doesn't exactly require chewing."

'We're also cannibals. You've witnessed that.' Hob chuckled darkly.

Jon sighed and picked up the statue of the pregnant woman. Human with a belly swollen with child from the waist up. From the waist down, a tentacled horror with a gigantic mouth situated underneath the grisly dress. "Hob killed and ate her for intruding." he mentioned to Victor. "But...they seem to draw from Idalosian nature. Octopus. Rabbit. Cat. Corpse. All things we have in our own world. Just twisted around and combined. Each Harvester is unique and no two are alike. Aging...I think I've started to be able to gauge it by how the Harvesters are themselves. New Harvesters might look the same as any other but they haven't spent enough time in Idalos to know Common. Or to prevent manifesting to keep their mages from getting killed. The older a Harvester is, the more human they are."

Jon put his hand on Oor and picked up the statue, offering it to Victor. "This...is what happens to a Harvester who gets too attached. Oor raised his mage. From a very young child...almost fifty arcs the man lived before he was killed. Recently, in Scalvoris. I could have made it there in time to prevent it if I'd only known. From what I understand the human was almost a Harvester. He was a cannibal. He communicated through body language and had no social skills. His Harvester was outgoing, swore, hit on humans. It was like they switched places."

Hob sighed and settled down on a nearby couch. 'Oor is still in mourning. I don't think he'd tolerate anyone on his territory for a while yet. Too emotional. Too human. He's still trying to get someone to murder the judge who murdered his mage.'Hob said sternly. 'Oor, while a fascinating case study, would only be poking a very angry bear right now. Unless you bring him the head of a certain mer, I think that door's closed...can always try though. Let's try a better subject. Mating.'

Jon smirked wryly. "It's a bit like spiders, I'm afraid. They never know when romance is on the table or a quick fight. The actual mating...I'm not exactly sure. The best any Harvester has explained it to me is that humans are key in lock. Harvesters are more like a jigsaw puzzle done standing on your head with your tongue." he explained.

'Are you sure you don't know anything about it?'Hob's grin was positively beaming, and filled with schadenfreude.

Jon sighed. "We've copulated a few times-"

'Mmhm, I've noticed you take a lot more naps now.'

"..more than a few times. It seems as basic as ours mechanically when it is Harvester to human but...I don't always remember the dream. It's why I've started trying to write things down. Emea is his home. I have to study it if I'm going to make it anywhere with the Harvesters. The best way to study them is to see them. Hob can try and confirm whether or not what we've seen is real. We seem to pop up in his reality like he pops in and out of ours. To put it bluntly, I think Emea is their waking world and Idalos is their dream." Jon said. "If we're going to build a book on Harvesters we need to actually see more than just Hob."
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Victor Amielle » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:26 am

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“Daeva“, Victor repeated as he took a closer look at the small cat sculpture in his hands, furrowing his brow as he did so. There was something about her face that seemed anatomically impossible to him – she looked as if a mad sculptor had just stuck random parts together in order to create a creature that was as frightening as possible - but then again, Harvesters were not bound by mortal standards, but only limited by their own imagination. He let a finger run down her neck thoughtfully before he abruptly looked up at Jon again, from out of hazel eyes that were tinged with a most peculiar hint of silver. “How did she die? Judging by what you told me the last time I met, Harvesters are very hard to kill”, he spoke. He remembered the warning that Jon had given him - and that he had mentioned that his trust had already been betrayed once. Had she been murdered then – by somebody that he had once considered a friend?

As Hob pointed out that his kind were also cannibals, he looked at the Harvester for a moment before he shrugged his shoulders indifferently. He didn’t care what the creature ate or didn’t eat as long as he didn’t suddenly decide to eat him – he was rather pragmatic in that regard. He didn’t find the concept of cannibalism shocking either, but fascinating - from a purely scientific point of view. He’d often wondered why certain societies engaged in practices that most considered taboo. “Do you derive any nourishment from devouring your own kind?” he wanted to know from Hob. He had always thought that Harvesters only killed mortals – and especially mages, because of their ether. That this was obviously not the case made him wonder what else was untrue.

“I heard of similar creatures once”, he told Jon thoughtfully as he picked up the statue of the pregnant woman. “Some sort of magic accident took place in Etzos a few seasons ago, and people suddenly changed into monsters. At least one of them was pregnant at the time.” He’d considered going there in order to find out what exactly had caused people to mutate, and what had happened to the children of those mutants, but then a bit of most disconcerting news had reached him from Lysoria, and he’d had to change his plans. “Not that it is of any relevance as far as our current research project is concerned”, he added and turned to listen to Jon’s next words which were surprising to say the least. He remembered that he had heard a story, shortly before he had left Scalvoris.

“I’ve heard of children that were raised by wolves or other wild animals and that ended up much like Oor’s mage, unable to reintegrate into society and learn to speak Common - but never of children that were raised by Harvesters”, he remarked. “Do you know why Oor’s mage was initiated so young? It seems careless. Not a lot of adults survive initiation”, he pointed out. Most would likely have considered initiating a child into a magic as dark as Aberration to be an act of pure sadism and torture and said something in that regard, but the Transmuter found himself more interested in the story behind it, especially since Oor’s unfortunate mage was dead now anyway. This was a subject that he doubted anybody had ever explored in depth.

And then the conversation turned to the matter of Jon’s and Hob’s bizarre relationship again, of course. He was fine with Aberrants – or rather, with one Aberrant – and found himself fascinated by all those forbidden subjects rather than put off, but the thought of Jon actually sleeping with his Harvester made his stomach churn. At the same time a part of him couldn’t help but wonder how such a thing was anatomically possible though, and he raised an eyebrow questioningly for a moment before he came to the conclusion that he wasn’t sure if he really wanted to know the answer.

Some things, he decided, were better left unspoken.

“Of course”, Victor conceded somewhat reluctantly and inclined his head as Jon told him why it would be necessary for the two of them to dream together. He wanted to write that book, now more than ever, because it would likely be the only one of its kind. “How do we make sure that we’ll end up in the same dream though?” That was, as far as he was concerned, the biggest obstacle that they would have to overcome. He had never been able to consciously share a dream with somebody else – and he wasn’t sure if it was at all possible without some kind of magic – but perhaps Jon knew a way?
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[Lysoria] The Aberrant's Guide to Monsters

Postby Jonathan Burr » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:00 am

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Jonathan was looking at the sculpture that Victor held with a sort of sad reluctance. He missed Daeva, truly. She had been such a strangely dignified creature. Despite her awkward form she'd carried herself with such grace. She'd been willing to teach him, and had even brought him to Alistair to be taught. She hadn't wanted him to flounder and die, withered by Aberration's madness. It was she who had given him the determination not to be one of those broken creatures. "The man I loved convinced her to step out of a conjunction, and murdered her." he said softly. He still remembered it, crystal clear. Daeva's lunge, and how her excitement at the hunt turned into rage and dismay. The way their bond had snapped like a bone, and festered, and died. He'd clawed for it like a man after a snake in the grass, but he'd felt every piece of her dying. "I felt everything. When someone kills a Harvester, it snaps back through the bond. I didn't just hear her scream. I felt her pain. Her anger as she died." Jon bit his lip and looked down. For once, Hob was quiet about it.

'Harvesters are ether repositories for our mages. We need it to survive, but we are also made of it. The stronger the Harvester, the more ether he has. When I consumed her I stole the ether that she had taken from others.'Hob said simply. 'Humans can also do it to us, but it is a fate worse than the death I granted. A Harvester hollowed out by his mage will no longer have anything resembling personality or will. They are a shade. A bank the mage can shove ether into and pull out of. Their bond has turned into dead animal and master, not equal.'

"See, it carries some risks too for the Harvester." Jon said, sighing. "While they can become more powerful with us, technically, it's smarter to just kill us. You never know when a human will take advantage and turn on his Harvester, or whether the Harvester will turn on the mage. We have to sit squarely in the middle. It's a concept known as Balance. The Balance has to be maintained or both sides will suffer."

He was interested in the idea of a magic accident. Etzos? Only a few seasons ago? And people had turned into monsters? Were there still monsters living there? Creatures he could study or help? Jon wanted to ask a thousand things about it, but Victor closed the subject before he could unleash the torrent. He still filed it away for later questions. Maybe he would take a trip to Etzos as well and study the affects. If people had truly turned into Harvesters or simply brainless monsters. As for the question of Oor, Jon shrugged. Hob had to answer that question.

'As far as I've heard it was a selfish act by Oor's former mage. He forced the boy into initiation and he only survived because he'd already survived an extraordinary amount of abuse. It ruined both of them. The human was never able to form any sort of attachment to his own kind. Oor remains the most human Harvester out of any. He is the only one to know true regret, and love. It will not surprise me if his sadness turns into rage, and he becomes a senseless creature hell-bent on revenge. Somewhere the creature who killed his mage has to sleep, and he will scour the dreamscape to find her and kill her.'Hob said softly. 'Our kind do not form attachments. We don't love. We don't mourn. We don't regret. A dead mage is seen as a wasted opportunity. Even our mates are treated with scorn, as only a weak Harvester dies before their choosing. Oor mourns, as wholly and as deeply as the humans he hunted. For that, among us he is no longer a Harvester. He is something else.'

"Not quite human, not quite diri." Jon said in understanding. "But um...as for the dream.." He shrugged. "..There is no way. We can look for you, but your mind will drop you in whatever place it feels consistently. I always wake up in Hob's grove because I think of it before I sleep. Maybe we can try thinking of your room? Maybe we can be close to one another when we sleep? Hob, stop grinning. I don't mean like that."
The Harvester chuckled knowingly. 'I've seen humans say less convoluted things to get a man into bed.'
Jon sighed. "What I mean is, we'll be close physically, and we'll see if thats reproduced in the dream. I've met people from across Idalos but it's rare. If I dream, it's usually with people close to me. Maybe that has something to do with it." he suggested. "I can sleep on the floor, I'd just need to be in the same room."
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Jonathan Burr
The Wild Child
 
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