Thursday, June 10, 2004

The Ascended

OK, I (Tayrn O'Ciaragáin) have returned. Apparently one of Mr. Oliphaunt's heroes was testing an unusual weapon recovered during one of his missions.

A few more details on the Ascended might be helpful before explaining their enemies. The Ascended are animals who have become human. Similar to the were wolves of European lore or the Changing Phantoms of Eastern Lore. Unfortunately the legends leave out a few salient details (or, in some cases, refer to similar, but distinct, creatures).

First of all the Ascended appear entirely human. They bear no obviously feral traits. They cannot become the animals that they have ascended from. They cannot become any Hollywood style half-man/half wolf hybrids either. They are simply humans who were once animals.

That is not to say that they do not share some of the traits of the animals they have ascended from. An ascended spider will tend to be patient and wary. An ascended tiger will be fierce and regal. I know from personal experience that an ascended mallard will be lazy and unproductive.

No I am not speaking of Mr. Oliphaunt. You might wonder if he is a transformed animal himself, given his close and friendly association with the ascended and, frankly, given his alias. For my part, I do not know. He has cleverly deflected any such inquiries on my part.

One thing that leads me to suspect he may be something else is that the ascended nearly always show some unusual powers related to their original form. For example I have seen Ascended Spiders entangle their opponents in invisible webs. I have seen Tigers leap upon their enemies from some distance. I have seen Mallards float on water (on a raft. Drinking Marguritas.)

The other key point to understand about the Ascended is that they fear magic in all its forms. Magic has the potential to revert them to their original forms. And once you have enjoyed life as a human, reverting to an animal life is pretty horrifying, I guess. Not to mention that many of their root animals have significantly shorter lifespans than humans.

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