Old September 12, 2013, 08:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Barthelme

 Name:Barthelme
Race: Half-human, half-Sylrosian elf
Age: 47 Ordinations (Physically 50 due to the time anomaly of Summer XXI, though being a half-elf, he shows few signs of actually having aged.)
Location:Aelyria Prime (formerly, though he still has a house there), Arkdün (currently)

Physical Description:

Barthelme is a lean, lanky man who inherited his human father's height (about six feet), and his elven mother's sharp features and pointed ears. His hair is an unremarkable brown though long and unkept, save for a single braid trailing down the right side of his face. His eyes are brown too, and often marked with dark circles under them denoting a lack of restful sleep.

His clothes are all in nondescript earth-tones, and they've seen better eras: both shirt and pants are fraying around the cuffs. While outside, Barthelme will always be seen wearing his brown cloak, whether it's freezing cold or sweltering hot. He will never be found without his battered brown cap on his head. The one piece of ornamentation he owns is the small, simple bronze charm (shaped something like the abstract image of an eye) pinned to brim of that cap, which he will never willingly part with.

UPDATE, SUMMER XXI:
Since becoming a Twisted, Barthelme believes that he has "internalized" the power of his Mind's Eye, and so he no longer feels the need to wear his pin so prominently (though he may still reach for it in times of need), and may not bother wearing his cap any more either. Now that he is working at Arkdün Asylum, he wears his hair cut short, both to present a more professional appearance and because he didn't want to give the dangerous patients there anything to grab on to and drag him around by. There is also a slight crook in his nose where it was once broken months ago.

UPDATE 2, SUMMER XXI:Also, for a while Barthelme had a tattoo of a flaming scorpion on his left shoulder. The patterns and markings appeared to have been seared into his flesh, blackening the surrounding skin.

UPDATE 3, SUMMER XXI: But he kind of hated the thing, so he got rid of it at first opportunity. It's gone now.

UPDATE 4, AUTUMN XXII: Until otherwise noted Barthelme is spending the rest of this season with his left arm in a sling, because his hand had an unfortunate run-in with his Pinnacle Crystal.

UPDATE 5, Era XXIII: The old season ended, so Barthelme's hand is healed by now.

Personality:

Barthelme is an aloof, twitchy sort of fellow, often with a guarded look in his eye. He's quite clever in his way, but quiet and softspoken. Around other people he is extremely reserved, in part because a life spent mostly in isolation has left him rather lacking in social skills... but also because he harbors a dark secret which he must conceal at all costs. For, underneath his rather mousy exterior, Barthelme is possessed of a mind positively simmering in its own warped mental world, which is equal parts wild fantasy and paranoid delusion. Having suffered from intense hallucinations from a young age, Barthelme has great difficulty distinguishing everyday reality from his own mental illusions.

Barthelme believes he has a mysterious connection to a purely mental plane of existence, which he calls "The Overthere," or sometimes "The Other Side." He conceives of it as a place populated by innumerable monsters ("otherlings"), strange and terrible creatures with an infinite variety of grotesque and hideous forms, their "reality" overlapping with the physical world but perceptible only to Barthelme. To him, the shadow of a tree on a windy day... glimpsed out of the corner of his eye... might become a twisted behemoth with a dozen blindly flailing limbs, each covered with a thousand tongues all lapping at the air. A bird passing overhead, too quickly to be clearly seen, might impress itself on Barthelme's mind as having razors for wings and a single, burning eye set deep in its forehead. Or, indeed, he might see some horrible apparition even without any stimulus to prompt its appearance at all.

Not all the "creatures of The Overthere" Barthelme envisions are openly hostile. Many of the "otherlings" he accepts as harmless... and some few he even sees as benign, acting as imaginary friends to comfort him in his loneliness. Still, Barthelme lives in fear of imagined otherworldly beats that prey on mortal minds, stealing their victim's thoughts or even swallowing their minds entirely, and then possessing the empty shell that remains. (In other words, Barthelme might well perceive a completely mundane attacker as a mere flesh-puppet of some horror from The Overthere.) He believes he protects his own mind from being swallowed up by such monsters by the "magic charm" he wears on his hat, which is actually a meaningless ornament handmade by his dear departed father.

Background:

Barthelme's father was a human blacksmith, and his mother was a Sylrosian elf. During his childhood eras they lived together in relative poverty, but also contentment, in Old Prime. Even as a child, Barthelme was a nervous short, shy and high-strung. He was also possessed of a vivid imagination, even more so than most children perhaps... from his earliest brightenings, he was inordinately full of stories about imaginary friends or monsters living under his bed. But as he grew older, these fond illusions were gradually forgotten, as is generally the case while growing up. And they would very likely have remained forgotten, had Barthelme's life not taken a tragic turn shortly after his graduation from the Grammaticus.

Driven by greed or desperation, a small street gang had been tormenting the residents of Barthelme's neighborhood that era, and one darkening it was Barthelme's house that was hit. The situation turned grim fast. Barthelme, who had been asleep when the intruders arrived, never knew the full details of how the altercation began. Under ordinary circumstances, his father would have given up what little they owned to the thieves in exchange for being left in peace. But something had lead him to spring to his family's defense instead. A powerfully built man, he father must have put up an impressive fight... two dead thieves lay on the floor by the time Barthelme came fully awake, but Barthelme's father had fallen, too. A third stranger sat slumped with an elvish dagger in his neck. Barthelme's mother lay slumped over him, badly wounded and hardly breathing.

She would survive for a time, but never fully recovered. Within a cycle she had collapsed into a nearly comatose state. Barthelme's next several months would be spent largely in caring for a mother who had been left as an invalid. Her needs were many, her capabilities few. So far as Barthelme knew, he had no family nearby to turn to for aide. Simply put, he couldn't cope. Brightenings and darkenings slipped by in a desperate blur. And in time, his struggles did come to the attention of the local authorities, who made a visit to his home one brightening to be greeted by an exhausted Barthelme, who explained that his mother was in bed. After a cursory inspection of the premises, the young half-elf was unceremoniously ushered away. It was only much later that Barthelme fully understood: the City Guard had discovered that his mother had already died cycles ago. For the past month or more, he had been tending to a woman who "lived" only in the world of his own imagination.

The City Guard soon did find a relative of Barthelme's to palm him off on: Ozborne, an estranged uncle of his father's who'd had no contact with Barthelme's family since before the half-elf was born. The old man was less than enthused about having a grand-nephew he had scarcely heard about be dropped off into his care under such circumstances, but tried his best to do right by the boy... which must have been difficult, because Barthelme by this point had quite lost touch with reality. Unable to accept that his own mother's life had slipped away without his even realizing it, the youth began weaving elaborate stories of a secret world which existed just beyond this one, where anything that might be imagined existed in a sort of alternate reality. His "creatures from Over There" became his stopgap coping mechanism, as well as the embodiment of his greatest fears. A hidden world of incomprehensible monsters provided an explanation for the madness that had driven his parents' killers, for the creature that had deceived him into believing his mother still lived... for the inability of his Uncle Ozborne and others to understand what Barthelme "saw" and "knew." It explained everything.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Barthelme lived the majority of the intervening time in isolation, spending eras... eventually stretching into decades... as the literal madman living an attic room of his uncle's house. During that time, the monsters from The Overthere became a balm to Barthelme's loneliness, too, as he imagined "friends" for himself to enliven his isolation. Which was not to say that Ozborne was a cruel or even neglectful man. Indeed, the old man did his best. Over the course of the eras, he never gave up hope that Barthelme would one day return to his senses. In the early eras, in lieu of sending Barthelme to Schola, he provided private tutors. (The things that Barthelme learned of foreign creatures and lands would swiftly be woven into his intricate fantasy world.) Uncle Ozborne struggled relentlessly to convince Barthelme that his imaginary creatures didn't exist... eventually succeeding, at least, in teaching him to hide his observations about The Overthere from others.

In desperation, he even consulted a genuine Mystic to see if magic could hold the answer to bringing Barthelme back from his altered state. (Barthelme spoke with the man, for a while The mage's offhand remarks about the Plane of Thought would have a profound effect on the way that the half-elf envisioned his delusional "hidden world.") Ultimately, Ozborne had been unwilling to risk... or perhaps unwilling to pay for... the mystic's proposed solution of magically rewiring Barthelme's brain.

Given limitless time, Ozborne may indeed have found an achievable "cure" for Barthelme's insanity, but in the end it was not to be. Ozborne had been an old man at the time that his grand-nephew entered his life, and Barthelme was partly of elven descent. He remained a relatively young man even while Ozborne slipped into his dotage and eventually died, without ever having produced a permanent solution for what to do with Barthelme. The old man's children adopted the simplest course and simply turned Barthelme loose to his own devices, handing over to him what was left of his dead parents' possessions, along with the deed to his parents' house, and... perhaps out of consideration to any guilt they may have felt over abandoning a relative (however distant and unwanted) to his fate... his fair share of Ozborne's inheritance.

Three eras have passed since then. During that time Barthelme has lived as a veritable hermit in the house where his parents died. (The place still had a reputation for being haunted since then, in part because of all the deaths, but also because of his own discovery as a lunatic. As such, the little house was horribly weathered and half-falling into decay, but mercifully free of squatters when Barthelme arrived.) During that time, he slowly re-learned the basics of such mundane tasks as buying food and finding his way through the city. Also during these eras, he has watched the store of coin left to him by his uncle dwindle bit by bit... lasting as long as it has only by virtue of his extremely frugal nature and few material wants. And the creatures of The Overthere have continued to haunt him, appearing in still greater numbers each cycle, until some darkenings the world itself seemed in danger of being over run.

But Barthelme has not been spending this time idly. Indeed, he has been slowly building his strength in anticipation of his eventual return to society. And he has set his sights on learning the art of mysticism, the mental magic that he hopes will protect him from the predators that stalk The Overthere, and allow him... for the first time in memory... to take back control of his own life.

Wealth:

Winter, XXI:

Reward money, gained here.

Spring, XXI:

Monster hunting reward money, gained here.

As of late Spring XXI, thanks to his employment as an orderly at the Arkdün Asylum, Barthelme's economic status is Steel rank.

Summer XXI:

Large Increase in Wealth (Loot x2!), gained here.

Significant Increase in wealth, gained here.

"Rare Artifact," gained here. Barthelme has since traded this artifact to Razumikhin Neculai, here.

Era XXII

A pouch of copper and silver coins, gained here.

Era XXIII

Money and goods collected from bandits, gained here.

One ruby gem, acquired here.

Lost armor and clothing and had his weapons damaged here here, but picked up a horse, old wagon, and small wealth increase. I guess that kind of makes it a wash?

(Let it be officially noted that Barthelme paid, off-screen, to have his stuff repaired after the above thread.)

Got a medium wealth increase and a free trip back to Arkdün, here.

Got an (apparently sizable) bounty from the Thanes of Drannor, here.

And then this one time Barthelme bought a cow, for reasons that made total sense to him, here.

Also he got paid for helping to kill a disturbing band of cannibal pirates, here.

Major Possessions:

Barthelme owns the following items. A lot of this stuff he keeps at his house; the adventuring gear will usually be on his person.

DespoinaWhen starting out his Staff Quest, Barthelme chose the most gnarled and "twisted" tree he could find. The unfinished staff he collected from that tree was smooth, polished and black. The items bonded to it are a ring of bone (formerly a finger bone from Barthelme's deceased mother), a blue jewel (theoretically containing the Death Essence of a "Maiden," "Mother," and "Crone"), and the Eye of Ygg. For complex reasons the Eye has become an orb of dueling blue and purple energies, contained within a "cage" of splintered wood., his Staff of Arcana. Completed here.
1 visa
5 flasks of water
5 meals worth of rations
Various Steel-rank clothes
1 set of smelly pirate clothesgood quality cloak, tunic, trousers, and boots. Unfortunately, it doesn't smell awesome and no amount of washing can get the stench off!, gained here.
1 robe made of a brilliant white cotton, breathable in the warmth and light in colour so as not to attract the sun's burning rays. Along the bottom trim of the robe and the cuffs a series of black and gold filigree jumped from the edges to the knees and elbows, resembling a whirlwind not unlike those found in the desert. Gained here.
1 Mask of Terror (Dark metal mask carved into the shape of an elf's face, with white crystal lenses hiding the eyes. A holy symbol of Risthal), gained here.
1 writing kit with 1 wooden quill, 1 fine nib, 1 broad nib, 2 oz. ink pot (black), 1 parchment journal (100 pages)
1 bar of soap
1 deed to a basic tenement (Specifically, the deed to the hovel that his parents died in.)
1 purse, worn at his belt
1 back-up purse, kept in his backpack, gained here
1 small gold ring shaped to look like a dragon with rubies for eyes, gained here
1 small rabbit's foot, gained here
2 shaved dice, gained here
1 bone amulet carved into the stylized representation of a bearded man on one side and a woman on the other side, and attached to a leather loop, gained here
1 perfectly mundane bronze charm, shaped something like the outline of an eye, with a single red tassel hanging from it (Barthelme keeps it pinned to the brim of his cap at all times, because he believes it keeps creatures from "the Overthere" from stealing his thoughts or possessing him. It is, in effect, his tinfoil hat.)
2 daggers, one worn at his belt, the other kept in his backpack
1 Limited Pirate EditionAll pirates will recognize this item and will allow you access into exclusive pirate-only locations throughout the Empire and beyond rusty dagger, gained here. (Geez he has a lot of daggers...)
1 twisted dagger (Hooked tip, raven engraved on hilt, with small rubies for eyes), gained here. This one he usually leaves at home.
1 barbari knife of some kind, gained here.
The Needy Flail: A black, shiny magic flail that tries to follow him around! Gained here.
1 magic ring: it's a gold band with the word "Glinnaur" written on it in Elvish. When used, it glows like a star. Gained here.
3 gemstones, gained here.
1 silver ring, gained here.
Nightmare Shards (uncommon Arcana reagent, known affinity for Mysticism), gained here.
Serewood Crystal: A colorless diamond that can be fitted into a ring or necklace with strange runes inscribed within its endless facets. When held, it allows the user to remember any dream or memory of theirs in great, vivid detail. The gem can also 'store' one store memories given freely by others, one at a time. (Gained here.)
Pinnacle Crystal: A black mineral shaped like an obelisk. It is extremely dense, akin to diamond, and may be used as a weapon. But it cannot be reforged or mixed with other materials since it seems to deteriorate and degrade inorganic objects placed near it. When one looks upon the mirror-like surface, they can see their greatest fears and nightmares vividly, as if reliving the experience. (Gained here.)
1 small piece of Xetan scorpion carapace, gained here.
"Bane of the Awoken,"A curved silver dagger that has no noticeable magical properties. It is exquisitely crafted and its hilt appears to be made of bone. The blade is mirror-like and becomes translucent under intense suns-light. It has superior balance and fits very well in Barthelme’s grip. gained here. It has since received a mysterious upgrade(?)Then the fancy dagger in Barthelme’s hand began to grow cold in his grasp. When he glanced down, he noticed that the blade was no longer translucent but the same shifting colors as Sylaphormes’ scales. What other changes did his dagger undergo to mirror its original owner? Only time (and use) would tell!, here.
Sand Viper Leather, gained here. (Since crafted into leather armor.)
Giant seagull feathers, gained here, and since crafted into a set of clothes.
Wraith Scales x 3, gained here.
Djinn Ash x 2, gained here.
Blasted Bits - particles that hum with power. Minor spellbreaking seed. Gained here.
Ash and DustAll that remains of your character’s clothes and armor. Alchemical and Arcanic reagent. May be valuable to the right people., "gained" here.
”Specter Shields” - Barthelme has three two copper coins that are contaminated. They appear to shift in and out of existence to onlookers. Mysticism seeds. Gained here.
1 "Shadow Fiend Amulet" (broken), gained here.
Basic grafting kit (with all relevant materials and surgical tools), anatomy books. Acquired here.
1 backpack
2 wool blankets
1 small mirror (broken)
1 small mirror (not broken)
Silken Sleeping BagBarthelme first believed that he was given a sleeping bag ...for his middle finger. It was more than enough space for a sleepy fae, though, but it would've served him little purpose. But the silk sleeping bag proved its use when it expanded to something more convenient for a human or half elf to easily sleep inside of. It had a durable shell on the exterior and a fluffy, feathery interior for optimal comfort. The only downside: it smelled like a flock of chicken who hung out with a flock of sheep ..., gained here.
Active moon rockIt was opaque, the little flakes of metal reflecting the sunlight off the pockmarked surface of the rock. The piece he'd chipped off was about the size of his palm, kind of a bent pyramid shape, and the minute he let it go from his fingers it rose up a bit above his palm, floating in space., purchased from Razumikhin Neculai here.
1 small tent
Other miscellaneous camping gear (cooking utensils, flint and steel, small hatchet)
A few miscellaneous sticks and bones.
A large ball of multicolored yarn.
Fintagel coinsA small leather pouch of coins and strange forms of currently native to Fintagel, including silver walnuts, bronze pine cones, and a single petrified dragonfly.. Barthelme will never spend them; he's keeping them as a memento of "Mr. Todd." One will always be tied in to Barthelme's Twisted Dreamcatcher. Gained here.
1 rusty dagger, engraved with the name Todd M. Smith. So Mr. Todd was actually Mr. Smith...? Gained here. Kept in Barthelme's house, in memoriam of Todd.
1 spyglass, which Barthelme bought way back aboard The Sire, and has carried with him since then.
 


Various monster parts from the Lost Isle:
Secrets :
Elephant Turtle Carapaces x 1 (exotic, extremely durable but feels hollow; other properties unknown if any); may be crafted into bony plate armor set that mimics high quality steel plate armor but half the weight.
Jumbo Seaslug flakes x 5 (exotic, known adhesive when mixed with saltwater. Dissolves in freshwater. Other properties, if any, are unknown)
Zaratan Gem Fragments x 1 (exotic, gray crystals dust, strangely warm to the touch, tastes weird and acts like a powerful stimulant; other properties unknown if any)
Massive Mushroom pollen x 1 (exotic, known seed for Druidism)
Towering Tarantula hairs x 1 (exotic, unknown properties if any)
Mammoth Man-o-War Jellyfish tentacles x 1 (exotic, extremely potent poison)
Chunks of Faux-Hitch x 1 (exotic; petrified wood-like with a very coarse texture covered with lichen, barnacles, and sea anemones; properties, if any, unknown)
Scorpionfish Chimera Poisonous Spines x 4 (exotic; paralytic poison; other properties unknown if any); may be crafted into multiple arrowpoints or spear-points each by a skilled fletcher or blacksmith. Its poisonous effects will remain but will be temporary and lost over time / use.
Mystery Skeletal Remains x 3 (exotic, fossilized bone from unknown species of animals/humanoids; other properties unknown if any); may be crafted into a single blunt weapon (staff, quarter staff, club) that is extremely durable but weighs half normal steel.
Flying Spider Queen’s Eggs (exotic, marble-sized pollen grains of various hues, known seed for Druidism; other properties unknown if any)



Various items and alchemical reagants gained from Ygg, the Demon Tree:

Secrets :
Eye of Ygg - this magical object resonates with Barthelme’s Staff of Arcana. It looks like a black sphere of wood. It hums with power and is extremely dense and durable. His jerk-of-a-stave might be ready to conclude the Rite of Discovery. Unique.
Ygg’s Crown - a circlet of blackwood with thorns that protrude outward without harming the wearer. Its magical nature is obvious to the Mystic who was able to identify it with great effort. The Crown, when worn, will turn the user into a blackwood tree. This Tree Form will persist until the Crown is removed (by another person) or for a duration of ten candlemarks. It may be used once per brightening. Unique.
Demon Bark - known reagent and entropy / elementalism seed. Rare.
Demon Roots - known reagent and entropy / druidism seed. Rare.
Demon Dirt - known reagent and extremely rich source of fertilizer. Rare.Used to fertilize a patch of "Terror Pumpkins" in Barthelme's yard!



After the events of the Pumpkin Party:



Barthelme also has the beginnings of a small menagerie:

Secrets :
One Duroh's Devil/"Nightmare Hyena," gained here.

One "Otherling Pig" with Grafted-on slug skin, gained here.


Last edited by Barthelme; August 19, 2017 at 10:49 AM.
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Old September 27, 2013, 06:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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 Magic:

Secrets :
Old rules of Mysticism:

Initiate Spells

Awareness
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

The spell of Awareness is cast by Altering a field of mana around the caster, and then using that field to detect any form of magical occurance or other arcanic spells that might be present.

Enfeeblement
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

The spell of Enfeeblement can be cast by altering the mana into a matrix, and then placing the matrix in the mind of someone to block their motor skills, causing them to lose strength and the will to move about. This will effectively stop them from being able to make any quick motions or any motion at that if it is used at a high enough proficiency. At the initiate level, it will slow down their motions, and make them sluggish at best.

Invisibility
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By using Alteration the mystic can alter the field of energy around him to make himself unseen by changing the perception of the field of energy that is around him. This will cause others to see nothing in the form of anything physical.

Objectify
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

This spell works the same as Invisibility. By Altering a field of energy around themselves, they can give off the image of an object of the same or lesser mass than the mystic using the spell. This effectively makes them look, feel, sound, and smell like any of the objects the mystic might wish to take on the persona of.

Psionic Orb
Duration: Instant
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By Evoking a ball of psionic energy, a mystic can cause a disruptions of the nuerons in a person, and stun or immobilize them for a short duration of time.

Reveal
Duration: Instant
Targets: Single - Others
Range: Close or Medium Proximity

Divining the mana into ones mind can allow a mystic to access it and read the thoughts of someone. They can better know the feelings, emotions, and read the thoughts of their targets.

Spell Nullify*
Duration: Instant
Targets: Area of Effect
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By Altering a field of energy around them, the mystic can effectively instill it with the spirit or coherence, which will allow the field to anticipate the spell being cast, and counter it. This will allow the mystic to nullify any spells cast at him instantly. This only works for spells of the same or lower proficiency as the caster that created the spell nullify field, and can only handle one to two spells depending on the proficiency levels of the two casters.

Suggestion
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Close or Medium Proximity

Divining a thought into a person's mind will effectively suggest the person to do something for them. They will have an overwhelming urge to follow the suggestion that's been placed in their mind, and will not be able to stop themselves from following it. At the initiate level one can only put in very simple suggestions, but at higher proficiencies, these suggestions can be more vivid, and have more of an effect upon the target.

Terrify
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Close Proximity

By Divining an image of something scary, a mystic can instill fear into their subject, causing them to become very afraid, and making it so that they can't comprehend what is happening to them. The target will be unable to control their fear, and attempt to escape from the image that is causing the fear.

Custom spells imbued by Lightem Massani


Name: Telepathy
Level: Initiate
Target: Others
Duration: Temporary
Description: The Mystic is able to Divine his own thought into one's mind, creating a temporary link between both minds, allowing them to talk with the other via thinking.

Name: Serum Visions
Level: Initiate
Duration: Temporarily
Description: Just like animals, the mystic is able to Divine mana into its eyes in order to gave them different ways to see, like see at 360 degrees, sound waves, the temperature of the surroundings around him and also increase the reach of the human eye. With practice, a skilled mystic is able to use all these ways to see at once (Although an Initiate would only be able to sustain one aspect, an Journeyman two, an Adept three, and so on, given the stress caused by having so much sensory information being processed).
- 360 Degree Vision: The mystic is able to see through a field of 360 degree vision, allowing him to see behind, above, and below him without moving his head;
- Infrared Vision: The mystic is able to sense fields of varying temperature in the area, from bodies to random objects;
- Sonar Vision: The mystic is able to see and identify sound waves in the area and its origin;
- Telescopic Vision: The mystic's directional range of vision is greatly enhanced.

Journeyman Spells


Alliance
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By using the process of Divination a mystic can gain the trust and alliance of someone who very well might have previously disliked them, or didn't care for them for any reason. After the spell wears off, the person will return to their normal state of mind.

Animation
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Area of Effect
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

A mystic can use the spell shaping technique of Conjuration to conjure up an entity from the plane of thought, which will start off imaginary, but then gain a physical constitution and be able to do work, or obey commands that they mystic gives it. For the Animation to be able to obey commands though, one must Divine the commands into the Animation's mind, so that it will effectively obey the mystic. After a bit of time though, when the spells effects start to wear off, the animation will return to being imaginary, and then disappear back to the plane of Thought. At higher proficiencies the animation will stay on the material plane longer, and can be larger in size, and stronger in constitution.

Cripple
Duration: Instant
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By abjuring a psionic shock towards an energy field, a mystic can then evoke it into the shield, which will damage the shield significantly, or abolish it all together. This will only work for shields of the mystic's proficiency or lower.

Illusion
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

Altering a field of mana around ones self is how to start this spell. The mystic can then divine the mana to look like something of roughly the same mass as the person casting. This spell works the same as objectify, and will allow the person to look, feel, smell, and sound the same as the illusion they casted.

Mesmerize
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Close Proximity

By Divining the mana into the mind of the victim, with the purpose or mesmerizing them, the mystic can stop someone from moving, or attacking for a brief duration of time. At higher proficiencies, the mystic can effectively halt them for longer periods of time.

Mind Shackle
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

Divining the mana into the mind of a target, a mystic can cause the target to remain in battle, and be unable to flee.

Psionic Shock
Duration: Instant
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

The Mystic will first abjure a flow of energy through the targets body, and then evoke it, causing a psionic shock that will make the victim spasm uncontrollably, and cause moderate damage to the victim.

Regress
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity

By altering the mana into a few matrixes, they mystic can then divine them into certain parts of someone's mind, which would block their speed receptors, causing them to have slower reactions, less coherent thinking, and poor coordination.

Sentinel
Duration: Temporary

Targets: Area of Effect
Range: Close or Medium Proximity
A mystic can alter the mana into a field, and then divine their mind into that field, so that they will be able to sense everything that is happening in that area. By doing this, they will be aware of anyone or anything's movement, know what they are doing, and basically will be able to sense everything that is occuring during that time. The spell will last longer at higher proficiencies, and the mystic can cover more area at higher proficiencies.

Arcane Techniques

Initiate

Clara (Focus): In order to begin the casting process, a mage must clear his mind of the distractions around him by focusing on his inner vis reserves. This is may be achieved within moments regardless of level, providing severe distractions occurring around the mage do not incapacitate him. A successful focus sharpens arcane weaves present around and within a mage, allowing them to view where the concentrations of arcanic energy reside. Each mage encounters these energies differently, seeing different colors or even hearing sounds. This heightened sense is known as clara.

Channel: Once properly focused, a mage can pull the ara around them, combining it with their inner reserves of vis, instigating an arcanic reaction where the energy of the essence begins to manifest as mana. The mage can then shape the mana into a resultant spell and, when completed, release it, casting the spell.

Cast: While every spell requires the same process of channeling, followed by a proper shaping, once a mage has been properly imparted, or taught, a spell, a simple mental recall of the pattern can produce the resultant weave.

Dispel: Mages are also taught as Initiates how to unweave a spell. It is a complicated technique and most mages will only succeed through continuing practice on spells that they either recognize or that are comparatively simple to their expertise. Further, mages may find it more difficult and timely to dispel magic from other arcane spheres.

Dispelling At Higher Levels: If a spell has been cast utilizing a Staff, Reagent or Amplify, the mage that attempts to Dispel it will require a staff in all situations, unless they have previously Amplified their power. This enables them to handle the power that results from the unleashed spell without suffering backlash or outright failure.

Circle: Drawing or carving a circle enables a mage to erect a barrier that interferes with the flow of arcane essence and material form of all objects and creatures that would pass through it. Circles are typically either designed to keep things out, or to keep things in. An Initiate will begin fashioning small circles that are generally weak, but over time they shall increase in both size and power. Circles are created by flowing raw unshaped mana into the circumference of the design and manipulating that mana to meet with the mage's desire. Circles work best against arcana, such as enclosing summoned creatures or keeping the spells of other mages out and away from the mage inside the circle. Physical, non-arcanic items, such as swords or arrows, may initially be repelled by the circle, but persistent attempts to break through the arcanic barrier should ultimately result in a successful breach. It should be noted that stronger mages produce stronger circles, making them better suited to deterring physical assaults.

Journeyman

Amplify: A technique taught when the mage seeks to advance his training, Amplify expands the mage's personal vis reservoirs, allowing him to cast more spells and engage in the use of more shaping techniques during the formation of a spell. One of the more ritualistic aspects of arcana, Amplify requires the construction of a circle around the mage, which is then structured to both prevent entry and exit through its boundaries. A series of symbols, usually ranging in number from four to six, depending on the mage, are drawn on the ground within the circle. These symbols are personal to the mage, with no practitioner using the same set of markings. With the symbols in place, the mage marks each on with a drop of their own blood. This can be achieved by simply pricking a fingertip and smudging the blood that forms onto each symbol. Surrounding himself with symbols potent to the mage and his own blood, he creates a powerful circle that enhances his vis reservoirs within as he focuses. The length of this ritual takes anywhere from several minutes to a full candlemark or longer, depending entirely on the mage undertaking it and the rank they wish to achieve (Amplifying from an Initiate to a Journeyman takes less time than a Master Amplifying to become an Archmage). Mages have been known to experience strange visions or dreams as they Amplify their reserves. A mage may Amplify before his mind and body is prepared to take on the additional vis, however this results in a temporary state of being that dissipates once used or within a brightening after the ritual. The depletion tends to be severe, resulting in extreme lethargy and exhaustion. As a special note, Amplification can only be used for one spell, meaning once a mage has Amplified, their reservoir of vis may be put towards a single spell, after which the mage becomes exhausted and fully depleted. If a mage is attempting to cast a spell that does not require Amplification, the spell may go haywire if careful control is not taken of how the spell is formed. Amplification can never be drawn out over several spells and does not allow for the use of additional Technique shapings if the Amplification does not result in Promotion.

Spontaneous Amplification: In rare instances, mages may experience the Amplify technique without preparing a circle and going through the ritual. However, it typically happens when the mage is surrounded by items or markings that are symbolic or personal in nature to him. [Moderator's Note: In order for this to happen spontaneously (and permanently) to a character, they must first have the prerequisite experience to advance a level.]

Activate: Once accustomed to focusing, mages can perceive arcane essence in items or objects in the material world, which tend to be imbued or enchanted with the effects of a spell. Often called amulets, these artifacts can have their spells cast by focusing upon them, rather than upon other energy. It is a perilous task, for an incorrect channel can result in an explosion that engulfs and obliterates the object.

Impart: Journeymen can teach the knowledge of a spell to another mage. The technique of Imparting a spell's formula involves placing the pattern within the mind of the mage.

Unbind: A Journeyman can pierce the shadows surrounding others and lift the veil, enabling them to perceive and practice magic. By Unbinding a person, the Journeyman more or less takes some degree of responsibility for the outcome. It is also possible for Journeymen to Unbind objects, releasing any latent disorganized magical essence imbued within, and to harvest arcane materials for rituals. When Unbound, an Initiate may experience a vivid vision or dream, personal and unique to himself.



Secrets :
Spell List

Initiate

Bind
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Psionic Orb
Description:
The Mystic can target an area on an opponent with psionic energy, inhibiting the target’s neural system’s control there.
Detection
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Sentinel
Description:
By spreading their mental senses out in the area around them, the mystic can use that field to detect any form of magical occurrence or other arcane spells at their level or below that might be present.

Invisibility
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Mind Control
Description:
Note: This spell cannot be resisted. Its effects can be negated only if it is successfully dispelled before reaching the target.

The Mystic can make himself unseen by replicating the continuity of visual data around him in the minds of those nearby. This spell creates passive Invisibility and renders him unseen by any affected onlookers.

Voice of Thought
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Area of Effect
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Mind Control
Description:
Voice of Thought allows sentient beings to communicate with each other over some distance. At low levels, a distance of several rooms is normal while higher level mystics can cast this spell to allow multiple beings across a wide distance to communicate.

Objectify
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Mind Control
Description:
Note: This spell cannot be resisted. Its effects can be negated only if it is successfully dispelled before reaching its target.

The Mystic can give off the image of an object of the same or lesser mass than himself. This effectively makes them look, feel, sound, and smell like the mimicked object to any onlooker affected by the spell.

Journeyman

Thoughtweave
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Close Proximity
Type: Psionic Orb
Description:
The Mystic damages a target’s brain and higher reasoning functions with pure psionic energy. The degree of the spell’s effect will increase over time from minor slowing to reduction of rational thinking and spellcasting to total unconsciousness and coma-like symptoms.

Memory Lapse
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Psionic Orb
Description:
A psionic blast divined into the target’s senses causes an interrupt in the short-term memory of the victim. This delays the target’s completion of the current action and obfuscates the mind’s intentions to the point of stopping action entirely.

Illusion
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Mind Control
Description:
Note: This spell cannot be resisted. Its effects can be negated only if it is successfully dispelled before reaching its target.

The mystic creates a field that resembles any object or entity he may imagine. While the illusion has no physical form and never manifests on the material plane, the senses of those that choose to physically interact with it can be fooled through false sensations.

Adept

Forbidden Path
Required: Staff of Arcana or Unknown Reagent
Duration: Instant
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Close Proximity
Type: Psionic Orb
Description:
The mystic implants a mental resistance in a target's mind against executing a particular action. If the target persists in executing the action, the energy will detonate, causing extreme damage.

Alacrity
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Self or Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Mind Control
Description:
The Mystic imbues psionic energy into the neural links to strengthen them, and allow a person to act more quickly, have faster reaction times, be more dexterous in combat, and have faster spellcasting times.

Dampening Matrix
Duration: Temporary
Targets: Single - Other
Range: Touch or Close Proximity
Type: Nullify
Description:
The Mystic creates a field around the caster to reduce the effectiveness of all spells passing through the field other than his. Higher level spells will simply have their effects reduced while low level spells may be dismantled altogether. The Dampening Matrix will fade over time or after its strength has been depleted.

Arcane Techniques

Amplify: Amplify expands the mage's personal vis reservoirs, allowing him to cast more spells, make a single spell more powerful, or permanently increase in level. This is the usual way mages are promoted to the next level. It can be done one of three ways.
Temporary Amplification: On occasion, a personal, crafted ritual or situations of high stress or concentration can bring about a one-time amplification that the mage can use to empower one spell far above his level. After casting it, his entire vis store is depleted and he will feel exhausted and unable to cast again until the next day.

Ritualistic Amplification: The mage draws a circle around himself and inscribes a series of personal symbols usually ranging in number from four to six inside it. Each is marked with a drop of the mage’s own blood. The mage stands in the center and focuses, often experiencing strange dreams or visions. The length of this ritual takes anywhere from several minutes to a full candlemark or longer, directly proportional to the level attempting to be achieved.

Spontaneous Amplification: In rare instances of high stress or concentration, mages may experience the Amplify technique without any preparation. However, it typically happens when the mage is surrounded by items or markings that are symbolic or personal in nature to him.

Note: Characters must first have the prerequisite experience to advance a level in order for the amplify to be permanent. In all other cases it will be temporary.
Cast: Once unbound to an essence, the mage can then mix it with their personal vis to create mana, the material used to weave a particular spell. The success of this process is dependent on the well-being of the caster’s mental state (severe distractions can prevent the mage from controlling the essence), the lack of arcane contamination (higher levels lead to sporadic, uncontrolled casting) and the density of essence present (higher amounts lead to higher success with more dramatic effect).

Counterspell: Mages can use their mana to do an “unweaving” of another mage’s spell as soon as it manifests through arcalysis. This requires an exact back-tracking; a mage can only unweave a spell from their sphere, no other, and at or below their same level. If the spell has been amplified or cast with a reagent or staff, the dispelling mage must have the same material to be successful. The amount of mana the counterspell consumes, whether successful or not, is more than the amount used to cast the original spell. The amount of time spent preparing the counterspell directly increases the chances of success.

Create Spell: The time honored technique of Create Spell is often what divides a brilliant mage from a mediocre magician. By utilizing the aspects of his essence, the mage may create unique spells beyond what has been imparted to him. This technique is used to create a mage's Masterpiece, a spell that fully defines his personal use of his ability while lending something new and extraordinary to the sphere.

Imbue: A mage can form mana to create a weave, but instead of manifesting it on the Material Plane, it can be stored in an inanimate object, such as a ring or an amulet. This process is not immediate, often taking a cycle or more, and requires experimentation for the mage to learn their individual style. The same spell may be stored up to a maximum of three times to create a finite number of charges in the item, costing the mage’s vis as usual with each cast. The stored spell can then later be activated by a “key word” that costs no mana by any mage of any sphere.
Note: The stored spell cannot require any special empowerment, such as temporary amplification or an arcane reagent.
Further Reading: Amulets
Impart: A mage can teach another mage a spell by putting the spell’s weave and pattern into their mind. The recipient must be of the same sphere and appropriate level to be able to understand the spell. Spells cannot be imparted to the mundane or to other spellcasters of different spheres.

Unbind: A mage can remove the veil surrounding a mundane person’s mind, enabling them to perceive and practice one essence of magic. The newly-unbound mage will experience a vivid dream or vision, personal and unique to himself, and will then be able to cast spells. Mages may also unbind an already-unbound mage to create a Hedgemage, attuned to a maximum of two essences.
Note: Only Apprentice or higher mages may unbind; Initiates may not.
Further Reading: Hedgemages


  • It turns out that Barthelme didn't need anyone to Unbind him... because he already Unbound to begin with. What a twist!(Your Mind Makes It Real)
  • His efforts at attaining Clara, after much trial and effort, result in success... and 1 XP in Arcana (Your Mind Makes It Real)
  • Barthelme is imbued with all initiate-level Mysticism spells by a crazy halfling mushroom-addict. He also gets 2 XP in Mysticism. (At the Mountains of Madness)
  • Barthelme's Mystic Begging plans didn't go so well, but they did next him 1XP in Mysticism (A Centime for Your Thoughts?)
  • Though Usira was hogging most of the action with her claws and teeth and funky powers, Barthelme still manages to cast a spell and get 1 XP in Mysticism! (Memories of Olde, Chapter I: Remember the Eastward Path)
  • Barthelme's magical efforts while investigating a sea monster earn him 1 XP in Mysticism, making him a Journeyman-level mage! (A Few Brave Souls)
  • Barthelme's bounty hunting exploits net him 1 XP in Mysticism! (How Not to Go to Prison)
  • Barthelme loses two Otherlings (don't worry, they can't really die...) and gains 1 XP in Mysticism! ([Memories of Olde] “Chapter II: Remember the Pinnacle”)
  • Barthelme cast a lot of spells during an undead invasion! His efforts were mostly futile, but he still got 1 XP in Mysticism. ( [Borderlands] Chapter VIII: “Remember the Forgotten”)
  • Barthelme's efforts in the mysterious Fun House won him 1 XP in Mysticism. (Fun House)
  • Barthelme went to war against the Xet! (He sucked at it. It was awful.) Still, he gained 1XP in Mysticism! (What did he learn? Don't try to use Mysticism against the Xet, that's what!) (Vindictis Aelyrianus!)
  • Barthelme's run of misfortune in time portals continues! But he still makes off with 1 XP in Mysticism. (By Worrying About the Future)
  • Barthelme's strange adventure in Primus Gaudeo earns him 1 XP in Mysticism, and he makes the acquaintance of Madelyn Twist! On the other hand he is now wanted in that city for a murder that he technically didn't commit. (A Rough Night)
  • Barthelme turned into a giant monster, woke up with an embarrassing tattoo, help kill an ancient abomination, and gained 1 XP in Mysticism! ([Borderlands] Chapter IX: The Djinn and the Deep Blue Sea")
  • Barthelme nearly got roped into marriage with an unwilling woman! But in the end he triumphed triumphantly, earning 1 XP in Mysticism. Also, he got rid of that scorpion tattoo.(Get Rid of That Scorpion)
  • Barthelme survives the disastrous first leg of a wild ocean journey, bends a bunch of pirates to his will using nothing more than a Voice of Thought spell and a couple of Suggestions, and earns 1 XP in Mysticism. ([Northern Seas] Chapter X: “The Lost Isle Again”)
  • Barthelme gets his Staff of Arcana! Sort of. It turns out to be kind of a jerk. (Wabbajack!)
  • Barthelme's efforts to subdue his rebellious Staff of Arcana end in... what? Failure? Stalemate? Anyway, he earns 1 XP in Mysticism. (Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc)
  • Barthelme gains and loses a Mystic mentor, recaptures a mental patient, Ascends to Adept, and gains 2 XP in Mysticism. Not necessarily in that order. (Nightmare's Most Silent Scream)
  • Upon the completion of the perilous voyage to the Lost Isle, Barthelme gains 1 XP in Mysticism! Mostly for casting Voice of Thought spells. Also terrorizing some giant slugs. (Lost Isle, Part 2)
  • In Round 2 of Barthelme vs. staff-Otherling, Barthelme inches ever so slightly closer to achieving an understanding with the creature, kind of. He also gets 1 XP in Mysticism. (Staff Quest: Knight of Staves)
  • Barthelme's efforts toward solving the mystery of the White Rabbit netted him 1 XP in Mysticism. (The Tribulations That Started at Tisi Trails)
  • Barthelme teaches a cether named Dargin Mysticism, and gains 1 XP in Mysticism himself. (A Mystic We Will Go, A Mystic We Will Go)
  • Barthelme's mostly-disastrous moon rock investigation nets him 1 XP in Mysticism when he Mind Controls all and sundry. ([Warsteed Downs] Doing the Moon Walk)
  • Barthelme's investigation of the magic mirror he found went horribly wrong, and also horribly, horribly right. He ended up murdering a whole bunch of people and earning 1 XP in Mysticism. (The Mirror Lied)
  • Barthelme fires up the ol' Mysticism when Arkdün comes under attack by pirates returning from beyond the veil, to the tune of 1XP. (The Haunting of Arkdün)
  • Barthelme's attempt at Mind Controlling pirates en masse fails miserably, but still scores him 1 XP in Mysticism. (Boats Are Just the Worst)
  • Barthelme's Staff Quest finally starts gaining traction again. He also gains 1 XP in Mysticism. (To Divine the Future)
  • Barthelme goes to fight a monster tree, and forms a strange link with its alien mind. His various Mystic efforts earn him 1 XP in Mysticism. ([Drannor] Ygg, the Demon Tree)
  • One time Barthelme got bored and entered a tournament. Things went poorly. +1 XP in Mysticism. (Round I)
  • Another leg of Barthelme's Staff Quest completed; more True Facts about Mysticism learned. +1 XP. (Focus on the Now, for That is the Key)
  • Barthelme cast a bunch of spells on cows, and, like, one on a person! +1 XP! (The Cow Jumped Over the Moon)
  • Barthelme throws a bunch of spells around, and ends up abducting a "Nightmare Hyena." Fun times! +1XP (How to Train Your Pokopuff)
  • Barthelme casts a bunch of spells while investigating a mysterious Otherling pumpkin patch! His brain totally tells him that place belonged to Risthal. (Pumpkin Party Uno)
  • Barthelme teaches Baexae Initiate Mysticism, kills a bunch of Grey Snakes, and learns extra special lessons about Mysticism himself. +1XP (People Picking)
  • Mo' pirates, mo' Mysticism. Barthelme sinks a pirate galleon with Ygg's Crown and gets +1XP. (There's this Fog)
  • As Sacrum burned, Barthelme used some Mysticism to protect himself from runaway Peace Essence, and gained 1 XP. ([Schism] Parabola)
  • Barthelme and Sylaphormes stopped a deranged Necro-Mystic from murdering and torturing more people. Barthelme learned still more very special lessons about Mysticism, or something. (Incantation of Utter Darkness)
  • Barthelme casts almost no spells at all, but nonetheless learns major secrets of Mysticism while completing his Staff of Arcana. +2XP. (There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow)
  • Barthelme taught a dracon named Alekto Mysticism, and honed his own skills in the process. +1XP (A Summer Evening)
  • While pursuing Mastery of the Mystic arts, Barthelme invented a "Dream Bond" spell, and gained 1 XP in Mysticism (May You Rest in a Deep and Dreamless Slumber)
  • Barthelme learned a thing or two about Mysticism while apprehending an escaped mental patient, with the assistance of Moss Oktra'rek. +1XP (Guerillas in the Myst)
  • Barthelme fiddled with some Mysticism while trying to reunite his dead parents, and got 1 XP. (Together in Death)

Total Mystic XP: 44 (Adept)

Grafting:
  • Barthelme is taught the basics of Grafting by a Twisted known as Granny Mai (2XP) (To a Twisted Twee is Torture)
  • Barthelme puts his Grafting skills to use while acting as a back-alley surgeon/unofficial field medic! ([Chapter I: "The King's Bounty"] The Blood Price)
  • Barthelme successfully anesthetizes a rampaging warden and earns 1 XP in Grafting! If the warden carries plague to the mainland, let the record show that Barthelme had warned of this and wanted to operate!(Chapter 2: The Steward's Siege)
  • Barthelme treats a cow's broken leg by amputating it and Grafting on the leg of a different cow in its place. +1 XP. (The Cow Jumped Over the Moon)
  • Barthelme wanted to Graft slug skin on a pig, and somehow ended up embarking on a long quest in which he Grafted all kinds of things and did battle with a mysterious shadow-summoning cult. His persistence eventually paid off to the tune of 2 XP in Grafting. (The Monster Within)

Total Grafting XP: 7 (Professional)

Dagger:Total Dagger XP: 10 (Veteran)

Demir Kum:
Total Demir Kum XP: 4 (Basic)

Thievery:
  • Barthelme planned an elaborate heist to reunite the bones of his dead parents. That makes him a hardened thief, almost! +1 XP (Together in Death)

Total Thievery XP: 1 (Untrained)

Lore:
  • Barthelme's research in the Bibliotheke Arkanos pays off to the tune of +1XP Arcane Knowledge. (Mad Psions!)
  • Barthelme was falsely accused of being possessed by a Time Wraith, and all he got was 1XP in Arcane Theory! [The Grid--Seasonal Event] The Armory
  • Barthelme met a charming Linn Feanii woman (and her obnoxious little brother, and their horrible, horrible pig). Their conversation, and Valrie's offer to tell his fortune, contributed to his understanding of the Overthere, and gained him +1XP in Arcane Knowledge. (Free and Easy Wandering)

Grand total of 3XP in knowing about all matters arcane!

Through many candlemarks of diligent research at the Bibliotheke Arkanos in Aelyria Prime, Barthelme has IC knowledge of the following lore articles:

(These links are all outdated now. Suffice to say, Barthelme knows lore about the way these things were, before the multiverse changed.)

A Primer to Arcana
Treatise on Mysticism
Introduction to Planar Cosmology
Kaimelea
Risthal
Azaru
Arcane Contamination
The Book of Coins
Changeling Syndrome
Grafting
Quackery
Adjuration
A Primer to the Gods
The Church of Faith
The Dreamwalkers
The Twisted
Ainlar
Humans: Linn Feanii, learned here.

Barthelme now also knows super-useful Lore in:

Nightmares, Bunnies, & Mystics
Fae'rel and Things Not to Do There

And thanks to his adventures on Terramarique, he also has Lore in:

“Free Men”
“Gnome Grafting / Healing / Jaw Reconstruction”
“Field Medic / Grafter”

After Warsteed Downs, he has lore in:

"Meteorology"

After an adventure in Medonia, he has lore in:

Murder in the Midlands
Abandoned Farmhouse (location)

After helping to fight a monstrous tree, Barthelme has lore in:

Lore: “Demon Trees & You”
Lore: “Missed Connections”
Lore: “Complex Contamination Machinations”
 

Last edited by Barthelme; April 17, 2018 at 10:14 PM.
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 Twisted Chronology:
  • Barthelme's Induction, in which he became a Guuan. (Sleep Tight! Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!) (Complete)
  • Barthelme's initial training, during which he recruits a talented dreamer named Khepri as a Twisted. (Beyond the Wall of Sleep (Complete)
  • After completing a quest for Risthal, Barthelme is promoted to Nactau: a priest of the Twisted order. (Nightmare Moon) (Complete)
  • Barthelme crafts a nightmare for Corwin, inadvertently turning him into a crazy Jorel worshipper! (Have a Nice Dream, See You in Aeternia) (Complete)
  • Barthelme crafts a nightmare for Lyna Gil'dae, driving her even crazier than she already was, but failing to recruit her as a Twisted. (Have I ever told you... the definition of insanity?) (Complete)
  • Barthelme crafts a nightmare for Sima Amarael, driving the gnome quite mad and revealing that he is qualified to become a Twisted. (Rusty Dream Machine) (Completed)
  • Barthelme successfully inducts Sima into the Twisted. (Madmoonlight) (Complete)
  • Barthelme trains Guuan Maximillian on the finer points of Dream Possession (Maximillian I) (Complete)
  • Barthelme carefully begins his efforts to turn the mental patients at the Arkdün Asylum into Twisted.(Twisted Do What Madmen Dream)
  • Having connected with Lyna Gil'dae in the waking world, Barthelme returns to her nightmares to try and make amends as Bithisarea. She's... not thrilled to see him again. But in the end they are reconciled, and Lyna chooses to join the Twisted as Guuan Erato. (This time, Bithisarea, I won't be so docile) (Completed)
  • Barthelme recruits his old friend, Corwin, as a Twisted. (Risthal's Recruit) (Complete)
  • Somehow Hay'aan manages to convince Barthelme to help her and Klue investigate what's causing all the nightmares? It's complicated... ({The Nightmare Rises} But We Will Not Fall)
  • On an adventure in Arakmat, Barthelme manages to send a bunch of crazed, disembodied minds/souls to Risthal. ([Borderlands] Chapter IX: The Djinn and the Deep Blue Sea) (Complete)
  • Barthelme dream possesses a young woman named Rowan Ravenswood. Soon enough, she is inducted into the Twisted as Guuan Noire. (You Know You're Having a Bad Night When) (Complete)
  • Sliucha proves a tough nut to crack for a Twisted. Apparently she has no fears whatsoever. Instead, Bithisarea settles for taking Risthal's price in pain, to Sliucha's probable delight. Amusingly, he also convinces her to "renounce her faith in Zyrgra," at least for the duration of one nightmare. (I'm Sick, But You're Twisted)
  • Barthelme successfully awakens Gylfie, a patient at the Asylum of Arkdun, as a Twisted. Additionally, he gains a new ability to Invoke in the Dreamscape. (Twisted Do What Madmen Dream)
  • Barthelme nightmares the living heck out of Martellus, hoping to turn him against Ainlar's Champion! (Spirit of Sapphire)
  • Barthelme brings a dying child into the Twisted, adopts her as his daughter, and ultimately vivisects her (by her own choice!) in an act of service to Risthal. (To a Twisted Twee is Torture)
  • Barthelme honed his skills in the new ways of Dream Possession by weaving a nightmare for Rhystlin. (To Have the Strength)
  • Barthelme established a crypto-Risthal cult on board The Last Frigate, convincing at least 15 pirates that he was some sort of prophet thanks to his Mysticism, magical doodads, and Dream Possession. (The Lost Isle, Part 2)
  • Barthelme claimed the White Rabbit's nightmare in Risthal's name. (The Tribulations That Started at Tisi Trails)
  • Acting as Guuan Jerrick's tutor in the Dreamscape, Bithisarea helped preside over Porta's induction into the Twisted as Guuan Kiban (Thoughts Burrowed Deep)
  • Working alongside a crew of uppity lamias, Bithisarea helps assassinate the Xet general Vikrius within the Dreamscape. He also winds up with a Risthal brand. (Final Battle: The Destroyers of Dreams)
  • Bithisarea Dream Possesses a Thelryi named Brix, and believes she has some potential as a future Twisted. (Caught in the Fishbowl)
  • Barthelme had hoped the magic mirror he found was linked to Risthal. Little did he know! He ended up killing two Dreamwalkers (one Kaimeleaite, one unaligned) and releasing an ancient Twisted horror from her prison. Risthal approved. (The Mirror Lied)
  • Brix turns on Bithisarea within her nightmare, despite having invited him there in the first place. He loses a memory about people being turned into monsters (he has more). (And in Waking)
  • Bithisarea recruits a new Twisted (Guuan Woodsman) and gains the ability to see the weakness of dreamers by Invoking his Mysticism (Feeding the Predator of the Dream)
  • Bithisarea recruits yet another new Twisted. Baexae rises as Guuan Melanthe. (Warm Milk Will Help?)
  • Bithisarea dream-possesses an ogre. When Bones starts lucid-dreaming, Bithisarea dream-murders him out of an abundance of caution. (The Monster Under the Bed)
  • Does Risthal care that Barthelme created a massive Pumpkin Otherling that ate a bunch of bandits? Barthelme thinks so! Regardless, he can now Invoke the memory of the giant Pumpkin Otherling in the Dreamscape. (Pumpkin Party Uno)
  • Barthelme killed a Kaimeleaite Dreamwalker, fed his remains to Sylaphormes, and got another slight alteration to Bane of the Awakened. (The Demands of the Kum)
  • Barthelme sacrificed one of his Nightmare seeds in an attempt to save and "enlighten" Sacrum, and winds up getting cursed by some unknown deity. At least he knows they're paying attention? ([Schism] Parabola)
  • Barthelme sold his ability to dream in return for the Eye of Heggur the Dreamfather, which is supposed to enhance Risthal's power greatly in the Dreamscape. ([Ruins of Sylrosia] The Marketplace Welcomes You)
  • Working through Mysticism and his Twisted proteges, Barthelme brought Alice Ward into Risthal's service. (Nightmare. Alice wish it is just a female horse at night.)
  • Barthelme's experimental "Dream Bond" spell has linked his mind with that of Sylaphormes, allowing Bithisarea to return to the Dreamscape, and restoring Barthelme's ability to hear the voices of his Otherling friends. He also killed a Kaimeleaite and fed her to Sylaphormes...(May You Rest in a Deep and Dreamless Slumber)

Secrets :
The Guuan, or “Waking”, is considered the novice Twisted.

Commonly, a Guuan has been recently awakened into the nightmare and is still working on becoming familiar with their new abilities and duties. The process itself can often be painful, and it is not uncommon for a Guuan to wake in fright almost nightly until they are better acquainted with how nightmares truly work.

Possess Dream – The Twisted is aware of their personal nightmare and can move outside of it to explore the Dreamscape itself. They find themselves unable to move beyond their own nightmare very far, and can only enter the minds of children.

Craft Nightmare – The novice’s abilities to control the dream essence around them has manifested enough that they can shape objects with it through intense focus. These objects will generally look, feel, taste, smell or sound as they are imagined to, but anything past wild animals are a struggle to animate.

Visage – The form that Oreniosk or his associates crafted for the Twisted upon their piercing and acceptance into the Twisted can now be called upon at subconscious will. It is this form that the Twisted will assume for the rest of their lives when traversing the Dreamscape and the Plane of Nightmares, should they reach it. This ability can be reversed upon a Twisted’s death, if they go to live in Risthal’s plane, or for particularly experienced Nactau if they have been completely consumed by the Planetar of Nightmare’s fury.

Find Dreamcatcher – As a precaution against becoming lost within nightmares through the close proximity to the Plane of Nightmares, a Twisted often crafts a personal dreamcatcher to serve as their road map. When sleeping near their own dreamcatcher, the Twisted is able to feel the gentle subconscious tug that will bring them back to their own nightmare so they can awaken. Some believe that without a dreamcatcher nearby, the Twisted’s dream thread will become tangled and lead them astray. The further the victim in the real world from the Twisted’s own body, the more washed out the tug will become, and so only the most experienced followers are encouraged to traverse farther and farther away from the comfort of their own nightmares.

Nactau

The Nactau, or “Pierced”, are the second rank of Twisted and could be considered priests among the cult. They are proficient enough to perform the general duties of their calling, and may very well act out against Kaimelea’s followers directly. However, their main tool of combat is the proliferation of frightening scenarios.

Piercing – The experienced Twisted is now able to perform the ritual that will rip a Dreamer from their nightmare and awaken them to the Dreamscape. Success of a piercing ritual hinges on the Dreamer’s own personal nightmares without Twisted interference, and the ceremonial disfigurement of the inductee’s eyes. A Twisted may make themselves known to the victim and encourage their new sight to them, but a piercing is only considered a complete success if the Dreamer is able to regain their sight in the nightmare despite the removal of their eyes. The Twisted believe this is Risthal’s acknowledgment and acceptance of the new member. Generally, the Nactau that performed the ritual will serve as the new Guuan’s mentor, instructing them in the ways of the Twisted.

Channel Fear – The Twisted is able to channel the fear produced by a victim’s nightmare back to the Nightmare Realm. This merely serves as a way of worship and exaltation, and does not harm or effect the Dreamer at all.

Improved Dream Possession – The Nactau’s proficiency has increased, allowing them to invade the nightmares of adult inhabitants of Telath, but they find difficulty in attempting to pierce the minds of Mystics, Dreamwalkers, and the strongest of races (Dragon, Lamia, Ancient Aelyrian).



Secrets :
In light of recent changes, all Twisted and Dreamwalkers now have the following abilities for working and manipulating the Dreamscape.

Dreamweave
A Dreamwalker may subtly alter the Dreamscape or the dream they find themselves in. They may create and manifest objects through intense concentration but should they break the internal narrative of the dream they are in they may face dire consequences.

Invoke
The most powerful of ability of a Dreamwalker is to use their own experiences and memories to call forth powerful images to drastically alter the Dreamscape or the dream around them. When working in someone's dream it is often used in combination with Dreamweaving so as not ruin the narrative of the dream, when used in the Dreamscape proper it may be used more freely and with somewhat more abandon.

Enter Dream
While moving through the Dreamscape, Dreamwalkers can sense and then enter the dreams of sleeping mortals they have some manner of connection to, either through a physical link of some kind, through sheer proximity, or through familiarity. Not all minds are easy to enter, and Dreamwalkers may find it difficult to enter the dreams of mystics and races with high mental strength, such as Dragons and Lamia.

Awaken
The Awaken ability has two sides. Firstly Dreamwalkers can wake dreamers into a lucid state within their dream for a short period of time. This ability also allows the Dream Walker to cause the dreaming mortal to awaken back into the Material Plane, though repeatedly doing this can have the negative effect of causing the mortal to have insomnia.

Entrapment
The opposite side of the Awaken ability, a Dreamwalker can cause someone to become trapped in dreams, making it difficult for them to wake up. This is also a good way to deal with someone who has been defeated in battle in the Dreamscape.



Special Invocations:

Barthelme has gained the ability to Invoke a monstrous, shadowy creature that stalks its prey.

Barthelme can sense dreamers' weaknesses by Invoking his Mysticism.

Barthelme can use his memories of cities he's intimately familiar with to create an Alternate Reality within the Dreamscape.

First Positive Brand; Risthal: "Nightmare Seed."

2x Nightmare Seeds.

These are a construct of the Dreamscape in Risthal’s sphere of influence.

They require ‘planting’ upon a designated target to take effect. This may be difficult/unique to the Nightmare/Dream itself with failure having the standard cost in memories used if the event fails.

Once effected, the designated target will no longer be able to escape Barthelme’s influences in the Dreamscape by creating distance between them in the Material Plane.

First Negative Brand, Unknown Deity: "Caput."

Barthelme is currently being followed by a disembodied head of Human appearance. It will constantly rebuke any action deemed violent and will constantly chatter about the benefits of Peace, Love & Friendship.

Disembodied Head is highly resistant to Magic due to being empowered by the Divine Entity: ???

Disembodied Head is not visible to people other than Barthelme.
 
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 Last Will and Testament

As per protocol at the Asylum of Arkdün, Barthelme has prepared a will to be carried out in the event of his untimely death.

His last wishes will be updated as PCs and NPCs fall into, and out of, his favor. They currently stand as follows.

Lyna Gil'dae (PC)

Barthelme is leaving her his magic ring, Glinnaur, in memory of the love they once shared. He's also leaving her his portrait of Usira as painted by Hay'aan Malinconico, because Lyna and Usira were good friends. Finally, he is leaving her his portrait of Lyna herself, which she gave to him in happier times. Per his request, the executor of his estate is to gouge out the eyes of the painted Lyna before sending it to her, to symbolize her betrayal of Risthal and the Twisted.

Igrainne Birch (PC)


Barthelme is bequeathing her all of the Druidism themed reagents and ingredients he discovers up to the time of his death, as well as a modest amount of money, amounting to 1/4 of his fortune. He is also leaving her his beloved "Mind's Eye charm."

Hay'aan Malinconico (PC)

Barthelme is bequeathing her his pouch of Fintagel coins, in remembrance of a time when the two of them were almost friends.

Valrie (NPC)

Barthelme is leaving her the bone amulet she once gave him, along with all of his journals. The latter contain all of his theories about Otherlings, the Overthere, and Risthal. With them he has included a written request that they be delivered to the elders of Ara Lyffrenda. He will also be bequeathing her a sum of money (approximately 1/8 of his wealth at the time of his death) for her trouble.

Granny Mai (NPC)

Barthelme has named Granny Mai the executor of his estate. He has left the remainder of his worldly possessions, including his houses in Aelyria Prime and Arkdün, to Granny Mai and Sylaphormes. In his final request he asks that Granny Mai manage his properties on Sylaphormes' behalf for the betterment of the Twisted and the greater glory of Risthal.
 
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Okay, so, I like to make pictures, but can't draw. So here's some pictures of Barthelme and his imaginary friends I made with Heromachine 3.0.



Here goes Barthelme in the ragged clothes he began with. He's being haunted by some monsters from the Overthere, poor soul.



And, here's Barthelme with his slightly updated wardrobe. Aww, look, he's turned his frown upside-down! Just by the by, his actual journal probably isn't all that impressive looking. But maybe how this is looks inside his own crazy head.



Another, much more thorough wardrobe update for Barthelme. Here he is in his uniform at the Arkdün Asylum. At last this poor, tortured soul is getting the professional help he so desperately needed!

Ha ha! Not really. Actually, Barthelme got a job at the asylum as an orderly. Because he wants to start a cult of Risthal worshippers there. Anyway, there he is with his journal and quill, ready to take crazy notes about whatever.



Another wardrobe update! This is what Barthelme probably looked like circa Era XXII when he was out adventuring and not working at the Asylum. Check it out, he's carrying the Needy Flail! He's gotten a surprising amount of use out of that thing considering that he still has no flail XP at all. Also, he now wears his Mind's Eye pin as a clasp for his cloak rather than sticking it to his cap like the oddball that he is. All in all, his clothing is slightly classier now that he's not so damn poor any more.



A wardrobe update for Barthelme at work, in light of his recent promotion to the R&D department at the asylum. Now he wears a lab coat instead of his orderly's scrubs. I guess he's carrying potions and reagents and things in his bandoleer. The little plaque around his neck is his ID tag: Researcher 142.



A wardrobe update for Barthelme in adventurer-mode. His Staff of Arcana is finally complete! No more Needy Flail/Scourge of Haya, alas. Also he's wearing brass knuckles on his left hand because of his newfound interest in Demir Kum.
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Otherlings

On Barthelme's Imaginary/Not-So-Imaginary Friends


Are Barthelme's Otherlings really monsters from beyond the veil, or do they exist only thanks to his own insanity and Mystic powers? It's a mystery!

There is some evidence that these creatures do indeed have some sort of independent existence... in the Dreamscape, at least. Whatever the truth might be, Barthelme's belief in his Otherling companions is absolute and unshakable.

In order of appearance, they are:

Usira



Usira's portrait, by Hay'aan Malinconico



Barthelme's best friend out of all the Otherlings, Usira came to him at a young age. Whether in the Dreamscape or the physical world, she's nearly always at his side. She's extremely irreverent and silly, but also loyal to a fault, and quite friendly for an otherworldly monster snake-woman. However, she also has a fierce side and is extremely fond of fighting and bloodshed.

Usira Facts
  • Barthelme believes that she has some sort of connection to his old "Mind's Eye pin," as seen here. She and the pin entered his life at around the same time.
  • Ximenes is her closest Otherling friend, as explained here.
  • Usira is not actually a native of the Dreamscape! Barthelme believes that originally she came from some especially insane region of the Essence Plane of Thought. He later crafted a Dreamscape "Visage" for her, here.
  • In the same thread, above, we see that Usira has a habit of bickering with Ariadne.
  • Though her relationship with Hay'aan started out quite rocky, she eventually came to see the Dreamwalker as a friend.
  • Usira enjoys joking around about various forms of physical intimacy, but she's actually quite squeamish about witnessing the reality of it firsthand, even in Barthelme's thoughts.
  • Of all the Otherlings, Usira is the most fascinated by the physical world. She hopes to get a physical body of her own one day, mostly so she can hunt and kill things in Telath while retaining her own form.
  • Aside from Barthelme, her favorite Twisted was Lyna. Their friendship began here.

Important Moments
  • A Twisted, Mahdis, identifies Usira as "Bithisarea's creation." Usira strongly objects, but Bithisarea rationalizes this by pointing out he did in fact create her nightmare-form, as above.
  • Within a nightmare, Usira seems to be capable of operating independently of Bithisarea, here.
  • Barthelme sometimes lets Usira "possess" him he's fighting, if he gets sufficiently agitated or desperate. On the most infamous occasion, she tore some guy's throat out with Barthelme's teeth.
  • In a strange dream and nightmare, Usira got to have a physical presence for a while and have adventures of her own.
  • Back when it was possible for a Mystic to summon Animations, Barthelme seldom went anywhere without Usira at his side. Because of this habit of his, he always kept her hidden from non-Twisted in the Dreamscape.
  • So, Usira has only ever gotten to star in one nightmare. While lightly disguised, she once haunted Parhus.
  • As an Animation, Usira was once affected by faerie dust, forcing her to speak only in rhyme.
  • In a high-ranking Twisted's Nightmare, Usira and the rest of the Otherlings seemed to have an existence independent of Barthelme. Usira and Barthelme were both mortified to discover that their dream-characters in the nightmare scenario were married.
  • Barthelme's former supervisor in the asylum where he works had the curious ability to see and hear Usira, just as easily as Barthelme himself can.
  • Granny Mai, Barthelme's Twisted mentor in Grafting, also seems to share Barthelme's "gift" of Otherling-perception.

Odhran



Odhran is a simple-minded Otherling that helps keep Barthelme attentive and on-task when he really wants to be focused, by eating any distracting and irrelevant thoughts for the duration. He was originally caught by Usira and brought to Barthelme for exactly this purpose. Additionally, Barthelme sometimes makes use of Odhran when he wants to forget something particularly disgusting or embarrassing.

Poor little Odhran is often forgotten by Barthelme, but being a nearly mindless little horror interested only in eating, it probably doesn't really care.

Odhran Facts/Important Moments
  • Usira catches Odhran, and suggests how Barthelme can make use of it.
  • Though Odhran has little personality, it is nonetheless moved to tears by Barthelme's passionate tirade upon being accused of being a Time Wraith.
  • Odhran's favorite Twisted was Corwin! Mostly because it wanted to eat him. (Corwin was not amused.)
  • Odhran enjoys a brief moment of glory when it easily defeats a tiny dream-knight in combat, and later gets to eat him.
Ximenes



Ximenes is an old friend of Usira's, and she introduced him to Barthelme long ago. He's far more serious than Usira, but their personalities complement each other to some extent. Like her, Ximenes is not a native of the Dreamscape: he too originated from the Essence Plane of Thought, back when psions were still a thing. Barthelme considers him to be "wise," though Ximenes's wisdom more usually falls under the category of common sense or even Captain Obvious style observations.

Ximenes Facts/Important Moments:
  • Ximenes makes his first IC appearance, offering his services to help Barthelme awaken as a Mystic.
  • Ximenes proves himself utterly clueless what it comes to matters of the flesh.
  • Though Barthelme's life may hang in the balance, Ximenes priority remains the card game they are supposed to be playing.
  • Like the rest of the Otherlings, Ximenes appears to have an independent existence in the lamia handmaiden's nightmare.
  • Though Usira actively ships Lyna and Barthelme, and even Ariadne attempts to offer romantic advice, Ximenes professes himself utterly helpless in such matters.
  • Like Usira, some have proven capable of seeing Ximenes in the physical world.
  • Rowan Ravenswood was Ximenes' favorite Twisted, most likely because he got a starring role in the nightmare where she was inducted into the order. He persists in addressing her as if she really was a high society noblewoman.
Bithisarea



Bithisarea is Barthelme's visage as a Twisted... his alter-ego in the dreamscape. From Barthelme's perspective, this tentacle-horror-thingie is his 'true self.' Bithisarea's appearance refers to Barthelme's extreme, paranoid fears of monstrous creatures hiding inside otherwise normal looking people and turning them into abominations. He is not at all oblivious to the irony that he, too, has become an Otherling within the Dreamscape.

Bithisarea Facts/Important Moments

  • In the waking world, Barthelme conceives of Bithisarea not only as his Visage, but also as a semi-independent entity within his own mind. They haven't always gotten along.
  • While Barthelme is awake, Bithisarea is usually "sleeping." Sometimes he awakens, though, and Barthelme can hear his voice in his head, usually urging him to violence.
  • In the Dreamscape, Bithisarea sometimes thinks about his "mortal self," but never hears Barthelme's voice. Sometimes, though, their perspective will flip, and the Barthelme-persona will unconsciously assume control of the Visage while the Bithisarea-persona temporarily fades into the background.
  • While Barthelme had fallen in love with Lyna in the physical world, Bithisarea loved Erato. Though the distinction remains strong in Barthelme's mind, sometimes the line between personae would begin to blur.
  • Upon his having acquired a Risthal brand, Barthelme's visage has been altered. Bithisarea not sports a pair of humanoid arms amid all the tentacles. On the palm of each hand is a wound in the shape of a black "eye." These are his Nightmare Seeds. There is a third one buried in Bithisarea's chest, but he keeps it "in reserve" and hidden beneath his ragged robes.



After Barthelme bargained away his ability to dream in order to make Risthal more powerful, he painstakingly recreated Bithisarea in the Dreamscape through powerful Mysticism and a mental bond with his Big Sister, Sylaphormes. Currently Bithisarea would appear in the Dreamscape as a tattered puppet propped up by the tip of Sylaphormes' tail. Puppet Bithisarea is crafted from bones, ragged cloth, and withered flesh and organs sewn into his tattered robes. Sylaphormes now presents herself as a Twisted puppeteer, her arms and snake-fingers wound with strings that trail off into the darkness of the Dreamscape.



Ariadne



Ariadne was the first Otherling Bithisarea ever created in a nightmare, and (with the possible exception of Usira) is the most powerful of all Barthelme's Otherlings, at least within the Dreamscape. Formerly she was never to be found in the physical world, for two main reasons. First, she prefers residing in the Nightmare, where she was born. Second, she once considered Bithisarea her "Father"... not Barthelme. This changed subsequent to Barthelme's killing of a Dreamwalker, release of Sylaphormes from her prison, and (relatedly) his continued mental breakdown. Ariadne is by far the craziest of Barthelme's Otherlings, and has a habit of giggling insanely out of her many mouths.

Ariadne Facts/Important Moments
  • Ariadne started out as two seperate entities: an innocent dream-creature that thought it was a young female Mystic from Aelyria Prime, and a horrific, all-devouring arachnid monstrosity. Barthelme's first act as a new Twisted was "saving" the Mystic girl by merging her and the monster together. His original Twisted mentor, Tar'elea, told him that the spider-creature would be particularly useful for fighting Dreamwalkers.
  • He later showed the resulting creation off to Tar'elea, here. In this thread, we also first learn that Ariadne is perpetually hungry, and that Bithisarea often bribes her with dream-creatures as food. This was also the beginning of her somewhat antagonistic relationship with Usira. Finally, this was the thread that established that Ariadne sees Bithisarea as her "father," and Tar'elea as her "auntie."
  • Bithisarea frequently makes use of Ariadne's webbing, along with his Dreamcatcher, to find his way through the Dreamscape.
  • Like Usira and Ximenes, Ariadne appears able to function independently of Bithisarea in a lamia handmaiden's nightmare. She is also a bit taken aback upon meeting Erato and realizing that her "Father" has a lady friend.
  • She quickly takes a childish dislike to Hay'aan/Gnosisi.
  • Ariadne was the star of Isina's nightmare, in which Bithisarea first tested out an augmentation wherein he replaced Ariadne's blood and most of her entrails with a horde of monstrous spiders.
  • She also took the lead role in the nightmare in which Corwin was recruited into the Twisted.
  • Perhaps because of this, or due to their similarly violent natures, Corwin is her favorite Twisted.
  • She proved willing, if not especially able, to support Bithisarea's romantic pursuit of Erato.
  • But she was extremely irritated by Usira's joking insistence that the relationship between the two Twisted made Erato Ariadne's "step-mom."
  • As early as her first appearance, Ariadne revealed she considers her actual mother to be Risthal, though only in the same sense that "Risthal is the mother of all nightmares."
Votum



Barthelme's most recent Otherling is an unusual case. The original Votum was the Twisted incarnation of a human girl who went by the name of "Toots." In her mortal life, she was a dying child whom Barthelme was assigned to bring into the Twisted, and later to harvest her corpse for organs and things once she had passed away. Barthelme took the first half of his mission extremely seriously, and soon came to adopt the original Toots/Votum as his own daughter.

Barthelme recognizes this Votum as a psionic clone of the original. He believes he is able to communicate with the deceased Votum through this Otherling incarnation of her visage, and that Otherling Votum and Twisted Votum will one darkening merge into the same being, once Barthelme himself has passed away.

This Votum, a Dreamscape avatar who the original Votum helped craft, is set in a single, more or less fixed shape. She has the size and the proportions of a sickly child, her arms and legs spindly and emaciated in appearance. She wears a mask, like her father, and even has a Mind's Eye... though unlike Bithisarea she will usually also have actual eyes looking out from behind her mask as well.

Votum facts/Important moments:

  • The story of the living Votum's recruitment into the Twisted, and of her Otherling doppelganger's creation, can be found here.
  • Votum considers Bithisarea her father and Ariadne her sister. Usira and Ximenes are sort of like her aunt and uncle, respectively.
  • Like the original Votum, this incarnation idolizes Usira due to her role in her induction nightmare.
  • Like the original Votum, this incarnation is a zealot for Risthal and the Twisted.
  • She is by far the most sadistic and masochistic of Barthelme's Otherlings, firmly believing that the best way to free dreamers' minds is by putting them through intense pain. Feeling pain herself makes her feel closer to Risthal.
  • Upon his brief reunion with the spirit of the original Votum, Barthelme discovered that the girl was at peace and had moved on from the concerns of Telath. At this point the voice of Otherling Votum fell silent... perhaps because she had indeed merged with the original, or because Barthelme no longer needed her.
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More "Otherlings..."


And then things get weird. Various people have claimed that Barthelme's Otherlings aren't "real." Obviously he would dispute that argument.

These "Otherlings," though, are a whole other caliber!

N'umaessa



Quote:
"People are flames to be blotted out. The twilight of the waking world... approaches."
Also known as the Staff-Otherling, N'umaessa is a being that resides within Barthelme's unfinished Staff of Arcana. N'umaessa is not her actual name: it's just something that she has agreed to answer to, and that Barthelme calls her for convenience sake. In elvish, it means "No Name" or "Nameless." N'umaessa will not have an actual name until the staff itself is complete.

N'umaessa Facts
  • N'umaessa originally took the form of an apparently genderless shadow-creature with blue eyes. She and Barthelme immediately got off to a rocky start, with her declaring that he disgusted her and announcing a desire to kill everyone. Barthelme attempted to convince her that a Twisted's true role was to make people stronger.
  • In the same thread, N'umaessa took an intense dislike to Lyna, who was with Barthelme at the time. She displayed the ability to torment Lyna with fear and hallucinations, and ultimately decided that the young elf was "weak." This was also, apparently, the first time that N'umaessa had heard of the concept of "love."
  • Barthelme would later bring Lyna to challenge N'umaessa directly in the Dreamscape. During their mostly futile battle against the creature, Barthelme mockingly accused N'umaessa of being jealous of Lyna and his Otherlings, suggesting that N'umaessa was in love with him and wanted him all to herself. N'umaessa took that idea and ran with it big time. Since then, she has repeatedly taken the form of a shapely humanoid woman and attempted to seduce Barthelme. Thus far he has always rebuffed her advances, insisting that they're a "lie."
  • And yet ever since then, N'umaessa continued to insist that she did so love Barthelme and that she wanted to make him strong. She expressed intense dislike of Lyna, and insisted that Barthelme's Otherlings were in fact merely "puppets" or "slaves."
  • By this point Barthelme had begun to despise N'umaessa. In the end, though, the two of them eventually came to an agreement: Barthelme would continue his Staff Quest with only N'umaessa, and without Lyna or his Otherlings present. Since then, he and N'umaessa have gotten along much better.
Important Moments
  • N'umaessa first appears to Barthelme as a shadow apparently trapped in a dark void. She displays the ability to project fear and cause hallucinations to Lyna in the physical world, and to overpower Barthelme and Lyna (both Twisted) in the Dreamscape.
  • In her next appearance, N'umaessa eventually adopts the form of a shapely humanoid woman in lingerie, with heart-shaped pupils. Aside from setting the tone for much of her relationship with Barthelme for a long time going forward, she displays the strange ability to possess Lyna in the physical world. She also shows an ability to control Barthelme's Otherlings within the Dreamscape.
  • In her thus-far-final (and, in Barthelme's opinion, "truest") form, here, N'umaessa takes the shape of a crystalline green humanoid woman apparently made of pure Vis. She also has an inky black "core" that seems to be the ultimate source of her power... which, because he's crazy, Barthelme visualizes as a black heart.

Sylaphormes



Barthelme's brain tells him that Sylaphormes is an Otherling, too! Unlike all the others, though, she very definitely exists in the physical world.

Quote:
This ancient lamia is of the legendary species known as Gorgons. Instead of hair, she has a nest of vipers and cobras that are highly venomous and can spit poison; instead of fingers, she has an additional collection of ten different serpent types. Sylaphormes’ upper body is mostly humanoid, though her chest and arms are composed of leather-like flesh and scales. Her entire lower body appears to be a massive snake, akin to an anaconda or python.

From the tip of her head to the end of her tail, she is over three meters long. But she ‘stands’ only two feet higher than most humans when slithering normally. She avoids mirrors and reflective objects. She will refuse to embark on any kind of ocean voyage for fear of water and everything that lives undersea. She has a particular hatred of turtles. Her favorite food is Dreamwalker and must consume sentient flesh regularly (one average sized human per cycle) with or without Barthelme’s permission. Her devotion is to the Eye-Piercer and no one else, except perhaps herself. She sees Barthelme as her ‘little brother’ and is currently friendly toward him. But all other creatures become nervous and 'on edge' around her (seen or unseen) as she exudes the aura of a predator.
...Whoa.
  • Sylaphormes entered Barthelme's life after he freed her from the cursed mirror that she had been trapped in by the Zaratan.
  • There was quite the commotion when Sylaphormes briefly showed herself in public (in heavy disguise), but in the end she got away clean.
  • Hidden under a veil of invisibility, Sylaphormes helped in the fight against Ygg, the Demon Tree.

Jaeger



Jaeger is an unusual case. He exists only within the Dreamscape, and came to Bithisarea under unusual circumstances. Is he an Otherling, or something else entirely? Bithisarea doesn't know. Jaeger is amorphous in nature and seems to have no fixed shape of his own, but he usually manifests as a horribly mutilated hunting down composed of animate shadow.
  • Jaeger appeared without explanation as a memory within Bithisarea's mind, on the darkening he recruited his first new Twisted from the inmates at the Arkdün Asylum.
  • When Bithisarea Invoked Jaeger for the first time, he found that the beast had a knack for finding things on command, at least within the confines of the nightmare into which he was summoned.

Samhain



"Samhain" is what Barthelme calls whichever one of his Terror Pumpkins is currently wearing Ygg's Crown.

Once colossal in size thanks to Golash's Druidism, new incarnations of the Pumpkin-Otherling are about the size of a dog.
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8/23/18: On hiatus.

Last edited by Barthelme; July 9, 2017 at 09:10 PM.
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