Conrad Joshka stared down at the pieces he'd assembled. For the hundredth time, he turned his eyes away from his work to take in his surroundings. He wasn't comfortable here, in the heart of an ancient forest, at the base of a great tree. He felt vulnerable. Like an intruder. His eyes turned back to the assembled mechanisms, joints, and plates that made up the new body he'd put together. The breastplate shone silver, and he could catch a distorted reflection of his familiar features in the plate. He was a pale young man, with dark hair and a bold nose. Not unattractive, but neither was he the sort of man to draw undue attention to his appearance. He wore a pin-striped black suit of a fine tailor's cut, and a pair of pristine white gloves had been tucked into his breast pocket. He was rather regretting his choice of attire for this particular outing, but there was no turning back. There was a little hatch in the center of the thing's chest, which stood open to reveal a vacant cavity. Reaching in, Conrad placed a small, sturdy container into the fittings within. A soul receptacle, he'd called it. He closed the hatch, and looked up to the vacant body's expressionless face. He'd given articulated limbs, joints, and a jaw. He'd even attached sliding plates to it's face to allow for expression. Cables and wires beneath the metal plates served for muscles and tendons, and a network of insulated copper wiring would even serve as a rudimentary nervous system. Only that was ridiculous, because the mechanical servant had no source of power. No will, no spark of life. He was no Frankenstein, and this was no monster. But strange things happened in the old places of the world, on the days, and nights where the veil between the living and the dead grew thin. "Old spirits," Spoke the young man. "I bring you a body. In exchange, I ask only for servitude until the day of my death. The blink of an eye, for beings so old as you." Silence met him. He glanced down to his mahcination. No movement. No life. He glanced back at his gathered retainers, and dismissed them with a frustrated wave of his hand. He hadn't expected it to work, but even still, his disappointment was nearly overwhelming. He sat down on the ground, careless of the dirt, and fallen leaves that surrounded him, and put his back to the bole of the ancient tree, beside his failed creation. Shadows grew long, and the young man grew weary. His eyes closed, and he found himself strangely comfortable, despite the chill of the autumn air. He slept.