The Touched (Arcadia-Sama & Auri)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Auri, Feb 10, 2015.

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    The Touched: Those humans who have bonded with a Totem, a small idol with the appearance of wood carved into the likeness of the Spirit that lives within it. These Touched can channel the powers of these Spirits to varying degrees, with greater power the further the Spirit Fades with them, where the minds of both become blurred into one. This can be dangerous, see Fading. The Touched are often referred to by the animal their Spirit represents ie: a Raven, a Lion.

    The Spirits: There are several Spirit types with each representing both an animal and an element. These Spirits are invisible to those not bonded with a Totem and have no grip on the corporeal world. For this reason they crave a human Bond to link them to our world. Through this, if they overpower their Touched or are allowed to Fade with them voluntarily they can experience and interact with the world and exercise or lend their power to their Touched. Spirits are as diverse in personality and emotion as humans, though certain trends are more likely for certain Spirits, (Snakes being more cold and distant for example), but are decidedly not human. They do not have the capacity for understanding right and wrong though some will attempt to learn, using memory of previously explained experiences to determine what they should or should not do. Many Spirits are selfish and wish to control a Touched fully in order to live fully in our world though most can be controlled or reasoned with.

    Fading: Where a Touched and Spirit combine essences, blurring the line between them. A Touched can control the extent of this Fading if they are disciplined, with strong emotion or a strong Spirit able to tip this balance. As a Touched Fades further with a Spirit their combined form slowly shifts to that of the animal the Spirit represents. For example, a Bear Touched may Fade to a point between bear and human forms to be stronger physically, have access to greater magic, and be more in touch with their Spirit. Their appearance will show just how far the duo have Faded, with it possible to Fade entirely to Bear form, though this will give the Spirit all but total control. Some Touched trust their Spirits so fully that they allow this, though it should be noted that the further a Spirit Fades the less human and more bestial its sentience becomes. It is also possible to share minds with a Spirit without Fading too deeply, though many Touched avoid this as the Spirit maintains its human like sentience and gains more control over the relationship. This can be dangerous and often leads to Ferals being created.

    Ferals: A Touched that has been utterly taken over by its Spirit and has Faded, typically fully to animal form, and is usually violent or dangerous in disposition due to the fundamental amoral and typically selfish nature of Spirits. They are often hunted and removed as threats to society and other Touched.

    Bonds: Coming Soon

    The Totems:

    Snake-Poison: Can (when in Snake form) use various venoms with various effects distributed through fangs, are immune to poisons providing they shift far enough into Snake form and can identify the nature and presence of poisons.

    Bear-Wood: Can mold and grow wood structures and items providing they have physical contact with the wood, often using segments to shatter violently for shrapnel effect or to create sturdy casings for their bodies. The further into Bear form they are the more they can manipulate and the better the effects will be.

    Fox-Fire: Can create will-o-wisps to light areas and burn foes, often these orbs hang close to their bodies and can be thrown several feet before dissipating. The further into Fox form they are the more orbs they can produce with more powerful effects.

    Raven-Shadows: Can cloak themselves and objects from sight to varying degrees, with the effects more powerful in the dark and further into Raven form. At its peak this power can render the user invisible as well as several other human sized objects.

    Owl-Air: Can create gusts of wind to buffer foes or move objects, with swirling masses often used to create barriers. Small vortexes can be used to slowly suffocate a foe by limiting the air they have to breathe. These effects are more pronounced the further into Owl form the user goes and have the second longest range of all Touched abilities, expect perhaps a powerful Bear shrapnel attack.

    Badger-Earth: Can manipulate earth and soil within several feet, often bogging down or otherwise trapping foes in sink hole like attacks. The earth manipulation is most powerful nearest the ground though it can be raised to provide shields or launched with moderate force to blind or distract foes. Soil may also be condensed to create solid objects with the density of ceramics. Even a fully shifted and capable Badger will take several minutes to create a simple, serviceable bowl. These powers are more powerful the further the user is shifted.

    Shark-Water: Can manipulate water to entrap, drown and dampen opponents powers with the exceptions of Snake and Bear. Fox, Raven, Owl, Badger and Lion Touched will have the effects of their powers weakened when the spiritually charge water controlled by a Shark either coats their bodies or the elements they are controlling at the time. The range of such water attacks is just below that of an Owl. These effects are more pronounced the further the Shark shifts.

    Lion-Lightning: Can build up powerful blasts of electricity that, when in Lion form, are capable of causing significant harm to people and animals. In human form the power of these attacks is limited to mild shocks slightly more powerful than a strong static electricity zap from rubbing your feet on carpet and oddly seems to disrupt electrical devices, especially those with computer elements. The time to charge up more powerful attacks in partial Lion or full Lion forms is slow, taking up to 10-15 seconds for a deadly blast. It does however easily have the longest range of all Totem powers, though it can be mitigated by both Bear and Badger powers should shields be constructed. Owls too can mitigate the force of the charge though not block it completely. The disruptive effects of a Lion's static charges also increases the further the Touched shifts and has been known to counter a Shark's power dampening water.
    #1 Auri, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  2. ALEX and VEE:

    The morning was well underway by the time the creaky wooden staircase groaned its daily protest to signal the arrival of the Humming Bird’s leading manager. The manager in question was bead headed, casually dressed and sleepy eyed as she made her way past several shelves overflowing with various balms and plant matter, a smattering of guests making use of the apothecaries more inn-like qualities, and the looming, darkly dressed Raven that acted as her mentor and lieutenant, a title of Alex’s own devising and mainly an attempt to annoy the unflappable woman. Vee simply stared down with her intense, grim eyes, and said nothing, which was not unusual, as she stepped aside and allowed the manager to take her position behind the counter. Alex, for that was her name, gave a haughty huff which was ignored and glared about the room with her trademarked judgemental stare. Anyone those sharp blue eyes turned to tended to be either intimidated, infuriated, or both. She gave another huff and picked up her book, though not without shooting and extra glare or two to the rooms occupants to let them know exactly what she thought of them, and settled down to read. Lin, her Totem Spirit who took the form of a large, constantly twirling snake, oozed from its home in Alex’s pendant and slithered incorporeally around its master. It hated the name Lin, which was why Alex chose it, and their relationship was a tenuous one if professional. Alex used Lin for a source of information and Lin used Alex to get to ride around in a body once and a while. It worked for both of them and neither would admit the enjoyment they received from disliking one another.

    Alex frowned, not taking her eyes from the paper in her hands, and spoke in a clear, authoritative tone that brooked no questions and tolerated no lip “What is it Lin, I am tired, annoyed with our squatters” she sneered her distaste at this point “and craving a hot meal. This had better be good”.

    Lin replied in its hissing, coldblooded manner that in many ways mirrored its master’s own “Nothing of consssequenccce missstressss” the words practically dripped with venom “I jussst thought you ssshould be aware that today iss sssuppossed to be the day we dissscusss the romoursss of a Feral Agent targeting Touched. But I sssupossse we can sssimply ignore it until the Feral killsss usss all” and with that it slithered back into its Totem to think and plot and fester, as was its joy.

    Alex for her part gave a short sharp ‘tsk’ and shut the book harder than was absolutely necessary before beckoning to Vee who had been standing nearby, quietly tidying the shelves, her dark leather duster and pitch black jeans standing out starkly to the warmly lit room. She turned, her tall figure moving gracefully and silently as she fought to keep from smiling too hard at her manager and the Spirit bonded to them and inclined her head marginally to indicate their acknowledgement of the gesture and its meaning before addressing the few guests littering the room “We will be addressing some rumours shortly that you should be aware of” her voice was deep and low, carrying across the room without a need to shout and drawing the attention of everyone in the vicinity. And with that short, largely unhelpful statement she promptly made her way to the stairwell to check on any rooms that may still be occupied on the upper level.


    Nate’s morning had been a busy one, he had spent it running the various errands that kept the newspaper spook busy. The job title was one of his own making and he liked the cloak and dagger feel to it, though what he actually did was pretty undeserving of it. Basically he checked out the local gossip hot spots and kept an eye out for big stories brewing, he was the eyes and ears for one of the city’s many rag-papers and kept tabs on who was doing what to who. So far he had scouted out one of the districts busier laundry shops and sat in for several hours’ worth of meaty gossip, not anything much in the way of ground breaking but plenty of scandals and rumours to fill the weaker columns. He had also stopped by one of the seedier pubs to see if any of last night’s dregs had stuck around or passed out nearby that he could hound for a good story or three which turned out to be a waste of time. Still it was a good morning so far and his boss would be pleased.

    As he strolled down the main street Sparky, the unstable Spirit Fox that had attached itself to him, appeared not two feet to his left grinning up with its pointy smile and wide, wild eyes “We gonna eat again? I like the eats, we should eat more. We gotta get the meat pie this time, sooooo much meat and all that goopy gravy stuff! Ooooh yeah…” it trailed on like this for some time and Nate happily ignored it, letting the sound of its voice drift into the background. A few weeks back he’d have had a heart attack just thinking about walking down the street in broad daylight with his mad little companion blabbing away next to him, but he’d figured out pretty quickly that no one else, or at least most people, couldn’t see it. The rare few that could had high tailed it out of there pretty quickly, which did not boost Nate’s confidence in this thing at all. Still he was fond of it, even after the incident where he had… touched its mind? Melded with it? That had scared the living shit out of him, the sheer alien-ness of it still made him shudder. But Sparky wasn’t bad exactly, it just didn’t get the whole ‘right and wrong’ thing and kept wanting to body-jump him, which is what Nate had started calling it anyway, he’d let him do it a few more times since and hadn’t been nearly as freaked out once he knew what to expect, but it was still a weird sensation. “Hey Sparks, how about I let you sit in on the next one eh? Im thinking sandwiches today” he said it quietly after looking around to make sure no curious eyes would be lined at the crazy kid talking to himself. Sparky groaned dramatically but said nothing else, which was basically a “yeah alright”. He should probably started writing these down, make a dictionary of it. As he strolled along he let a grin wide enough to mirror the little Fox’s own spread across his face. Yeah, this was a good day.
    #2 Auri, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
  3. Show Spoiler
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    Sheehan and Maahes

    Sheehan left his apartment with a smile on his face as always. He was a cheery fellow, and at the age of 19, with the world opened up to any possibility, why wouldn't he be? "Oh, you're always so positive, aren't you Shee?" Maahes exclaimed, the lion spirit. The majestic beast, incorporeal and bestial, floated around and about the teen with a leading presence, although Sheehan as the Touched was Maahes' keeper. "Shush your mouth, Maahes." Sheehan stated with almost ethereal patience, knowing the lion had the best intentions but came off stubborn and sarcastic. "Though I've had a terrible cough, so I need to go the apothecary and fetch some herbs." He stated, a look of shock residing on the lion spirits face.

    "You know I do not do well with snakes." said Maahes with a hint of concern in his voice. "Oh, does kitty not want to get bitten by the nasty slithery snakey-poos?" Sheehan tease, Maahes growling simply in response. "You chose to be my partner, Maahes. You gotta do what I do. Bear my crosses as I do and such." Sheehan explained with his knowing smiles they walked past various metropolitan landmarks; banks, shops, theatres and the occasional cinema, until they reach the cultural part of town, and sadly, the quiet part of town. Heading into a café filled alcove, Sheehan spotted a sign simply labelled Hummingbird and knocked thrice on the door. "Sheehan and Maahes. Of the Lightning." He whispered, loud enough for those on the other side to hear, but not those ut on the open street.

    Alex was resting her head in her palm, waiting for Vee to make her way downstairs with any stragglers that may have still been in bed when the door echoed with Sheehan's knocking. She waited, patient as Lin who had slinked its way out from its Totem once more at the sounds of guests, while the boy listed his name, his Spirit and their affiliation. She gave a quick nod to one of the guests standing closer to the door than herself and they opened it briskly, waving the boy inside to the sounds of the managers voice, bored and disinterested. "You're just in time kid, we've got an announcement to make just as soon as the Lieutenant gets her butt down here". Lin, while its master spoke, slithered through the air as far as the magical tether to its Totem would allow and watched them with cold, reptilian interest.

    As if on cue Vee appeared at the top of the stairwell and made her way down with only the barest hints of protest from the aged wood supporting her, something that Alex was always a little annoyed with seeing as her own decent made the stairs shriek and groan like a dying cockatiel. Alex did not like being second best at anything. "Aaaand here she is, any loose ends up there?" Vee simply shook her head and moved to stand at her managers side, silent as ever. A simple shrug from Alex and the meeting began without fanfare. "All right, listen up you lot" she said in her naturally dissuasive tone to the very small group before her "There's been some rumors floating about, some pretty disturbing rumors. We all know the official types clued in on the whole Totem shebang don't much care for us, well they might have gone and taken it a step further" she let that sink in for a moment, the government hadn't exactly been playing it soft until now as it was "Us safe-house managers think they have a Feral on their pay roll, how they think they can control the dammed thing is beyond me but the sources are pretty reliable and this means we're taking it seriously" she raised her voice as a few quiet murmurs started up at this and carried on over the top of them "Now I know I can't actually order you to do anything, but I urge you to keep your Spirits in their Totems at all times in public, I know its not ideal for some of you but tough. If this Feral spots you... Well the best case scenario is that its too mad to think rationally and tail you back here. If it does we might all be well and truly screwed. Just use some common sense and stay alert and we might just sit this one through" Lin chuckled, a dry and quiet sound similar to a small animal darting through some undergrowth. It loved watching people squirm. Alex just sighed and waved a hand absently at the crowd "Well that's the announcement, go back to doing whatever it is you people do". That earned her an eye-roll from Vee before she turned on her heel and went back to tidying the various shelves filled with the mostly herbal remedies for all the Apothecary cater for.
  5. Sheehan entered the door to see a bored Alex staring back at him, Lin giving Maahes a dirty look. "An announcement? Sounds fancy." said Sheehan, as Maahes, Sheehan could finely detect, rolled his feline eyes. Walking deeper into the recesses of the store, Sheehan gave a nod of acknowledgment and thanks to the guards who had let him in. "Lin, looking scaly as...always." Sheehan complimented the Snake Spirit, feeling almost as uncomfortable around it as Maahes felt around reptiles in general. Sheehan smiled happily and rubbed the back of his head as he gazed around the store, it's antiquity giving it a homely environment for the Touched male. As Alex descended the stairs, channelling dying animals in her wake, it seemed, the stairs themselves creaking in defiant protest to her heavy steps. Without fanfare, Alex had begun her spiel about the safety of the Touched under her protection and how the government knew of their existence. Pretty standard stuff, since they had been alerted to this factoid previously. But her next sprinkle of information sowed the seeds of his interest. There was a Feral on the loose, employed by the government? That WAS news. If the Feral spotted him, if he wasn't fast enough, what would happen? Would he get torn to shreds, or was Ferality an infection? Would HE become Feral? He didn't know. Did not care to wonder about dooming and damning possibilities.

    After the meeting was over, Sheehan walked over to Alex, a concerned frown on his face, more for a place to stay at the very moment than impending death and eradication by an unseen enemy force. "Alex, am I getting a place to stay, or sleep out in the street? I remember you throwing me out at some stage. I might have been slightly drunk. Slightly." Sheehan joked, still happy to see her again after a long while.
    #5 Arcadia, Feb 13, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015

    Ah yes. The lion boy. Alex treated him with her very best withering scowl. He had been a serious thorn in her side the last time he'd visited, having knocked over one of the more expensive remedies that she had been working on at the time while piss drunk. That was bad enough to warrant expulsion from the premises by itself in her books, but when the pickled disaster had sighed directly into her face with the stench of what must have been the dregs of every beer for a quarter mile radius... well he had narrowly escaped a bite of most unpleasant effects. She had absolutely no idea why this mook was in the slightest bit happy to see her, maybe he'd collected a concussion after the trip from door to pavement. Fortunately for the goon natured boy Vee stepped in and rested one of her large, quietly capable hands on her shoulder. The look that Alex gave her would have curdled milk and Lin let out another hissing giggle as it twisted and writhed in front of the guests, rather enjoying the reactions it was getting from the duo. Vee didn't so much as flinch and Alex stood huffily, turned and marched off without a polite word to Sheehan in order to angrily sort through the supplies shelf Vee had just left, Muttering dark musings aloud to herself and completely ruining any attempt that had been made at imposing order to it.

    Vee simply shook her head with a small, soft smile "Come Sheehan, we have a room to let. You will pay what rent you can until you find a place to stay on your own". Her dark knowing eyes sparkled as she named him, never one to forget face or title Vee could recall every guest the Hummingbird had ever housed, in no small part due to her Spirit with which she had a unique relationship. She beckoned gently and began stalking once more towards the staircase, doing her best to distract from Alex's rude, if somewhat warranted, response to his request and using her body to screen the two from each other lest further words be said to spark a high dark mood in Alex. If only Lin would keep its mouth shut they might escape an incident yet.
  7. "Nice to see you too, Alex." Sheehan exclaimed as Maahes tutted audibly at the caddish behaviour of the woman. She was always one for making customers feel about as welcome as an icicle on an Inuit's nose, but Sheehan merely accepted the fact that Alex was one for grudges and was ready to move on with his life. "Farewell, Lin!" Sheehan exclaimed with a sarcastic happiness as he and Vee were left unattended. After the encounter with Alex, Sheehan let out a shudder, once involuntary, that he had kept controlled until the predatory Alex had left so she didn't end up goring his throat for the sake of stress relief. "Is there any work in the Apothecary that I can do? Or do I have to go back into the outer world and just find a normal nine to five?" Sheehan questioned as he examined the apothecary stand, the various vials and jars stacked in perfect precision, much like Alex. Everything had to be perfect.

    "As long as I get a place to stay, I'm fine. I'll even flirt with Alex for money. As much of a deathwish that as, as long as I get a year here, I'll be fine and dandy." Sheehan declared, before thinking of something to fill his time here. "Vee, could you help me train my fading? It'll give me something to do while I'm here."
  8. Vee paused once they had reached the landing at the head of the old stairwell and turned, a somewhat bemused look on her features, as she slowly and silently regarded the Lion boy. Eventually the corners of her lips twitched in what may have been a smile of sorts. "So many words, asking questions when the last have not been answered. You are an energetic one yes?" A small sound of amusement crooned past her lips and she continued to lead him through the twisted corridors that riddled the building "Well, as to your first question. No. You may not work here. Alex would not tolerate it and I am sure Lin would find no end of joy tormenting you and your Spirit" She paused once more, considering her words briefly "Though as I said, rent is only what you can pay. Even so, I would advise you find a 'normal nine to five' as you put it." She glanced at him then, face stoney and serious "This is a place for those who have no where else to go. It is not a permanent home, when you can support yourself you must leave". She spoke with finality and with authority, though the moment quickly passed and her features softened once more as she continued "Now, for your other request and no, not your suggestion of flirting with Alex as it would only make a fool of you and disrespect her. I am confused. Why do you wish me particularly to train you in Fading? We do not know one another and it seems and odd thing to ask" the bemused expression had returned and she looked down at him with lightly furrowed brow. She was not used to others asking things so lightly of her, her quiet, serious nature and imposing height often turned people away from such interactions. It was a novel experience and if strange at least also entertaining.
  9. Sheehan nodded toward Vee with her addition of the words "energetic one". "I am indeed." Sheehan declared as they walked up the stairwell to the next floor. Saddened by the news he couldn't work in the apothecary, and disheartened further by the news that his joke had fallen flat, Sheehan let out a sigh. "I guess so. Alex isn't one for allowing variables that aren't perfect like her to work anywhere near her." Sheehan exclaimed as Vee exclaimed the logistics of him becoming a permanent resident. He didn't have any money anyway, which was why he asked for the job. Plus with the Feral on the loose, they would all need to be protected. Mention your fears, Sheehan. You have nothing to lose if they're unfounded. Maahes spoke clearly, and Sheehan realised the mind-delving Lion Spirit was right. How would they survive if there were Touched out there at any time, being lured like rabbits into a trap, like deer into headlights? He needed to train with Vee for the protection of himself and Maahes. If that Feral got to Sheehan, he wanted to know that he had a decent chance of dealing damage and protecting himself before he had to flee out of caution. "I need to learn how to Fade much more. The Feral is out there. Killing OUR FAMILY. OUR RELATIVES. We may not be related in blood. But if I come up against the Feral, I want to be able to protect myself and be able, even to ATTEMPT TO kill the beast. I need to get stronger so that if no one else takes up a barricading defence, I'll have to do it on my own and protect the people I hold dear. I will give my life if it means stopping the Feral from harming our family. That's my reason for wanting to train. Take it or leave it." spoke a hope-filled, flustered Sheehan. All he spoke was truth on his own accord. He waited to see how Vee took it.
  10. Stopped walking mid pace when Sheehan delved into his tirade, the emotion and ferocity of his words was genuine that much she could tell, but even an earnest student could fail. When it came to fading, a failure was no mere setback or hurdle to overcome, it was most often fatal in once sense or another. She had seen those who had tried it unprepared or weak of will try it, and seen the terrors that could be born of it. Vee closed her eyes, leaving the still flustered Sheehan without response for some time. When she did finally speak her features were once more stoney and cold “Boy, training to Fade deeply is no small feat. This I think you know. This threat you fear, you wish to defend against? It was most likely born from what you would attempt” a moment passed without further words, to let the scale of what he was risking sink in “I can only try to teach you Sheehan, if you are not ready, or are weak, it will be the end of you. You will be lost to the world and there will be no coming back” a long sad sigh escaped her then, one from her core that brought with it deep pain “I have lost people dear to me, through Fading and the things it creates. I do not want to bring another to their doom, but I fear you would simply train yourself and that would be foolishness. Fine, I will train you.” She regarded him seriously, weighing him, judging him “Though, I must say I had only asked why you chose me, young one, and not another. I would know why”
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