Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Eldritch Truth About Humans

Humans and the Ascended
Imagine a baby bird. Featherless, unable to fly, confined to a little stick structure, being fed caterpillars on an hourly basis.

This is a human. This is their whole life, from the moment of their birth up to their death.

Imagine an adult bird. Now fully grown, it can see the world. It can fly, it can love, it can sing. But with this comes new needs. The need to build a nest of your own. The need to find your own food, find a mate, avoid predators, and everything else the new freedoms require.

This is what happens to a human after death. They become something more, something other.

And sometimes, they come back to the nest where they were born. We call these former humans 'the Ascended.'

When in this world, it is hard to describe them. Sometimes they take forms we are comfortable with, sometimes they are invisible. Most of the time, seeing one is like looking at a humanoid kaleidoscope while on acid. Hearing one speak is the same, but for your ears. Fighting them is like trying to beat up the kaleidoscope with a kinda pointy feather, while also attempting to keep your footing because oh my god the floor is actually a rosebush!!!!

Simply put, they're really fucking weird.*

*Like everything else in this goddamn shitshow of a world.

 However, unlike most things on Lint, the Ascended have a bright side. They generally have our best interests at heart.

But of course, every rainbow has it's potential flood. To continue the bird metaphor, sometimes a chick needs to be pushed out of the nest for it to try to fly. The chance of a person becoming an Ascended is much higher if an Ascended kills them, and so, since most of them love humans so much, they want them to experience this new, beautiful world, even if it means they have to prematurely leave the old one.

This of course also comes with the risk of the baby bird dying as their wings aren't fully developed to stop them from going splat on the forest floor. Without using metaphors, this means that the person will fall into a crack in the world, landing in an everlasting plane of torment that they do not even understand.

But the Ascended didn't mean to do it. It just happened. It's your fault for not being able to keep yourself aloft, and they shouldn't have to feel bad about it.

Some of them understand that humans generally don't want to die, so they respect their wishes. Most don't care. They'll get this bird to leave the nest, no matter what.

If it weren't for gods, the Ascended would certainly be worshiped as divine beings. Instead, they are feared and loved at the same time. And, like the old gods, they are unpredictable. An Ascended might save a city from destruction from an Eldritch abomination, only to turn and kill every person with red hair in that same city. It is not malice, or anger, it is ignorance and love.

Ascended have multitudes of abilities, most of them are stupidly physics-defying. They speak underwater, or pull the stars from the sky and chuck them at people like little death-pebbles. They disguise themselves as humans and live among them as a beggar for a hundred thousand years, before deciding to go back home on a whim.

They split the time stream and ask you a question, then rewind and ask you a different one. Maybe they get bored and see how easily your skin breaks, or give you a magic sword. Then they ask you more questions, rewind, and repeat. By the end of a conversation with an Ascended, they will know everything about you. Or they'll choose to not know anything about you, and keep rewinding the same moment until you get the message, trapping the two of you in a time loop for as long as they feel like.

Luckily, they aren't very common.

Of course, there are the predators. The weasel than climbs into the tree and eats all the baby birds. They generally aren't so friendly. They are the 'Others.'

The Others are big, sneaky, and really dangerous. Trying to fight one is like a baby bird trying to attack a weasel. You don't fight, you just die. And of course, a dead baby bird is never going to fly. They'll never have their feathers, never get to see their world. They'll just be gunk inside the weasel's stomach.

Luckily, these eldritch abominations never stay in the world for long. They have better things to do, they just like the easy treats that they get here. It is unknown how they come to be, or their motivations.

 An interdimensional 'weasel.'

There are those who can fight them, warriors who prepare their whole lives to protect their village or city from an Other. They almost always die, but the point wasn't to survive. It was for everyone else to survive. Often, they are forgotten as they rot in the wounded being's body, their connection to the rest of the world severed, and all memory of their existence gone.

It eats away at people, thinking about what they could have lost to the Others. They could have been kings, before their kingdom was devoured. The boy born without a leg might have only lost it a few minutes ago, and no one remembers...

There are no records of devastating attacks by Others. People might remember it happening, but the paper and ink do not. The Ascended, those not-quite-dead humans, are the only ones who can keep proper records. And they rarely concern themselves with the needs of the erased.

I'm not going to provide stats for these things, cause each one is unique and too weird for stat blocks. 

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