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Author Topic: Artemis Talon, Watcher of the Woods  (Read 134 times)

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Artemis Talon, Watcher of the Woods
« on: November 10, 2017, 02:58:53 PM »
Spoiler: show

Source: drider by InsaneShadow - Deviantart
(Ignore the pointed ears I guess)

Name: Artemis Hunter Talon (translated)
Age: Twenties
Gender: Female
Species: Arachne, Metasylvan
Height: 5'3" humanoid (taller hybrid)
Occupation: Scout, hunter
Residence: Nomadic - tribe located in the Adelan woodlands

Artemis takes three different shapes - humanoid, arachnoid and hybrid.

While humanoid she looks similar to an Adelan human with a dark reddish complexion. Her build is that of a proud and successful hunter, shapely, hardy and robust though fairly short in stature. Her vibrant heart-shaped face features a small perky nose, cheerful dark brown upturned eyes and a casual toothy grin, while her long, wild warm-black hair is usually tied up and swept aside. Notably her arms, legs and spine are covered in dark chitin, so it looks a bit like she's wearing long gloves and stockings. Her fingers and toes end in claws which can be retracted, and her teeth appear to be sharp pointed fangs. Altogether she has a lively, pragmatic and exotic sort of appeal.

While arachnoid her spider body is massive, faintly hairy, covered in speckled brown and black exoskeleton and eight-legged with large tarsal claws at the end of each limb. She is about as scary as a giant spider skittering around might be.

As a hybrid she looks more of a typical arachne, with the spider lower body and human upper body which adds considerably to her height.

Her style is simple and efficient. She wears a durable green and brown camouflaged spider silk poncho, with a natural white loincloth and breastcloth of the same material. It serves defence, insulation, mobility and concealment.

It's Artemis' mission to go where her people have never gone before and see what the wider world is truly like, and she has an insatiable curiosity to match. Her understanding of neighbouring lands, people and basic Common is limited though this won't stop her from trying. When it comes to communication she's very visual, tending to mime things out or gesture copiously and being able to vividly read into body language, one of a host of spidery mannerisms. Flouting expectations of a creepy spider person, she gets excited easily and is perpetually friendly to companions and random strangers alike, but may still go positively feral when threatened.

Skills, Talents and Magic
Artemis is above all things a hunter; highly agile, deceptively tough and deadly with or without a knife, and she takes a lot of pride in this. She can live in the wild with little effort due to her strong grasp of survival skills. Her kind's inherent qualities help her in many ways, such as heightened senses and speed, or the tools of a predator. Furthermore, she is a fledgeling primal spellcrafter, keen to engage in the natural magic that has historically helped her people. To her detriment she knows nothing of the different lands that she treads or their people. This naivety puts her at a disadvantage, making it easy to trick or confuse her if she's out of her element.

Coming from a primitive upbringing, Artemis learned to appreciate the simple things in life and live in the here and now. She comes from a barbarian tribe of arachnae, a group of valo meaning they're reasonably cordial with outsiders, which is something she reflects. Her parents raised her to be a good spider-thing and think of others. While her people gave her all she needed, life cooped up in an isolated clan began to feel too uneventful and confined to bear so she set out on her own hoping to fulfil her dreams of adventure and discovery. Still, she could never stay away from home for too long.

Artemis is close to her parents, siblings and the rest of her little tribe. Furthermore she wants to meet and befriend all the outsiders.
  • More to come.

Current Threads
  • The Descent - In which Artemis checks out a weird cave. What could go wrong?

Complete Threads
  • More to come.

Metasylvans Write-Up
Spoiler: show
Metasylvan Arachnae
Watchers of the Woods

The story of this subspecies' genesis isn't definitive. Some of them tell the legend that they were created or warped into being at the hands of a reclusive mage, who fended off a meddling demon. Others believe they were the progeny of the demon, and the mage was the meddler. The truth may be either case, somewhere in between or something else entirely. All that's certain is that they've lived in the Adelan woodlands for a considerable length of time.

They call themselves by several titles, the predominant one translating to "watchers of the woods"; they chose this because they traditionally view themselves as having some share of stewardship over their environment, and they keep an eye (or eight) on outsiders who stumble into their domain. The term 'metasylvan' was coined by Adelan scholars based on loose knowledge of the creatures. Contact with outsiders tends to be limited to isolated sightings and interactions with individual wanderers, barterers or scouts of their race.

The watchers' communities are largely reminiscent of primitive humans, divided into tribes of hunter-gatherers with an early supplemental form of agriculture. Typically they have an elder, a role that any can take if willing and wise enough, and a chieftain, a role which is inherited; both their males and females can become crafters, farmers, hunters, warriors and leaders and all of the tribe is partially responsible for childcare, though direct family are inherently tied closer still. Different tribes may have different structures however.  Most of them embrace and celebrate responsible use of spellcraft, mainly primal magic as it helps them master their natural environment. Their clothing is made up of simple practical garments including robes, sashes and capes spun from their own silk and left natural white in colour or camouflaged in earthy, leafy shades. Their fighters and hunters tend to wear only loincloths (and breastcloths for the females) to stay mobile, but the best of them are known to wear increasingly elaborate outfits as they become more decorated. Curiously, they speak a dialect of Old Serenian, with little grasp of the Common tongue, although much of their communication can be done nonverbally. They borrow some of their names from humans, and use Old Serenian words for others.

There is something of a split in the collective race. One class, 'valo', more commonly believe the tale of the mage creator (called 'Urvalo'), abhor the notion of preying on intelligent life and are peaceful to strangers who aren't belligerent to them. The other camp, 'varjo', more often believe in the demonic creator (called 'Urvarjo'), view sapients as acceptable game or even the most thrilling quarry, and are dangerously xenophobic to travelers who stray in their part of the woods. Among myriad other spirits of folklore, the souls of the two supposed creators are routinely invoked in either side's beliefs.

Quite the physiological anomaly, each of these arachne innately possess a limited means of rapid magical shapeshifting. This consists of three distinct stages, though rumours exist of a fourth or more. The process can occur from one stage to any other over a few seconds, and leaves them momentarily fatigued. Any wounds, maladies or other conditions that they sustained previously will remain until healed, independent of this power, and will correspond between shapes (in similar ways where applicable, and in unpredictable ways determined by unknown means where either shape is different enough - e.g. losing a spider leg may translate to losing digits, a strip of tissue/section of bone from one limb, or something similar).

  • Arachnoid: Eight legs, eight eyes, full exoskeleton. This stage is identical to a giant spider, and is favoured for its nimbleness and prowess. Their numerous eyes improve their perception of depth and movement. In this form, and to a less exclusive degree the others, communication can be done by complex nonverbal channels. For obvious reasons this one isn't preferred when dealing amicably with outsiders.
  • Hybrid: This stage is the natural guise of the arachne, and best indicates the sylvans' amalgamated nature. Part spider and part human, it enables both utility and mobility. It retains pedipalps and most of the cephalothorax, but differs as the humanoid abdomen begins where the head would be. From the abdomen-up, the humanoid part here is just like in the stage below.
  • Humanoid: This stage closely resembles humans, and may even allow committed sylvans to blend in. They differ from humans in that that they retain some flexible chitin over part of their skin - distribution can vary slightly but the arms, legs, and spine will be covered, so they may look kind of like they're wearing long gloves and stockings. Furthermore they have sharp fangs visible when they open their mouths wide, and claws on their fingers and toes that may be retracted out of sight. On this form the spinneret appears as a tiny protrusion at the base of the spine.
  • "Werespider": The existence of this stage is unclear, though it is the most commonly speculated additional stage. There are only stories told in hushed whispers, merely hinting at its characteristics, and they aren't all consistent. They do however agree that it's not work of a curse as the colloquial name suggests, but rather a metasylvan who has honed incredible control over their shapeshifting. They say it's vaguely humanoid in figure, but larger, faster and horrifically strong.

Across all stages sylvans have high sensitivity to sounds, vibrations and scents, good visibility in low light conditions, resistance to disease and foreign poisons, fairly advanced natural regeneration, full or partial protective chitin covering, retractable claws, and both web-producing and venomous characteristics. Their web is sturdy, sticky and elastic, scaled up compared to normal spiders' due to their size, and they have separate glands storing two classes of venom; a sufficient dose of one is enough to kill most creatures around their size, while the other is a sedative that can induce sleep. They are unaffected by their own poison. Additionally, they have an odd sort of kinship with spiders and seem to be able to communicate with them.

The arachnoid aspect of adult sylvans are huge, with a range of brown-hued chitin colourations that desaturate as they approach moulting. They display aspects of both jumping and web spiders as well as traits unique to them, possibly lending credence to the legends of their intentional creation. Young sylvans moult frequently as an ordinary part of growing, and this continues periodically through their adult life. In overall size, females tend to be the larger arachnoids.

The humanoid features of sylvans are very close to Adelans, many having dark skin, hair and eyes though deviations exist. They prefer a high-protein carnivorous diet, but are actually omnivorous due to their humanoid aspects. Even as humanoids they are naturally quick, very good at climbing, and at home in the trees and brush. In overall size, males tend to be the larger humanoids.

Metasylvan reproduction is a bit complicated with supernatural factors in consideration, but as a general rule mothers stay in whatever form they're in after conception. They often mate for life, and can reproduce in any form. The normal timescale of maternity in all forms is similar to that of humans. In the arachnid stages reproduction functions similarly to that of wolf spiders, eggs being wrapped in a silken ball that is carried around before the young hatch and continue to be carried for a period of time (hatched in arachnoid form), albeit with a smaller clutch of much larger eggs. Alternatively, in the humanoid stage reproduction functions similarly to that of humans, giving birth to live young (born in humanoid form), albeit with a much higher chance of twins, triplets and so on; during pregnancy in this case the mother is also hard-wired to stay in that form, preventing complications. Additionally a humanoid sylvan may crossbreed with partners of other species, if so their children may or may not lack the shapeshifting ability. Children with the ability can invariably change shape after only a few months, and regardless of initial form they imprint on the mother immediately, later learning attachment to the father. As a note on aging, they mature at the same rate as humans and stop in their prime, their lifespan ranging up to a few centuries.
Catalogue - The Harbour                                     Characters                               Player Info - Wants & Limits
Rex Havelock, Bard Extraordinaire
Artemis Talon, Watcher of the Woods
Thomas Crow, Fallen Soldier
Valkyrie, Chooser of the Dead