Made me smile. Perfect for a steampunk or science-fantasy setting, and a refreshing change of pace. I was actually disappointed not to find links to other subs, simply because the world and religion you hinted at was pretty darn cool.
A note of caution. If these things are as powerful as you imply, then a GM would have to be very creative in how they use them in a game. Deus ex machina is a real possibility here. I would probably treat them as I would a dragon -- there to add flavor and potential quest hooks, but ultimately relegated to the background. Go to Comment
This submission is dedicated to a girl that I hardly knew, yet had a profound impact on a lot of people that I love dearly. She died far too young, and reminded me of just how terrible a toll death extracts from those who survive. Until the day when death is a bad memory, may this token of remembrance burn on in the darkness. Go to Comment
I've modified the submission to cover a few of these points, which are excellent.
Cela is not an undead (except, perhaps, philosophically), which I thought had been handled by "She was able to snatch the girls soul from the Void of Souls and bind it to her body long enough for Cela to heal from her mortal wounds", but I can understand if that wasn't entirely clear.
As for her mother, that's something entirely up to the GM who wants to use Cela. It could be that she quietly passed away, or that she was hunted down by religious authorities, or is still out there, providing support and a "home base" for her daughter's quest.
The rest all were included in the update, but for redundancies sake:
* The children are also color-drained. Nothing comes for free, and subverting the course of nature as thoroughly as this is bound to leave a mark.
* Wording within the narrative was modified to be slightly less jarring. You were correct here, and I had just gotten used to it after reading and re-reading that passage. This is why writers have editors.
* I've given a smidge of direction for her goals in the journal excerpt, but honestly this is something that a GM has to decide for themselves, since it's heavily contingent on the campaign world and what is possible. Go to Comment
The journal excerpt was amazing. Very original take on a necromancer, that's for sure, she seeks immortality for everyone. I LOVE how her story begins epically, and then this line---"Her survival was purely the work of a traveling necromancer who happened to be staying in the town which massacred the clan." I really like the dichotomy there of "fated to be this way" fractured by, "happenstance and serendipity". You can tell this was written with some emotion and extra care. The comments are good too. The questions apt, and the answers satisfactory.
I do not have much to say, it is fairly complete and a really good idea. I really like her journal excerpt. Though it does remind me of the princess bride, "All dead or mostly dead" . Mr. Mark, I think this is a great idea Extremely useable and you should add more (because I am sure you have more). It is not nearly close to being too long.
As a painting of a person, we a get a feel for intellectual motivations, but not for her personal style, tone or behavior. Does she make eye contact or have a distant look in her eye? Does she laugh or keep a poker face? She takes an interest in perserving life, but she does take an interest in the content of those lives? Is she interested in the maundane stories of peoples life, their grief, their romances and their observations? What does she do when she needs to unwind? You have a whole section on personality and you don't describe a personality. It is just an extension of her motivation section. If my half-Orc barbarian comes up to a isolated country well, a strings of ears around his neck and sees an albino chic making notes in codex, how will she respond when he wants to regale her with his war poetry? Or other less specific examples....
How does she deal with aging?
How does she eat? Does she gather and hunt, does trade in cash?
I think the rape and murder scene would be more horrific and thus effective if more details were added. Is this her talking in these scenes? Does she start referring to herself in third person after the event? If you gave the rapist and the event more details I think he would be more disturbing. What if he is a boy, what does she see in his eyes, is he smiling while he does these awful things, does he have a mustard stain on his shirt, does he thank god when he enters her? Is their a member of her clan, who is not quite dead, who she sees as she is being attacked, and thus this second violation becomes not just of her but of her family members last memories.
Rain fell and thunder crashed. This sentence would be interesting and necessary only if rain and thunder did something unusual….
“The rain was standing suspended in the air and the lightening appeared to hold its breath unable to speak its thunder clap after pushing back the darkness for this field of slaughter”
As it is I would drop it, we don’t know if it is day or night, winter or summer, hilly or flat, costal or inland (though we learn later it must be the plains). The only important details are that the ground is trampled, telling of us that was much activity, and it is flowing the blood. The first sentence should make you want to read the second sentence. I would drop the first two sentences, and start with rivulets of blood. This paragraph is about what Cela is observing, so you could start the paragraph with what is important her. Building a scene, by giving the readers details and then revealing the horror or the beauty of the scene at the end, work best when the reader is already invested in the outcome of the scene. Perhaps a better opener would be scene of Cela and her clan before the attack.
A few questions: Is Cela actually alive, or is she a form of undead?
Second: when she brings someone back from the dead, are they like her -- pale and colorless, or has she improved the process somehow?
A minor critique: "distilled, 200 proof pain" doesn't sound like something Cela would think, so describing her pain that way jolted me out of the narrative a little.
A suggestion: Cela's goal is immortality for all. Very cool stuff there. Could you give us a hint on how she plans to do it, so that we could use it?
Overall, this is a good piece Chaos. The writing for the parts in blockquotes is superb, and the character portrait at the end is believable and tragic. I kinda wish I had an example of Cela's dialogue, so that I could hear how she sounds, but that's pretty much it. Wonder what happened to her "mother". Go to Comment