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
The horror of this abomination brings tears of rage to my eyes. The glorious creature now turned by the selfish evils that care not a whit about life almost takes the breathe out of you. (Well, maybe it actually does do that.)
I honestly have many issues contemplating a place with some of these udead and then adding this monstrosity to the mix is only too much. We need a Paladin guild! :) Go to Comment
I like it, but something just doesn't seem to sit well with me. He definitely seems a being, creature, entity or what have you, of evil and death. The concept of reducing what we know to be a being of pure light and goodness (some settings anyway) into its antithesis is awesome and you have done that. I just cant put my finger on it. Withholding my vote right now until I read it a few more times.
Current vote would be a 3/5 but wanting it to be higher. Go to Comment
Honestly, I'm not entirely sure if I played up the undead aspect of his nature sufficiently. But then, it's rather hard to take a creature known for resurrection and make it undead. Thoughts are appreciated. Go to Comment
Simply the concept of twisting the phoenix/bennu bird into its dark-winged opposite is a magnificent one! A true cosmic horror!
I'm slightly less crazy about its name. It seems modern-ish, for such a legendary being..."murder"? For my tastes, even "Deathblaze" for example, seems more epic, dunno. I feel this avian darkness deserves a more epic name.
Would love to see a bit more on the creature too. What else does it do? Where does it go, why does it go there, some character interaction of some sort. Some further legends or anecdotal horror.
Wow. That definitely hit a chord with me -- so glad this came back up on the front page so I could find it. Like Strolen, I'm moved to near tears by this powerful submission. I do wonder if Murderblaze acts as his own free agent, or if he is beholden/sworn to anyone else. That would be a rather interesting dynamic.
I want to put this guy into a game just so that my players could undo the damage done to him! I want to see him whole again. Go to Comment
I've never verified this, but I would be interested if someone was willing to try: If you blindfold a person and close their nose where they cannot smell, you cannot tell the difference between biting into an apple and biting into an onion. There is/was a gameshow on SyFy that was based on this entire premise, Blackout. Contestants were escorted into completely blacked out room and had to identify things using only certain other senses, such as touch only, or scent only.
it seems you've been eviscerated and eaten by a grue. Go to Comment
"The ____ is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No ____ has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale." Go to Comment