Reads more like a short story than a game piece, but that's definitely not a bad thing! I found myself becoming absorbed in the development of this unique species. The intro was a little long, but not boring.
As for the bird itself, the descriptions are evocative and the effect unique, but I'm not entirely sure it's plausible. How much force would a corpse have to explode with to kill nearby enemies in armor? Where is that energy coming from (It seems like the raven is "putting" energy into the corpse, not "pulling" it). Does the raven subsist on this same font of energy, or does it need actual flesh and blood? If so, how can it possibly get anything to eat if its food source inevitably blows up?
Its intelligence also seems a little high. Why would it be concerned with things like "bigger returns" from exploding an arm mid-air? Does the bird have an intense desire to kill?
My suggestion would be to somewhat tone down the birds' power. Perhaps a corpse only has a one-in-three chance of exploding, or the raven has to intentionally trigger an explosion once it has stored up enough energy from eating other corpses. Maybe they can only explode every third or so corpse this way. Something like that.
This is so well-written that it's still getting high-marks from me, "fuzzy magic" aside. Glad you finally released it. Go to Comment
Update: I seem to be slightly lost physically, mentally, and emotionally on where I was going on this one. I've been updating it every so often in the segments as shown above. I kind of wanted to make the Raveten more... creepy. Strange. Terrifying. Something more for something that blows up corpses. So, yeah, here it is. The oh-most-beautiful Raveten. Don't give it a corpse. Go to Comment
The Ravetens eyes are black in adulthood. As an infant, their bloodshot. And as for the other phyical changes you suggested, well, I wanted to make it look like a Raven, with a few "tells." Like the silent thing. Go to Comment
As I said, I'm lost on this one physically, mentally, and emotionally. I guess I just don't know what I want with the Raveten. It's just that when I imagine it, I see a regular raven, but twisted slightly. Something... Off about it.
On a side note, what about exploding corpses is not strange or terrifying? Is it normal for the corpse on display on a funeral to suddenly send bone fragments and brain chunks flying at those attending? Is the sight of your buddy's corpse suddenly covering your face, and as you look down at where his corpse used to be you see a regular raven *not* terrifying? Go to Comment
The description of the egg hatching was for two reasons. The first was to show how the Sciremagi had warped the Raven, not only in the whole corpse explosion thing- normal Raven eggs are of a different coloring. And it showed a bit of the early, childhood stage of the Raveten- assumptions can be made that, since their adult eyes are black and childhood eyes are red, that their eyes change color during Bird Puberty.
And as for the jumbling in the Mistake- though I may have phrased a couple of things badly, I think what actually happens was clear (at least, clear to me, since I wrote the sub). I'll explain it. The Merthians had seen the Raveten, realized the war potential of avian-death-bringing, and tried a different, better way to use birds in killing things. Instead of ravens, however, they used crows. Before they could finish production, but after they had done some crow enchanting, some Obstarian soldiers captured the castle and the city, and were in the looting/plundering phase of conquering. They came into the lab, saw the crows, and saw the killing of the Sciremagus. The Merthians didn't want the invaders to discover incomplete data and facts about their Crows. And then came the fight scene, the escape of the crowd and the Ravens, and the mating of the two magic-mangled species.
All this scene was heavily influenced by real world history. WWII. The Germans were researching quantum mechanics (because the atom bomb was based on Einstein's theories, and Einstein was a Jew. Also, quantum mechanics was based on German-aka superior- research) to get a super weapon, as the Americans did with the Manhattan Project. When Germany lost, they killed all their scientists and destroyed the data before the Allies (Russia, America, England, France) could grab it. A last laugh, so to speak. Which is what the Merthian's did- before the cursed invaders could take their crow data, they stabbed the researcher who knew everything, and (though it wasn't actually mentioned) destroyed the data.
Hmmm... Now I have two questions for you, axelrowes: was this helpful, and could you have possibly gotten any of this in the sub? Minus the stuff about Nazi Germany, quantum mechanics, and dead scientists. Go to Comment
Yeah, the references to Merthians and Obstarians would be confusing to the uninitiated. If you follow the link in the sub to Atheus, then you can see a map, as well as a link to Atheus's history. Those two subs might make things clearer. Long story short: Taurians and Obstarians vs. Merthians and Kathians (I believe I mentioned Kathia at some point in this, and too lazy right now to go check). An in depth explanation to the fight is below in my reply to Axelrowes.
As for the Raveten getting food, I'll explain that in my reply to Dossta.
And, by the by, get well soon. If you're feeling the effects, that means the cold's almost over. Go to Comment
Now a biology lesson: the Raveten pulls magic energy from pecked corpses to provide it energy. The Raveten doesn't actually get blood on its beak from eating food. The act of pulling energy acts something like a magic implosion: the lack of magic energy equates to a quasi-vacuum, implosion, and thus explosion. That is a helpful (at least, I hope it's helpful) tidbit that conjure up a good mental picture while at the same time being completely wrong. The actual magic meta is at this point in Atheus construction complicated, fuzzy, and with a couple of holes in it discretely covered with a bit of cloth and grass.
And actual Ravens are pretty smart. YouTube them. When I was writing this, I found a video if them problem solving to get food. Too lazy to find the link now. The magic amplifies that.
And the bigger returns thing- arm exploded here means less dead bodies, or no dead bodies. That means no more food. Arm exploded there means lots of dead bodies, or lots of food. More food=good.
And your power-lowering suggestion- the Ravetens are only really dangerous when there's a corpse lying around. Do PCs typically wander around with a corpse? Not unless they failed in their rescue mission for Princess Alice and are bringing her corpse back to her father, King Zod, so he can grieve and bury her (and maybe still pay them something). Or when they get in a fight with some dragon. Yes, PCs do tend to accumulate corpses, but they don't stick around them. And if they're smart, they'll run when they see that strange Raven in the tree after they participated in a little "dragon-slaying."
The force of the explosion is 2/3 (roughly) that of a grenade. I believe I compared it to a m16 grenade? Whichever one it was, it was the standard frag grenade of the US army. Go to Comment
How bout giving it pitch black eyes not reflecting any light (blood red is so cliché), a serrated beak that divides itself into three parts when opening, a long barbed frog like tongue, and several black bumpy tentacles with black talons at the end instead of a body. Make it drag itself slowly across the floor only to spring into the air and fly into the faces of victims at the last minute. Go to Comment
I actually quite like this simple somewhat mundane plot. In particular, I like Part 3 and how this sub incorporates some moral elements and allows for changing objectives for PCs as they learn new info. Go to Comment
Why would the king be embarrassed about raiders? Raiders attack stuff all the time. I think kings usually just throw a lot of knights at the problem until it goes away. It's also unusual that he'd have such poor intelligence about the nature of the raiders.
Maybe the king's brother or bastard son is leading the logging company, and he needs to keep it super-quiet. Or the king sent the logging company, breaking a treaty in the process, and now regrets it.
Also the ship is probably way more defensible than some palisades on the beach.
Also, I'm a little bit confused about who the original raiders are. The elves? The dwarves? None of the five tribes seem to have boats.
The party motivation seems a little bit muddled, too. If the dwarves are the ones raiding and killing humans, then they would probably be the ones targeted.
Last point: I think this sub could use a good dose of the unexpected. More weirdness. I've already killed a bunch of evil logging companies in WoW. Maybe the logging company is building a giant guardian wickerman? Or the land was once occupied by elves and orcs, who are both persecuted the loggers, and the party needs to unite the elves and the orcs by beating both sides at their ridiculous contests, all while avoiding lumberjack assassins?
Summary: I'd say the plot can be simplified and tightened up. The addition of some PCs would be cool, too, and I'd totally like to hear about what type of Annointed the leader of the logging company is (and this would be a good way to tie your Atheus subs together). Go to Comment
Update: Forganthus. For your comment, either an answer will be provided here, or has been put up above in the edit.
The King is not embarrassed. Its just that he can have nothing to do with the Barbarians, since both his and Obstaria's policy is to simply keep the Barbarians outside the human lands, and nothing else. Both Tauria and Obstaria are highly racists against Barbarians, partly because of the losses the humans faced when the Barbarians attacked during the Territory Wars. Since then, the raiding has decreased substantially. And then, of course, it increased enough to annoy a king because some logging company set up camp in northwestern Atheus.
The dwarves could be targeted, yes. But by the time the PCs could find the dwarves, they meet the elves. And if the elves learn that there buddies, the dwarves, got killed off by some of these d*** humans, the party is probably going to face an unfortunate ambush on their way back to the ship. Besides, killing the dwarves would only temporarily relieve the problem. The logging company would take more and more land, forcing the other tribes to less and less land, which would result in more and more raiding. The problem would be temporarily relieved, but then the king would get mad. Go to Comment
This is very intellectual and abstract take on a religion. You have outlined a theological core but given little of the practice of it. Certainly these philosophies of life could be followed by somebody who is looking for direction, meaning or structure-but why make religion out of it?
What do the gods get out of it?
Do the Gods grant powers in your world? If there is no supernatural power associated with this religion what role does it play in society?
Does it effect the moral codes of the land?
I think we really should to write this up as part of a narrative, put this through the crucible of story telling, and see what comes out.
Well I really enjoy your stories, the one about the smart sword, the serial killer and such all good stuff. I think that stuff, more than listing facts helps to crystalize ideas. Perhaps Bob had a crisis of faith, perhaps Bob is torn between God and Country....whatever. The overall question for everything on this site that is not a story is - Do these ideas revolving around ( in the this case the tri-faith) help you to tell stories? Go to Comment