This rope is always too short for the task at hand.
The trick is in the uncoiling, but the solution was never made known by its maker Ryanflek. Its of course possible that a master rope maker could, "unravel" the mystery.
There are rough inflexible ropes with hempish hair sticking out at all angles and then there are tightly woven, strong yet flexible, silken cords. Ryanflek was a master rope maker, he was often called upon to make special ropes, ropes of beauty, ropes of incredible strength and ropes of magic. But kings can be tyrants, especially those who have just conquered your lands. Ryanflek found himself called before his new king and ordered to produce the best rope ever made. Aye, ordered, not commissioned as you might expect. The king was arrogant and ruthless paid the master rope maker no monies but always took the latest rope and subjected it to ridiculously high breaking strains, threaded it through the tiniest of eyes and wound it around the diameter of his fingers. Ryanfleck made rope after rope, each one thinner, stronger and more nimble than the next but still the king was never satisfied. Growing tired of Ryanflek's inability to deliver, the king imprisoned the rope makers wife and daughter in the castle tower and ryanfleck himself in the castles dungeons. Ryanflek's heart was in pain, he cried for his family and vowed to make the best rope and trick this oppressor king.
The day arrived, disheveled Ryanfleck kneeled before the king and layed the rope at his feet.It was thinner than ever before, glistened like woven strands of silver unicorn hair. Braided in the most meticulous and alluring manner. Its feel was so soft it almost floated, like one was dragging a hand through lightest white cloud. It was so flexible that it was easily wound around the kings finger. The king tested its strength, first he hung great weights, then harnessed many horses in opposition. Not content he dropped massive boulders onto the rope in an effort to fray and weaken the strands. But the rope held. Content with his knew toy the king released the wife and daughter, Ryanfleck fled with his family but not before he showed the king how to coil the rope.
The king toyfully played with his rope for many days until he realised it was useless. No matter what task he tried to do, every time he uncoiled the rope it was too short. If he wanted to reach down a 50ft pit it was 15ft too short. If he wanted to tie the opening of a sack there was never enough rope left for the knot.
"Its cursed he cried" and had the rope removed from his sight.
While it does have a few good concepts and starting points, the fact that this is skeletal means that I can't in good faith vote any higher than this, simply due to there not being much meat to the sub. Poke me when it's updated, and I'll revote then. Go to Comment
Many begin the study of vampirism with at least an intuitive knowledge of this ability. Besides major changes in own life force (that are felt by pretty much anyone), they will learn to recognize the smaller changes, up to the continual pull of old age... once aware of how slowly, but relentlessly is their power sapped away, many will become afraid of aging, and eventually accept the solution that brings them eternity. Some vampires teach this ability freely, or spread instructions towards achieving the same. This is the most innocent entry into the dark.
To use this ability on oneself, there is no need to expend magic of any sort, only to concentrate for a time. Using it on others is actual spellcasting, ranging in power from cantrips to potent rituals, depending on what information is sought:
- estimate if a body is still alive, or not
- attune to a particular creature, and find out more about its health
- scan an area for signs of life (for instance a battlefield)
- up to locating a particular creature in a long range Go to Comment
(Note that "Closed" is the default state of vampires.)
Control Body - with concentration, the body yields to the will of its inhabitant. Temporary effects may be achieved, allowing great strength, or speed. Permanent modifications are also possible, the well-known vampire teeth are a typical example.
Heal Self - a variant of Control Body, by concentrating on one's proper function can the body be repaired much faster than normal.
Ignore - caster may attempt to simply deny a certain effect, emotion, power, etc., that could have power over him. Anything can be tried, but the difficulty to do so can be ridiculously high.
Control Appearance - power over yourself is also the power over the perception of others of you. This is an illusion, that changes your look into that of a somewhat different person; may also 'return' their human face, if it has changed.
Invisible - closing upon yourself even more, and concentrating deeply, the vampire becomes even harder to notice. Unless specifically searched for, or guarded against, most people won't perceive him.
Turning into a wolf, bat, or similar large change would also require to be Closed. (I leave it open, whether it is one of these effects, or there will be an entire group of transformation powers.) Go to Comment
(Note that to be "Open" also means that any useful temporary effects of being "Closed" are suspended or lost.)
To stay Open for too long means the risk of loosing your life power. Be careful. But to be Open reminds many of the great joys of life. Some prefer to avoid it, others wallow in it.
An Open vampire has an easier time reading the emotions of other people. At the very least, excitement and a fast heartbeat they will know.
Refresh / Feed - to consume the essence of life, there are many ways besides the usual sucking of blood (though it may be the most effective):
- draining flora (very low gain)
- using animals
- feeding on the field of battle (requires mere presence, no physical contact is necessary)
- in hospitals or other places with many wounded or weakened people
- childbirth (usually child or mother dies as a result)
- from other vampires (best if they are Open; nasty to do it to own kindred)
- from being among crowds (low yield, but quite safe)
Boost Senses* - improve the performance of your senses. It can help to find out, if anyone is following you, for example. Watch* - observe a particular person or small group from afar; sight only.
Embrace - the art of becoming a part of something, like a group of people. One could also become a "part of a wall" and climb it with amazing speed, etc.
Thank you. Note also, that the shadow and reflections of an "open" vampire will be easier to perceive, and seem more real. If such a vampire looks human enough, he might even pass for one. Go to Comment
I am very pleased you like this. In time, more will be revealed to those that seek. :->
In this case, I prefer a bit more to have a few broad powers with numerous applications than have them exactly listed. Having these, an effective predator could be made. What is probably missing, are the more advanced, more involved powers stemming from their source and philosophy. But perhaps, even that could be valid for some interpretations... that with all their noble thoughts, this is their true nature. Everyone has to decide for their own variant. (Note: a few suggestions or ideas are never out of place.) Go to Comment
Aside from the new approach to the subject, the philosophical aspects of being opened and closed this is just okay. The concentration of self and closure of personal essence being the cause of vampires lacking shadows or reflections is interesting, though. Go to Comment
The road has never been more than an overgrown mud track, little travelled and little cared for, petered out to nothing more than a flattened earthen line, barely distinguishable from the rest of the landscape. The soil is dark and fecund and dark oaks stand like sentinels at the forest edge, their branches high and leafy. From them hang grizzly human bones, skulls and shiny precious stones. Who put these strange totems there? Are they warnings? Do the PCs dare to take the stones?