The confessions of an unlucky A.I.
""I am." Is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do." is the longest sentence?" - George Carlin
CRTF's first resident goofball animal mascot.
I have heard it all my life,
A voice calling a name I recognized as my own.
Some people call him Dr. Hammer. Some call him Mr. Hammer. Those with a flair for the melodramatic call him “The Hammer”. Others simply call him Hammer, much the way people call Madonna or Sting a single name. He is the one you contact should you have a "unique building" need.
A curious man with no past or desire beyond that of his art.
The story of an old gnome who makes an exceptional living off of designing and building unique strongholds.
The hard working, the lazy and the indispensible, 30 Servants to look after the myriad needs of your world's nobles.
"Attention, Flesh-beings! The time is now Sun-High-point-five, towards dark, 180 Units Past. Curfew in 30 Units. You are welcome."
Thirty slaves, some of which have hellish lives of toil, others which have a somewhat easier life.
A highly talented chef, this young man takes great pride in his job.
A ambitious cook who uses steam technology and a love for all things edible to make the world a tastier place.
I’m gonna be somebody, someday!
The Wise Woman of a small family of the giant hill people known as the Volgotoi, Korara’s particular gifts of illusion have allowed her a surprising degree of influence over the local Imperial outpost, helping spare her people the ravages of ‘civilization’.
Not every wolf can be tamed, and in time, the feral are certain to bite the hands that feed him. But what punishment can be leveled upon the wolf? Should he be cast out into the wilds, knowing even better now the habits of shepard and sheep? And should he be slain, what should become of his fur and fang?
How much worse can be a man than a wolf?
A sweet old Herbalist with a secret, how old is he really?
One of the Piemaster’s most devilish associates.
A gravedigger who defies the stereotypes. A regular at the Mausoleum.
The definition of a Henchman: a man who really knows his away around a hench.
Standing at the prow of the ship, Ashala rejoiced at the strong winds catching her midnight-black hair - flapping it like a pennant. The dark clouds ahead would have filled other seafarers with dread. Not Ashala. The dark clouds and wicked winds were an invitation, a challenge.
"Steady as she goes!" she shouted over her shoulder to the shipmaster, "To the Eye!"
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.