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Lifeforms
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4.17
9 Votes

44xp


Hits: 3011
Comments: 11
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.1667
Condition: Normal
ID: 3979

Submitted:

Updated:
June 12, 2007, 4:24 am

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Cheka Man
MoonHunter

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The Company of Stars

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"They come with the mist, and fight to protect us.  Protecting their people meant so much to them that they kept fighting for us after they fell.  Count yourselves blessed that the Company of Stars watches over us."
- Mylnes, Ethalani Elder

Full Description

The battle had been a fierce one.  For three miles in every direction, the ground was covered with the dead and the dying.  The young soldier could feel life slipping away from him.  He cried out, gasping a final prayer.  "Five gods…  Please…  help me…"

Wind blew over the battlefield.  It sounded like someone whispering to him.  Maybe it was real, maybe it was just delirium.  The soldier clung to it either way, fighting to stay alive.  "Perhaps….  why…."

The soldier coughed, spitting blood.  "The army of Dalres…  they have three days on the Defenders… heading… for Ethalan.  My wife, my brother.  No one… to defend them…"

The wind grew stronger, blowing grass, ash, and smoke into the air.  It spun around, and seemed to form the outline of two people.  A young man, a soldier, with blond hair and eyes of gold, and a red-haired girl with eyes of jade.  The man spoke.  "You wish to defend your home?  That is why you fight so hard?"

The soldier nodded, too weak to speak.  The girl knelt down next to him.  "You wish to protect your family?  That is why you refuse to let our brother take charge of your soul?"  He nodded again.  A mist was rising over the battlefield, but he paid it no mind.

The woman gently touched his forehead, and the man bent down and touched his sword hand.  Green and gold flared briefly, and he felt his strength return.  He stood up, and noticed that others had appeared out of the mist nearby, all with marks on their foreheads and hands. 

The man spoke.  "Go, then.  Defend your home."  The girl nodded in agreement.  "Protect your family.  When they are safe, you can rest until your people need you again."

Battles are bloody, frightening affairs, and there are few men as desperate as dying soldiers.  Many of them call out to their respective gods, begging to be delivered from death.  Usually this is their final act, for the gods seldom answer these pleas.  Sometimes, however, the gods do answer.

The Company of Stars is a phantom company of soldiers who fell in battle.  But they refused to let it be that easy.  Their desire to protect their friends, family, homeland, or other things equally precious was so strong that the gods themselves took notice. 

Desha, the goddess of protection, and Mynis, the soldier’s god, gave these soldiers the ability to march to the defense of what they held dear.  The company persists until the current danger is past, then they fade back into the mist that brought them.

It is a widely held belief among the Ethalani that the Company comes with the mist, and mist rising over the battlefield is always seen as a good omen, a sign that the Company is with them.

Additional Information

Soldiers of the Company of Stars are not seen often, but they are remembered when they are.  They are seen as ghostly soldiers in a variety of uniforms with a variety of weapons from different eras of warfare.  They have a very washed out appearance, except for a green star-shaped gem on their foreheads and a gold key-shaped mark on their weapon hand.

They are always accompanied by a thick mist, which only makes them harder to see.  This, coupled with their immaterial nature, gives them a profound psychological impact on enemy soldiers.

The Company is mostly comprised infantry, although there are some archers, and a few calvary, which ride spectral mounts that seem to be made of the mist.  Really, the mix of the Company is determined by which soldiers had the strength of will to call the gods to them as they died.  The Captain of the Company was a calvary officer; he rides the ghostly shade of his own horse, which was killed by the same blow that felled him. 

The Company of Stars is said to ride only when they are needed, or when people close to those who became the Company are in danger.  If the need is dire enough, and if the protection of the Five Gods of the Deneschal faith is invoked, the Company will arise.  No one knows for sure, but it is generally thought that members of the Company are sent to the After to rest until they are needed again.



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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
June 11, 2007, 11:38
0xp
It is rare that a spectral army is conveniently benign, the Company of Stars seems rather unique in that regard. The story at the begining was the best part. I would like to know some more details, basics really. Does the Company have a leader? Can it be summoned or does it only show up when the conditions are right? From what I've read, it is a mix-up of varying types of infantry, is there any cavalry, siege weapon crews, or anything like that?
Voted Wulfhere
June 11, 2007, 12:50
0xp
Although these phantoms of battle are basically benevolent, as time passes they could become increasingly out of touch with current political realities. Hundreds of years later, they may still be defending their land against invaders.

I could see a party questing for a way to finally lay these spirits to rest, either for beneficient purposes ("The Church would have these tormented souls freed from their eternal battle,") or sinister motives ("Only after these interfering ghosts are put down will we be able to bring the rebels of the district into check!").
Voted Cheka Man
June 11, 2007, 13:18
0xp
Nice, a phantom army with a difference.
Voted valadaar
June 11, 2007, 13:20
0xp
I like this though plot ideas would have strengthened it in my view.
Voted manfred
June 11, 2007, 14:56
0xp
A mist that is a good sign, that is actually a rare sight. :)

I like them!
Ria Hawk
June 12, 2007, 4:24
0xp
Updated: Answered some questions that were raised. The Captain of the Company will be an NPC, in case you're wondering.
Voted Murometz
June 18, 2007, 15:49
0xp
Nice twist on the ol' undying army of hatred and loathing....this crew is benign. I like! I liked the opening tale as well.
Voted MoonHunter
June 19, 2007, 16:54
0xp
I have a soft spot for submissions like this one. (Edits did improve it.) It has some good solid points to it: just enough detail, just enough idea, and vague enough to be "pluggable" anywhere. It would make a good addition to both a game's history and reality/ continuity.
Hrofgar
August 31, 2010, 22:24
0xp
This is a very nice submission, I do like how they are phantom figures but not undead. Great job.
Voted Hrofgar
August 31, 2010, 22:25
0xp
I like how they are phantom figures but not necessarily undead. This is a cool idea, good job.
Voted dark_dragon
September 1, 2010, 3:36
0xp
I really like that sub. I was pulled in by the title (haven't logged on in months) and don't regret having made the trip back through the net to read it. Nice post Ria! 4.5

Freetext



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

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       By: Wulfhere

The player characters, experienced and somewhat well known, hear rumors and travelers' tales about a distant area being overrun by dragons (or other terrifying monstrosities). The locals have sent them a message, begging for heroic aid.

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