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ID: 7128

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December 2, 2012, 6:50 pm

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The Semblance

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"I take it ye've ne'er fought a Semblance. Nasty undead fiends they be. 'course, they don't look undead. They don't have gleamin' bones, or rottin' flesh. No, sir! The Semblance looks just like you or me. Except for when its tryin' ta get you. I take it ye've ne'er fought a Semblance. If you had, you'd be dead."

-Old Gerald, man in the pub

Created by The Noble Expertise of Creating a Remaining Organism, shortened by them to NECRO, the Semblance was a side-product of their pursuit of immortality. The first one was made to kill Ariel Lorette. The Semblance looks almost exactly like the person it was made from. Except for one crucial detail. They eyes. But the eyes are not blood red, or malevolent black. No, the entire eye has streaks of royal purple sewn throughout. Most of the streaks are in the pupil and iris of the eye, with some shooting out to the surrounding area. If you are near a Semblance, you will only be able to tell, based on the eye coloration, at 10 yards, probably less.

Creation:

The process of creating the Semblance is different than from the usual. Instead of using a corpse, you use a living being. This person can be any type of life form out there, be it dwarf or elf, shark or human, eagle or halfling. The process starts at twilight. The subject is placed on an alter (the alter is for dramatic effect- it can be a kitchen counter, random slab, or the ground) and tied to it. The necromancer then takes a scalpel and carves out a chunk of the victim's brain that connects to the spinal cord. This chunk is then placed beside the victim's head. The necromancers then begins the spell. The spell converts the chunk of brain matter into nercomantic energies, which appear to be made of a purple light. The converted brain matter chunk is then replaced in the subject's skull. Another spell is said, to start the process of fusing the necromanctic brain matter with the rest of the brain. If the necromancer messes this one up, then the subject, though it will still become a Semblance, will get a goal of killing its creator. More on the Semblance's goal later. Over the next week, every dawn and twilight the necromancer repeats the spell that fuses the necromantic energies with the rest of the brain. At the end of the week, the Semblance is created. A Semblance can only be created if the brain of the subject is whole and not touched by rot. A dead body can only be used if the process begins within the day after the death.

Pros and Cons:

The Semblance is twice as strong as a member of the race/species it was while it was alive. It is as fast as it was when it was alive. The two major things that make the Semblance so powerful is that they retain all the skills they had in life, and they retain creative thought. If the Semblance was a blacksmith before he was changed, then the Semblance that results will be able to smith. If the Semblance was a very good swordsman before it was converted, then the Semblance will be very good swordsman afterwards. The other point is the creative thought piece. Most undead follow orders to the letter, but only follow those orders. But they do not branch out of those tasks. The Semblance can be given vague orders, and can do it. For example, if a skeleton was ordered to kill the king, it would go directly to the king and kill him. If a Semblance was ordered to kill the king, it might use poison, ranged weapon, a disguise, etc. This facet of the Semblance allows Necromancers to use them as commanders of their undead armies. In fact, some necromancers attempt to kill generals and other officers in the military to use as Semblances in their own army, so as to combine the skill of leadership with the creative thought the Semblances have.

A Semblance has some major drawbacks. The first of these is the lack of regeneration. Any cut, bruise, broken bone, etc, that the Semblance gets will not heal. Because of this, Necromancers tend not to send them into combat, and if they do send them into combat, they give them orders along the lines of receiving as little damage as possible. The second is their loyalty. They are loyal only to the mission and their goal. If they are sent on a mission, then they will complete it or die in the process. Though they will be creative in attempting to achieve the goal, they will not stop trying to achieve it, even when it would be smarter to return to base and receive new orders. For example, in the above 'kill the king' example, if the Semblance had decided to shoot the king with a bow, and then missed,it would not think "oh crap, now the king is going to send soldiers to kill me, which would result in my death, or make my mission harder, I should go report back to the Necromancer," but instead perhaps lay low for a bit and try again later on, get caught, and then killed. Most Necromancers, because of this, tell their Semblance to return to them if they fail, or something along those lines. The third drawback is only a drawback if the Semblance fails. It is possible to find out where the necromancer who made the Semblance is with magic, if the Semblance is trapped. This can only be done when the Semblance is still alive (or is it unalive?).

Plot Hooks:

You Have Defeated me for the Last Time: The PCs have pissed off that necromancer when they sacked his evil lair. And so he decided to raise a group of undead warriors under the command of a Semblance to kill them. And what do you know, the PCs are all ready in the middle of a life-or-death race against their nemesis to get some forgotten treasure that could mean the end of the world in the nemsis's hands. A perfectly understandable time to remind the PCs about that old necromancer they just killed, eh?

Spy Semblances: The Necromancer is keeping tabs on the city by a system of birds that he made into Semblances. The PCs have to find and kill all of them. And to make things interesting? What about that Semblance Dragon that is twice as strong has other dragons and can still breathe fire? What about that Semblance Eagle that enjoys playing 'Got Your Eye?' The possibilities are endless.

True Love was Never More Abhorrent: A Semblance has seduced the Queen. And, how do I put this, the Semblance's male genitalia works just as fine as it did before. And what does this undead-human midnight infidelity  produce as children? Perhaps the better question is how many children are produced. Because if I know plots, I know this: one is too few evil, rampaging, mutant, baby, un-undead monsters to kill.



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Comments ( 3 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
December 2, 2012, 16:55
0xp
What if a prince or princess was replaced quietly by one of these things? 5/5
Voted Shadoweagle
December 3, 2012, 2:29
0xp
Ah, the missing link between the mindless shambler and the self-aware, sentient undead such as Liches or Vampires. An undead creature able to rationalize and think for itself after a fashion, but with limits. I like that they retain some of their skills from life. The Semblances would definitely be more useful for subterfuge, than direct confrontation.
Voted Aralias
December 4, 2012, 18:38
0xp
Interesting. Gets the ole' idea box working. What if a semblance somehow regained his former memories of life but still felt hopelessly compelled to fulfill his master's nefarious goal, and that goal somehow conflicted with who the semblance was in life. Yes, very interesting.

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