While each epargner daemon was essentially unique, each shared a set of traits. The typical daemon was about 12 to 14 inches tall, had a pair of wings for locomotion, and were generally puffy in appearance. Since each was created by its user, each was different. Records indicate that there were once epargners with elephantine trunks, feathered wings, insectile wings, feathers, scales, fur, or whatever the creator seemed to desire.
Creation of the Daemon
Creating an epargner was a simple affair, one that could be replicated in a modern setting. The summoner follows the basic spell to create a homunculus and adds the wings of a flying creature, and materials to influence its final appearance. Once created, the epargner is a corporeal creation that flies about, following its master, laughing, singing, or talking as they please.
Role of the Daemon
The Epargner daemon is a floating recorder, familiar, and babysitter. All noble born children and dynasts had epargners created for them to serve as babysitters to keep the youths out of harmful situations, chiding them for being impulsive or rash. These became the playmates of the children as they grew up, the daemon in turn maturing mentally as their master did. This synthetic evolution prevented adult nobles from having impish little daemons following them around and trying to play ball or dolls with them while in the royal court.
Adult epargners were secretaries, tasked with remembering pertinent information and keeping schedules. They were used in a manner much like a tape recorder, albeit one that could go and fetch papers, drinks, and do other menial tasks that were less than five pounds in weight. According to records kept in the Library of Dreifach the Royal Archivist had a wing of no fewer than 22 epargner daemons who were tasked with helping to keep the archives in order.
While magic has once again reached a level that could recreate the epargner daemons, the creature/spell has not made any move into popular magic. One of the iconic images of the Old World was the decadent sorcerer with his epargner floating over his shoulder while the world collapsed around him. This association of the Epargner with the abuses of magic might not be far off of the mark.
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? Responses (5)
I am reminded of an old science fiction short story where every person was given a talking cuddly teddybear. By law, the child was allowed to have contact with the bear. These teddybears were to help educated each child, socially, intellectually, and (most important) morally. Two generations after the bears were in place, crime and violence were practically nil... as children learned directly early on that it was wrong to kill (or even harm people for personal reasons). (The grand son of the inventor was given a modified bear which did not teach, you can't kill... so he was the only person left on Earth who could kill (thus used when the government needed him).
Still a handy tool. While these are not specifically educational (or indoctrination) tools, they can be helpful to that culture.
Why have they become so rare?
The high magic Old World was brought to an end by the abuse of magic, and when it ended, many magical things ceased too be. almost every homonculus that was active at the end was undone, its animating magical force unraveled. For the century that followed the end of the Old World, known as the Twilight, magic was unpredicatable and was just as likely to blow up in a magis face as it was to fail. It also followed that there was a social and cultural backlash against magic, and the trappings of it.
I was getting geared up to do a Homunculi entry of my own, and this is refreshing, because it re-confirms the beauty of this site. Same creature, VERY different approach.
All kinds of ideas assault my brains upon reading this.
Though I can't point to a specific reference, this conjures up an Anime feel for me.